A Dash of Southern Comfort with a Pinch of Influence

Phillip Fryman's The Man Behind Southern Fatty

A research biologist turn food blogger, Phillip Fryman is making a name for himself as the blogger/ Instagram influencer Southern Fatty. The name, not meant as an insult, was given to Fryman in college as a joke by his roommates. As the only one in the group who cooked, and the
only one from the South—all his roommates were from the North—Fryman introduced his friends to fatty, southern foods and the rest, as they say, is history.

How did you get involved with food?
I grew up around a food-centered family. My mom's side is all from Georgia and my dad's side is from Kentucky. I grew up in Kentucky. I grew up in a house where my mom made me sit down for dinner every single night with the whole family. And I think it kind of clicked. We'd sit in
there and watch her cook. I would help her. I've always enjoyed cooking and baking and that's probably how it turned into this outlet now.

You are also a research biologist, which came first?
I moved to Nashville from Lexington, Kentucky for my first big kid job in 2010 as a research biologist at Vanderbilt and cancer biology. So when I was there in academic research, which is its own kind of beast, I needed something else to do that was not sitting in a lab looking in a
microscope all day. That’s kind of where the blog came from—just an outlet or something fun to do.

For someone who is not familiar with Southern Fatty, how would you describe it?
The biggest part of my blog is I started it as an outlet for myself to have somewhere to fulfill that talkative side of myself. So every recipe I post, I'm really trying to not post anything unless I have some kind of connection and some memories behind those recipes. Some people want just
recipes, but you can scroll on by the story, find the recipe and make it, and I promise it will hopefully be really good. It's Southern comfort food. I posted a salad one time and got hate mail.

I’m not kidding. Dead serious. People, they want you to stay in your lane.

Did you imagine when you started the blog, you would have this attention and become an influencer?
No, no, no. I didn't think anyone would see it to be honest. I knew my mom would be on there, you know, correcting my grammar—she still does that. My mom is a teacher. But yeah, no, I did not think it would become a job.

Do you personally cook every single recipe you post on your blog?
I do. Everything on my blog is recipes that I've developed. If I'm out eating in Franklin, I will share that on Instagram usually. I don't share a lot of that on the blog. I treat them very differently, just because I feel like they fit differently. But, yeah, I make all of it. Even the salads!

What’s your favorite recipe that you've posted?
Cookies that I grew up with from my grandmother. It's a recipe for a cornflake cookie, which is kind of a crunchy, sugar, butter, cookie. It’s super simple and my favorite by far.

What’s next for you and Southern Fatty?
I think right now my focus is definitely on the food photography. I devote just a massive amount of time to it. It’s another full time job for me right now. I don't expect I’ll drop the blog or anything like that. They fit together really well. It's been great. They always say find something
that you love and you'll never work a day—I don't know if that's true (laughs), but it's been great. That's my focus now.

Follow Southern Fatty’s blog at and on Instagram at @southernfatty

Cornflake Cookies      

prep time: 15 MINUTES

cook time: 15 MINUTES


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, AP
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cornflake cereal
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped


    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
    2. Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until well-combined, light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes on medium speed.
    3. Sift together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar.
    4. Add to butter mixture and combine just until mixed.
    5. Mix in cornflakes and pecans very carefully, preferably by hand or with short mix on low.
    6. Bake by spoonful or cookie scoop on lined baking sheet for ~ 12 minutes until just barely golden around bottoms.
    7. Cool completely and enjoy!
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