WASHINGTON, D.C. — Elkins High School (’95) and West Virginia Wesleyan (’99) graduate Bambi Frazier has released her second cookbook, titled “Better Bites II.”
Her first cookbook, which was the first in her “Better Bites” series, was released in the winter of 2014. However, these cookbooks aren’t her first experience with print publications. As a 9-year-old attending school at Midland Elementary in Elkins, Frazier decided she wanted to make some money, so she walked into the front doors of the local newspaper office and asked if she could be a newspaper carrier.
Perhaps that’s where the news-bug bit her. Years after those days of delivering papers came to an end, Frazier began dreaming of a new news mission.
“I watched WTAE-TV religiously in high school because I always knew I wanted to do something that involved talking,” Frazier explained. “People always said, ‘do what you love’ and I loved to talk, so I figured being a news anchor was the most respectable way to fine-tune my craft!”
Frazier watched veteran Pittsburgh news anchor Sally Wiggin religiously in the evenings so that she could learn the ropes. After high school, she headed to nearby Wesleyan and during that time, accepted an internship to work behind the scenes in Washington, D.C. at the nationally televised show “America’s Most Wanted.” It wasn’t until two years later that Frazier packed up and moved back to West Virginia to work at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg as a weekend news anchor and reporter from 2001-2002.
‘“I always wondered how my birth name, ‘Bambi’ would go over as a news anchor,” she laughs.
Frazier ultimately decided to follow in the footsteps of other on-air personalities and didn’t use her birth name on tv. She instead started using her middle name, which is “Dmitra,” and that’s how her news personality evolved: Dmitra Denmark (Denmark is Frazier’s maiden name) would follow her to Savannah, Georgia one year later, when she landed a job at the #1 CBS affiliate WTOC-TV as a general assignment reporter. Shortly after that, she created the station’s first-ever consumer news franchise and was eventually promoted to morning news anchor.
During that time, Frazier married her husband of 15 years, Chan Frazier, became a mom (she now has three girls), but worked diligently on her cookbook series. Once the first one was complete, she knew the second one had to happen.
Frazier’s news career ultimately came to an end, because, as Frazier explains, “I fell out of love with what I thought was a life-long dream. Once I met that goal of becoming a news anchor, I was done. I needed something more. “
And more is exactly what she found, but unlike TV news, it wasn’t there waiting for her. She had to build it. Frazier has now combined her love of cooking and being on camera on her Youtube channel “Creatively Bambi.”
It is one of the two business she is fully immersed in, the other one being a successful internet marketing and media management firm that she co-owns with her husband and business partner in Washington, D.C.
However, Frazier admits, cooking is her first love, and the cookbooks are the perfect way to showcase it.
“These aren’t just cookbooks to me. They’re history and documentation of the delicious meals and snacks that have brought so many people together.”
One of those people featured in the cookbooks is Frazier’s late grandmother,
Glenna Swank, whom she affectionately refers to as “Nana.” She too grew up in West Virginia (Holmes was her maiden name) and eventually married the late Wilbur “Butch” Swank who also grew up in the Mountain State.
Much like Frazier’s older sister (and Elkins resident), Tamara Bailey, who is a professor at Wesleyan, (she also contributed recipes to both cookbooks), the Swanks were well-known educators in the area. They worked in Tucker County and other small West Virginia towns prior to their retirement in the 1980s.
This newest cookbook release features many stories about Frazier’s time in West Virginia and also has contributions from her close friends in Washington, D.C. Many of the recipes are featured on Frazier’s Youtube channel, so, as Frazier puts it, “you can cook right along with me, and we can keep making memories together.”
And in case you’re wondering – Frazier no longer uses what she calls her “news” name, “Dmitra Denmark.” She explains, “It’s a little too sophisticated for my taste. I mean… there’s a time and a place for all that serious sounding stuff, but in my kitchen is not one of them!”
If you’re looking for some quick and easy weeknight meals or delicious desserts, Better Bites II might be your answer. Find it at www.creativelybambi.com.