Fortune enjoys cooking on the 4th

Fortune enjoys cooking on the 4th


Zachary Fortune started cooking during childhood, inspired by baking pecan pies with his grandmother, Sandra Clair, and great-grandmother, Lucille Wilcher.

“I remember pushing a chair into the kitchen and telling them, ‘Let’s make a pecan pie,’” Fortune recalled.

His dad, Chris Fortune, later introduced him to grilling, and over the years, he’s racked up a few go-to favorites like Boston butts, brisket, hamburgers, and steaks.

“My family really enjoys my chicken thigh sliders,” he said. 

Fortune considers his best dish to be chicken leg quarters, served with baked beans and potato salad. He often experiments with the chicken by adding mayonnaise, seasoning salt, and lemon pepper.

“When the mayonnaise cooks down, it makes the chicken juicy and gives it a golden-brown look,” he said.

Fortune, a forklift mechanic for Yates Services at Nissan in Canton, loves cooking for friends and family and has even catered a couple of weddings this year.

“I love to cook,” he said. “When me and my friends from high school all get together, we always grill.”

Every 4th of July, Fortune and his family celebrate at their cabin at the Fairgrounds, where he and his dad have been competing in a cook-off since 2011.

Their Neshoba County Fair traditions don’t end there though. During Fair Week, they fry fish on Sundays, have steak night on Saturdays, and plan a variety of grilled or fried foods for the rest of the week. 

Fortune also makes his own homemade barbecue sauce, which includes ketchup, mustard, vinegar, sugar, pepper, and a few special ingredients.

His advice to aspiring cooks is to grill low and slow and not be limited by recipes.

“You can add or leave out what you want,” he said. “Make it your own, how you want it.”

For Zachary Fortune, the best part of cooking is watching everyone enjoy the food and the fellowship it brings.


8-10 Boneless chicken thighs

2 tbsp. seasoning salt

1 tbsp. black pepper

1 tbsp. garlic salt

½ cup Worcestershire sauce

1 bottle Caribbean Jerk sauce

1 fresh pineapple

½ cup brown sugar or less

1 lb. pack of bacon

8-10 slices of Swiss cheese

8-10 Hawaiian rolls

Comeback sauce

Place chicken in large container. Add ½ of Worcestershire sauce, ¾ bottle Caribbean Jerk sauce, black pepper, seasoning salt, and garlic salt. Mix around to coat all chicken. Place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Cook bacon and set aside. Cut up pineapple and set aside (rings halved).

Grill chicken at 350° until done. Grill pineapple rings. Add brown sugar while cooking. Assemble Caribbean sauce, chicken cheese, bacon, pineapple, and comeback sauce on Hawaiian rolls. Warm rolls and enjoy.


3-4 cups flour


Seasoning salt

1 stick of butter

1 tsp. minced garlic paste

Garlic salt

1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Lightly season wings with seasoning salt and pepper. Combine seasoning salt, garlic salt, and pepper into the flour and mix. Pour flour over wings and give them a stir and deep fry wings for 9-10 minutes.

Melt butter in saucepan, mix in minced garlic paste, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic salt to taste. Pour butter mixture over fried wings and mix together and sprinkle grated Parmesan over top of wings.

Serve with ranch or blue cheese as a dipping sauce and enjoy.


½ cup sugar

1 cup Karo syrup

¼ tsp. salt

½ stick of butter

3 eggs

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Mix sugar and butter together. Mix then add Karo syrup, vanilla flavoring, add salt, add eggs, then add pecans. Pour in pie shell and cook at 350° for 1 hour.

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