Cooking with Belcampo’s Anya Fernald

Review by Kristina Sepetys

Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook
by Anya Fernald with Jessica Battilana
(Ten Speed Press, 2016)

Oakland resident Anya Fernald is CEO and co-founder of Belcampo Inc, which was created to further the goals of the sustainable food movement. The operation includes the organic and humanely managed Belcampo Farms; the humane-certified processing facility Belcampo Butcher; Belcampo Meat Company, which operates several butcher shops and restaurants; and Belcampo Belize, a travel destination and pioneer in agrotourism. In addition, Fernald is the executive director of Slow Food Nation and founded the nonprofit Food Craft Institute, which hosts Oakland’s annual Eat Real Festival.

In her debut cookbook, Fernald presents a recipe collection and how-to guide for preparing flavorful base ingredients for simple meals, while also teaching skills like building and cooking over a fire and preserving meat and produce. Dishes include rich sauces, meaty ragùs, and perfectly charred vegetables. Inspired by the humble traditions of cucina povera, the frugal cooking of Italian peasants, Fernald makes use of seasonal bounty with instructions for canning and preserving fruits and vegetables, salt curing fish, simmering flavorful broths with leftover bones, and transforming tough cuts of meat into supple stews and sauces through long cooking. Fernald shares hearty, rustic recipes like Fried Mortadella Sandwiches, Chicken-Fried Rabbit, Red Pepper and Walnut Crema, Rustic Chickpea Torte, Cracked Crab with Lemon-Chile Vinaigrette, Veal Meatballs, Anise-Seed Breakfast Cookies, and Ligurian Sangria. Fernald explains her purpose best in her introduction: “Throughout my journey, from cheese maker on a folding bicycle to CEO of a sustainable agriculture company, I’ve tried to take an old-world approach to food and craftsmanship and make it relevant to modern American life.”

Meet Anya, get a signed copy of Home Cooked, and enjoy wine and charcuterie:

Book Signing, Meet & Greet at Oakland Crush Wine Shop
Wednesday May 18, 5–7pm
420 3rd St, Oakland