Anya Fernando is CEO and founder of Belcampo Meats. After college she went to Italy and learned to make cheese. Coming back from Europe she worked in conjunction with Alice Waters in the Slow Food Movement. Then she became involved with meat: growing and butchering. This year she has a new cookbook, HOME COOKED: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook, which includes many of these experiences.
This book is really a collection of her way of cooking and thinking. There is a broad range of recipes from creating staples ahead, such as soffrito which is then frozen, to a three page treatise on how to cook a steak. She gives you courage to cook somethings which you might like, or are not available locally, but you had crossed off your list as too hard. An example of that is cavateddi, a Sicilian version of gnocchi made with semolina.
The photos are beautiful showing photos both of food and her surroundings. She discussed her style of entertaining, and how to make it feasible. With this book, unless it is your bed time reading, you have to cook. This is not fast food. But Anya makes you want to cook. This is a book, which if you are a cookbook collector, you have not seen the same recipes over and over: example, squid and beans. I made tomato risotto out of Home Cooked. I wanted to try grating tomatoes and I had chicken broth. It was very good. She even told me what to do with the leftovers: fry into fritters.
When I mail order books, sometimes they arrive and they were not at all what I had hoped for. This book was not a disappointment. I am going to make soffrito today. I plan to make rosemary crackers soon, and I have squid in the freezer right now.
I am reviewing this book for Blogging for Books who gave me this book.