Chef Anya Peters explores the meaning of home in 3-courses

For our A NIGHT IN pop-up series, Chef Anya Peters evokes memories of family and abundance in her 3-course Jamaican food journey.

Chef Anya Peters of Kit an Kin Profile Pic

Kit an' Kin, a modern culinary studio

Chef Anya Peters is the founder of Kit an’ Kin, a Brooklyn-based culinary studio that documents and celebrates Caribbeanness through food and storytelling. To say we were excited to honor Caribbean food at the table would be an understatement. For our A NIGHT IN pop-up series, Chef Anya presented, Ovayard, a 3-course food journey inspired by the land her grandmother grew up in outside of Kingston, Jamaica. 

She describes her grandmother’s home, Ovayard, as paradise on Earth.

“The inspiration behind this meal is my grandma - or my ma as I call her - and her childhood growing up in Jamaica, Ovayard. It’s described as a place of abundance. They never wanted or needed, and whenever anyone blew through, there was always a plate to eat or a cup of tea.”

Chef Anya Peters recreates classic Sunday dinner fare

Growing up, Sunday was the day of the Sabbath for Chef Anya and always included a big family feast. Peters recalls her grandmother making curry goat, steamed chicken, rice & peas, and gungo pea soup. Her A NIGHT IN menu paid homage to these Sunday celebrations.

Gungo pea soup by Chef Anya Peters for her Jamaican dining experience

“Each Sunday, we started with gungo pea soup, a traditional Jamaican Sunday soup made with pigeon peas, coconut milk and provisions like yams, cassava, and pumpkin.”

For her main course, Chef Anya’s prepared a fricassee chicken, which is Peters’ mother’s favorite Sunday dish. She paired this chicken with plantain confit, coconut rice & peas and a refreshing & crisp cho cho slaw. The menu concluded with the dessert – a chilled corn custard with a passionfruit cocoa tea brittle. 

Fricassee chicken by Chef Anya Peters for her Jamaican dining experience

Redefining home post-pandemic

The entire dining experience circulated around a theme that’s foundational to most of Chef Anya’s work: home. During a time of pandemic-induced lockdown, the concept of “home” seemed even more elusive. 

“Home to me has moved inwards. It’s finding peace and solace wherever I am. It’s not letting anyone disturb my peace. I find that I value my sacred spaces and family moments more whenever I can get them. Whether that is a phone call, zoom meeting, or a celebration together in real life.”

Peters’ soft voice and calming nature carried sentiments of the same kind, and aligns with how she wants her food to be approached. 

“I want people to feel held with this meal. I want them to feel home, even if they haven't been home in a while. Home wherever they are, wherever they are sharing this meal. I just want people to feel like they are welcomed into my kitchen, around my dining room table, and feasting with the Kit an’ Kin family.”

It’s safe to say that we felt exactly that. 

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