Exploring Home with Chef Anya Peters

Chef and business owner, Anya Peters, honors her heritage by bringing her grandmother’s memory and Jamaican cuisine to the table. 

A Caribbean Celebration​

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. In March 2021, 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.”

Growing up in a Caribbean household, Sunday was considered the day of the Sabbath – a day concise with a big, family feast. Peters recalls her grandmother making curry goat, steamed chicken, rice & peas, and gungo pea soup. The menu created for her A NIGHT IN installation was an homage and celebration of all the Sunday suppers she had growing up, as well as those suppers that are yet to come.

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

“We will have gungo pea soup for our first dish, which is a traditional Jamaican Sunday soup made with pigeon peas, coconut milk and provisions like yams, cassava, and pumpkin.”

Chef Anya’s main course brought us fricassee chicken, which is Peters’ mother’s favorite Sunday dish. For our pop-up, Chef Anya paired this chicken with plantain confit, coconut rice & peas and 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

A Place To Call Home

The entire dining experience circulated around a theme that’s foundational to most of Chef Anya’s work: home.

“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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