Folk Fest Insider
Chef Brittanny Anderson talks Folk Feast,
Richmond Food Scene & Guilty Pleasures
June 27, 2017
How we cook our food says a lot about who we are and where we’re from, and the Folk Feast’s popularity every year is a testament to how much we crave connecting over a good meal. Last year alone, over 400 attendees showed up to sample the works of veteran and new chefs from all over the region.
The Folk Feast, which is held the Tuesday before the festival, brings together the best of Richmond’s culinary talent—full line-up to be announced soon—to add their own flavor to the region’s most popular cultural event.
Crowd favorite Brittanny Anderson, executive chef and co-owner of Metzger Bar and Butchery, brings her own understanding of culinary heritage to this year’s fifth annual Folk Feast. Her menu is still in the planning stages, but meat lovers can start getting exciting by revisiting memories of Anderson’s creations from Folk Feasts past: sausage and rye berry risotto, pork belly confit, and an apple-bacon-reblochon-potato tartiflette.
We had an opportunity to catch up with Anderson in the midst of the soft opening of her second restaurant, Brenner Pass. Here’s what she had to say about Folk Feast, her career, and guilty pleasures:
RFF Insider: How many years have you participated in Folk Feast?
Anderson: This will be my fourth year cooking Folk Feast, the first year with The Roosevelt and the past few for Metzger, and now for Metzger and Brenner Pass!
It is without a doubt my favorite food event of the year, I love supporting the Folk Festival and also getting to hang out with so many of my chef buddies in one place. It's amazing and inspiring to be a part of a community that merges the arts and this incredible food scene.
RFF Insider: Where does your love of food/cooking come from?
Anderson: My father was always interested in food and cooking. He introduced me to so many different types of cuisine at an early age. We also grew up on the water so there was always lots of fishing and seafood eating going on, so I guess it just stuck with me.
RFF Insider: What influences your food the most?
Anderson: Classic European cuisine and the great produce that grows here in Va.
RFF Insider: Any idea what you will be serving this year?
Anderson: We try and do something vegetarian or something sweet every year because there always seems to be a ton of meat, but meat is definitely in the cards for this year!
RFF Insider: What do you think your cooking style brings to the Richmond restaurant scene?
Anderson: I like to think that we bring something different to classic European tradition, a little lighter and brighter.
RFF Insider: How do you think culture and food are connected?
Anderson: Food is the thread that sews the sweater of culture together. People connect culturally over and through food, and food and music are created in such similar fashions.
RFF Insider: When you cook at home, what is your favorite meal to prepare?
Anderson: I think soup is my favorite food group! So if I'm at home it's either soup or something braised. I love a chicken and chickpea stew or pork pozole.
RFF Insider: Guilty pleasure food?
Anderson: Sour gummies or Mayonnaise.
RFF Insider: Which kitchen ingredient or utensil could you not live without?
Anderson: It's not glamorous, but onions are indispensable. And my offset spatula or my petty knife are hard to work without.
RFF Insider: Recommend a menu item from your restaurants right now.
Anderson: I'm really into our veal chop at Brenner Pass right now, or the Schupfnudeln at Metzger.
RFF Insider: Name a favorite restaurant in Richmond to eat at other than your own.
Anderson: Dinamo is my favorite! I love the hearty salads and the tagliatelle.
RFF Insider: What is your best piece of advice for rising chefs?
Anderson: Work hard. Head down. Keep your knives sharp. Read everything.
RFF Insider: If you could cook a meal for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Anderson: Judy Rodgers. She was the chef at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco and she made her career interpreting Classic European cuisine using local produce. She's basically my hero.