Renowned Chef Paul Bertolli launched Fra' Mani handcrafted foods, principally salumi, in 2006. Fra’ Mani is derived from the Italian for “between or among hands” and conveys the message “from our hands to yours”. The culmination of Bertolli’s zeal for authentic handcrafted food, Fra’ Mani strives to keep old world food traditions alive in taste and technique.
Fra' Mani uses ingredients of the highest quality from sustainable sources. Their meat, chiefly pork, comes from family farmers committed to the well-being of their animals and their land. The animals are never given antibiotics, artificial growth hormones, growth-promoting agents or meat by-products, and are raised on pasture or in deeply bedded pens.
Fra' Mani's range of salumi includes capicollo, mortadella, sopressata, ham, and turkey in addition to a wonderful assortment of salamis.
Like many other Berkeley enterprises, Paul Bertolli honed his skills at Chez Panisse as head chef. He was then proclaimed "Best Chef in California" by the James Beard association in 2001 while executive chef and co-owner at Oliveto in Oakland.
Oddly enough, his early career aspiration was that of a classical pianist. Instead, he became an evangelist for bringing back classical preservation methods from before agri-business took over and has inspired an entire generation of salumi makers.
Paul Bertolli's cookbook, "Cooking by Hand", is exceptional and available here (one reviewer declares "This book is so good it's been stolen from me twice!"), and the book he penned with Alice Waters of Chez Panisse is available here. More recently Bertolli has developed a line of meals for Costco (available west of the Mississippi) which includes wildly popular brined Thanksgiving turkeys.