There’s a sweet spot between wellness and comfort food, and Candace Nelson lives there. Her foodie legacy includes revamping the classic cupcake through the phenomenon that is Sprinkles (yes, she makes a gluten-free!) and, more recently, opening one of the most buzzed about pizza spots in LA, Pizzana in Brentwood.
By using real ingredients and slow, traditional methods, Candace and the Pizzana team has revolutionized our pizza habits in the best possible way. Even better than Pizzana’s Instagram-worthy Corbarina squash blossom and burrata pie? Their fermented crust made of well-sourced European grains. Read up on why that matters here.
Take a deep dive into the whole food grocery staples and lust-worthy leftovers that keep Candace on top of her game with our ‘In My Fridge’ series…
Food philosophy in one sentence:
Simple and delicious.
Always in my fridge:
Cabbage, kale, carrots, Persian cucumbers, unsweetened almond milk, Kite Hill cheese, olives, Grana Padano cheese, eggs, leftover Pizzana pizza, bottles of rosé and perishable ingredients for baking… unsalted butter, buttermilk, cream, mascarpone.
7 recipe staples always on hand:
Garlic, lemons, great olive oil, pink Himalayan salt, Dijon mustard, pistachios, avocados.
Mary’s everything gluten-free crackers, Late July tortilla chips.
New York Shuk’s harissa, Harry’s Berries (from the Santa Monica farmers’ market) fresh salsa, tamari.
Ingredient that makes everything taste better:
Fish sauce (Red Boat).
Tonnino tuna and Mary’s organic chicken.
No need to wait for Trader Joe’s to re-stock their cauli-rice. Cauliflower rice made in your food processor is ridiculously quick, simple and inexpensive.
Best label-reading tip:
Steer clear of carrageenan.
Fave veggie + what you make with it:
Zucchini. I am constantly making zoodles! Sautéing them to serve as a side dish, adding them to soups or serving them as the main course topped with turkey bolognese.
Must-have pantry staples:
I keep lots of nuts and seeds, and I stock basically every type of flour and sugar for baking. Everything from cake flour and King Arthur unbleached flour to Cup 4 Cup, coconut and almond flours. Sugars range from C&H granulated to coconut, maple and demerara.
Craziest thing I buy:
I always buy at least one very exotic fruit each week at the Santa Monica farmers’ market so my children can try something they’ve never tasted (or even heard of!) before.
Sweets and other indulgences:
Theo’s organic sea salt dark chocolate bars and Sprinkles rocky road ice cream.
Dairy or non-dairy faves:
I love sharp, salty cheeses, so I always keep a stash of Parmesan, Grana Padano and feta cheese stashed in my fridge to add to salads and recipes. I also love Kite Hill cheese to adorn my Mary’s seed crackers.
Skip labels that read:
“Includes natural flavoring.”
Making dinner out of a great cheese board, glass of wine in hand.
For last-minute entertaining:
A great big kale-and-shaved-Brussels salad with grilled flank steak.
Favorite places to shop:
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, Marconda’s Meats at the Original Farmers Market, Santa Monica Seafood, Whole Foods.
Simple go-to recipe:
Chicken breasts in a slow cooker with Frontera grill red enchilada sauce, shredded and then eaten on fresh Tortilla Land tortillas with avocado and salsa.
Best food memory:
Making chocolate chip cookies with my mom and eating the cookie dough from the mixer bowl.