Some of us get stressed out just thinking of making dinner for a crowd – Barrett Prendergast lives for it. The LA-raised chef and owner of boutique catering company, Valleybrink Road, is the ultimate domestic goddess, channeling her skills into beautiful tablescape designs, unforgettable menus and gorgeous gift baskets to boot.

Barrett loves to keep things simple but visually stunning in the kitchen by making organic, local ingredients the star of each dish (you need to check out this babe of a brunch recipe!). We’re rifling through her fridge today with our In My Fridge series. Learn which fragrant herb she alway keeps on hand, the short list of staples that make everything taste good, and the coffee-boosted mushrooms we love too…

Food philosophy in one sentence:

Use the best ingredients so they can really shine.

Always in my fridge:

Homemade almond milk, cooked grains, hummus, free-range eggs, hot sauce, dark chocolate, lots of fruits and veggies.

7 recipe staples always on hand:

Homemade chicken stock, good olive oil, frozen fruit for smoothie time, cooked grains, nut butters, coconut oil and maple syrup.

Must-have munchies:

Half an avocado with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and chili flake. My gluten-free peanut butter energy balls. Fruit popsicles like Good Pops.

Fave condiments:

Sriracha, Maldon salt, barbecue sauce, hot sauce.

Ingredient that makes everything taste better:

Good salt, lemon and good olive oil.

Go-to proteins:

Halibut, organic chicken, quinoa and organic dark-meat ground turkey.

Best bargain:

Thrive Market and Whole Foods 10% case discount.

Best label-reading tip:

Less is more in terms of ingredients. Avoid refined sugar, which can be called many things, and always stay away from MSG.

Fave veggie + what you make with it:

Must-have pantry staples:

Olive and coconut oil, ghee, cinnamon, vanilla beans, coconut manna, red wine vinegar, quinoa, short-grain brown rice, basmati rice, cashew butter, peanut butter and almond butter.

Craziest thing I buy:

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee with chaga and lion’s mane. Check it out here.

Sweets and other indulgences:

Hu chocolate, Honey Mama’s Cacao Nectar Bars, and fruit popsicles.

Dairy or non-dairy faves:

Feta, goat cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, coconut yogurt and Straus yogurt.

Skip labels that read:

Non-fat, low-fat, light. Good fats are good for you.

Favorite splurge:

Ice cream.

For last-minute entertaining:

A really big cheese board with lots of charcuterie, fruits, nuts and bread. This can easily feed a crowd and then you can have berries and dark chocolate for dessert.

Favorite places to shop:

Hollywood Farmers Market, Cookbook in Echo Park, McCall’s Meat and Fish.

Simple go-to recipe:

Best food memory:

Eating at Antica Locanda Di Sesto in Lucca, Italy.

Peek inside the kitchens and pantries of other wellness pros we love with our full series here!

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