With support from Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern, a jewelry designer creates a conduit for giving to hunger-related causes.
Food brings people together, and foodies are a passionate lot. They love to cook and eat and talk about food. And now, they can wear their favorite ingredient, with the help of top chefs around the country, and Delicacies, a jewelry company whose owners are intent on helping to contribute to hunger relief.
Jewelry for hunger relief
“I started the company because my husband (who is now also my Delicacies partner) and I were both involved in the food world, and we loved the idea of wearing whole, simple food ingredients as jewelry,” says jewelry designer Nicolle Nelson. “Nobody was doing anything around that idea, and we thought that with all the extreme love of food and restaurants, the idea of wearable, elegant food jewelry could work.”
Nicolle Nelson and her husband, John, and their daughter
Nicolle and her husband John also wanted to make their contribution by partnering with a hunger-relief organization. “But we were intimidated by choosing just one,” she says, “because there are so many amazing organizations out there. So we decided to ask chefs, some of the most generous people in the world, who are also so well-educated about hunger issues.”
Delicacies partners with Andrew Zimmern
The Nelsons brought in their friend Andrew Zimmern, renowned chef, author, culinary thought leader and host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. Each year, Zimmern helps Delicacies select and partner with four well-known chefs who comprise their “Chef’s Table,” which is the conduit for their charitable giving. Each chef chooses an ingredient they love and provides a recipe for it.
Delicacies creates jewelry—in gold, silver, leather—that features the ingredient. Every piece of Delicacies Jewelry purchased creates “Delicacies Dollars,” and 50 percent of the proceeds of each chef’s chosen ingredient, as well as 10 percent of every other Delicacies purchase, is donated to a hunger-related nonprofit of each chef’s choosing.
“I love Delicacies for many reasons, but mostly because Delicacies is committed to giving back to hunger-related charities, and I love helping them in that endeavor,” says Zimmern.
The top chefs selected this year are all women—April Bloomfield, renowned for The Spotted Pig, chose to donate to Food Bank for New York City. Stephanie Izard of The Girl and the Goat in Chicago selected Share Our Strength. Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter (and The Food Network), went for No Kid Hungry. And Gail Simmons of Top Chef and Food & Wine Magazine fame chose New York’s City Harvest. “We look for chefs who we respect and chefs who we think would be fun to work with,” says Nicolle. “We ask all four chefs at the same time, then feature them (and their charity and ingredient) “seasonally,” so each chef is featured on our website for three months.
Pictured from left to right: Alex Guarnaschelli, Gail Simmons, April Bloomfield and Stephanie Izard
Why dedicate the Chef’s Table exclusively to female chefs this year? According to Nicolle, this is undoubtedly the year of the woman.
“As a mother of a 10-year-old girl, I have always told my daughter that she can do anything she sets her mind to, as long as she doesn’t quit,” says Nelson. “However, the reality of the situation is a bit more complicated. We, as women, are still fighting for equality in the workforce, and equal pay.
“The women we have on our Chef’s Table have obviously made it to the pinnacle of the food world, which is a very typically male-dominated world. I’m impressed with their persistence, fight and talent. I want my daughter to read about them and learn their story, so she can emulate them in her own path to greatness.”
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