Delectable, Wearable, and Charitable
Fashion and food are two fields of interest that don’t often intersect. It’s undeniable that the ingredients needed to make a dish perfect must be a true thing of beauty, and founder of Delicacies Jewelry, Nicolle Nelson would certainly agree.
“Food is such an important part of lives, and most important milestones and holidays the world over are celebrated with food. Foodie or not, each person also has their own sentimental food memories that tells their individual, family or cultural story.”
Delicacies Jewelry forms at the corner of philanthropy, food, and unique design, with pieces inspired by ingredients that we love and use in our favorite dishes.
“It’s about honoring and respecting simple ingredients, and recognizing a bit of ourselves in them,” Nelson says in regard to Delicacies and the motivation behind it. The designs of Delicacies are as tempting as the ingredients themselves, featuring pendants and bracelets inspired by the delicate nature of the foods we adore. From their latest avocado pendant to their intricate rosemary design, Delicacies has a variety of ingredients that have been made wearable. Of course, they aren’t actually the ingredients themselves, but silver and gold pieces that have been crafted with detail to represent their beauty.
When it comes to finding which design is perfect for you, Delicacies makes it simple. Their website helps you discover your “spirit ingredient” to match your purpose. From love to passion to perseverance, Delicacies has divided their ingredients to symbolize their most valued virtues. For carb lovers, Delicacies has their line of pasta inspired charms, a collaboration with Barilla called the Al Dente collection. Farfalle has never looked more beautiful in 14 Karat gold dangling from a delicate chain. Some designs are even adorned with diamonds, for those who enjoy the finer things in life.
Beyond the originality of their designs, one of the most unique components about Delicacies is their dedication to giving back. Their commitment to philanthropy is exhibited in both purpose and practice, with a charitable track record to show. Delicacies partners with a variety of high-profile chefs, all of which share a passion for food and a desire to fight hunger. With every piece of Delicacies Jewelry sold, “Delicacies Dollars” are created and donated directly to a nonprofit organization seeking to fight hunger and food insecurity. Every year, Delicacies partners with four acclaimed and talented chefs who comprise their Chef’s Table. The Chef’s Table is the conduit for their philanthropic giving, with each chef choosing a charity and ingredients that resonates with them personally. This component of Delicacies’ mission seeks to incorporate professional chefs’ love for food with giving back to the community.
Chief Giving Officer Chef is none other than Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, who knows all of the chefs personally as well as the causes they are passionate about. If he thinks someone would be a great addition to the Chef’s Table, he asks them to be a part of it. This past year, in homage to the year of the woman, a Chef’s table of all women was selected.
One of the few notable names to collaborate with Delicacies is Gail Simmons, food writer, Top Chef judge, and cookbook author. Simmons was first introduced to Delicacies years ago when Zimmern gifted her with an egg pendant. With the egg being a go-to ingredient for Simmons, she chose it once again when later asked to become a part of The Chef’s Table. Without a doubt, eggs are a perfect year-round ingredient, both versatile and delicious. For Simmons, incorporating them into a summer dish is far from a challenge. Her suggestion? Medium or poached atop a fresh summer salad, or fried atop a piece of toasted bread alongside a slice of beefsteak tomato (which are ideal for the season). Because of the work she does, Simmons feels it necessary to give back to the community. After being on the food council for City Harvest for years, it was an easy choice when deciding what organization to give back to. With the goals of food rescue and reusing and repurposing food that might otherwise go to waste, City Harvest is an organization near and dear to her heart.
Perhaps it’s the creativity in the concept that draws so many to Delicacies pieces, or maybe it’s the energy behind the designs, but either way, there’s plenty to look forward to from them. For now, Nelson is working on several new products and adding to the current Al Dente Collection, with new categories of jewelry and accessories as well. Paired with the philanthropic efforts, Delicacies Jewelry is the perfect gift for yourself or someone you know, successfully representing all that we love about food.
Q&A With Nicolle Nelson, Founder of Delicacies Jewelry
Q: What was your biggest inspiration for starting Delicacies jewelry?
Nicolle Nelson: I came up with the idea for Delicacies during a bout with dengue fever. When I had my fever, I literally saw our garlic bracelet on my wrist, and after my recovery, I set out to make it. But my inspiration behind Delicacies really has to do with telling our own stories through food. Food is such an important part of lives, and most important milestones and holidays the world over are celebrated with food. Foodie or not, each person also has their own sentimental food memories that tell their individual, family or cultural story. That’s why we say ‘Food is Love.’ (And that’s also why we donate a portion of our proceeds to hunger-related charities!)
Q: How do you pick the chefs to collaborate and give back to?
NN: We ask our Chief Giving Officer Chef Andrew Zimmern for his insight. Andrew knows all of the chefs personally, and their causes as well. If there is someone he thinks would be a great addition to our Table, he asks them to be a part of it. This past year, we chose all women chefs in homage to the year of the woman and had Chefs April Bloomfield, Stephanie Izard, Alex Guarnascelli and TV/media food personality Gail Simmons as part of our Chef’s Table.
Q: What has been your most popular piece?
NN: The Al Dente pasta line we did with Barilla has been insanely popular. Everyone, it seems, loves pasta! As far our ingredients go, our top sellers have been the avocado, the pig, the pineapple, the olive branch and the chili pepper.
Q: What is your personal favorite?
NN: I cannot choose one; I wear three! First, ginger because I love to cook Thai food. Second, the chili pepper because I adore spicy food and live most of the year in Mexico. Lastly, the octopus, because it represents perseverance. If there is one thing I have learned about starting your own business, it’s that you need to keep moving forward (persevere!) even through the setbacks. Delicacies has been one of the most rewarding journeys of my life — but also one of the most difficult!
Q: What designs do you plan to add to Delicacies in the future?
NN: We are working on several new products and adding to the Al Dente Collection that is going to be killer. We’ll be adding new categories of jewelry and accessories as well. I’d also like to get into more herbs and fruits!
Q: Why did you decide to add this philanthropic component to your brand?
NN: It was immediate, we say the charitable component is “baked in,” and it really has been since the inception of the idea. My husband (and Delicacies business partner) and I have been a part of the food world for a long time through his business with Andrew Zimmern. We’ve seen how incredibly charitable those in the hospitality industry (restaurateurs and chefs especially) are in general and it has made a huge impression on us. Our customers tell us they like doing business with give-back brands.
Q: What ingredient do you think best represents summer?
NN: This is a hard one! I could make a case for corn (sweet corn), lobster (lobster boils) and basil (so aromatic in summer herb gardens), but for me, the very best of summer ingredients is the tomato. Growing up, there was nothing more delicious than a vine-ripened tomato. When you pluck it from the plant, it’s still warm from the sun and perfectly ripe, juicy, and never mealy. All you need is a pinch of salt for the perfect summer snack.
Q&A With Andrew Zimmern, Chief Giving Officer at Delicacies Jewelry
Q: You are the Chief Giving Officer at Delicacies Jewelry. What inspires you about this role?
Andrew Zimmern: I love Delicacies, and I love that they are a give-back brand. As their Chief Giving Officer, I help guide their charitable efforts and recruit Chefs to be a part of our Chef’s Table. Through those participating Chefs, we donate to the local charities they choose. Last year we donated our 50,000th Meal, and in March we crossed over 100,000 meals donated. I couldn’t be happier to help a brand that is all about food, fashion and giving back.
Q: What’s your ingredient and why?
AZ: Octopus – it represents perseverance, and it’s a great daily reminder to keep going.
Q: How do you best like to prepare octopus?
AZ: Grilled as an entree or on a salad. Octopus is intimidating for a lot of people, but it doesn’t need to be. Octopus is delicious and easy to cook at home, trust me. It may seem intimidating, but I have a video as part of my digital series, AZ COOKS on andrewzimmern.com and I encourage you to try it out. Once you’ve cooked the octopus, throw it on a hot grill to get a smoky char and serve it with a simple frisee salad topped with candied bacon.