Carla DeLuca and Nick Sansone met at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner in Sonoma County, California, in 2016. Randomly seated next to each other, they talked all night - about Nick’s training at the Culinary Institute of America and Carla's penchant for burning water. They realized they grew up 20 minutes away from each other in New Jersey, in Italian-Sicilian-American families. Both coveted their Lucky Peach subscriptions.
By dessert, If & When was born.
Carla is the IF and Nick is the WHEN in If & When. Nick is a professional chef and winemaker; Carla is an every day, at-home cook. WHEN Nick cooks, he creates, foraging for ingredients near his home and local farmers’ markets. He harvests his own seaweed. IF Carla cooks, she cooks for a week - a few, simple dishes using flavourful ingredients culled from grocery stores in walking distance of her apartment. She roasted her first chicken at 42.
Taste the Paste
If & When Preserved Meyer Lemon Paste was born of the idea that preserved lemon, a beloved tradition of Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine, deserves a prominent place in the kitchen pantry. Fresh lemon enhances almost everything. Preserved Meyer lemon is the umami of everyday foods - a shortcut to brighter flavors in every spoonful - when added to raw meat and fish before grilling, vegetables before roasting and desserts before baking. If & When is a natural, preservative-free base for soups, salad dressings, marinades...even cocktails.
Food = Love = Happiness. The best meals are those we cook for or share with others.
Imperfect is beautiful. We buy imperfect Meyer lemons from organic family-owned California farms. We have a few blemishes ourselves, so no judgement here.
Zero waste is worth the effort. We cure Meyer lemons by hand in sea salt, whole spices and love. That's it. The entire lemon is preserved, seeds and all. That's If & When.
Guacamole is a one-pot meal. Sometimes we mix 1 TBS of Cumin Garlic Preserved Meyer Lemon Paste with two, medium size, ripe avocados and call it dinner.