February Foodie: Blogger Candace Boyd Wylie

With a focus on raising people’s comfort level in the kitchen, a culinary mentor stirs the pot.
Candace Boyd Wylie is what you might call an evangelist in the church of home cooking. “Learning to cook is a form of independence. If you can make a meal for yourself, you can live on your own,” says the culinary force behind the website foodlovetog.com (“tog” is short for photography, since she shoots everything herself). Wylie also teaches cooking classes in partnership with the Center of Wellness for Urban Women and dreams of retrofitting an RV for a mobile cooking school. “I want to focus on people in the inner city who don’t have access to that information, the people who want to cook with local meats and vegetables but don’t know how,” says the self-taught cook who spent 11 years in the corporate world, doing marketing for Kroger, but found her true calling a few years ago with the launch of her blog. “People watch shows on television and think they have to learn all these difficult techniques,” she says. “I learned how to cook shelling green beans—by getting in and stirring the pot.” Wylie also sells six custom spice blends, which are available through the website. (Young Bae, her seafood-friendly take on Old Bay, is the latest addition to the line.) As with her website and classes, the goal is to get more people at the stovetop. “Cooking from scratch isn’t expensive once you build your pantry with spices, flour, and other basics,” she says. “We just need to become intentional about doing it.”

Candace Boyd Wylie’s Favorite Things

(1) Le Creuset Dutch Oven: “I found it on sale at T.J. Maxx. I call her my baby.”
(2) The Original Pancake House on 86th Street: “They have the best coffee and the best bacon.”
(3) Cumin: “It’s my favorite spice to work with, hands down.”
(4) Braised short ribs. Get Wylie’s recipe for this comfort dish here.