Even some seasoned cooks shy away from using unfamiliar spices, but there's nothing to fear about fresh, high-quality spices, which are nothing like the stale, powdery stuff on supermarket shelves. Spice expert Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of La Boîte, a spice shop in New York City, has dedicated his life to reintroducing home cooks to spice blends and the infinite ways they can amplify the flavor of foods.
Beyond his duties at the store, Lior is part of the Lean Cuisine Culinary Roundtable, a group of chefs who gather quarterly to inspire new flavors for Lean Cuisine products. The team recently met at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone to discuss their expertise with food writers, and Lior showcased tips and tricks on developing unforgettable spice blends at home.
Unlike the La Boîte product line, which features carefully crafted blends of the highest quality spices from around the world, Lior's demo at the CIA kitchen was a casual affair. It was less about the spices origin and the exact measurements of each spice and more about learning the basics of whole spices and the method of creating a flavorful, homemade blend. If you're interested in becoming a mad spice scientist, Lior offers helpful tips for making a successful, spice-blending experiment.