master spice blender - blog pic

Master Spice Blender

My friend Linda was visiting this week. We ventured to the west side of New York, Hell’s Kitchen area, to investigate La Boîte á Epice. La Boîte is the masterpiece of  Chef Lior Lev Sercasz, a master spice blender, amongst other things. Linda shared an article with me that was recently published in the NYTimes about La Boîte and Lev. We were intrigued!

From the moment they buzzed us inside, the symphony of aromas engulfed us! Once I began sniffing the forty-two plus different blend combinations, many appealing to my senses, I had to get serious. I began eliminating the ones I didn’t think I’d use … no easy task since I hadn’t gone in with something specific in mind! If I wanted a spice blend for a Moroccan Lamb (#23 Tangier), or Indonesian Fish (#31 Penang), or grilling a Steak (#8 Smoked Salt and #7 Pierre Poivre), I could have honed right in and found what I wanted, but I was interested in what was offered … in the very general sense of the term!

An hour and a half later we had made our selections, also purchasing Lior’s book, The Art of Blending, which offers recipes and gives insightful information on each individual blend along with his motivation behind the creation.

La Boite Spice BlendsIf you plan to visit La Boîte á Epice, be sure to phone first, they have very limited hours.

2 thoughts on “Master Spice Blender

  1. Shelley

    hey susan! Nice website.

    I actually had this chef in my house a few years ago. We won him at an auction and he came and prepared a meal for 8 – 10 people (can’t remember anymore) and because of kashrut, he did all the prep in my kitchen. It was very neat. And yummy. That said, I have some of his spices in my pantry, but I find I hardly use them!

    1. susan Post author

      Thanks Shelley!
      It must have been a wonderful meal!
      Unfortunately, if the spices have been in your pantry for a few years it’s probably time to toss them and make a trip to his store in New York for fresh spices. You may be inspired by all the wonderful aromas!
      Dried herbs and spices have a fairly short life; if you use old spices, it’s often like using no flavoring at all.


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