Lior 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.2.12 The Mix Master

I visited Lior Lev Seracarz in his studio a few months ago, but I haven't written about it until now because I wanted to spend time really getting to know some of his spice blends. You may remember me mentioning this chef-turned-spice-wizard and his gallery/store, La Boîte à Epice, in Hell's Kitchen, or perhaps you read Susan Choi's profile of him in Food & Wine; it won the James Beard Foundation journalism award this year. A quick bit of background on Lior: he's Israeli (yep, he did his military service), but his family has roots in Belgium, Germany, Transylvania and Tunisia. He trained as a chef in France and apprenticed with Olivier Roellinger, the Michelin-starred chef who also has a spice business now. In 2006, after 4 years working at Daniel in New York (where they built him his own spice shelf), Lior decided to go out on his own. But he wasn't sure exactly what that would entail. Unlike many chefs who have a laser-like focus on the usual trajectory that ends with their own empire of restaurants, Lior dreams of immersing himself in everything from classical music to finance. In a world of specialists, he's something of a Renaissance man. Lucky for us, then, that his love of spices rose to the fore.
Tagged — Lior Lev Sercarcz