Unlike most professional chefs, Lior Lev Sercarz does not wax lyrical about his grandmother’s culinary skills or the hours he spent cooking at his mother’s side. In fact, his childhood memories of the food on the kibbutz where he grew up in northern Israel are of bland, overcooked and mushy meals.
Then he discovered flavor, the complex blend of tastes and smells both familiar and exotic — and found his calling, refined it in France, then served as Daniel Boulud’s sous chef before founding La Boîte, the New York-based global spice brand featuring single and crafted spice blends sourced from farmers and producers from around the world.
In his new book, A Middle Eastern Pantry: Essential Ingredients for Classic and Contemporary Recipes, Lior applies what he’s learned by taking readers on a spice journey from Israel to Tunisia, Yemen, Turkey and beyond. It’s both a cultural travel guide, ingredient by ingredient, and a collection of recipes that will spice up your kitchen . . . and your life. Consider stewing lamb in verjuice, pressed from unripened grapes; whipping up creamy Turkish rice pudding; roasting vegetables electrified by the Egyptian nut-and-spice blend dukkah; or serving up snacks of kibbeh with pine nuts. The master spice blender will show you how!
Lior Lev Sercarz joins us to extend his special brand of therapy to help you lose your fear of spicing up your culinary life; tell stories of the roasting, grinding and patience behind the exotic blends he creates in order to produce serious flavor; and offer approaches that can animate your palate.
Thursday, January 18, 2024 | 7:00 PM Eastern