I hear about a lot of cool food-related events, but I can’t always get to them or even just get them posted. But this one is too good to miss.
As Cardinal Spirits notes on its website, “when it comes to spices, Lior Lev Sercarz is the guy. The best of the best. A revolutionary. A master spice blender and owner of the legendary La Boîte spice company in New York City, Lior’s custom blends are a thing of dreams for big-deal chefs, at-home cooks and anyone in between who loves to eat and drink.”
Sercarz will be in Bloomington next month for two spice-blending workshops – one for the food and beverage industry and one for the general public – as well as for a spice dinner with chef David Tallent.
It’s a pretty incredible opportunity.
As Cardinal notes:
Sercarz has worked with some of the most notable chefs in the world, including Eric Ripert and Daniel Boulud. But you don’t have to have a Michelin star to use his spice blends, or think about flavor and seasoning in the imaginative way that he does. (Also, you don’t have to be a chef to buy them — his blends are sold online at laboiteny.com)
And he won’t make you feel bad about your spice rack at home or shame you for buying your spices at the grocery store. He will change the way you look at flavor and seasoning — from salads to veggies to roasts to cocktails — in an eye-opening way.
Scroll down on the Cardinal events page here for details and grab a ticket to the multi-course dinner or to one of the workshops, which also include small plates and cocktails prepared with Sercarz’ spices.
You don’t to be in the industry to attend. “It’s open to anybody,” he said. “Even if you don’t cook, I think we can help you with some new perspective. I think you should start out with an open mind and the will to learn and explore. Most people leave with a whole new opinion.”
But how did Sercarz come to work with Cardinal Spirits in the first place?
As it happens Adam Quirk, Cardinal co-founder and CEO, reached out to Sercarz while in New York and they started an ongoing conversation about spices and spirits, one that eventually resulted in a collaboration. Sercarz created the spice blend for Cardinal’s Terra Botanical Gin.
While Sercarz works with clients around the world, “this was my first hands on experience with a distillery,” he said. “I had to educate myself quite a bit about gin.”
Cardinal Spirits wanted to create a gin that was easy to drink and could be enjoyed on its own, Sercarz said, “something floral and herbaceous and not a whole lot of juniper. They wanted just enough juniper to be considered a gin, but not to make it the focus of the gin itself.”
How did Sercarz approach the project?
“I applied my 20 years of experience in the kitchen,” he said, “thinking about it the same way as in cooking. What is the story? What motivates me? It’s pretty much most of the work to translate these emotions into spices. It was a very interesting process.”
I’m looking forward to attending a workshop and hearing more.