Bon Appetit: Tastemakers

Of Course There's a Mysterious Spice Sorcerer Influencing NYC Menus

Written by Bon Appetit

Smoky urfa pepper. Wild Israeli mint. Nora peppers. Powdered crystallized sesame seeds. A blend of dried seaweed, sea lettuce, and kelp. Spice czar Lior Lev Sercarz is inspired by these ingredients at the moment, which means that they’re punctuating the menus of the country’s top restaurants, from Le Bernardin in New York to Blackbird in Chicago. In the basement of La Boite (laboiteny.com), Manhattan’s most aromatic storefront, the Israeli-born and French-trained chef mixes more than 40 custom blends from an enviable pantry of leaves, pods, pistils, barks, roots, and petals. But he still knows how to bring a blend back to earth. Sercarz recently sent an onion, mustard, and garlic blend to Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov for dusting fried chicken. The name of the blend? OMG. –Hunter Lewis
Source: Bon Appetit Tastemakers 2012

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