Future of Spices

The Future of Spices

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Since founding La Boîte, a spice shop in New York City a decade ago, Lior Lev Sercarz has established himself as the go-to source for fresh and unusual spices. He creates small-batch custom blends for renowned chefs like Daniel Boulud and Eric Ripert, among others, but his evocatively named spice blends (like Orchidea N.34, Reims N.39, and Yemen N.10) are used by home chefs as well.

The global culinary movement has made even the most exotic spices an essential part of many kitchens today. According to Sercarz, the demand for spices and ethnic food is challenging producers to deal with greater production, safety, and quality control. And the industry is trying applications in new areas like brewing and distilling. Spice, he says, is no longer just about cooking.

To further pique your culinary curiosity, enjoy a special taste of Sercarz’s spice blends after the program on November 7.

Lior Lev Sercarz

Lior Lev Sercarz blending spices

Other upcoming programs

Monica Bhide

In the Indian Kitchen
Evening Program with Book Signing and Reception
Thurs., Oct. 12 at 6:45 PM
Join food writer Monica Bhide on a deliciously informative tour of India's more than 35 regional cuisines. Savor the secrets of curry and the karma of Ayurvedic cooking, among other tasty topics. A buffet reception ends the evening.

Alice Waters

The Evolution of Alice Waters: How American Cuisine Found Its Way
Evening Program with Book Signing
Thurs., Oct. 26 at 6:45 PM
When Alice Waters opened restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, in 1971, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape. Tonight, Waters talks about her evolution from follower to activist who effects change on a global level through the common bond of food. 

Prohibition in DC

Prohibition in Washington D.C.: Where the Noble Experiment Flopped
Evening Program with Cocktail Tasting
Wed., Nov. 1 at 6:45 PM
Prohibition came to the nation’s capital in 1917—three years earlier than the rest of the country. Despite the head start, Washington turned out to be a town that nurtured more than 3,000 speakeasies and where Congress had its own-in house bootlegger. Garrett Peck raises a toast to the centennial of the booze ban that wasn’t.

Secrets of the Sommeliers

Secrets of the Sommeliers
Evening Program with Tasting
Fri., Nov. 3 at 6:45 PM
Not long ago, sommeliers were little more than bit players in the theater of fine dining. These days, however, many “somms” are among the marquee players in the world of food and wine. Hear Jeff Porter, Amanda Smeltz, Eduardo Porto Carreiro and Taylor Parsons share stories about working with wine and then enjoy a guided wine tasting.

Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin: Cooking for the Love of It
Evening Program with Book Signing
Fri., Nov. 10 at 6:45 PM
For years, legendary cook, teacher, and host Jacques Pepin has made it look easy. Now, he has a new kitchen apprentice: his granddaughter, 13-year-old Shorey Wesen. Listen to a delightful conversation as Pepin and Shorey sit down with Joe Yonan, food editor of the Washington Post.  

La Cucina

La Cucina vs. La Cuisine: A Gastronomic Faceoff
Evening Program with Reception
Wed., Nov. 15 at 6:45 PM
Italian and French food fans seem destined to be at perpetual odds in the “which-is-the best?” argument. Join Fred Plotkin, author of six books on Italian culinary traditions, as he examines how la cucina and la cuisine are not so much rivals as great influences and inspirations on one another. Afterward, savor a buffet that shows off the delights of both cuisines.

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