The Life of Spice

Custom Abe Fisher Spices

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It’s been 2 1/2 years since we last caught up with Yehuda Sichel, executive chef and partner at Philadelphia’s Abe Fisher. Since then Lior and Yehuda have cooked together at the inaugural Maccabi games culinary competition, and we’ve produced a line of spices just for Abe Fisher.

© Alexandra Hawkins

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and share a couple recipes. Can you first let us know about the three blends and the inspiration behind them?

Of course! The Pastrami spice was inspired by our signature dish at Abe Fisher, the Montreal Smoked Short Ribs. We wanted to make a simple spice for making any smoked meat taste like pastrami. As for the the Goulash, that spice is three types of paprika and dried tomato. It’s actually kind of funny – I never ate goulash growing up. But when Mike, Steve and I went to Hungary back in 2011, goulash was everywhere. I took the experience to heart and started to incorporate that flavor into the dishes that I make here as soon as we got home and haven’t looked back. And then Everything Bagel spice – the “everything bagel” is the king of bagels. It’s the pepperoni pizza of bagels. We use it as everyday seasoning, and actually most often for seasoning fish.


Brodo Spices!

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It’s been almost two years since the last time we spoke with Marco. Brodo is bigger and better than ever, and we’re happy to announce that our custom blends that flavor his creations are now available at retail.

Hi Marco, thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk this month. Can you give us a quick recap of what’s changed over the last two years?

We’ve expanded from one shop to four shops (East Village, West Village, SoHo and UWS) and we’ve launched broth on tap.  We offer reusable glass jars full of delicious broth so you can always have this staple in your fridge. We also now offer free shipping to the west coast. We’re very happy to now produce your blends in retail packaging (currently available in store and later online) so that customers can replicate some of the Brodo experience at home.


Dominique Ansel’s Christmas Morning Cereal

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This month we sit down with our friend Dominique Ansel to share an annual holiday tradition and ask a few other fun questions.

Thank you for taking the time Dominique, let’s start with the tradition. Can you tell us a bit more about your Christmas Morning Cereal, where the idea came from, and why you’d like to continue doing it every year?

We started making Christmas Morning Cereal in 2013 at the Bakery in Soho. Christmas Morning is such a cherished moment for so many people, when they wake up and enjoy breakfast together with the people that they love. So we wanted to start a tradition with our own cereal blend – it’s made with Valrhona Caramelia (caramelized milk chocolate) covered puffed rice, smoked cinnamon mini meringues, and whole caramelized hazelnuts. I eat it by the handful. And now, it’s become a tradition for people across the country and around the world too – people who buy it every year and give it to their friends and family or to enjoy at home. I wake up every Christmas morning and see photos from people all over the world on Instagram who are eating the cereal for breakfast.


A Spice Weekend at The Ballantyne with Chef Garrett Merck

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Later this month The Ballantyne will be hosting Chef Lior for a Spice Weekend, where he will work together with Chef Garrett Merck to produce a Dinner Under the Stars. In this month’s interview Chef Garrett answers our questions about the event, the hotel, and himself.

photo by Ray Sepesy

Thank you Garrett for taking the time to speak with us, we’re very excited about this upcoming Spice Weekend, can you tell us a bit more about the meal you are planning?

We’re planning a beautiful dinner under the stars. It’ll be a three-course meal featuring fresh and in season ingredients, and of course, spices. I don’t want to give too much away but I can say we are very excited about the dessert Lior is working on.


Frédéric Panaïotis, Chef de Caves for Ruinart Champagne

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This month we sit down with Frédéric Panaïotis, Chef de Caves for Ruinart Champagne and our collaborator on the new 1764 spice blend, specially crafted to create dishes to pair with Ruinart’s rosé champagne.

We’re very excited about the 1764 spice collaboration, commemorating the date of the first rosé champagne produced by Ruinart, and would love to hear more from you about the project and about yourself

I have always admired Lior’s marvelous spice concoctions, so was really excited when we decided to work together on a Ruinart blend. I have been the Ruinart Chef de Caves for over 11 years and have a particular fondness for our rosé. It is a truly festive champagne that can be enjoyed year round. Creating a spice that would elevate and transform dishes that pair with the Ruinart Rosé no matter the season was a natural for us. I love to experiment in the kitchen and am so happy we can encourage clients to do the same with the Ruinart 1764 blend.