IsraelCast Episode 47
Lior Lev Sercarz is the chef, spice blender and owner of La Boîte, a biscuits and spice shop in New York City. Lior and La Boîte have been featured in publications including The New York Times, Vogue, In Style Magazine, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Food & Wine Magazine and the SAVEUR 100.
After completing three years as a sergeant of the Israeli army, Lior traveled to South America where he further developed a passion for cooking and world cuisines. As his interest in cooking evolved, he decided to enroll in culinary school at the acclaimed Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France. During that time, he did an externship with chef Olivier Roellinger in Cancale, France. Roellinger had earned three Michelin stars at Les Maisons de Bricourt, his hotel and restaurant, where he displayed a rare understanding of spices, blends, oils, and pastes.
In 2002, Lior brought his newfound understanding of spice blending with him to New York, where he had the honor of working with chef Daniel Boulud as a sous chef and catering chef at his flagship restaurant, Daniel. He left Daniel in 2006 to start La Boîte, launching the company by making and selling a line of French biscuits as well as experimenting with the use of spices. In 2011, after working more with spices, he opened La Boîte Biscuits & Spices, an art gallery and spice shop in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. Each season, the artists whose work adorns his cookie tins also show their work in the gallery.
Since the beginning of his career, Lior has worked closely with chefs from around the world, developing custom blends for them and for other customers with all levels of cooking experience. In 2012, he produced a cookbook entitled The Art of Blending, which features 41 blends along with recipes and cooking tips provided by renowned chefs and culinary minds including Gail Simmons, Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert and Apollonia Poilâne.
His second book, The Spice Companion, is a distillation of his 30 years of experience. This illustrated guide to 102 spices, complete with blends and recipe ideas was published by Clarkson Potter in November 2016.