The Spice of Life by Chef Jamie Bordoshuk

If variety is the spice of life, it’s spice that brings life to food.  And recently, I definitely got my fill. 

Like many of you, the end of March signals Spring Break trip for my family. We usually gravitate towards sun, sand and surf spots – Orlando, Maui, Puerto Rico.  This year, we decided to mix it up and go somewhere completely different – New York City.  We spent our week feasting on the lights, sounds, smells and flavors of Broadway and 42nd street in the heart of mid-town Manhattan.  The food was truly memorable in every way, from the traditional northern Italian family style enormous plates at Carmine’s on 44th Street to the exotic pates, cheeses and artisanal meat board at The Park in Chelsea.  Even the hot dogs and roasted almonds from the push cart vendors smelled and tasted delicious.

One of our best afternoon surprises was a visit to the storefront spice shop, La Boite, in Hell’s Kitchen on 11th Avenue.  Owned and operated by Lior Lev Sercarz, La Boite is a biscuit and spice shop that is only open 12 hours a week.  The intense aroma of the unique spice blends hits you the moment you walk though the door of this tiny, stark white shop.  Although I missed Lior by a mere 5 minutes, I did get to smell and sample the more than 40 wonderful spice blends that he has created.  And when Chef Paul Kahan was at Marcel’s last November, he said Lior’s spices were some of his favorites.

Enjoy this one-of-a-kind Bloody Mary recipe that includes La Boite’s special B-Marlene Spice Blend.

The best news?  La Boite spices are available right here at Marcel’s.

 spices 1

La Boite Bloody Marlene

A gin-based Bloody Mary is called a Red Snapper, but when you season it with gin botanicals such as juniper and substitute wasabi for horseradish, we think you should change the name!  ~ Lior Lev Sercarz.  


 4 oz. tomato juice
1 ½ oz. gin
¼ oz. Worcestershire sauce
¼ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. lime juice
½ t B-Marlene spice blend
1/2 t.  pickled wasabi
¼ t hot sauce


Build in a mixing glass then fill with ice. 
Stir with ice, then fine strain into a chilled Collins glass
Garnish with a lime wedge

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