Local Chef’s Favorite Spices

Salt, pepper, oregano, thyme—so mainstream. These local chefs present some lesser-known—yet decidedly delicious—spices and herbs.



 Chef Spice Tastes Like Use
Navjot Arora Chutney Masala Indian Bistro
4 W Main St, Irvington
(914) 591-5500
Dried Fenugreek Leaves
(Kasuri Methi)
Has a flavor similar to dried oreganoIt imparts a musky aroma to any curry or tandoori dish
Mariano Aznar España Wine & Tapas Bar
147 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont
PimentónStrong, smoky, red-pepper flavor (can be sweet, hot, or bittersweet)Used in paella and gazpacho; also in meat and seafood marinades
Brian Galvin Ocean House
49 N Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson
(914) 271-0702
Wild Porcini PowderIntensified flavor of porcini mushroomsRubbed on steak to finish off the flavor and barley risotto
Bekir Helvatioglu Turkish Meze
409 Mount Pleasant Ave, Mamaroneck
(914) 777-3042
SumakSour taste, a little lighter than lemonTo top off fresh hummus
Joel Huchet Jackie’s Bistro
434 White Plains Rd, Eastchester
(914) 337-8447
Gousse de VanillePure vanilla-bean flavorCooked into milk used in rice pudding
Matthew Karp Plates
121 Myrtle Blvd, Larchmont
(914) 834-1244
Fennel PollenFennel seeds, but sweeter and milderRubbed on roast pork and veal
Elias Samaras Santorini Greek Restaurant
175 Valley St, Sleepy Hollow
(914) 631-4300
Seven Spices MixSweet and spicy flavor combination including cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and allspiceUsed in traditional Greek dishes such as lamb youvetsi or shish kebab