Chef David Chrystian offers a unique social dining experience at Toronto eatery Victor Restaurant and Lounge. Each course is named after a vibrant local neighbourhood and is inspired by that district’s ethnic cuisine. Follow Chrystian’s expert seasoning tips to give your home cooking some global flavour.
Italian Star Seasoning: Basil
Serve with: Fresh or stewed tomato- based summer dishes, rabbit, poultry
How to use it: For full pungency, add it fresh to dishes after cooking. Grow it in a window box so you can have it at your fingertips.
Wash with care: This fragile plant breaks down easily.
Indian Star Seasoning: Garam Masala (Spice Blend)
Serve with: Curries, biryani, pakoras
How to use it: Buy a mild blend and experiment by adding more ingredients (e.g. cumin, cinnamon, cloves) to a brand you like. Favour seeds, and grind them with a mortar and pestle or in a mill.
Greek Star Seasoning: Oregano
Serve with: Grilled/seared meat and fish
How to use it: Put in dried oregano at the start of cooking and fresh oregano at the end for a rounder flavour. Add fresh oregano to oil, lemon and garlic for a fantastic marinade. Store dried oregano in a cool, dark place.
Polish Star Seasoning: Caraway Seed
Serve with: Sausages, cabbage rolls, perogies, stew, pickled fish
How to use it: Best with dill and juniper. Start with less to avoid overpowering a dish. When adding extra later, first toast the seeds gently in a dry sauté pan to release the essential oils, then grind.