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The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking

The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking

Chef Bill Briwa,
The Culinary Institute of America

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The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking

In partnership with
Chef Bill Briwa,
The Culinary Institute of America
Share This Course
3.8 out of 5
42 Reviews
66% of reviewers would recommend this series
Course No. 9222
Video Streaming Included Free

Course Overview

Think about the last fantastic meal you had. Chances are, the reason you remember it is because of the spices used in cooking it.

Whether oregano, chiles, coriander, cinnamon, thyme, or even tea, spices add incredible dimensions to what would otherwise be plain, ordinary meals. And while cooking with these and other spices from around the world can often be intimidating and confusing, they’re actually quite easy to adapt to your own everyday cooking.

Everyone who cooks—from the master chef planning an elaborate banquet to the amateur cook looking for a quick dinner—should have a confident understanding of spices and how each one can be used to create an exciting range of taste sensations. Uncover the secrets of spices and you’ll possess the power to

  • transform the food you cook from simple and dull to exciting and memorable;
  • know which spices to use to get the flavor you want; and
  •  experiment confidently with new spices and cuisines from around the world.

In The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking, join Chef Bill Briwa of The Culinary Institute of America as he reveals the essentials of incorporating a variety of spices from around the world—and perhaps even your own backyard—into your everyday meals. An aromatic array of spices fills each of these six engaging lessons, providing you with myriad ways to use spices in soups and salads, with meat and fish, and even in drinks and desserts. Filmed on location in the kitchens of the CIA’s Greystone campus in Napa Valley, these lessons are rich with insights that are sure to take your cooking to the next delicious level.

Savor the Secrets of the World’s Great Spices

According to Chef Briwa, each culture in the world has embraced spices in a unique, distinct, and defining way. This makes Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking an excellent way to savor the spices and cuisines of exotic locales—and even recreate them right in your home. After these six lessons, you’ll have a well-rounded mastery of how to cook with a wide range of international spices.

  • Indian spices: India alone produces 50 percent of the spices we consume annually. Among those you’ll get firsthand experience with are toasted mustard seeds, black peppercorns, cardamom, and tamarind, as well as special spice mixtures called masalas.
  • Latin American spices: Latin America is a treasure trove of exciting spices, many of them used to add a special (but not overwhelming) heat to various dishes. Gain confidence in cooking with a range of chiles—from jalapenos to poblanos and guajillos to anchos—as well as with regional spices such as Mexican oregano and canela (“true cinnamon”).
  • Mediterranean spices: Chef Briwa takes you on a fascinating tour of spices and spice mixtures from the birthplace of Western civilization. A chile pepper paste from Tunisia (harissa), a Turkish spice mixture that goes great with grilled meats (baharat), and powdered sumac (used in the eastern Mediterranean to make food sour in the absence of vinegar) are just three of the many tastes you’ll encounter.

Spice Up Your Culinary Repertoire

Of course, you get more than just a basic primer on global spices in these sessions. You actually get to watch an expert chef put them to use in a fascinating series of dishes that highlight a particular spice’s characteristics, whether the captivating aroma of toasted cumin or the palate-warming heat of a roasted chile. From mise en place (the preparation of your ingredients) to the final presentation, Chef Briwa shows you how to make

  • tea-smoked quail,
  • rosemary lamb kebabs,
  • authentic Mexican molé,
  • chile tamarind shrimp,
  • hot mulled wine,
  • and much more.

Every minute of this course places you in the hands of a chef whose decades of cooking education have given him both authority in the kitchen and that unique ability to teach and inspire others to cook. Chef Briwa has crafted a lecture series that’s essential for anyone looking to spice up everyday meals. And the included guidebook—with full-color photos, techniques for cooking with spices, and easy-to-read recipes—makes a handy resource for the home chef.

Taken together, Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking is a cornerstone of the well-rounded chef’s toolkit and the secret to richer, more rewarding culinary experiences.

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6 lectures
 |  32 minutes each
  • 1
    India—Heart of the Spice World
    Journey to India, which produces 50 percent of the spices consumed around the globe, and learn how to work with cumin, coriander, paprika, masalas, and other unique tastes from this cuisine of spice. Recipes include basmati rice with cardamom and cloves, chile tamarind shrimp, and a sweet chai tea. x
  • 2
    China—From Peppercorns to Tea
    Learn how to tap into the essence of two distinct Chinese spices: Sichuan peppercorns and tea. As Chef Briwa shows you how to make noodles in Sichuan pepper oil, browned short ribs, tea-smoked quail, and more, you’ll discover depths of flavor you won’t find in the takeout food we’re all familiar with. x
  • 3
    Mexico—Chiles for Every Palate
    First, explore the differences between common chiles such as jalapenos, guajillos, and poblanos—and how each can add a unique (and spicy) twist to Mexican dishes. Then, follow the step-by-step process of making the perfect molé that incorporates roasted chiles and spices ranging from Mexican oregano to chocolate. x
  • 4
    Mediterranean Spices—Exotic Blends
    Find out why spices help make Mediterranean cuisine so rich and exciting. Some of the many diverse spices you’ll learn about here: ras el hanout, a complex spice mix from Morocco; charmoula, a thick vinaigrette from North Africa; za’atar, the Egyptian blend of thyme, sesame, and sumac; and even preserved lemons. x
  • 5
    Treasured Spices in Northern Europe
    Travel now to northern Europe, where you’ll get a tasty introduction to some of the many commonplace and exotic spices from Hungary, Spain, and other European countries. Hungarian paprika, Spanish pimenton, caraway, juniper—these and other ingredients, you’ll learn, are the key to unforgettable dishes ranging from goulash to mulled wine. x
  • 6
    New American Cuisine—The Global Kitchen
    Embrace everything you’ve learned about cooking with spices by taking a classic American dish—fried chicken—and using spices to give it unique cultural twists. You’ll see how a mastery of spices is the key to creating Indian, Latin American, Chinese, and Mediterranean chicken dishes, each with its own captivating flavors and aromas. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Video Download Includes:
  • Ability to download 6 video lectures from your digital library
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 6 lectures on 1 DVD
  • 80-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 80-page printed course guidebook
  • Full-color photographs
  • Spice identification charts
  • Recipes

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Your professor

Bill Briwa

About Your Professor

Bill Briwa
The Culinary Institute of America
A popular chef-instructor at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Bill Briwa has worked in the hospitality business as a professional chef and culinary instructor for experts and laypeople around the world for more than 30 years. He was the resident chef for The Hess Collection Winery in the Napa Valley, California; the executive chef for The Wine Spectator Restaurant at the CIA at Greystone; and an officer on the board...
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Reviews

The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 42.
Rated 2 out of 5 by from misleading Had little to do with individual spices overall. Dealt more with a broth of rich flavor enhancers from a number of regional areas in the world
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from read my review and save your time and money Another waste of my time and money. I thought they would teach what the different spices etc are and where and how you can use them in your everyday meals. Nope you get this watch the most boring presenter with boring background music make some fancy high end restaurant meal with ingredients you'll never find in your local store.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Chef Bill Briwa is to the culinary selections of the Great Courses what Kenneth Harl is to the history collection. There is no higher praise.
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking I started buying this series a couple of months ago, and I absolutely love it.
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Everyday Meals This was a helpful guide to using Spices that will serve me for years to come.
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not very informative I am a sometimes cook who cooks when the spirit moves. I cook mostly basic dishes and have been very interested for a very long time in herbs and spices and the really great improvements in flavor that they can add to almost any ordinary meal. I take great pride and appreciation in knowing that I have made a great meal. I have been searching, off and on, for an excellent source to explain, in some discernable and understandable detail, how each herb or spice adds flavor to a meal. Too often the descriptive terms used in most explanations of taste have very little meaning e.g. sweet (how sweet, like what?), sour (how sour, like what?), woody (like what?), earthy (like what?). The unfulfilled promises of this course include “whether oregano, chiles, coriander, cinnamon, thyme, spices add incredible dimensions to what would otherwise be ordinary meals”; “reveals the essentials of incorporating a variety of spices from around the world into your everyday meals”; “providing you with ways to use spices in soups and salads, with meat and fish; these lessons are rich with insights that are sure to take your cooking to the next delicious level.” The promises were far from being met. Several recipes which employ many exotic spices were provided but there was no comprehensive description of each spice, what it tastes like, where/when/or often how to use it, nor any substantive explanation as to what each spice contributed to the taste of each dish. There were some detailed directions, particularly with respect to the use of many exotic seeds, as to how to prepare/cook them prior to using them in a recipe. There was a fairly good and extensive description of various chiles – how hot/spicy each is and how to recognize and prepare them for use in various dishes. Although the course title refers solely to spices, the course contents addresses, in a limited way, some herbs as well – a really good thing but way too limited. It would be most helpful to have been given directions as to the best way(s) to test taste individual herbs and spices, to determine how much and what flavor each provides but also to determine whether each has lost its taste/freshness and should be discarded. However, there was very little useful information, as mentioned above, on the most common spices, only on various very exotic ones from India, China, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, et al. I would not recommend this course to anyone other than someone who wants to learn how to prepare the specific and very limited number of recipes demonstrated in this course.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Some interestig tid bits but 3-stars only I have two of the 'Everyday Gourmet' courses and found them much better. Bill Briwa is excellent. An advantage of these course is that you can see exactly how things are being done, what the dishes should look like when you are done, and rewind any time you want. I bought this course even though the ratings were relatively low. Unfortunately I have to agree with the lower ratings. What would be better, if possible, is a discussion of what spices pair best with various foods. And something about what spices pair best with each other and how the spices react with each other.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices Excellent presentation and presenter. Greatly expanded my knowledge of using and combining spices. Am looking forward to incorporating into my recipes.
Date published: 2016-12-08
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