Part 1 of 5
Born and raised in Israel on a Kibbutz, a farming collective, in the upper eastern Galilee near the Lebanese-Syrian border, Lior Lev Sercarz grew up in a rich agricultural environment that could quite literally be considered the terrior for his future culinary career.
“Growing up, I definitely had been exposed to a lot of great produce and products in Israel, which were part of a complex ethnic culinary scene with a lot of different influences,” says Chef Lior, who around the age of nine began working one day a week on the Kibbutz during the school year.
“During our summer holidays, we were expected to work 50% of our vacation time. I thought it was great fun being able to drive a tractor at the age of nine or 10,” remembers Lior.
“This early experience also helped shape my career. My value for hard work, early understanding of flavors and just understanding the process of growing things gave me respect for nature and for products. These values come with the discipline of working on a farm and appreciating what you eat and what you consume because you were part of growing and harvesting it. You are quite literally eating ‘the fruits of your labor’,” explains Lior.
As a young adult, Lior completed three years as a sergeant in the Israeli army. He then traveled to South America where he was exposed to new cultures, spices and cooking methods that were a departure from his Israeli roots . This experience ignited his passion for the culinary world and led him back home to Israel.