Cooking

There's the Rub

Inspiration in the form of spice blends

If we had a nickel for every tech-industry veteran turned food artisan, we would have retired in Ibiza by now.

Not every product is good enough to warrant the career change. But the spice blends from Just Cook, a four-month-old San Francisco company, deserve pantry space.

Founded by Scott Lucas, a former software salesman, and his wife, Cathy Storfer, together with Paula LeDuc executive chef Daniel Capra, the company puts out four blends: Ancho chicken rub, Any Day Chicken blend, No. 19 Salmon blend and Herbed Coffee rub ($8 for 3.2 ounces; $29 for a four-pack).

The coffee rub is a balanced blend of high-impact ingredients, including brown sugar, chipotle pepper, molasses and cumin. It's a fine bedfellow for pork: slow-roasted belly, perhaps. But it wouldn't be out of place on a thick, marbled rib eye steak.

The other blends are more protein-specific. Both chicken versions will elevate even the most humdrum boneless breast: Any Day includes orange peel, lavender and coriander; Ancho contains the namesake chile, along with oregano, basil, smoked paprika and garlic.

And the salmon blend, named No. 19 because it went through 18 trial iterations, is a Creole-inspired mixture that includes bay, lemon and paprika.

Move over, Mrs. Dash.

Just Cook spice rubs and blends are available at justcookfoods.com and at grocery stores throughout the Bay Area; click here for the complete list.

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