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Any decent chef knows that it's a must to begin a meal with quality ingredients and spices. The good news is that it doesn't require a culinary degree or a professional kitchen to have a spice rack fit for a chef at home.


Five tips for making your very own spice rack fit for a foodie.


  1. Make sure you have the basics on hand and purchase them in larger quantities. These consist of salt, pepper, garlic and onion in both powder and salt forms. Basil, thyme, oregano, ground mustard and kosher salt are also basic spices that are used consistently in various styles of cooking.


  1. Experiment with salts as there are many gourmet varieties available. Don't be afraid to tread lighter with spice flavoring. Salts will bring out the taste and texture of the dish while spices tend to dig deeper and add character. Consider stocking your spice rack with sea salt in lieu of standard salt.


  1. Buy spices in the bulk section of grocers rather than buying the jar or bottle. Many spices and salts are weighed out and you can sample different flavors before investing in the entire container.  A spinning carousel spice rack offers easy access from all angles.  Make sure to label each sample clearly and store them properly when you get home.


  1. Invest in different spice blends. Chefs rarely stick to one style, and the most efficient way of building an arsenal of spices for your spice rack is to buy them pre-mixed. Common varieties are Italian, Cajun, Indian, French and other blends, but there are many other assortments to choose from to add variety to your spice rack.


  1. Finish your spice rack with hotter spices ranging from the milder crushed red pepper for pizza to chili powders from around the world. These serve well when cooking Mexican, Indian or other spicy cuisine.


A well-stocked spice rack will not only open up your palate, but your creativity. Experimenting with different recipes will not only add spice to your food – it will add spice to your life!

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