The Epicentre Story
The Epicentre was founded by Barbara McGee and Barry Mortin to explore new flavours and and hard-to-find spices from around the world. As people expand their culinary horizons, The Epicentre aims to source the best quality and freshest herbs and spices for authentic ethnic and creative cooking.
The Epicentre spice blends don't skimp on high-end ingredients. There are no fillers or preservatives and have low salt or no salt. All but one of our spices are gluten-free. The freshest of herbs and spices are hand-blended in small batches. There is an art to blending spices where nuance, complexity and texture are balanced for a harmony of fragrance and flavours. The Moroccan Blend for example (called Ras el Hanout), has over twenty ingredients, yet the sum is still greater than its parts— an intense flavour profile with no sharp edges.
From an interesting twist on the ordinary, like smoked black pepper to the most exotic of spices, like grains of paradise, The Epicentre spices are for cooks looking for quality and maybe a little culinary adventure along the way.
Our Production Process
Herbs and spices are procured throughout the year in small batches. We maintain a minimum inventory to assure maximum freshness. In most cases we purchase spices whole. The recipes we have developed require various coarsenesses of density for proper flavour-release, mouth-feel and to prevent caking, so we specify and supervise the grinding and sieving of spices to maintain quality and consistency. A few of our products are also smoked or roasted which we also monitor for consistency.
Traditional spice blends such as Moroccan Ras el Hanout, French Herbes de Provence or Tunisian Harissa, are researched for historical and cultural clues to produce a top quality authentic version of the blend. We have often had to seek out new suppliers for exotic ingredients that are required to make a blend truly authentic.
Our own blends are unique and all have their own loyal followers. Chicken Love is a combination of common poultry seasonings with high quality paprikas and mild chiles to create the ultimate "Roast Chicken" flavour. We worked with our local Coffee Roasting house to get just the right coffee variety (Sumatran) and grind for our Coffee Chile Steak Rub but we also added exotic Aleppo pepper, Worcestershire and brown sugar granules as well as some other surprising ingredients.
We have fun with our labels too. Barbara often illustrates the labels. She has used the face of her brother as various characters for our Fire & Brimstone, Zydeco Dust and Jerk Rub.
Barbara also takes charge of packing the spices and adhering the labels. These tasks are done by hand. We have a few part-time people that help with packing and labelling.