When preparing any meal, you have two options.
You can put together something that will make you say, “That’ll do.” Or you can make something that will inspire your whole family.
Our relationship with food doesn’t need to be fraught with obligation and stress. It’s time to change the way we think about our daily meals by embracing the power and the pleasure of cooking for ourselves, our friends, and our families.
The trick is to think about the way you cook a little differently. Think about an artist approaching a blank canvas or a potter sitting down at the wheel. Food — especially food made with love — is a form of self-expression. It’s where you can blend your unique tastes and experiences to create something delicious.
Like any art form, practice makes perfect when it comes to cooking. Not all of us have a natural instinct for flavor. When you’re new in the kitchen, it can be hard to know where to start. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Drumroll, please!
Allow us to introduce you to MinkDog Bespoke Blends.
This brand of curated culinary aids is here to help you master the kitchen and radically transform your relationship with cooking. Founded by actor Robert Downey Jr. and Chef Tyler Lewis, these products are the home cooking secret weapons you need to elevate your cooking.
Behind Every Seasoning Is a Story
You might be wondering how an actor and a chef joined forces to create bespoke spices (and so much more). We’ll give you the quick backstory:
It all starts with Chef Tyler Lewis’ upbringing in rural Vermont, where he spent much of his childhood in the kitchen with his family, experiencing a melting pot of flavors and recipes. Fast forward a few years, and Chef Tyler is managing a restaurant kitchen. While working in the restaurant industry provided valuable experience, Chef Tyler realized that his love for cooking was calling him elsewhere.
Chef Tyler took a leap of faith and decided to become a private chef, traveling the world and cooking for families. By bringing his restaurant experience to his love for home cooking, Chef Tyler fell in love with food all over again.
Around this time, he met Robert Downey Jr., who shared his enthusiasm for complex flavors that bring out the best of quality ingredients. Here, the story of MinkDog truly begins. Robert and Chef Tyler have carefully selected each and every element within their products, now offering a variety of spice blends, salts, and maple products to make cooking fun again.
It’s a classic “guy meets guy, they both get hungry” story.
Be Thoughtful With Your Flavor
Now, that love of flavor is being passed on to you. We all have to eat. Isn’t it about time you got to experience the best of the best in what you serve up on your plate?
Flavor is all about patterns and pairs. There are flavors that complement each other and flavors that clash. The trick to cooking is discovering the code behind these patterns and learning the rules so that you can break them.
By putting great flavors together, MinkDog has already most of that work for you. Their three signature spice blends are your new best friends in the home kitchen.
Like we said, cooking is about finding pairings, and what goes better than seafood and smoky paprika?
Hampton Boil is the micro-blend for smoky citrus heat. Inside every jar is an aromatic and power-packed blend of lemon, garlic, smoky paprika, cardamom, and mustard. The citrus cuts some of the heat and brings an acidity that totally elevates whatever you put this stuff on.
It’s great for seafood — like shrimp scampi and lobster rolls — but it’s also fantastic on chicken thighs and stuffed peppers. Whether you’re going to a clam bake or rocking a crab cake, you really can’t go wrong with Hampton Boil.
More sweet than smoky, Maple Java is a rich micro-blend that gives your food an unexpected (but highly welcome) tang.
Packed with complimentary tastes, Maple Java has the sweetness of maple sugar, the spiciness of ancho chili, the bitterness of coffee beans, and the tartness of lime. Add coriander, cumin, and cinnamon, and you have an unbelievable dry rub.
Maple Java is perfect for grilling. Add it to ribs or chicken wings, and watch how quickly you end up with a pile of bones and a plate that’s been licked clean. For the vegetarians in the house, it’s also great on grilled pineapple slabs and enhances the natural flavors in a roasted butternut squash soup.
Last but definitely not least is Fennel Pepper. This blend is MinkDog’s most versatile flavor, which is probably why we always run out of it fast.
What’s in a name? Well, the perfect blend of ingredients to make your meals pop. Fennel Pepper has that crack of pepper alongside the seedy and almost-sweet, almost-bitter surprise of fennel. Add garlic, sumac, onion flakes, thyme, and coriander, and you’ve got your new “I put that on everything” spice.
You don’t need to be a master chef to let MinkDog shine — just add it to your favorite meals, and taste the magic. Each of these spices is great on its own but when brought together, you can cook meal after meal without ever getting tired of their tastes.
Make sure to grab their Spice Blends Set, which bundles the three blends and saves you 15%.
Don’t say we never look out for you.
Find Sweetness in Unexpected Places
Taste buds, rejoice! MinkDog doesn’t just make spices — there’s a whole lot more to try. This brand has a bunch of signature maple and salt products that will have you feeling like you should get your own cooking show.
Let’s start with the maple. Chef Tyler Lewis grew up in Vermont, and he’s never strayed far from his home when it comes to food (even when work has taken him far and wide). Case in point: MinkDog’s delicious all-organic maple line-up, made in small batches in the green mountain state.
You can’t harvest maple sap without making maple syrup. Well, we guess you can, but why would you want to?
MinkDog’s rich, Dark-Amber Maple Syrup brings just the right amount of sweetness without losing its natural flavor. It’s non-GMO, organic, and sourced from small, local farms in Vermont, so you’ll feel like a real lumberjack spreading it all over your pancakes.
Then you’ve got their Maple Sugar, a pure, granulated version of the same sap that makes the syrup. Remember, great food starts with great ingredients. The more thoughtful you are about where your ingredients come from and how they’re packaged, the better your food will taste and the better you will feel about what you’re eating.
It’s just a fact.
Maple Sugar will soon become your go-to sugar whether you’re using it for morning coffee, caramelizing onions, or just sprinkling it on top of ice cream.
Okay, not to play favorites, but we’ve saved the best maple product for last. Maple Heaven lives up to its name. This whipped maple syrup is a spreadable delight. If there’s something that doesn’t taste amazing with a dollop of Maple Heaven, we haven’t found it.
Add it to English muffins, drizzle it over cinnamon rolls, or mix it into Greek yogurt. If you’re living in a house with a hungry bunch, we recommend buying a few jars and keeping one stashed away for yourself. Thankfully, you can buy a triple pack of this otherworldly whipped syrup, so you can stock up on Maple Heaven with just the click of a button.
Trust us — you’ll be happy you did.
Embrace a Final Flourish
Salt tends to be the first and last thing that touches a meal. Consider it the bookends of a truly phenomenal plate.
Salt can make or break a dish, so it’s important to love the salt you’re using.
And yes, there is a dramatic taste difference between proper, quality salt and your regular old table salt. MinkDog has two varieties, both harvested along the shores of New England.
Coarse Sea Salt
Their Coarse Sea Salt is crunchy, flaky, and artisanally made. AKA, it’s perfect for a final touch. Sprinkle it on fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, creamy burrata and summery tomato slices, or over some homemade sweet potato fries.
Remember, real chefs sprinkle.
Smoked Sea Salt
Then, there’s MinkDog’s Smoked Sea Salt, which takes that same New England harvest and hand-smokes it over hardwood.
This is what we mean when we say that not all salts are equal. When you season your food with smoked sea salt, it brings out a richness and complexity you just can’t get with the old stuff.
It’s Time To Up Your Cooking Game
Feeling inspired? You should be.
With power-packed flavors, artisanal craftsmanship, and expertly curated ingredients, MinkDog is a game-changer in the kitchen, no matter your skill level.
We really can’t recommend these products enough. If you’re interested in the whole set and looking to save some dough, MinkDog sells an Essential MinkDog Set, which includes everything we’ve talked about today and saves you 15%.
Give it a try and see how quickly your family starts asking for seconds. Mwah, chef’s kiss.