Looking to up your dinner game? Mike Leary can help you with that. Though by day he runs Logistics and Operations for Fishe, Mike is also a secret weapon in the kitchen. And with over 40 years of experience behind the stove, he has spent a lifetime developing his palate and innovating, trying to find the perfect blends of spices to make cooking simple and food taste extraordinary.
Mike fell in love with cooking in his youth, accompanying his grandparents in the kitchen and learning from their wisdom. Over the years he developed his own style, and he found himself disappointed with the pre-prepared spice mixes that were available on the market. He knew the flavor profiles he wanted to create, and he also knew that the only way he could get it right was to make them himself.
After hours of testing, Mike has produced two unique spice blends for Fishe: Jumpin Java, a blend of sweet coffee and paprika flavors with smoky and citrus notes, and Java Asada, which adds a bit of heat to the Jumpin Java flavors. He is working on a third -- Fishe Blackened Spice. He likes home-style food, food that is unpretentious but delicious, and his spice blends reflect this style, as well as his desire to be able to use them in varied settings – in his home kitchen, cooking up a last minute meal at his cabin in the Maine woods, grilling outdoors, or even cooking around a campfire. The spice mixes are versatile and can be used for meat, fish, or vegetarian cookery.
What motivates Mike to look outside of his home kitchen and bring these spice blends to the public? The inspiration started with his family. He wanted to empower them to be able to cook delicious food for themselves, even when he was not around, and creating stand-alone spice blends seemed like the perfect start. “I wanted to create something that could work in every kitchen, not just in a chef’s kitchen, something that anyone could be comfortable using.” From there it was a small step to the idea of sharing these blends with the broader community.
Below, Mike share’s with us his recipe for Pork Belly Avocado Sandwiches, a Fishe favorite.
Fishe Spice blends are available from our retail store in Anchorage and from
Written By: Erica Hickey