Jeremy

An Unapologetic Passion for Wine

 Written by Jeremy Troupe-Masi, 2016 Intensive Sommelier Graduate

Food has always represented something far bigger than just nourishment in my life and the addition of wine has only added a fulfilling complexity. My passion for hospitality stems from a desire to expound upon the joy I feel when in the engaged service of others. I did not get into this industry simply because I love food or wine. First and foremost, I have a passion for people and I have found that when enjoying a thoughtfully prepared meal, you get to see people in their most genuine state.

For me, the transition from school to the real-world has presented many challenges, but never-losing sight of my vision is what has kept me pressing forward. I have worked hard over the last eight years building my network and have never leveraged them as much as I am now. I like to consider my network as my team; just as they have had my back through my journey, I would likewise support any of them in theirs. This bond has confirmed for me that relationships are the driving force for greatness. No one can tackle the world alone, and surrounding myself with like-minded individuals has given me with the tools necessary to act.

What is more, without having completed the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC, I would not be who or where I am today. This full-on immersion program not only gave me a solid foundation that further developed my vision, it also added an immense depth to my character that I wouldn’t trade for anything. To those who suspect that they are meant for the hospitality or culinary industry, I would strongly advise them to consider educating themselves first. For those hesitant or intimidated by an education specifically in wine, I would implore you to just try it out. Wine is a gateway to endless amounts of information in relation to language, culture, and much more. From it, I have found that I am able to engage with far more people than ever before. What better way to have a discussion than over a glass of wine?

During my training, I learned about soil as if I were a pedologist, studied culture as if I were becoming a historian, in many cases all while trying to open a bottle of Pol Roger’s 2002 Sir Winston Churchill. The learning environment was intimate, and it allowed the Master Sommeliers to spend more time with each of us, assuring that we all received what we individually needed to succeed. Looking back, the most impactful moment for me at ICC was receiving my certification from The Court of Master Sommeliers. On that day, being in a room full of like-minded men and women was intoxicating, and the energy was truly pure with excitement. After 15 weeks of intensive study, I felt as if I was only getting started.

My first job came along soon after receiving my Sommelier Certification. I spent two years as the Beverage Director at Sabio on Main. This job allowed me to not only apply what I had studied, but also immerse myself into the region of Livermore Valley. As it turned out, operating as the buyer for such a notable establishment was a sure, fast way to garner relationships and further ground my network. Additionally, spending everyday interacting with the community showed me the growth potential of Livermore Valley.

Today, I am involved with many projects. At Nottingham Cellars I act as a Branding Strategist working alongside winemakers and the marketing team to build and publish digital media campaigns. Nottingham Cellars is positioning themselves as industry leaders in Livermore. They have three of the best winemakers in the valley in Colin Cranor, Craig Sploof, & Alex Wolfe. Their wines are bold, daring, and progressive while offering a unique and focused sense of place in each bottling. We are in a unique place in time where social media has allowed us to speak directly with our target audiences and consumers, so it is exciting to bring this into my work.

As the Livermore Regional Ambassador for Which Winery, the world biggest winery-based travel site, my objective is to engage and work with wineries to create unique consumer experiences. The company’s goal is to connect people with wineries all over the world. As an ambassador, I hope to use this platform to shed light on this beautiful region.

As the Administrative Consultant for Sidewinder, a new social lounge project by John Kinney of Occasio Winery, my tasks include team building, culture development, beverage management, concept design, developing membership program, conceptualizing digital branding strategies, and publishing an event catalog. The winemaker, and now distiller, David Hendrickson, not only makes the best Rosé in the valley, but he also makes incredible spirits now.

In order to stay sharp and connected to my industry, I also work as a Bartender for a new restaurant called Range Life. Chef Bill Niles comes from Michelin rated Tartine and is elevating the standard in which food is viewed here. Behind the bar, I can remain engaged with guests and see firsthand their perspective on the concept of the food and beverages coming together.

Having compassion and maintaining consistency have been the biggest contributors to the opportunities I have had thus far. One of the best pieces of advice I have received is that “you are always on the clock.” To me, this means that we shouldn’t only be hospitable when we are at work. It represents a steadiness that must be maintained whether you are being paid or not. For me this quote is a subtle reminder that work should not be the reason why I act as a thoughtful, respectful, and mindful individual. These traits originate from my upbringing and my belief that we are all in this together and are responsible for the betterment of one another.

JeremyAll in all, my experience at ICC enabled me to approach career progression with an excitement and confidence that I hadn’t had prior. Right now, I am very much in the process of setting myself up to enjoy what I do for the rest of my life. It is heart-breaking to think that so many of us are almost forced to spend over 3,000 hours a year working in industries that don’t inspire us. Considering the fact that we live in a world where digital media has given the everyday consumer the ability to brand themselves in ways not available before, many of us are enabled to share and, in some cases, monetize our passions. While there are still so many of us struggling to find our way, I believe that over the next decade “loving what we do” will not be such a foreign concept.

Hands holding food

ICC Alumni Participating in NYC Restaurant Week

Dining out in New York City offers some of the best culinary experiences, but with over 24,000 restaurants to choose from, eating at all can become expensive. This summer, don’t miss the highly anticipated NYC Restaurant Week, where you’ll find special prix-fixe menus at hundreds of restaurants across town. From July 23 through August 17, you’ll have the chance to sample the incredible array of eateries that make up NYC’s culinary culture with prix-fixe meals at over 380 of NYC’s finest restaurants (two-course lunch, $26; three-course dinner, $42).

So why does ICC love NYC Restaurant Week? With many of our 15,000+ alumni still working in NYC, many of the restaurants on this year’s list feature ICC graduates leading the kitchens of our favorite restaurants!

If you want to get a taste of just some of our graduates, check out some of the NYC Restaurant Week establishments where our alumni work and book your table here.

 

Aisha Momaney, Executive Pastry Chef

David Battin, Executive Chef

  • The Red Cat feels like a real neighborhood joint—the decor has a funky, homemade feel to it, with its hanging vintage lamps and barn walls—but the food is world-class. Grilled double pork chops are served with a black olive-and-roast cauliflower puree, while crispy sautéed skate wing is accompanied by sweet-and-sour eggplant.

David Chang, Executive Chef/Owner

  • Momofuku Nishi, located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, creates Italian-inspired dishes using unexpected techniques and ingredients. In addition to a la carte pasta, meat and fish offerings, the menu also features a house-made pasta tasting with an optional wine pairing.

Gerald San Jose, General Manager

Hooni Kim, Executive Chef/Owner

  • Danji showcases authentic Korean flavors prepared with classic techniques to enhance the taste, texture and aesthetic of each dish. They offer small but shareable portions served in multiple courses, allowing diners to enjoy each dish hot out of the kitchen.
  • Hanjan is Chef Hooni Kim’s second restaurant after Danji, located in the Flatiron District. Many of the dishes at Hanjan are meant to evoke Korean street markets that offer comfort food enjoyed by people in Korea in their everyday life.

Ian Coogan, Executive Chef

James Friedberg, Executive Chef

  • Nickel & Diner serves globally driven, re-imagined diner fare inspired by Chef James Friedberg’s experience in some of NYC’s top kitchens, including Le Cirque and Aureole. The menu changes often, reflecting the current season with local and seasonal ingredients from the surrounding neighborhood of Chinatown.

Jeremie Tomczak, Head Chef

Julian Medina, Executive Chef/Owner

Julieta Ballesteros, Executive Chef/Owner

  • La Loteria is a new take on authentic Mexican cuisine from celebrity chef Julieta Ballesteros. The West Village eatery features an exciting and surprising mix of Mexican recipes ranging from the deliciously elemental “street” taco to the luscious lobster quesadilla.

Karen Shu, Chef de Cuisine

  • Loring Place offers seasonal, local, American cuisine by chef Dan Kluger in the heart of Greenwich Village. The menu, comprised of small and large shareable plates, spotlights farms and farmers whom Kluger has gotten to know intimately over 20 years of frequenting the Union Square Greenmarket.

 

Don’t forget to make your reservations for NYC Restaurant Week and experience these wonderful restaurants, and more, throughout the city where our alumni work. With over 300 options, you can’t go wrong!

 

Baker Zoe in the kitchen

ICC In The News: Highlights from July 2018

ICC In The News provides monthly highlights from articles published around the world that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Stories of our 15,000+ alumni network and their successes are continuously popping up across various prestigious publications. Below, we have brought together some of our favorites from July 2018, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

  • Chef Fausto Mieres, an alumni of FCI, opened a fast casual, made-to-order healthy restaurant in Westchester. Check it out here if you’re looking for a delicious and healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner!
  • Opened in 2014, Madame Sou Sou Cafe is a delightful treat where you can go to enjoy owner Effie’s French creamy cheesecake or the pistachio cake paired with an iced espresso or whipped frappe. Effie is a graduate of FCI’s French Pastry making course. Read about the cafe here.
  • Heart Health Weekend is happening Aug. 4 and 5 at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel in Harrison. NY. Curtis Cord – the Executive Director, Olive Oil Sommelier Certification program – will discuss the benefits of olive oil use and offer a tasting. Read more here.
A dish from Claro
EATER
THE 38 ESSENTIAL NYC SUMMER 2018 RESTAURANTS

Looking for a new spot to try this summer? Look no further than Claro, which serves up Oaxacan fare in Brooklyn, New York and is featured as an essential restaurant to try. Alumni Chef Jose Alvarez will be sure to wow you with the up and coming Oaxacan cuisine.

  • Chef Andrae Bopp — the former owner of a landscape and sprinkler business – decided to attend FCI and eventually worked in the kitchens of acclaimed NYC spots such as Le Bernardin, Bouley and Balthazar. Now he owns Andrea’s Kitchen, a gourmet gas station eatery. Check it out if you’re in Walla Walla, Washington.
  • The Surf Lodge in Montauk has our very own FCI alumni, Chef de Cuisine Angela Bazan. Together with the Head Chef, Ron Rosselli, they bring together local suppliers and years of experience to create Italian and Mediterranean inspired cuisine.
Inside of Hyacinth
EATER
INSIDE GRAND AVENUE’S ALMOST OPEN ITALIAN EATERY 

On August 14, Hyacinth will open in St. Paul. The Italian eatery is the work of chef/owner Rikki Giambruno, chef de cuisine Paul Baker, and general manager Beth Johnson. Giambruno is a graduate of ICC and an alum of several New York restaurants. The menu is a modern mix of Italian dishes included pastas, entrees and antipasti.

  • Embrace the island life at Tommy Bahama in NYC– no, we don’t mean the clothing store! FCI Alum Chef Jeremie Tomczak is cooking up island flavors on 5th ave in NYC. Don’t miss it!
  • Chef Cesare Casella, Dean of Italian Studies at ICC and head of the Department of Nourishment Arts at the Center for Discovery, works at the residential and educational facility for people of all ages with complex disabilities in Sullivan County, New York. Read how they are working to bring accessible nutrition to everyone.
  • If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, look no further than Montclair, New Jersey, a short distance from New York City. Be sure to eat at Marcel or MishMish, from alumni Chef Meny Vaknin. Read more about his restaurants.
FORTUNE
40 UNDER 40

Chef Christina Tosi, creator of MilkBar and a 2004 graduate of ICC, was listed on Fortune’s list of 40 Under 40. Fortune creates this ranking annually of the most influential young people in business. Read her feature and meet the other honorees.

  • Chef Allison Katz, a 2003 graduate of the Professional Culinary Arts program, has been a staple on the North Fork, NY foodie scene for several years. Chef Katz has a long culinary résumé and will soon be at the helm of her very own place, Ali Katz Kitchen, in Mattituck. Read more about her.
  • Krishni Shroff, a 2010 alum, is a “bread baker of exceptional talent.” Shroff attended ICC’s The Art of International Bread Baking course to perfect her sourdough baking skills and now owns a bakery in Mumbai, India. Read more from GQ India here.
Zoe Kashan's headshot
RESY
BREAKING BREAD AND BREAKING GROUND

Baker Zoe Kanan, a 2010 graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts program, is “breaking bread and breaking ground” at Studio and at Simon & The Whale. She is head baker for both restaurants, and people flock to them for her sugary chocolate morning buns or anise-flecked black bread. Read about her journey.

  • Every summer, at Hayground School in Bridgehampton, NY world-renowned five-star chefs gather to raise much-needed financial aid for the school and its Edible Garden/Kitchen Science program. This year’s Hayground Chefs Dinner will be held Sunday, July 29, and our Dean of Special Programs, Chef Jacques Pépin, is being honored.
  • Casa Peal will open in Williamsburg, VA in October 2018, and they will serve seafood bites, tacos and twists on American Southern classics. Chef Mikey Maksimowicz, who is a 2005 graduate of the Professional Culinary Arts program, is opening the restaurant with wife and Chef Chelsea Maksimowicz.
Chef Mark Demonstrating

Sustainability: Beyond the Plate

 Written by: Mark Duesler, Chef Consultant for the Food Service Technology Center

Chef Mark

My name is Mark Duesler. I am the Chef Consultant for the Food Service Technology Center (FSTC), a resource for foodservice professionals. In California, we have programs set up specifically for energy efficiency in the foodservice sector and for good reason: refrigerating, cooking, holding, and serving food is incredibly energy intensive! On average, foodservice facilities use 5-to-10 times more energy than other commercial businesses.

To give you a better idea of this disparity, in 16 hours, a small fast food restaurant uses about the same amount of energy as a Home Depot or other big box store would in 24 hours. And with so many restaurants, it is important to consider energy use not only from a business perspective, but from an environmental approach as well.

From rebate incentives for energy-efficient equipment to invaluable design consultations and equipment demonstration programs, the FSTC offers many programs to culinarians as they grow and learn about their craft. We’ve collected several ways to curb energy use in foodservice operations from instituting best practices among staff to avoiding common pitfalls leading to unnecessary consumption. Check them out below!

 

Best Practices

  • Fix Water Leaks– While they may seem small, that constant drip adds up.
  • Replace Worn Refrigerator Gaskets– Refrigeration is always running. If the door gaskets are worn, a cooler or freezer is working harder than necessary, it is sucking energy and shortening its life. From experience, walk-ins always seem to go down at the end of service on a Saturday night (and that is no fun).
  • On/Off Schedules– Most modern equipment only needs about 15 minutes to preheat. If it doesn’t need to be on, then shut it down. This practice also keeps the space more comfortable.
  • Purchase Rebate Qualified Equipment– Rebate-qualified equipment has been designed/tested to be more efficient. This often means that the equipment performs better as well. Lost revenue to utility bills can be much more costly in the long run than the initial up-front cost of purchase.
  • Energy Audits– A free service provided by the FSTC (for PG&E customers). We can come out and identify where the best energy efficient opportunities are in your kitchen.

Common Pitfalls

  • All equipment is the same”– These tools are the backbone of any operation. Not taking the time to examine the various energy pits in your operation ends up costing more money and precious time.
  • Not Cleaning Condenser Coils– If you don’t clean the refrigerator’s coils, it is being starved of much needed air to cool the unit. This can also lead to a short life span and increased energy usage.
  • Complacency– Ask questions and keep asking. There are a lot of resources out there to help you. Restaurants are constantly evolving with many moving targets, so the answer today may not be the same answer tomorrow.

Did you know you can try out the most advanced appliances without committing to a purchase? At the FSTC, we have an inventory of high-end demonstration equipment such as combination ovens, high-speed ovens, pressure fryers, vacuum sealers, and immersion circulators. These pieces of equipment are available for you to test your recipes and hone your skills. As a cook, it is a terrific way to expand your knowledge as you further your career. It’s an opportunity to learn what tools and technologies are available, which can help you gain an advantage in the particularly competitive culinary world.

 

Missed our Foodservice Sustainability Workshop? Learn about energy saving practices with Chef Mark Duesler & Matt Greco, owner of Salt Craft Restaurant, at the Food Service Technology Center on Thursday, July 19th. Event is free & open to the public. Click here to learn more.

Chef Mark demonstrating

Chef Tory Miller Cooking

ICC In The News: Highlights from June 2018

ICC In The News provides monthly highlights from articles published around the world that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Stories of our 15,000+ alumni network and their successes are continuously popping up across various prestigious publications. Below, we have aggregated some of our favorites from June 2018, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

Jacques Pepin and Anthony BourdainKQED | JACQUES PÉPIN SHARES MEMORIES OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN

Longtime friend of the late Anthony Bourdain and Dean of Special Programs at ICC, Jacques Pépin, shares memories of Bourdain and the importance of his work in the food industry. Read Pépin’s interview here.

In Other News:

  • Chef and restaurateur Judy Joo joined the Today show for the make-ahead Monday series, to cook up her deliciously crispy, juicy Korean fried chicken, that then turns into burgers and kimchi fried rice. Read about how to make it here.
  • Alumna Christine Byrne, shares that her impulsive decision to go to culinary school was in part inspired by the late Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, and thus she moved to NYC and spent 10 months at then FCI learning to cook. Read her full story here.
  • The Ottomani, a chic Middle Eastern restaurant in Singapore, created a series of visiting guest chefs called The Nomad Series. ICC alumni and James Beard nominated author Chef Jason Licker kicked off the series with his take on exotic Middle Eastern flavors. Read about it here.

 

EATER | THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS 2018

Congratulations to ICC Alumni Chef Dan Barber, chef/owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Chef Joshua Skenes, chef/owner of Saison, on making the 2018 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list at numbers 12 & 46 respectively.

In Other News:

  • Aaron Sanchez hosted a fundraising event at Redbird on June 5, featuring names like Ben Ford, Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman and more. The event helped to benefit a scholarship for the Latino community looking to attend The International Culinary Center. Read more.
  • Anticipation for FCI grad John Wipfli’s latest project, a 33 ft long BBQ trailer with Apple Seedhouse + Brewery is taking Minneapolis by storm! Read about what he is cooking up in his smoker here.
THE DISH | THE ICONIC CHEF TORY MILLER

Read about ICC alumni and Chef, Tory Miller,  and how he got his start in the culinary world and took it by storm.

In Other News:

  • Eric Suh, FCI graduate, talks about the bittersweet move of the New Star Fish Market (a family owned business) from the Essex Street Market to the new food hall location which will expand to include a kitchen space with small menu of daily seafood offerings.
  • Chef Shorne Benjamin, FCI Grad, was one of two Caribbean born chefs handpicked to cook at this year’s Citi Taste of Tennis DC event. Chef Shorne infuses a contemporary approach of Caribbean cuisine to create what he calls New Age Caribbean. Read about him here.
  • ICC and Pace University Alumni James Park shares his experience in the 2017 ICC Cookie Games Competition and his original recipe for the Honey Butter Chip Shortbread Cookies, inspired by the addictive Korean snack, Honey Butter Chips.
EATER | EATER YOUNG GUNS 2018

Congratulations to ICC Alumni Gerald Addison, co-Executive Chef of Maydan & Compass Rose in DC and Zoe Kanan, head baker for the Freehand Hotels’ Studio and Simon and the Whale on their Eater Young Guns 2018 Nominations!

In Other News:

  • Mordi’s Schnitzel Truck opened in April 2014 out of the love of two things – Israeli street food + Jersey City, and it has now blossomed into a brick-and-mortar spot in Jersey City. Chef and owner Mordechai Chichportiche is a graduate of FCI. Read the blurb about his new spot here.
  • Huascar Aquino, an alumni of ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program, competed on June 19th’s episode of Chopped on Food Network. His shop, Huascar & Co. Bake Shop, is known for its delicious cupcake creations and much more. Read about him here.
  • The new Wells St. Market in Chicago combines some of Chicago’s star chefs in a sleek new food market. This market includes 11 restaurants, one of which is owned and operated by an alumni of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program, Chris Chowaniec. His restaurant, Chow Brothers, offers an innovative and modern take on Polish treats.
OLIVE OIL TIMES | OLIVE OIL SOMMELIER PROGRAM RETURNS TO ICC’S CALIFORNIA CAMPUS

The Olive Oil Sommelier Certification program will return to Campbell, California September 10-15. Participants will be led through guided tastings of more than 160 olive oils in this six-day, two-level program spanning production, quality management, and advanced sensory assessment.

Chef Michael volunteering at an event

7 Ways To Make The Most Of Culinary School

 Written by: Michael Zozobrado, 2017 Culinary Graduate

Chef Michael meeting Chef Cesare

My name is Michael (aka McKoi) and I recently graduated from the Professional Culinary Arts program at ICC’s campus in California. My background is in the medical field. I am a licensed Physician, and currently am running a facility for people with intellectual disabilities. It’s funny to think back on the fact that, for about eight years, I passed by the ICC campus during my commute and I never imagined I would set foot in it, let alone, take a course.

Originally, I was trying to encourage a friend to pursue his love for making desserts. We visited the campus and talked to the lovely Ginny Cook, ICC’s Managing Associate Director of Admissions. In an unexpected turn of events, I was the one who ended up enrolling! Before starting, I was just an average cook, and on my first day of class the Chef Instructor mentioned that after we complete the course, we would be better than average. From that moment on, I accepted the challenge to learn as much as I could. In retrospect, the learning didn’t only happen during regular classroom hours; there were many things outside of class that contributed to a full and successful experience.

Here are my 7 tips for making the most out of your culinary education:

  1. “On Time” is late. Be sure to come in early. Coming in early gave me time to prep my work space, a chance to get to know my classmates, and psych myself up for the class ahead of me. The reality is, the kitchen can be stressful. Having prep time allowed me to prepare physically and/or mentally. It gave me the chance to prepare for the “what not’s” and the “what if’s.”
  2. Read the lecture before class. This one, I totally geeked-out on. I have all sorts of highlights and scribbles on my handouts. Plus, I keep a tiny notebook for things that I learned during class. Reading the lecture beforehand gave me a boost, a sort of upper hand, for the classes tasks. When I came to class well prepared, I had more confidence. It’s not surprising that when I read ahead, I learned more and was able to ask smarter questions. This strategy works particularly well if there’s someone you want to impress in class.
  3. Attend demos. The school offers many after-class demos, skills workshops and occasional off-campus student outings. During these events, I was able to get an insider’s view of what’s happening in the “real” world. Best of all, I got to learn from other people’s mistakes and/or successes. What’s more, most of these events are free ̶ take advantage of it. One of my favorite demos was led by ICC Dean of Italian Studies, Cesare Casella. It’s not every day that you meet a legend and a rock star in the kitchen.
  4. Volunteer. Aside from demos, the school is connected with many local organizations who seek student volunteers to assist them with food related events. Getting involved with these organizations provided great opportunities for me to learn and to network. Most notably, I regularly worked with the Second Harvest Food Bank where I had the opportunity to conduct cooking demos for other people. Volunteering with the SHFB was a definite win-win situation; I had the chance to give back to the community, while teaching others helped me retain what I learned in class. The experience also showed me that even as a student, I had learned enough knowledge to share with others.
  5. Participate in all the culinary competitions you can. It was a privilege to be included in both the annual Culinary Clash, a competition put on by the Intercontinental Hotel Group, and the International Panino competition sponsored by Gambero Rosso of Italy. Although competing was nerve-wracking, joining these competitions showed me my strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen. As cliché as it may sound, knowing those is half the battle.
  6. Take a recreational or amateur class before enrolling in the Professional Courses. Something unique to my student experience is that I took the Culinary Techniques class (20 session’s total) before going on to the Professional Culinary Arts program (9 months for night class and 6 months for day class). Speaking frankly, there is a lot of money and time involved in the decision to enroll. For people out there who are in doubt and still wrestling with the prospect of building a career in the culinary industry (like I was), I believe taking a short course first is a great way to wet your feet. The moment I started rolling my dough and cutting my mirepoix, I felt alive inside and knew I wanted to take the next step.
  7. Attend the commencement ceremony in New York. One of the highlights of my whole ICC experience was attending the commencement at Carnegie Hall. It was indeed the cherry on top. It was inspiring to be in a place where music legends have performed and walked those very hallways. During ICC’s ceremony, you get to be the legend! We, the students, are the focus of that day. All eyes are on us. That’s the moment we can savor all the hard work we put in the kitchen. I walked out of Carnegie Hall with a cute bamboo spoon etched with the school’s name, logo, and the date to commemorate it. On top of that, I walked out feeling confident that ICC prepared me for the kitchen career I aim to have, and hopeful that with hard work and perseverance this dream will become a reality. As ICC Dean of Pastry Arts, Emily Luchetti, mentioned during her speech, “Tenacity is frustrating and hard, passion is invigorating and fulfilling… It is with a combination of your passion and your tenacity that you will succeed.” I always thought that passion alone is enough to carry me through the challenges until I heard Chef Emily. Tenacity is indeed a key ingredient. Like making a mayo, you have your main ingredients (your passion) but without an emulsifier (your tenacity) sooner or later it will break. For both incoming students and outgoing graduates, persevere. Don’t give up. Be strong. As we work towards our dreams, let passion abound and tenacity fuel us through.

With my own excellent advice in mind, I move forward with my culinary journey. With my knowledge in healthcare and in the kitchen, I want to combine my interest in healthy lifestyle and preventative medicine. I hope to forge a culinary career where great food is synonymous to healthy and nutritious.

 

Michael Holding Souffles Michael in Class

One of Chef Pablo's creations

What It’s Like to Attend A Masterclass with Chef and Sommelier Pablo Ranea

Written by: Aditya Malhotra, Intensive Sommelier Training Student

Earlier this month, students and alumni enjoyed a star studded masterclass when Chef and Sommelier Pablo Ranea visited ICC’s California campus and world renowned Argentinean wine maker, Santiago Achaval of Matervini Winery, was brought in via a Skype call. During this special event, we had the opportunity to taste a total of ten different wines, and by the end of the day, we gained a new perspective on each of the wines. We started off by sampling 8 Malbecs, each coming from a different elevation, then moved onto a white Torrontes as an aperitif and finished off with a Matervini white.

Argentina is well regarded for its unique culinary style, from quick snacks like empanadas to hearty, quality steaks, and for its high-quality wine produced from ancient vines throughout the country’s varied elevations. During Chef Pablo’s visit, we learned all about Argentina’s cuisine and wine.

This event was especially impressive because as Chef Pablo introduced each wine, he also did a live cooking demonstration of dishes that would pair well. For his first dish, he showed us an interesting technique designed to soften the structure of the octopus meat which he called “Asustar,” which means “to scare or frighten.” This technique involved holding the octopus by the head and submerging the tentacles into boiling water for only 10-15 seconds and then quickly removing them from the heat; Chef Pablo recommended repeating the process about four times. The completed dish was comprised of the expertly prepared octopus, chorizo and potato puree, and topped with the famous Argentinean Chimichurri sauce.

Pastel de PapaLater on, Chef Pablo demonstrated how to prepare “Pastel de Papa,” which comprises the traditional Empanadas Mendocinas with a skirt steak filling. Chef Pablo noted that cutting the skirt steak prevents the filling from drying out. For this dish, Chef Pablo called for some audience participation. Everyone was pretty excited to roll up their sleeves and learn from the master himself.

Pablo Ranea began his career as a Graphic Designer which truly explains the beauty in his food presentation. His preparations looked like art on a plate!

Chef Pablo was the Executive Chef for ten years at The Azafran restaurant, considered to be one of the best restaurants of Mendoza, where he developed his concept of “New Argentinean Cuisine.” It was during his time at Azafran that he also recognized the fact that wines of Argentina were becoming increasingly sophisticated and in higher demand in world markets than ever before. With these thoughts in mind, Chef Pablo saw a need for Argentinean chefs to match their food to great wines. He took matters into his own hands by studying to become a Sommelier, gaining his certification in 2012. Since then, Pablo has been working as a mediating consultant between restaurants and wineries by developing recipes and selecting appropriate wine parings.

In regards to the meaning of “New Argentinean Cuisine,” Pablo explains that he aims to discover contemporary takes on traditional dishes by utilizing a variety of quality regional ingredients. For example, combining lamb that was raised in southern Patagonia, garnished with quinoa harvested from the mountainous region of the Andes, finished with a sauce made with corn or tapioca from the north-east. In this way, pulling ingredients from all corners of Argentina into one dish, Chef Pablo has been able to create a whole new dish which is still exponentially Argentinean.

As a firm believer in the importance of learning from new places, people and experiences, Chef Pablo has become more of a “Nomad Chef,” taking time away from the stationary restaurant setting to travel internationally with his partner Alejandro Cohen. Over the last two years, as they travel the world, they make an effort to share with others their knowledge and passion about Argentinean cuisine and wine by leading cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and hosting pop-up dinners. The students at the ICC were more than honored to have had a chance to meet them.

Check out my tasting notes about the wines from the event below. You may even want to pick up a bottle for yourself!

Selection of Argentinean Wines from Pablo Ranea event

  1. Nieto Senetiner- Torrontes 2016, Yellow color with greenish shades. The nose has a bouquet of white flowers, white peach and citrus fruit like orange and grapefruit
  2. Mi Terruno Reserve- Malbec 2014, Intense red colour with violet hues. Good body with sweet and round tannins. Typical Malbec red fruit aromas of plums and cherry with vanilla notes from the oak aging.
  3. Don Nicanor, Barrel Select- Malbec 2014, Intense purple-red hue and exquisite fruity notes of cherry and red currant.
  4. Rutini Encuentro-Malbec, aged 12 months in French and American Oak, violets floral notes, and fresh red and black fruits. Full-bodied tannins and rich dark chocolatey marmalade fruit notes are present on the mouth.
  5. Guachezco Oro-Malbec 2013 aged 16 months in barrels of French, American and Hungarian oak, displays a deep red colour. The notes of red fruits, plums and blackberries are combined with notes of cranberry along with aromas of caramel, vanilla and mocha from the time spent in the oak.
  6. Rutini Cabernet Malbec 2013 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Malbec, 12 Months in French and American Oak. On the nose, full bodied fruit aromas of cherry, marmalade & plum. The mouth feel combines the mature fruit essence with rich spices of vanilla & chocolate from the time in oak.
  7. Matervini Finca Malbec, grown at 3200 feet of altitude, in alluvial soils. The combination of this soil and old vines results in this classic wine from Mendoza, with flavors of attractive austerity and rich mouth feel at the same time,
  8. Matervini Antes Andes Valles Calchaquies Malbec, planted at 7800 feet of altitude a distinctive Malbec, fresh and full of fruit, with a wild feeling to it and mineral notes that make it a typical wine from Salta.
  9. Matervini Blanco, Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier, cofermented, the juice is allowed 5 days of skin contact prior to fermentation. This decadent white wine has the structure of an old world wine but still had some zesty youth. A great way to finish the tastings.

 

 

Business Bites: Launching Your Food Product, spoon and light bulb

Tips to Getting Your Food Product on Shelves

Written by: Judson Kniffen, ICC’s Associate Director of Education

On June 21st, ICC’s New York campus held the latest installment of the BUSINESS BITES SERIES. This discussion, which focused on launching your food product, featured four panelists who have successfully taken food products from stove to store as entrepreneurs and food business owners, as well as grocery buyers and brand consultants.

So what do you actually need to know to take your idea from stove to store? Check out the secrets from our entrepreneurs below.

Write a Business Plan. It doesn’t need to be perfect and you don’t even need to stick to it as your business evolves, but having a written business plan forces you to focus on your financials, and sets benchmarks to which you can measure your success. The Brooklyn Public Library has a competition that has helped some of our food entrepreneurs gain financial and marketing skills and focused their business, and ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program is designed to help you build your business plan.

Packaging is Key. Your product needs to stand out from the competition – but not be so different that it’s unrecognizable. The packaging needs to sell itself. Go to a store and look at similar products on the shelf. How can yours be unique but also share the same shelf space?  What shapes and colors will make it stand out? There are lots of stock packaging options that can be customized, which is an easy and affordable way to get started.

Get Feedback (And Listen to it!). Ask friends, coworkers, and strangers what they think of your product. They might see something you’ve overlooked or taste something you don’t. Have demos at shops and talk to your customers. The more face time you have with the public, the more successful your business will be. If someone gives you a valuable piece of advice, listen to it and ask yourself how you can incorporate it into your business.

The Department of Agriculture is Your Friend. Trying to find regulatory information on your food product? Looking for classes in food safety? Call the Department of Agriculture and speak to someone on the phone about your specific product and questions. The people who work at the DOA are knowledgeable and can be very helpful when you are looking for a quick answer. Get certified in food safety education. Their knowledge and resources are vast and are at your disposal.

Get Started Now! If the big picture is too daunting, making small, incremental steps will ultimately lead to many accomplishments. ­­

Surround Yourself with Other Culinary Entrepreneurs. Listen to podcasts on your subject. The community momentum will help you keep going.

Be resilient! You’re going to hear a lot of “NOs” at every stage of your business, but it is important to persevere and remember why you started in the first place.

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

2018 Outstanding Alumni Awards: Angie Mar, Anna Bolz, Steven Cook, Aaron Babcock

ICC Announces 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award Winners

International Culinary Center’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony, held on June 3rd at New York City’s iconic Carnegie Hall, celebrated students who have completed ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts, Italian Culinary, Pastry Arts, Cake Techniques & Design, Art of International Bread Baking and Intensive Sommelier Training programs between May 2017 and June 2018.

ICC has a long tradition of celebrating the success of our graduates. Part of our process for planning each year’s Commencement is looking at who has made an impact in the previous year and left a mark on their industry. ICC selects these individuals from each field of study to honor in a series of Outstanding Alumni Awards.

This year, ICC bestowed the Excellence in Culinary Arts award to Chef Angie Mar, Chef/Owner of The Beatrice Inn in New York City. Excellence in Pastry Arts was awarded to Anna Bolz, Pastry Chef of Per Se. Steven Cook, graduate of the Culinary Arts program in 2000, and Co-Owner of CookNSolo Restaurants, received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship award. Lastly, the Outstanding Sommelier recipient was Aaron Babcock, Advanced Sommelier and the Sommelier at Quince in San Francisco who traveled from the West Coast to receive his award.

Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award winners and let their stories, and successes, be an inspiration to you!


I’m honored to provide this exceptional group of individuals with the distinction of Outstanding Alumni during the 2018 Commencement Ceremony at Carnegie Hall. It’s so inspiring to watch former ICC students thrive and innovate in the hospitality industry. We acknowledge Chef Angie Mar, Anna Bolz, Steven Cook, and Aaron Babcock, for excellence in their fields and hope that their stories inspire our new graduates to love what they do and to prosper in whatever career path they follow.” – Erik Murnighan, President of the International Culinary Center


MEET ICC’S 2018 OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS

EXCELLENCE IN CULINARY ARTS
Angie Mar | Executive Chef/Owner of The Beatrice Inn | Classic Culinary Arts, 2011

Chef Angie Mar, a native of Seattle, Washington, comes from a family of food lovers and restaurateurs. After graduating from our Culinary program in 2011, she went on to work in some of the toughest kitchens in New York, including the Spotted Pig, Marlow & Sons, Reynard, and Diner. In 2013, she took the helm of the West Village institution The Beatrice Inn, where she’s now the executive chef and owner. She has become known for working with whole animals and live fire, earning her a two-star review from the New York Times. She was Thrillist’s chef of the year in 2016, a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2017. Read more & see her interview here.


EXCELLENCE IN PASTRY ARTS
Anna Bolz | Pastry Chef of Per Se | Classic Pastry Arts, 2007Chef Anna Bolz, Pastry Chef Per Se

Anna Bolz is the Pastry Chef at the three-Michelin-starred Per Se where she oversees the production of all the dessert offerings and chocolate production for the restaurant. Born and raised in small-town Iowa, Anna studied music before pursuing her passion in pastry and baking at the International Culinary Center, then The French Culinary Institute. She cooked her way through a few of New York’s best kitchens, including Porterhouse and Jean-Georges, before landing at Per Se. Read more & see her interview here.

 


EXCELLENCE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP 
Steven Cook, Co-Owner of CookNSolo RestaurantsSteven Cook | Co-Owner of CookNSolo Restaurants & Dizengoff NYC | Classic Culinary Arts, 2000

Steven Cook may not be a household name yet, but he’s one of the country’s most successful restaurateurs and oversees a mini-empire in New York and Philadelphia along with his business partner Michael Solomonov. He graduated from our culinary arts program in 2000 and is now the co-owner of a growing family of restaurants including Zahav, Dizengoff, Federal Donuts, and the philanthropic luncheonette Rooster Soup Company (check out their website roostersoupcompany.com—they’re really doing amazing work!). The cookbook he co-wrote with his business partner, called Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, won TWO James Beard Awards in 2016, for Best International Cookbook and Book of the year. Read more here.


OUTSTANDING SOMMELIER 
Aaron Babcock, Advanced Sommelier, Sommelier at QuinceAaron Babcock, Advanced Sommelier | Sommelier at Quince | Intensive Sommelier Training, 2012

Aaron Babcock, this year’s Outstanding Sommelier, is a young man who has accomplished incredible success in a very short span of time. He graduated from our Intensive Sommelier Training program in 2012, earned his Certified Sommelier qualification and went to work at Manresa, one of California’s best restaurants. Just a few years later, at the unlikely age of 24, he passed his Advanced Sommelier exam and joined the team at Quince in San Francisco, which he helped to earn its third Michelin star. Read more here.

fci alumni ed hardi demo

6 Things to Know Before Opening Your Food Truck

Written by: Judson Kniffen, ICC’s Associate Director of Education

Ed Hardy explaining how to open a food truck to ICC students and alumniFCI graduate Ed Hardy, Class of ’06, recently returned to his Alma Matter to lead a business workshop and cooking demonstration for ICC students and alumni. Ed owns and operates the award-winning food truck, Bacon ‘n Ed’s Mobile Gourmet Kitchen, in the DC metro area. He specializes in private events where he features his famous fried chicken banh mi, Swedish meatball sub, and many other delicious items!

 

 

While discussing the business aspects Chef Natalia serving Bacon n Ed's demo samplesof owning and operating a food truck, Ed and his chef-partner Evan Henris demonstrated how to make quick pickles for their celebrated Banh Mi sandwiches, and they discussed the multi-week long process for making real sauerkraut. Fermentation is hot right now, and Chef Ed works hard to stay on top of the food trends.

 

 

 

Thinking of opening your own food truck? Here are the 6 key lessons we learned from Ed Hardy:

1. Focus on a concept.

Really think about your menu, and whom your audience is. Is your food able to be prepared and served in a truck? What practical necessities will you need to serve the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time?

2. Chose your vehicle wisely.

Airstreams look cool, but those curved corners are big wastes of space. Think about maximizing every square inch of your food truck. What is the flow of the cooking and serving? Is there enough storage for food and cleaning supplies?

3. Systems equal success.

Gey your systems in place before opening: payment, scheduling, cleaning, organizing.

4. Start your paperwork early.

There is a lot of licensing, tax forms and other paperwork that need to be submitted. It’s not the fun part of the job, but it’s an unavoidable reality.

5. Be present on social media.

Let your followers know where you will be and keep them engaged. Respond to all question and comments just as you would in person.

6. Be unique

Competition is fierce these days. Your truck and your food need to stand out. Invest in good graphic design and be creative, and consistent, with your brand image. Maintain your quality — don’t lower your standards to increase margins, customers will notice.