2017 ICC Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is officially in full swing with Channukah approaching next week and Christmas just weeks away. Wondering what to gift the culinary student or food enthusiast in your life? ICC has you covered with an array of options from our community featuring gift ideas from alumni, deans, and more!


Bonbons from Stick With Me Sweets
Photo Credit: Evan Sung

Susanna Yoon was the recipient of our 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award for her excellence in Pastry Arts. The queen of bonbons has been featured in several publications for the meticulously crafted chocolate creations found in her NYC store, Stick WIth Me Sweets. Just last month, Yoon was featured in Forbes’ Ultimate Chocolate Gift Guide for the artisanal chocolate bonbon Christmas tree featured above. The festive ‘Christmas in NY” box is filled with 25 bonbons with flavors like Santa’s Milk and Cookies, Gingerbread S’mores, Peppermint Cookie, and Spiced Eggnog treats. Stick With Me Sweets is currently accepting pre-orders and will begin shipping on December 10. Give this sweet gift to the chocolate lover in your life — they will not be disappointed! Visit www.swmsweets.com to place your order today!


A Recreational Class at the International Culinary Center

ICC offers a wide variety of one-day and multi-day recreational courses designed specifically to educate home cooks and professional chefs alike, incorporating techniques used throughout the industries of culinary and pastry arts. Curated and scheduled throughout the year, the school’s recreational courses appeal to men and women of all ages and interests. Gift your favorite aspiring chef with our upcoming Culinary Techniques (multi-day) course beginning January 4 to get a taste of the ICC curriculum. Looking for something shorter? Try Cooking The New Delicious on January 27th where you’ll be instructed to craft a full seasonal meal that’s sure to impress any and all dinner guests. Or, perhaps the carb-lover in your life will appreciate a 4-hour course in Croissants or Homemade Pizza, both being held on January 6th. Sweet tooths are welcome at our upcoming Chocolate Treats and Truffles course on the afternoon of January 27th.

For our full multi-day class offering list, click here.

For our full one-day recreational class offering list, click here.

 


Anything from Just Hit Send Gifts! 

Dallas events planner and ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship alumna Annie Shamoon created JustHitSendGifts.com to help people celebrate small moments with effortless yet thoughtful gift sending. Gift sets are available for birthdays, new babies, ‘The Entertainer’, your favorite ‘Grillmaster,’  the ‘Fancy Foodie’ in your life or even for someone to enjoy a  ‘Lazy Sunday’ — each packed with different tailored goodies. Look for essentials such as chocolates, coffees, candles and more. Head to JustHitSendGifts.com to check out their carefully crafted holiday gift sets and place your order in time for the holidays!


Cookbooks from our Alumni + Deans!

There are a plethora of cookbooks to choose from authored by ICC’s esteemed alumni, deans, chef-instructors, and friends from over the years. It’s so hard to choose just one, or even a few, to purchase for your loved one(s) this holiday season. Here are just a few recently released cookbooks to add to Santa’s list!


This September, ICC’s Dean of Special Programs released a brand new cookbook, different from his 20+ other instructional books. This time around, Jacques Pépin brought his granddaughter Shorey to the spotlight and focuses more on simple recipes that could be made at home and enjoyed by all generations. Expect to learn to create curly hot dogs, spinach with croutons, sushi salmon cakes, skillet bread and homemade butter, raspberry cake and more — surely to become irresistible new classics for kids!

 

Purchase your copy, here. 

 


Prior to opening his latest venture, Du’s Donuts in New York City this year, ICC alumnus Wylie Dufresne also released WD~50: The Cookbook in October. The cookbook pays homage to the Dufresne-owned cutting-edge New York City restaurant which opened back in 2003.  Providing a glimpse of NYC culinary culture from 2003 through the final dinner at WD~50 in 2014, the cookbook fills the void left behind by the gastronomic artistry at the restaurant.

Purchase your copy, here.


This month, Bobby Flay helps you get fit ahead of your New Year’s resolutions with a brand new cookbook entitled, Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle. With this latest cookbook, the FCI alum helps the home cook transform lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce into crave-worthy meals at home.

Purchase your copy, here.


The Pastry Chef’s Little Black Book is a comprehensive collection of nearly 500 professionally formatted recipes covering all aspects of the pastry arts. Authored by award-winning pastry chefs Michael Zebrowski (ICC alumnus and former Pastry Chef-Instructor) and Michael Mignano. The foreword is written by ICC Master Guest Pastry Chef, Ron Ben-Israel, with gorgeous photography by Battman. Whether you’re just thinking of attending culinary school or a tenured professional chef, this is the one sweet ‘little black book’ you’ll find useful for any occasion that calls for desserts!

Purchase your copy, here. 


Merch from the ICC Shop! 

 

It’s never too early to join the ICC family, and our store will have you covered from your littlest foodies through your eldest. Stop by our shop to show your school spirit with hats, hoodies, onesies and more! Click here to shop all options!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Not sure which recreational class your loved one would prefer? Want to contribute to their culinary education? Purchase a gift certificate for our New York Campus today!

Quick Guide To Holiday Bubbles

Written by Elizabeth Smith, CS
ICC Wine Program Coordinator

There’s no better way to kick off the festive season with popping corks and a splash (or two) of bubbly.  But what to drink?   Here’s my quick-and-dirty guide to what to buy.


Champagne

Champagne lovers say there’s simply no substitute for real Champagne, and of course, there’s nothing like it to ring in the new year.   In the words of Ferris Bueller, “it is so choice – if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”   If you like a rich and toasty style, go for Herbert Beaufort or Vilmart – smaller producers that make full, silky champagnes.  If you’re looking for something lean and racy as an apéritif, I’d recommend grower-producer Pierre Gimonnet – his Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs is redolent of lime blossom with a firm mineral spine.



Other Traditional Method Sparklers

Made in the traditional method of Champagne, Cava delivers those toasty, yeasty notes and fuller body at a fraction of the price.  For excellent value, try Juvé y Camps or Mas la Mola L’Atzar – the latter ages 22 months in the bottle, longer than many Champagnes.  But my favorite Spanish sparkler of all time is Raventós i Blanc Rosé de Nit – a robust and flavorful rosé from Mourvedre that goes with everything.

You can also drink the big Champagne producers at a more civilized cost if you head to California – Taittinger, Roederer, and Moët all have sisters stateside.  I was recently impressed with Taittinger’s Domaine Carneros – a nose of pear compote on brioche, with a cleansing acidity and tight bubbles on the palate.


Prosecco

A lighter, more fruit-forward wine than those made in the traditional method, Prosecco is about fresh fruit flavors and sometimes a little kiss of sugar.  Perfect for apéritifs, digestifs, toasts, and gatherings at any hour, Malibràn Gorio Extra Dry Prosecco is delicately sweet, with gentle fruity and floral notes.


Off the Beaten Path

German producer 50◦N makes original and truly delicious sekt (sparkling) wines, fruity and drinkable and guaranteed to please a crowd.  But my personal favorite obscure sparkler is the underrated French appellation Crémant de Limoux – the first sparkling wines in the world (pre-dating Champagne).  Try producer Saint-Hilaire – Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Mauzac grapes deliver distinctive wines at incredible value.

 

Have a New Year’s Resolution to expand your wine knowledge in 2018? ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you accomplish your goal in just 10 weeks. Apply now to begin in our January program! Click here to learn more.

Recipe: Coconut Candied Sweet Potatoes

This is a fun alternative to a classic holiday side. The coconut adds a depth of flavor and replaces the butter usually found in the dish – plus, it’s vegan if you use a vegan white sugar!” – Director of Pastry Operations, Chef Jansen Chan


Yield: 8 portions

Ingredients:

2 lbs. sweet potatoes

15 oz. coconut cream

1 tablespoon molasses

½ cup sugar

¼ t. salt, plus additional for cooking potatoes

¼ t. cinnamon

½ orange [zested]

½ cup coconut, shredded and toasted (optional)


Procedures

– Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes. Place the potatoes in a 4-quart pot. Add enough salted water just to cover. Heat to boiling and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook for 50 mins to 1 hour, or until potatoes are cooked through. Remove from the water and allow to cool.

– In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the coconut, molasses, sugar, salt, cinnamon and orange zest to a boil. Over medium heat, reduce by about 1/3, stirring occasionally, about 5-10 mins.

– Preheat the oven to 375F.

– Remove the skins from the cooled sweet potatoes and slice into 1” cubes. Place the pieces in a greased, shallow baking dish and cover with the hot syrup. Bake for 1 hr, or until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut during the last 15 minutes, if desired. Allow cooling slightly before serving.

Create Warm Spiced Mulled Cider Using Vitamix

Traditional apple cider gets a kick of warm winter flavor with some Winter Spice Seasoning. Transform this warming beverage into a cocktail by adding 1 cup (240 ml) of dark rum, bourbon whiskey, or favorite flavored vodka.

 

Ingredients + Procedure for Winter Spice Seasoning* 
*Make in advance and keep on reserve this versatile spice blend to have you feeling the warmth of the holidays in every dish.

3 cinnamon sticks
2 Tablespoons crystallized ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
3 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon pink peppercorns
1½ teaspoon whole cloves
½ cup (50 g) dried orange peel
½ cup (110 g) brown sugar, packed

Directions

Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.

Select Variable 1.
Start the machine, slowly increase to its highest speed.
Blend for 30 seconds or until desired consistency is reached, using the tamper to push ingredients into the blades, if needed.

Mixed peppercorns can be substituted if unable to find pink peppercorns.


Yield: 6 cups (1.3 L) / Total Time: 15 minutes / Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients for Cider:
2 (400 g) seasonal apples (red varietals work the best) quartered, seeds removed
4 cups (960 ml) apple cider
½ cup (75 g) dried dates, pitted

Procedure:

– 1 Tablespoon Winter Spice Seasoning*
– Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.
– Select Variable 1, start the machine, slowly increase to its highest speed, and blend for 5 minutes 45 seconds; or select the Hot Soup program and allow the machine to complete its programmed cycle.

Recipe: Side Roasted Wild Mushrooms

I love roasted wild mushrooms; it’s a great side dish for any roasted or game you may do during the Holiday season. You can pick your own selection of mushrooms; my selection is based on different colors and mushroom flavors — and are very easy to find. The cauliflower is great little touch to bring some crunch, and make it look like grated cheese. – Chef Herve Malivert, Director of Culinary and Pastry Arts

Check out the following recipe crafted by Chef Herve Malivert to add this fun funghi side dish to your holiday menu!

The wish mushroom side dish, shown here, in a completed warm mushroom salad with truffle emulsion. Created by Chef Herve Malivert.

Yield 8 to 10 portions

Ingredients:

For roasted mushrooms:

3 lb Oyster Mushrooms
3 lb Hen of the hood mushrooms
3 lb Chanterelle
3 lb shitake mushrooms
3 lb Cremini mushrooms
Thyme
Grapeseed oil
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
10 garlic cloves (sliced)

 

 

 


For the garnish

¼ of a head of cauliflower

Procedure: 

For the mushrooms:
– Clean all mushrooms and cut them into large similar sized pieces.
– In a hotel pan or a baking dish layout with thyme and garlic scatter  all the mushrooms in 1 layer sprinkle salt, black pepper, and oil
– Bake in a convection oven set at 375 degrees until roasted, and slightly golden and crisp.

For the garnish and plating: 

– Remove the thyme and garlic from the warm mushrooms + place in a serving tray or individual side dishes container.
– Using a Microplane, grate some cauliflower on top.

Recipe: Create Gingersnap Cookies With Vitamix

The holidays aren’t complete without these ginger-spiced favorites! Here’s a tip: Make two batches and keep one of yourself!

Ingredients:

1 cup (120 g) whole wheat flour
1 cup (115 g) all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon Winter Spice Seasoning
1 egg
¼ cup (60 ml) molasses
1 cup (200 g) sugar
¾ cup (165 g) butter, melted

Procedure:
1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, combine flours, ginger, baking soda, and Winter Spice Seasoning. Set aside.
3. Place egg, molasses, sugar, and butter into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.
4. Select Variable 1, start the machine, slowly increase to its highest speed, and blend for 15 seconds.
5. Add the liquid mixture from the Vitamix container to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate.
Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
6. Using a spoon, scoop dough and roll into 1-inch balls between your hands.
Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops are rounded and slightly cracked.


For more recipes like this, visit vitamix.com

The following post is sponsored by Vitamix. 

ICC’s 2017 Gingerbread Village in Times Square

This year, ICC’s Annual Gingerbread Village will be hosted in the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle, located in the Times Square Urbanspace market. This edible showpiece made entirely of gingerbread, icing, and sugar celebrates two distinct eras of Times Square —the classic Christmas traditions of the 1980’s and the excitement of today’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Can you find the following iconic structures in this winter wonderland? Head to the Times Square Urbanspace Market — on 43rd Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway — to view the full gingerbread village and look for The Westin Hotel, Paramount Building, Palace Theatre, TKTS Booth, NYE Ball Drop, Marriot Marquis, the Military Recruitment center, and much more!

The Gingerbread Village will be on display 7 days a week from November 24 through December 23 between the hours of 11 am and 9 pm (ET). The following contest will be hosted on Instagram only and will conclude on December 23!

 

Get a behind the scenes look at how ICC chef-instructors and student volunteers came together to design this year’s gingerbread village! See how the two different sides of the village came together as one. To view the final reveal, you’ll need to head over to the Times Square Urbanspace Market!


Celebrating Culinary Entrepreneurship Grads for National Entrepreneurship Month

November has officially been named as National Entrepreneurship Month, with the official day of recognition for Entrepreneurs’ Day landing on Tuesday, November 21. Throughout the years, the International Culinary Center (and formerly the French Culinary Institute) has provided the technical training to give students and hopeful entrepreneurs the opportunity to have their ideas flourish into reality.

This year, we focus on 6 fearless female graduates of ICC New York’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program to show you the businesses they built from the ground up after receiving their Grand Diploma from our SoHo campus. With ICC’s recently launched Stacy’s Rise Project scholarship, future female entrepreneurs have the chance to earn up to $6,950 toward their Culinary Entrepreneurship education. Through the program, students will receive mentorship and guidance to aid prospective entrepreneurs to go from concept to business plan in just 6 weeks.

The following women have completed the program and have moved on to start a business where they can love what they do on a daily basis.


Rosemarie McNish

ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship Graduate 2016

 Owner of KaRosie Cakes | http://www.karosiecakes.com

KaRosie Cakes, founded by Rosemarie McNish, was conceptualized in 2012 after years of watching her mother bake delicious cakes enjoyed by family and friends.  In an effort to keep the legacy going Rosemarie learned the recipes herself and expanded on her mother’s creations.  The flagship product of KaRosie Cakes is an authentic Jamaican-Style Rum Cake, a deliciously flavored, rum-infused cake that her mother created as a young girl in Jamaica.  Always made with love, and usually only available during Christmastime and weddings, Jamaican-Style Rum cake is now available all year round and for any event.

The name KaRosie Cakes is a combination of the two McNish daughters: Karina and Rosemarie (Rosie) and was also a common misnomer in the household whenever Dave and Jackie McNish were calling for their daughters.  Rosemarie felt it was extremely important to share how significant her family was in turning her dream into a reality and takes great pleasure in explaining the name to everyone.

KaRosie Cakes has developed over the years from the concept of just a Jamaican Rum Cake business to a Cake business focused on many Caribbean Flavors.  Thrilled to introduce unfamiliar flavors to the masses, Rosemarie enjoys adding a beautiful twist to the flavors she grew up with.

Officially launching the business in early 2017, Rosemarie is excited to embark on this new journey that’s been in the making for years.

 


Diana Egnatz

ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship Graduate 2016

Daaamn Good | http://www.dianaegnatz.com 

Diana is the founder of the Sweet Tooth Tuesday blog and the preserves company Daaamn Good. Daaamn Good offers modern twists on classic preserving techniques utilizing locally sourced produce + exciting flavors while providing our patrons with recipes that use our products in interesting ways. This project has been a long time coming for Diana. For years she has spent summers hauling pounds of seasonal produce from the Union Square Greenmarket to her tiny New York kitchen, and would jam up a storm! After coming home from work and going straight to the kitchen to make fig preserves, Diana realized that making jars of delicious goodness was an obsession worth creating a business around. Developing exciting and unusual flavor combinations that taste Daaamn Good is her mission; along with teaching customers how to use our products as more than just jam on toast!

A New York City-based artist, Diana is an honored alumna of the School of Visual Arts BFA Photography department and Mentor program. She works as the Director of Photography for the SVA yearbook. When Diana isn’t dancing around the darkroom or naked before her camera, she enjoys whipping up concoctions in her kitchen!  Winner of PDN Taste Award 2015.


Erica Barrett

ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship Graduate 2016

Southern Culture Artisan Foods
https://southernculturefoods.com

Erica Barrett is the Founder and CEO of Southern Culture Artisan Foods, a breakfast lifestyle brand she started after visiting the grocery store and seeing that there was a lack of quality breakfast products on the shelf. Erica is most notably known for appearing on the Emmy Award Winning Show “ABC’s Shark Tank” where she went head to head with the Sharks and received two offers; one from Kevin O’Leary and one from Barbara Corcoran and ultimately landed a deal with Barbara Corcoran on the show. Erica’s approach to food is to always create the best version of what you love.

Southern Culture, Erica’s Breakfast lifestyle brand is a salute to breakfast and her strong Southern roots. Erica has built her business from the ground up with an idea, tremendous faith and a will to succeed. Her products can now be purchased at 4,000 retailers across the  U.S and in three countries internationally. Erica’s passion for food and desire to build a food empire has inspired Erica to launch her own YouTube Channel and Branded Restaurant Concept.

A native of Mobile, AL Erica is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University with a BA in Business Finance but was inspired to follow her dream to cook professionally after becoming the grand prize winner of a video recipe contest with Foodnetwork.com and Lea and Perrins. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center (formerly French Culinary Institute) with a Grand Diploma in Culinary Entrepreneurship.

 

 

 


Leticia Skai Young

ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship Graduate 2015

Lolo’s Seafood Shack http://www.lolosseafoodshack.com

Born and Raised in Harlem and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Leticia Young has amassed more than a decade of experience in hospitality, entertainment and tourism having worked alongside Caribbean Hotel Brands and Tourism Boards; including the Anguilla Tourist Board, Cuisinart Anguilla, ViceRoy Anguilla, and Cap Juluca. Leticia brings a unique blend of Ivy League acumen and entrepreneurial driven creativity to the hospitality industry, as a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Culinary Entrepreneurship program of the International Culinary Center.

Your next island getaway just got a lot closer!  Executive Chef Raymond Mohan and Restaurateur Leticia Young opened LoLo’s Seafood Shack in the Winter of 2014.  LoLo’s Seafood Shack serves up a variety of seafood from the coastal comfort foods of the Cape like sauced shrimp to Caribbean street eats like our crunchy conch fritters.  LoLo’s is a New York Times Critic pick that has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, Eater, Potluck Video, The Infatuation, NY Post, NY Daily News, NY Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, Refinery 29, Food & Wine, Village Voice and Zagat among others.

Island time hospitality seeks to create transportive and uplifting dining experiences through people in the various hospitality concepts, and consumer packaged goods we develop.  They create restaurant concepts that become unique gathering places at the crossroads of every community that they serve and invest in. Taking inspiration from their authentic passion for culture, global travel, and the culinary arts, the mission at LoLo’s Seafood Shack is to provide freshly cooked quality ingredients with authentic flavors to the massive via fast and friendly service at accessible prices.


Annie Shamoon

ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship Graduate 2016

Just Hit Send
https://www.justhitsendgifts.com

Founded by Dallas-based events planner Annie Shamoon, Just Hit Send attempts to make gift giving easy — with just a click, they will design, package, and send unique, high-end themed gift boxes to your friends and family. Each box contains three to six items that fit a unique theme. For example, the Cheers to You box packs in sparklers, matches, confetti and champagne glasses.

Sending someone a gift adds meaning to the moment. And all you had to do was hit “send”! I hope you enjoy gifting these packages as much as I loved designing them.

 

 

 

 

 


Ellie Pegler

ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship Graduate 2016

Farine +Four
https://farineandfour.com

Farine + Four is a developing bakery, led by New York City trained, Ellie Pegler. Utilizing strict technique and simple ingredients, the company sets out to create thoughtful and forward-thinking breads, pastries, ice creams, and chocolates.

When it comes to making bread, Ellie Pegler definitely knows a thing or two. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska where she worked at a local bakery making cookies for 9 years while still in her teens, graduated from the University of Nebraska, then followed her heart to New York City to attend the French Culinary Institute (now The International Culinary Center) to learn the art of bread baking and entrepreneurship. She honed her skills working at top restaurants in New York including the Michelin-starred restaurants Aquavit and Marea, and Vaucluse as Head Baker. Passionate about baking, she is now launching Farine + Four in Omaha Fall 2017.


To learn more about our Culinary Entrepreneurship program now, click here

To learn more about the Stacy’s Rise Project Scholarship, click here.

Are you a graduate of the International Culinary Center (or French Culinary Institute) and an entrepreneur we should know about? We’d love to be updated on your culinary career! Email your story to asamartano@culinarycenter.com to be included in future updates.

Honoring Stacy’s Rise Project Scholarship Recipients for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

This Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, First Class of Stacy’s Rise Project Scholarship Recipients Receive Mentorship to Help Break Through Male-Dominated Field

PR Newswire — November 2017 — In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on November 19, Stacy’s celebrated the inaugural class of Stacy’s Rise Project scholarship recipients with a professional development day hosted at the renowned International Culinary Center (ICC) in New York City. The day provided these female entrepreneurs business advice, tools, and support to continue to break through some of the toughest barriers to women in any field.

“Stacy’s is committed to empowering the next generation of female culinary leaders to pursue their dreams, and is thrilled to celebrate the first class of Stacy’s Scholarship for Female Culinary Leaders recipients,” said Stuart Beck, senior director of marketing, Stacy’s Snacks. “Each of these women has developed impressive business plans that we are proud to be able to support – and ultimately be a part of advancing the number of women entrepreneurs in the U.S.”

The Stacy’s Rise Project was born out of Stacy’s roots as a brand founded by female entrepreneur Stacy Madison, who started by baking pita bread into fresh chips each day to give her customers waiting in line at her Boston food cart. Customers loved the simple but delicious chips so much that they encouraged her to start her own brand and today they are America’s favorite pita chip. Launched earlier this year, the Stacy’s Rise Project helps female culinary entrepreneur hopefuls pursue their business endeavors through scholarship, mentorship and thought leadership. In September, Stacy’s awarded $40,000 in scholarships and stipends to four women entering the Culinary Entrepreneurship Program at ICC. Recipients participated in the six-week entrepreneurship program that demystifies the start-up process and guides them through the steps of business planning in an immersive, mentorship-driven environment.

Future culinary luminaries: the inaugural scholarship class
This year’s scholarship recipients include promising and inspiring female entrepreneurs whose business plans may differ but share a common passion for food and hospitality.

Raven Rivera was born and raised on Long Island in Bay Shore, N.Y. Although equipped with a Master of Arts in television, Raven had a dream to one day be a restaurateur. Stacy’s Rise Project and ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship Program have helped her follow her dream. She is embracing her family’s roots and is opening a Puerto Rican restaurant that families, friends and the surrounding community can enjoy.

Kiki Canuto is a trilingual world traveler from Massachusetts who would like to create connections and cultivate fulfillment through the food she serves. She is the owner of The Getaway Plate, which provides families with in-home meal prep in the Greater Boston area. Kiki’s zest for life is contagious and she is passionate about simplifying the lives of families who are very busy, but also value enjoying a meal together at the end of the day. With the tools she gained from ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship Program, she hopes to soon expand her services to Southern California.

Eunice Giarta is a Californian-turned-New Yorker. Having previously studied engineering and working in software, she found her passion for a different type of challenge—not in an office, but in a kitchen where she pursued further education in pastry arts. She enjoys the methodical, precise and special art of baking and loves sharing the fruits of her labor with others. Eunice plans to leverage the business plan and mentorship advice she received through the Stacy’s Rise Project and ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship Program to open a dessert bar in Chicago where she can share her cultural background and love of pastry by merging Asian-inspired flavors and French-pastry techniques.

Jane Deegan hails from Manhattan, New York. Baking also holds a special place in her heart, as the art has helped Janie find her light, beauty, and inspiration after struggling with homelessness and addiction growing up. Janie aspires to open a bakery and café that serves light food and specializes in delicious baked goods that are a creative, modern twist on American classics. A dream that would be far more difficult to achieve without the financial support of the Stacy’s Rise Project and the advanced culinary business education from ICC. Her most notable product thus far is her Pie Crust Cookie, which has already gained attention from top food industry experts. She currently operates an online business named Janie Bakes.

Stacy’s and ICC will continue the work of the Stacy’s Rise Project next year, awarding $60,000 in scholarships and stipends to future female entrepreneurs. Visit stacyssnacks.com/riseproject to learn more about Stacy’s Rise Project, scholarship opportunities, and the brand’s commitment to supporting women.

To learn more about the scholarship, click here.


About Stacy’s Snacks
Stacy’s Snacks is one of the many brands that make up Frito-Lay North America, the $15 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, http://www.fritolay.com/, the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/ and on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/fritolay.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

 

Review: Ask The Alumni Event with Tracy Obolsky

Written by Olivia Hamilton
Culinary Arts Student, Level 3

Tracy Obolsky is chef and owner of Rockaway Beach Bakery, as well as a graduate of the Pastry Arts program here at ICC. Prior to attending the French Culinary Institute over 10 years ago and realizing her passion for the food industry, Tracy attended the Pratt Institute. Before embarking on the adventure to open her own bakery, Tracy has had a variety of experience working in restaurants such as Esca, North End Grill, Burrow Food and Drink, and more.  She even helped chef and restaurateur Nick Morgenstern to open a few of his venues.

As Executive Pastry Chef at Esca at the age of 26, Obolsky was challenged to revolve her dishes around Italian cuisine. As a self-proclaimed American influenced chef, she knew that Esca would not be home for long. Eventually landing the same position at Danny Meyers’ North End Grill, Tracy was granted more creative freedom in her recipe development. One of her most prized dishes while at North End Grill was creating a chai-spiced funnel cake.

While she loved working in the city and enjoyed the fast-paced lifestyle, she was commuting to and from Rockaway Beach (Queens) every day for 10 years and it eventually began to take a toll on her. She knew it was time to make the transition to leave the Manhattan restaurant scene and pursue her dream of opening up a bakery.

When Chef Obolsky started to make her dream a reality, she quickly realized she wasn’t as business savvy as she originally had thought. Though she had worked at many great places, there were a lot of things (especially permits) needed that came as a surprise to her. Once she decided on her shop in Riis Park, she said it was, “”literally bricks and a toilet”. When budgeting for the costs of opening her bakery, the biggest shocker was the plumbing costs. She admitted to the audience that while originally estimating a $2,000 budget for plumbing, it wound up costing over $16,000! Investing her life into this project with her husband by her side, the duo also acquired an Angel Investor to help speed up the timing of renovations prior to the grand opening.

Though the chef was finally living her dream, she missed the collaboration that goes on in a restaurant kitchen. That’s when she got the idea for the croissant project. The croissant project is chef Obolsky’s way of continuing to collaborate with local Chefs. Currently, they are working with Breezy’s BBQ to make burnt ends croissant with maple and sea salt.

She expressed to students that working in a seasonal beach town can be tricky, but she is always thinking of ways to keep the customers coming in. At first, they didn’t understand the limited quantity and selection of items, but Chef Obolsky likes to think of it as a boutique bakery where everything is special since she personally fresh bakes items every day. The operation is currently only a 3-man team, one of the employees being her younger brother. He didn’t have any prior experience but has learned very quickly and has a natural talent for knife skills. His pies are so good now that Chef Tracy is unable to tell the difference between ones baked by him or her own.

One of the biggest boots she received in business was when a journalist from the New York Times came into the bakery to review the venue. After the article came out, business doubled! To check out the full NY Times review, click here.