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Library Notes: Local Roots + Local Farms [February 2017]

Written by Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

In this edition of library notes, we will highlight some selections from Local Roots Founder and Friend of the Library, Wen-Jay Ying. Do you know about Local Roots NYC? It is a CSA or community supported agriculture connecting New Yorkers with fresh produce and other goodies from local farms. We have a pick up location right here at ICC! When Wen-Jay isn’t trekking up to farms, maintaining the super fun social profiles or producing her radio show, Food Stripped Naked she sometimes does her admin work right out of the ICC library! If you want to bring a #soiltocity perspective into your own kitchen, check out her recommended reading list below, all available for circulation here in the library.

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The Food Lab by J.Kenji Lopez-Alt

Last year’s James Beard Award Winner, this book covers just about anything and everything in the culinary world. With essential techniques, ingredient advice and tasty, very well tested recipes it could easily be your only cookbook. It also makes an excellent starter for new homecooks but still has the science and test kitchen detail to intrigue seasoned chefs. Wen-Jay particularly loves that he explains both how and why various food preparations work.

The Food Substitutions Bible by David Joachim

This guide contains simple substitutions for any ingredient, equiptment or technique you may be missing from Atemoya to a zester. This book is important to Wen-Jay because sometimes trying to cook with only local ingredients can make recipes feel confining, but learning the substitutions can give you more flexibility in the kitchen and empower you to be a versatile chef with your Local Roots NYC produce.  “Cooking does not need high-end appliances or an infinite supply of spices or specific vegetable varieties. Let your taste buds and this book guide you to be more flexible in the kitchen, “ said Wen-Jay.

The Frugal Colonial Housewife by Susannah Carter

This book is also one of my favorites and a fun glimpse into the past through food. It was the first truly American cookbook published in the colonies, back when everyone was trying to recreate British style cooking. Carter introduced local ingredients which new arrivals from England weren’t familiar with such as pumpkin and corn. Something unique you will notice is that the style of writing recipes was very different. They offer vague ingredient description (something green, a piece of meat) as it was difficult to produce specific items. The instruction is also much less detailed than we expect today, most women learned everything from their families and never needed written instruction on technique. Says Wen-Jay, “Love that Sara introduced me to this cookbook when interviewing her on my radio show! People used to cook with stripped down recipes because everyone had basic culinary skills and “farm to table” was the only way to cook.”

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone
“LOCAL ROOTS NYC LOVES SUSTAINABLE COOKING! We recently hosted a cooking club because 85% of food waste happens on the consumer end between home chefs, restaurants, etc.” said Wen-Jay. If you find yourself in that very predicament, pick up the Kitchen Ecosystem. Bone explains sustainable meal planning and various ways to use every ingredient. For each item listed, she details how to prepare it fresh, how to preserve it and how to use scraps then lists several recipes for each incarnation. Organized by ingredient, The Kitchen Ecosystem covers produce, fish and meat with enough variations to suit every palate.

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Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

For a guide on successfully providing excellent hospitality and to understand the success of Meyers ventures, check out Setting the Table. He lays out his philosophy of “enlightened hospitality” or connecting deeply with customers through small details, creating a nurturing work culture and building community. Says Wen-Jay, “At Local Roots NYC, we believe that constantly reimagining our food system is necessary for its longevity. We’ve reimagined the traditional CSA model and continue to mature and mo It brings us joy to show appreciation to our customers and have built meaningful relationships with our customers and producers with some practices mentioned in this book.”
The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry

Wen-Jay considers this seminal text her bible and tries to read some every morning. This book was the inspiration for much of the Local Roots value system. Barry considers good farming to be a cultural development and a spiritual discipline. Says Wen-Jay, “He emphasizes the importance of regional systems, making decisions not based on short term needs but long term commitments, and makes parallels between the health of farms with the vitality in life.”

How did you like our guest contributor? Who else would you like to see a reading list from, contact Sara the Librarian with your suggestions squiroz@culinarycenter.com and follow the library on Instagram for more @IntlCulLibrary

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Local Roots NYC + The Farm-to-Table Experience

Here at the International Culinary Center, we offer the Farm-to-Table extension to our Culinary program. If you are interested in local foods, farming and sustainability, this could be a great option for you. To be a Farm-to-Table chef, one must first be an excellent chef. Everyone we work with emphasizes this, the primary objective is to build the skills and techniques necessary for success in a professional kitchen. With Farm-to-Table, in addition to these essential classes, we offer a series of enrichment activities throughout your time at ICC. While they take a slightly different form each session as the local food movement grows and evolves, they always include field trips, lectures and events with fascinating innovators in the field.

We recently had one such talk from Wen-Jay Ying, founder of Local Roots CSA. What is Local Roots? Local Roots has re-imaging the traditional CSA model to fit the needs of everyday New Yorkers and created a new food system within the city. The ordering process is very simple and available online. Pickups are at various bars, cafes and workplaces throughout the city (Including ICC! Stop by the library if you would like to join!) and most importantly, the company is driven by core values and focused on community building.

During her talk, Wen-Jay invited our Farm-to-Table group to spend some time reflecting upon what each of them holds as a core value system and we then spent time discussing it afterward. This is a useful exercise for any chef who is just starting out. Wen-Jay shared the Local Roots value statement and guided our group through developing their own.  We reflected on questions such as What is your value system as a chef? and What solution do you offer to our food system or dining culture? The answers were as diverse as our group, some focused on education of children, some on health and others on bringing joy and creativity through dining. “Write these down, and keep them with you,” said Wen-Jay, “Because once you are out in industry, it’s so easy to have a hard day where you feel like giving up but you have to remember your motivation and why you started.”

This is excellent advice, perhaps even the key to longevity in the kitchen and a sustainable career. Local Roots pick up is available at ICC every Tuesday afternoon. You can sign up in the library or check here for more info: http://localrootsnyc.org/

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Inside ICC: Creating Chocolate Truffles with Chef-Instructor Michael Zebrowski

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by creating your own chocolate truffles —and a heart-shaped box made of chocolate. Watch below as Pastry Chef-Instructor Michael Zebrowski shares some of the techniques learned within ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program.


Ingredients Needed:

  • 454 grams (1 lb) Heavy Cream
  • 70 grams (2.5 oz) Invert Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 680 grams (1 lb 8 oz) Chocolate (58-64%)
  • 227 grams (8 oz) Butter (softened)
  • 114 grams (4 oz) Liqueur
  • *Use a good quality liqueur like Cognac, Armagnac, Grand Marnier or dark rum.

Procedure for Chocolate Truffles: 

  • In a saucepan, bring the cream, sugar and salt to a boil
    Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate. Allow to stand for one minute, then emulsify, from the center out, until smooth
  • Stir in the softened butter and emulsify until homogeneous.
  • Gradually pour in the liqueur, stirring continuously to maintain an emulsion.
  • Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and allow to set up at room temperature.
  • Pipe the ganache into rounds that are as spherical as possible.
  • Roll the ganache into spheres by hand and chill again. At this point, the rolls may be refrigerated for several days before being finished.
  • Allow the spheres to temper from the refrigerator before coating twice in tempered chocolate.
  • After the second coating, roll the truffles in sifted cocoa powder before the chocolate sets. Once set, sift the excess cocoa powder off the finished truffles.

 

Create a chocolate heart-shaped box using techniques from Chef Michael! Learn more about ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program, click here. 

 

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Chocolate Demo with Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres 2/1/2017

To kick off the month of February, Dean of Pastry Arts Jacques Torres prepared the ICC community for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Sharing words of wisdom on chocolate trends, the business side of Valentine’s Day and advice on how the famous Jacques Torres Chocolate locations handle one of the busiest seasons of the year.

Watch the full Facebook Live video, here. 

Want the ability to use the techniques shown here by Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres? Click Here to learn more about ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program.

View the full gallery, here: 

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PASTRY CHEF JASON LICKER REVEALS ‘LICKERLAND’ COOKBOOK + LAUNCH EVENT

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French Culinary Institute  graduate and professional Pastry Chef, Jason Licker has announced the US release of his first-ever cookbook. Celebrating 56 Asian-accented desserts, each recipe is the embodiment of Jason’s journey throughout some of Asia’s most captivating culinary capitals. Lickerland collects Pastry Chef Licker’s most cherished recipes from his magical career, seamlessly balancing Asian ingredients with classic French pastry techniques and presented beautifully with images by award-winning photographer, Jason Michael Lang.

After spending the last 12 years traveling and cooking throughout Asia, Jason is heading back stateside to make the International Culinary Center the first stop on his American Lickerland tour. Currently available throughout Asia and Europe via www.JasonLicker.com, Jason will be commemorating the United States release at his alma mater, the International Culinary Center on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 3:30pm-5pm ET.

You need to experience the bitter to realize how sweet things can be. This statement isn’t just about understanding your palate; it’s also about perseverance when faced with uncertainty. I never planned on becoming a chef. In fact, I had no idea what I was going to do. I may have always had a love affair with food, but it took a tragedy for me to realize it was actually my true calling. This book is about the memories I cherish that shaped who I am today. It’s about discovering flavors of the world in a journey that changed my life. I hope, in some small measure, it can help change yours. At the very least, you should be well-fed along the way.” Jason Licker, Pastry Chef

Limited signed copies will be available February 11th on www.JasonLicker.com or purchase on www.Amazon.com after February 23rd. A limited amount of signed copies will also be available at the event for purchase.

About the International Culinary Center®:

Founded by the late Dorothy Cann Hamilton as The French Culinary Institute in 1984, the International Culinary Center (ICC) is a global expert in professional culinary and wine education, with programs in New York, California and Italy, and graduates from more than 85 countries. The renowned six-month Total Immersion program has produced such talents as Bobby Flay, David Chang, Dan Barber, Christina Tosi and 15,000 more under the guidance of deans including Jacques Pepin and Jacques Torres. Awarded the coveted “School of Excellence” by accrediting commission ACCSC for its career education, ICC provides students with the credentials, confidence and connections to chart a successful career anywhere in the world.

About Jason Licker:

Before taking his passion for pastry into a global experience, Jason Licker received his diploma in Professional Pastry Arts through the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center®) in 1999. While in culinary school, Jason earned his first internship at Union Square Café in New York City and following graduation, earned a pastry cook position at the world renowned Jean-Georges Restaurant. Moving on to his first Pastry Chef position at Metrazur for Charlie Palmer at the age of 23, Jason elevated his craft yet again with a promotion to Executive Pastry Chef for The Shore Club in Miami Beach. Overseeing all food and beverage outlets including Nobu Miami Beach, Jason fueled his new found affinity for Asian cuisine. Holding positions as Executive Pastry Chef at the Peninsula New York, The Westin Bund in Shanghai, The Venetian Macau Hotel and Resort among others, the winner of Iron Chef Thailand (Dessert) is now making his way back stateside for the release of his inaugural pastry cookbook, Lickerland.

To RSVP for the event, email MTarigan@CulinaryCenter.com with subject Lickerland.

For all press inquiries, please email ASamartano@CulinaryCenter.com

 

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Inside ICC: Creating Heart Sablée Cookies with Chef Jurgen David

In a brand new video, we get you geared up for Valentine’s Day 2017 with Senior Coordinator of Pastry Arts, Chef Jurgen David. Watch as Chef Jurgen elevates an average vanilla sablée cookie recipe into a festive edible arrangement sweet enough for your sweetheart. Follow his recipe below and watch along!

Want to learn from Chef Jurgen David? Click Here to learn more about our Professional Pastry Arts program in New York City.


Recipe: Vanilla Sablée Dough

Yield: 615 g

  • Ingredients:
    270 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 225 g butter, room temperature
  • 100 g sugar
  • 20 g egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure: For the Vanilla Sablée Dough

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Slowly, add the egg and then milk. Mix to combine, making sure to scrape between additions.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the bowl all at once, then mix on low speed until just combined.
  4. Wrap dough well in plastic wrap and chill before rolling.
  5. The dough can be stored for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

 

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Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Carroll, Pastry Arts Class of 2012 [California]

In a new alumni spotlight feature, Professional Pastry Arts graduate Melissa Carroll talks to ICC on life after graduating from ICC California’s Professional Pastry Arts program in 2012. Following her California graduation, Melissa traveled the globe before landing in the pastry kitchen of the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas.

To me, ‘Love What You Do’ is an incredibly important phrase that everyone should tell themselves. If you’re not enjoying your career, you’re not enjoying your life. We all have to work to provide a life for ourselves. What’s the point in working a job your hate when you could be doing something you love? ”

– Melissa Carroll


ICC: Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day responsibilities working for the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas. 

Melissa: I am a pastry kitchen supervisor at the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas. My job entails everything I used to do as a pastry cook plus helping with ordering, inventory, and writing prep sheets for our pastry team of about 12 people. Because I work night shifts, I’m responsible for both plating desserts on the line and pastry production. Within the hotel, there are two restaurants, one event space, one ice cream truck, and one bakeshop/coffee shop that we produce for. 


ICC: How did you first get involved with the hotel? melissa-carroll-7

Melissa: Before moving to Austin about a year and a half ago, I applied for the job from Illinois and later had a phone interview with my Chef, Amanda Rockman. Once I arrived, we met for a formal interview and I was offered the position as a pastry cook.  


ICC: What inspired you to enroll in culinary school? Were there certain steps/ thoughts that lead you to the decision?

Melissa: I’ve loved cooking since I was about 12 years old. I always found myself watching cooking shows and enjoyed making dinner for my family every night. Going to culinary school was always something I knew I’d enjoy.


ICC: How and when did you know you wanted to work in the food industry? What about it was appealing to you?

Melissa: In high school, I had dreams of opening my own cafe one day. One of my favorite parts of cooking is being able to cook for other people. Seeing the look on someone’s face when they’re enjoying your food is very rewarding. After high school, I attended art school for a semester. I then took the following semester off to save up for culinary school. I later went back to art school while working in kitchens to finish up my Associates in Fine Arts.


ICC: What were your greatest challenges at school? And how were you able to overcome them?

Melissa: Some of my greatest challenges in culinary school were remembering all of the different types of creams and exact temperatures to cook certain things to. It’s something I still struggle remembering but flash cards were definitely my friends when test time came around.


ICC: If someone were hesitant about pursuing a culinary education, what you say to encourage them?

Melissa: If someone is interested in pursuing an education in the culinary industry I would suggest them to stàge at a restaurant they admire first. Restaurant life isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something that they feel they’d enjoy after stàging for a day or two, I’d say it’s worth it. Being able to cook for people and using your creativity with food as your medium is very fulfilling.


ICC: What is your fondest memory of culinary school? 

One of my favorite assignments at the ICC was coming up with my own seasonal dessert menu for a fictional restaurant concept. My chef instructors then picked two items from the menu and we had to present them. They chose the Gooey Butter Cake with a cranberry orange compote and cinnamon chantilly and a deconstructed “Fig Newton” with fig thyme jam, spiced shortbread, goat cheese anglaise, port wine reduction, and a candied thyme sprig. My favorite event that I was able to attend thanks to the ICC was a dessert tasting and tour at Farallon with Chef Emily Luchetti.

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Student Life: Teamwork On The Line

Written by AJ Fusco
Professional Culinary Arts Student

The “line”, a stressful environment in the kitchen full of heat, noise and controlled chaos.  Adrenaline and your team get you through the next “push” as the tickets pour out, just like water out of a fire-hose.  

The “line”, heavy fifty foot lengths of hose filled with water, held onto by the “attack team” as they make the “push” down the hallway towards the fire.  Just like in the kitchen, adrenaline and teamwork gets you through it.

firefighterhoselineThis correlation between the firehouse and kitchen was clearly evident to me the first time a I cooked on the line at the restaurant.  It may seem obvious, but unfortunately it can be easier said than done.  Firehouses and kitchens are a conglomeration of personalities, some you can say “work well with others” while some prefer to try and get the job done on their own.  Unfortunately, the latter almost always leads to the job not getting done properly, efficiently or at all for that matter.  Teamwork on the line is best when it has almost become instinctual, you notice when the other cook may be falling behind and know exactly what needs to be done to help get through the situation.  Same thing applies to the fire-ground.  When you see your brother having a difficult time performing a task, you jump right in to help without them needing to ask.  And herein lies another common thread, the unwillingness to ask for help.line-cooks

We have all been there, you are in the weeds or the hose-line is getting heavy, yet you don’t ask for help.  More often than not it is due to some underlying self-pride or machismo that we fear may be in jeopardy.  There have been cases where firefighters should have called a “mayday”, the term used when you are in distress and need assistance, but don’t due to the same reasons cooks don’t ask for help.  Unfortunately in these cases it is worse than some burnt steaks or overcooked vegetables.

At the end of the shift, we all want to go home knowing we did the best we could.  Working as a team is essential for this to happen and sometimes we need to just swallow our pride and admit we need a little help.  

Like the saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work”!


Connect with AJ through his website, http://www.forkandhoseco.com/ as well as @ForkAndHoseCo on Instagram + Facebook.

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Alumni Spotlight: Avery Ruzicka, Bread Baking Class of 2011

Throughout Avery Ruzicka’s youth, cooking always played a big role. Her professional interest in food emerged from the extensive time she spent abroad during and after high school, leading to her  first restaurant job in college.

Every night we sat down to a home cooked meal and the entire family took part in preparation,” says Ruzicka, a Greensboro, North Carolina native.

Encouraged by her parents to explore and experience other cultures, Ruzicka moved to Spain as a high school sophomore and also spent a year in England before heading to college. Ruzicka attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she studied political science, international studies, and creative writing. A study abroad trip to France later exposed her to a new world of award-winning cuisine and led her to explore food writing.

I thought if I wanted to get into food writing, I had better learn the ins and outs of a kitchen, so I worked at restaurants while finishing my degree. I loved the intensity, creativity, and collaboration that came from working in a kitchen and decided to focus on food over writing,” says Ruzicka.

Soon after, she enrolled at the French Culinary Institute (now ICC) where she earned The Art of International Bread Baking diploma in six months.


ICC: In what capacity do you work for Manresa Bread? What does your job entail, both in a broad sense as well as day-to-day?

Ruzicka: The exciting part about Manresa Bread is that my day-to-day responsibilities are ever-evolving. If I look at my role every six months, some part of that has changed in an exciting and positive way. It’s always been my goal to keep learning in the culinary world and the added joy of starting my own business has allowed me to do that every day. If you work in food, you get to do a lot of things. If you are really engaged in it, you can learn a new technique or process all the time. I’m no longer just a baker; I’m a business owner on top of that. It really opens up a number of other doors to continue to learn and challenge myself. There are days where I’m in the bakery wearing an apron and getting my hands dirty and other days where I’m at my desk or hitting up our retail locations in Los Gatos and Los Altos.


ICC: Did your ICC education help you land this job? Do you use the skills you learned at the ICC at work?

Ruzicka: The Art of International Bread Baking program at ICC’s New York Campus definitely gave me a good foundation that I was able to build on with time and practice. I left ICC with a core understanding of how bread works. That’s what I look to Manresa restaurant with me and that’s the foundation for Manresa Bread.


avery-2ICC:  What inspired you to enroll in culinary school? Were there certain steps/ thoughts that lead you to the decision?

Ruzicka: I was interested in getting into food writing and so I thought I should get into a kitchen. I loved it so much and immediately decided to pursue cooking, knowing that I could go back to writing if I wanted to.


ICC:  What were your greatest challenges at school? And how were you able to overcome them?

Ruzicka: There were so many opportunities available to us that it was hard to participate in everything between course work, a full-time stage, and the extra programming offered by ICC. Getting to know the instructors and looking to them for guidance and feedback really helped determine where I wanted to focus my time and energy.


ICC: If someone was hesitant to pursue a culinary education, what you say to encourage them?

Ruzicka: Spend time to self-reflect on pursing a culinary career. It is a quickly changing career choice. From an income point of view, the rewards are not going to be astronomical but it is incredibly gratifying if it is something you are passionate about. The culinary field is a creative and exciting career choice. It will ask a lot of you and you really need to love it. There are so many options within the culinary field that keeping an open mind and committing to trying different roles from line cook to something in research and development can be beneficial to finding the niche that’s right for you. Be imaginative – if you can dream about a role in the culinary world, you can create it.


ICC:  What is your fondest memory of your time at the ICC?

Ruzicka: The joy of learning how to make bread was pretty magical for me. Going in every morning and baking off loaves was always so exciting to me. I have a lot of memories of waking up early to bake – even the smell of the baking bread in the kitchen. That has stayed with me for years!


ICC: What is the best industry related advice you’ve ever received? 

Ruzicka: Be actively engaged and present in your work every day and hold yourself to the highest standard, regardless of any standard someone else is putting in front of you.


For more information on Manresa Bread, please visit: http://www.manresabread.com/ 

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Team USA Wins Bocuse d’Or Competition in Lyon, France

Often referred to as the culinary equivalent of the Olympic Games, the Bocuse d’Or Competition celebrated its 30-year anniversary this week. During this year’s festivities, Team USA walked away from the prestigious cooking competition with the 1st place victory for the first time in its history.

Named after the Chef Paul Bocuse, famous for his commitment to excellence in the quality of his restaurants and perpetually cutting-edge approaches to cuisine, the competition is held every year at the end of January in his hometown of Lyon, France.

I promised Monsieur Paul 10 years ago that we’d make it to the top of the podium,” chef Thomas Keller, the president of Team U.S.A., told The New York Times.“We made it in nine.”’

 

Leading the team this year as head chef was Mathew Peters, 33, from Meadville, Pa.,most recently known for his executive sous-chef position at Keller’s New York restaurant, Per Se. His commis, or helper, Harrison Turone, 21, from Omaha, also worked at Per Se.

On the scene in Lyon, France to cheer on Team USA was ICC’s Director of Food Technology and Culinary Coordinator, Chef Herve Malivert. Pictured below with Mathew Peters, Malivert also mentored the 2016 winner of the Mentor Commis Competition and ICC graduate, Mimi Chen.

Chef Herve with Bocuse d'Or winner, Mathew Peters
Chef Herve with Bocuse d’Or winner, Mathew Peters

For the USA to win the Bocuse D’or with an all-star team including Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Jerome Bocuse and more requires so much hard work and commitment. Seeing Thomas Keller in tears after his speech at the closing gala was a special moment felt throughout the entire ceremony. We hope this inspires a new wave of culinary school students within America in the upcoming year!” – Chef Herve Malivert


 

Team USA’s Bocuse d’Or victory symbolizes the evolution of gastronomy in America over the last several decades. We at the International Culinary Center are very proud of Team USA and proud to be at the forefront of this evolution, educating America’s future chefs and culinary leaders. We’re especially proud of ICC grad, Mimi Chen, for her contribution to the team.” – Erik Murnighan, President of the International Culinary Center


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For more on Team USA’s win, read the full New York Times article.