Why Become an Olive Oil Sommelier?

Written by Curtis Cord
Founder of Olive Oil Times and Executive Director of ICC’s Olive Oil Sommelier Certification program


There’s never been so much interest in high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Why?

Two reasons: First, there are the health benefits revealed in a never-ending stream of research that credits components in EVOO with helping us live longer, healthier lives.

And, there’s the taste. Extra virgin olive oil is an unprocessed fruit juice that reflects its terroir much like wine, and chefs around the world are only beginning to discover how to use different olive varieties to elevate their dishes to heights they never imagined.

But something else that has come to the forefront is the importance of choosing a high-quality olive oil to get the full advantage of these benefits. There’s a huge difference between a really great olive oil and one pretending to be. Mislabeled and substandard oils are a major concern for people who are responsible for making choices in this category.

Luckily for us, there are more excellent olive oils, from more regions, than ever before. At this year’s New York International Olive Oil Competition (an annual event that was launched at the ICC five years ago) there were 910 entries from 27 countries — and more winners than in past editions.

That’s great news for those of us who care a lot about what we eat and seek the best quality, especially in products as important as extra virgin olive oil.

But, there’s a problem. The only way to really know if an olive oil is good or not is to learn how to taste it. Most people can’t tell a high-quality olive oil that deserves the investment from an old, rancid one that shouldn’t be on the store shelves, to begin with.

In fact, we’ve been eating poor-quality olive oil for so long that a recent study found most people actually chose a rancid oil that has virtually none of the touted health benefits, over a fresh, healthful one simply because they didn’t know what they should be looking for and selected the one that seemed more familiar to them.


So what does good extra virgin olive oil taste like?

First of all, it can’t reveal what we call “defects” in olive oil sensory assessment. Some of the most common are rancidity (basically spoiled fruit, like a banana that has turned black), fustiness (when the olives have undergone advanced fermentation often by sitting around before they were milled) and muddy (that results from unclean milling equipment).

There are also what are called the “positive characteristics of olive oil”  — fruitiness, bitterness, and pungency — that are indicators of fresh, healthy fruit and careful processing. Trained tasters look for oils that exhibit a nice balance of the three.

To recognize defects and positive attributes take time and practice, but with so much at stake, more chefs, producers, food buyers, foodies and others are finding it well worth the effort to know how to assess the quality of this vital food for themselves, their families and the companies they represent.

The Olive Oil Program at the International Culinary Center brings the world’s foremost olive oil experts and educators to the New York and California campuses in a comprehensive series of courses spanning production, quality management, and advanced sensory assessment.

There has never been a greater need to foster a deeper understanding of this important food among today’s culinary leaders, and there is no better place than the International Culinary Center to lead the way to greater knowledge.

Register today to join our upcoming Olive Oil Certification courses beginning June 1 in New York City (click here) or July 17 at our California campus, (click here). 

 

5 Diverse Argentinian Wine & Food Pairings for Summer

Written by: Vanessa DaSilva
ICC Wine Studies Coordinator
Certified Sommelier

Chef & Sommelier Pablo Ranea is as warm & welcoming a presence as the diverse wine from Mendoza that he represents. Chef Pablo has the unique experience of being both a Chef & Sommelier in the heart of Mendoza; and being so, Chef Pablo knows better than most the great diversity that Argentinian wine has to offer.

1. Spicy empanadas with 2015 Filus Torrontés, Salta IG

Torrontés is a white grape variety that is most often found in the Salta region of Northern Argentina. Its tropical aromas of ripe peach, lychee and honeysuckle balance spicy flavors & its refreshing acidity contrast well with the crispy texture of the fried dough.

2. Grilled octopus with 2013 Corazon del Sol ‘Luminoso’, Uco Valley IG

This red wine from the high altitude vineyards of the Uco Valley (over 1,00 meters) is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre & Syrah, grapes commonly found in Rhone Valley blends.  The high altitude vineyards give an almost light body & beautifully balanced characteristics to this wine with flavors of cured meat, ripe plums, and just a touch of cigar smoke, those gamey smoky qualities will make a lovely pair with grilled octopus and the round acidity from the Syrah grape will cut through the fattiness of the Octopus.

3. Chocolate Tart with 2013 Gauchezco ‘Oro’ Malbec, Mendoza IG

This is not your typical Malbec! This single vineyard wine is reserved & complex with notes of ripe blackberries, toasty nutmeg, savory tarragon, and potpourri. You read that right, we’re suggesting dessert with this red wine! Try a bitter chocolate tart with berry coulis, a rich chocolate flourless cake, or red wine poached pears with lots of spice. The fruitiness of this wine will help it to compliment the sweet aspects of the dessert, and the soft tannins will make the bitter chocolate taste even sweeter, keep the dessert on the savory side & it should be a beautiful pair.

4. Lamb & grilled endive with 2014 Gascón Malbec Reserva, Mendoza IG

This malbec has 3% Petit Verdot giving a ripe wine with aromas of plum & jammy blackberry firm structure and lovely aromas of violets & freshly turned earth.  The gamey nature of lamb & smokiness from the grilled endive will contrast the ripe nature of the wine while also complimenting the more earthy tones. A great pair for grilling on a warm night.

5. Goat Al Asador with 2014 Rutini Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec,  Mendoza IG

This wine from the Tupungato region of Mendoza is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon & 50% Malbec. It is warm, full & complex with tones of purple flowers, smoky tobacco, cloves & cured meat. Chef Pablo told us about the traditional method of cooking goat ‘Al Asador’ where the animal is stretched out & roasted slowly over an open flame. This slow roasted gamey meat will pair beautifully against the soft tannins & complex nature of the wine.


ICC New York Campus to Host Upcoming Japanese Cuisine Competitions

The following (2) organizations promote the development of Japanese cooking abroad and are aimed to improve the quality of chefs working at Japanese restaurants — in Japan and throughout the world. These organizations are offering (2) upcoming competitions to help expand a chef’s knowledge of Asian cuisine and provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to the right chefs.


The Japanese Culinary Academy (NPO)

Established in 2004 in efforts to promote the global understanding of Japanese cuisine, The Japanese Culinary Academy (JCA) helps contribute to the population of Japanese food chefs for the next generation. Active in programs such as the Food Education Project, the Japanese Culinary Art Competition, and the Japanese Culinary Fellowship aimed at top-level chefs overseas.

The Japanese Cuisine Academy works on educational, cultural and technological research as well as dissemination activities in order to promote the development of Japanese cuisine for people living in various parts of the world as well as in Japan. Providing the opportunity to study abroad in some of Japan’s most fine dining venues, The Japanese Culinary Academy competition is aimed at chefs eager to experience new flavors, and challenge yourself by “creating an aroma.” This is an opportunity for young, motivated chefs to compete against each other to create a new Japanese cuisine.

The Japanese Culinary Competition will commence at the International Culinary Center (NYC) on Sunday, October 29th for the pre-competition. To enter the competition and potentially win the 1st prize of 1,000,000 yen, submit your application by the June 30, 2017, deadline!

For more details on how to enter, visit: http://culinary-academy.jp/eng/usa/index.html 


Japanese Cuisine and Food Culture Human Resource Development Committee

This organization runs the Japanese Cuisine and Food Culture Human Resource Development program which invites 15 selected foreign chefs to learn and master Japanese cuisine. If chosen, the opportunity lands the chef in Japanese language training at Naganuma School, Japanese cooking training in Taiwan at The Academy of Hospitality Kyoto Culinary Art College. From there, the chosen chefs will spend 6 months in a top-class Japanese restaurant mastering their craft.

Last year, 3 ICC graduates completed the program, where they studied in Kyoto, Japan. Applicants must have cooking experience already, and be serious about Japanese cuisine.

Enter by May 31, 2017, to be considered! Visit http://www.tow.co.jp/program/ to learn more.

 

Library Notes: The Cookie Books – May 2017 [New York]

It’s almost time for the Cookie Games, the annual competition where Pastry and Culinary Students compete for celebrity judge votes and an audience favorite. The rules are simple, choose an inspirational country of origin and bake four dozen cookies, but sometimes the inspiration is not so simple. That’s why here in the ICC Library we have a great selection of cookie books to help you develop your recipe. Stop by and take a look!

Celebrity judge Dorie Greenspan knows cookies, she just released the James Beard Award-winning Dorie’s Cookies last year! This book covers classics like chocolate chip and macrons, but she also developed unique recipes such as Moroccan semolina cookies and chocolate olive cookies. With such a wide and unusual variety of cookies, it is no wonder the book is award-winning. Beyond the great recipes, Dorie covers solid tips and techniques of cookie making that will help the newbie and improve seasoned bakers.

The Gourmet Cookie Book is like a primer on the history of the United States through cookies. The book compiled the best recipe from the magazine each year from 1941 through 2009. You can see how tastes, skills, and techniques changed over time and the influences of different events throughout history.  For instance, cinnamon sugar crisps of 1944 were selected because they could be sent in parcels to troops. By the 1970’s the food processor was introduced and cookie recipes such as Kourambiedes or Greek Butter Cookies proliferated.

With a foreword from Dean Jacque Torres, you know Milk & Cookies is going to cover plenty of chocolate, and you know it’s going to be a great book. Tina Casaceli does indeed include recipes for double chocolate chip mint cookies and coconut macaroons (dipped in chocolate) but she also features cookies with baked chow mein and honey lavender shortbread. The book is divided by base dough, be it vanilla, oatmeal or peanut butter. Each chapter then offers multiple variations on that base, perfect if you need guidance on how to tweak a recipe you already have to make it, even more, competition worthy!

If you are curious which cookies are favored in the kitchens of your favorite restaurants, check out One Sweet Cookie from Tracey Zaber.  Chefs from such celebrated restaurants as Eleven Madison Park, Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Le Bernadain all contribute recipes. Even our very own deans, Alain Sailhac, Andre Soltner and Jacques Torres submitted their picks for the favorite cookie. So, what do they choose? Well, you will just have to come and borrow the book to find out.

5 Ways Food Can Help The Environment

Written by Kaya Daniels
California Campus, Professional Culinary Arts Student

I’ve only been in culinary school for four months, and I’ve already learned so much. Training with some of the most amazing chefs has taught me not only pristine cooking skills but also some unforgettable life skills. I’ve learned how to be a better chef, student, and overall person. As days go by, I’m beginning to realize the impact my peers and I make on the planet just by the way we cook in the kitchen. You wouldn’t believe how much one wastes until you realize what all you can make out of a single vegetable.

Although it is to be considered a new trend, sustainability and nutrition are very important to not only cooking but our planet as a whole. Knowing what you are taking out of the environment is essential to creating delicious dishes but knowing how to replenish the environment is even more important. As Earth Day just passed, I’d like to dedicate my first article to five ways food can change the environment.


1. Compost — Not Trash!

It may be very difficult to get into a new routine when you’ve already grown familiar to one. For a while, I was just tossing out scraps of vegetables and fruits. Now, I’ve learned that instead of throwing it away, compost it, so that it can be used to grow more vegetables and fruits.


2. Buy Organic

Yes, organic produce is more expensive than your regular produce, but these vegetables and fruits aren’t covered in pesticides or mutated with unknown DNA. How does this help the environment? Well, you, yourself, are a part of the environment so why would you want to harm yourself with chemical-ridden vegetables and fruits? Plus, the fewer people buy produce covered in pesticides, the more people will join together and realize that pesticides aren’t the best way to protect our produce.


3. Save the Cows!

I’m not saying go vegan or vegetarian. I’m saying you should be knowledgeable of where you get your meat from and how the livestock is treated. You do not want to support a feedlot or farm/barn raised cattle. This means that these animals are kept in poor conditions. Allowing the livestock to roam will not only affect the flavor of the meat but will also create a better life for the animals. Always be appreciative of the meat and produce that you can have from the environment.


4. Buy Local

This supports small businesses as well as the environment. Attending the weekly farmers’ market will introduce you to farms in your area that produce whole, clean produce. It is rare, but there are always a few people who like to false advertise their produce. So be cautious and research before you buy.


5. Eat Less

As Americans, we tend to want it all! The worst part is, we get it all, and then we can’t use it all at once, and then we waste it. Prevent waste by buying only what you need. Stop stocking up at Costco on things that will surely go bad quickly, and limit the number of things you put in your fridge. The less you buy, the less you waste. This will save you money and save the planet.

 

Before all of this, I didn’t know “Saving the Planet” was so easy. I was so quick to assume that it was a long and boring process, and honestly, I was annoyed by those that cared so much. After realizing the huge impact humans make on this planet, instead of turning a blind eye, I’m going to start making some serious life changes. I owe it to myself, the food industry and whoever comes after me to do so.


Follow along with Kaya on Twitter via @kayaelizabeth__ and on Instagram via @kaya.daniels
To view the original article published on The Odyssey Online, click here.

Celebrating 5th Year of The Cookie Games at ICC New York Campus

The International Culinary Center® New York campus will be holding its fifth annual school-wide cookie competition on Thursday, May 25th from 3:30-5:30 PM in the ICC Amphitheater.

The Cookie Games was developed to challenge current ICC students to create an original cookie recipe inspired by a country of their choice. Teams of one or two submit a name and recipe for their cookie concept. Recipes should have a country of origin and will be judged based on creativity, execution, and taste. Based on submissions, an in-house committee will select 10 finalist teams to produce their cookie for a high-profile judging panel. The judges will award first, second and third place winners. In addition, all audience and press attendees at the ceremony will have a chance to try each of the eligible cookies and vote for a Fan Favorite.

Each year students deliver a wide assortment of international concepts such as Duck Fat Cookies (France), Rosy Taro Cookie (China) and Mole Cookie (Mexico). Winning entries have included: Dulcetto Bar (Russia) by Bojena Linton (2013), Coconut Daun Pandan (Malaysia) by Vianna Sinnan (2014) and Chocolate Cardamom Button (India) by Savita Bhat (2015).

This year, our judge’s panel will feature Angie Mar (Chef/Owner at Beatrice Inn), Dorie Greenspan (Cookbook Author), Florian Bellanger (Executive Pastry Chef at MadMac), Robb Riedel (Managing Editor of Food Network Magazine) and Erik Murnighan (President of the International Culinary Center).

Judges in the past have included: Kate Heddings (Senior Editor of Food & Wine), Daniel Holzman (Chef/Owner of The Meatball Shop), Bob Truitt (Corporate Pastry Chef of Altamarea Group), Jacques Torres (Chef/Owner of Jacques Torres Chocolate), Christina Tosi (Chef/Owner of Milk Bar) and Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer of Big Night Restaurant Group).

The 2017 event occurs with generous support from our premier sponsor, KitchenAid, as well as additional sponsorship from Michele Et Augustin and Island Ware. 

 

Use the official hashtag #TheCookieGames to share your favorites on social media!

THE 2017 JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEES & WINNERS – ICC Graduates

Update as of May 2, 2017: 

After last night’s James Beard Awards Gala, we learned that some notable ICC alumni walked away from the 2017 ceremony as winners. Congratulations to the following individuals and establishments for their achievements!

Ghaya Oliveria, Daniel NYC – Outstanding Pastry Chef 2017

Upon graduating from the Culinary Academy, Ghaya earned her degree in Restaurant Management from the French Culinary Institute. Ghaya joined Café Boulud in New York in 2001. As a pastry commis, under Executive Pastry Chef Remy Funfrock, Ghaya learned the importance of precision and refined her technique. At Café Boulud, Ghaya was promoted on several occasions, first to Pastry Cook, then to Pastry Sous Chef. She continued to learn from Chef Funfrock, as well as Daniel Boulud’s Corporate Pastry Chef Eric Bertoia. She credits the former with teaching her to cook fruit with delicacy, care, and respect for their natural flavors.

When Chef Daniel Boulud opened Bar Boulud in 2007, he called upon Ghaya to become Executive Pastry Chef.She became responsible for menu development and sourcing ingredients, citing the local farmers’ markets as inspiration. When neighboring Boulud Sud opened in May 2011, Ghaya’s sheer talent and ambition led Boulud to make her the Executive Pastry Chef there, too. At Boulud Sud she debuted her Grapefruit Givré – a whimsical dessert composed of a frozen grapefruit filled with grapefruit sorbet, fresh grapefruit jam, sesame crumble, sesame foam and rose water loukoum, topped with halva ‘hair’– which has received countless press accolades and praises from diners.

In July 2013, Boulud named Ghaya Executive Pastry at his flagship DANIEL. She brings traditional French pastry training, a refined palate, and unexpected flavor combinations, juxtaposed with a sense of playfulness; but above all, she brings an unwavering desire to delight! Her professional approach and talent were recognized by the James Beard Foundation with a 2012 nomination for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” and again in 2015, 2016. “Working for Daniel means always reaching for the best,” she says. “It’s knowing how to be classic and modern at the same time.”


Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA) 2017

Greg Vernick was born into a family who knew a lot about genuine quality food. His mother ran the Haddonfield Diet Shop in New Jersey, and his grandfather ran their family Philadelphia’s butcher shop Friedman’s Market. A graduate of Boston University, he went straight into CIA’s Culinary Program and soon after, the French Culinary Institute’s Sous-Vide Intensive and Pastry Techniques program.

Vernick moved to New York City to work on the line for the opening of Jean-Georges Vongericten’s Perry Street, under Chef Gregory Brainin. Vernick rose through the ranks and served as sous chef at Jean Georges, Nougatine, and Spice Market and became their corporate chef trainer for restaurants in Qatar, Tokyo, Vancouver, Boston, and Park City, Utah. After five years in the Vongerichten empire, Vernick took his final post away from home as chef de cuisine of New York’s Tocqueville.

In 2012, Vernick returned to Philadelphia and he and his wife, Julie, opened the doors to their first restaurants, Vernick Food & Drink, and soon after he received a James Beard Nomination. He would then be nominated for the award, 2 more times in 2015 & 2016.


Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY – Outstanding Service 2017

Dan Barber is the Executive Chef and co-owner of Blue Hill, a restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit farm Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in The New York Times, along with many other publications. Chef Dan Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006), the Country’s Outstanding Chef (2009), and Writing and Literature for his book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food (2015). His two restaurants have received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in the U.S. for Blue Hill New York (2013) and Blue Hill at Stone Barns (2015). In 2009, he was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”


The James Beard Foundation has released their final nominations for 2017. Included among the group of the hospitality industry’s finest, are several ICC alumni — and even our California Dean, David Kinch. We congratulate you all for receiving this deserved recognition for your achievements this year.

The final winners will be announced during The 2017 James Beard Awards Gala, hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC’s award-winning Modern Family. The ceremony will take place on Monday, May 1, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the 2017 Media Awards (formerly known as the Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards) will be hosted by JBF Award winner Andrew Zimmern and held on Tuesday, April 25, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.


Nominees
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Ghaya Oliveira [Daniel, NYC]
Restaurant Management, Class of 2004 
ghaya-oliveira-1

Outstanding Restaurant : Momofuku Noodle Bar [David Chang, NYC]
Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2001
davidchang-1

Outstanding Service: Blue Hill at Stone Barns [Dan Barber, Pocantico Hills, NY] 
Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 1994 

danb_portrait_012-1-544x382


Outstanding Service: Zahav [Steven Cook, Philadelphia, PA]

Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2000

Steven Cook, co-founder, CookNSolo Restaurants


Rising Star Chef of the Year: Matt Rudofker [Momofuku Ssäm Bar, NYC]

Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2000

v1

Best Chef Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA): Greg Vernick [Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia]

Pastry Techniques, Class of 2011 

greg_vernick


Outstanding Chef: David Kinch [Manresa, Los Gatos, CA] 

Dean at the International Culinary Center 

CHRISTMAS19_kinch_ph1

The 2017 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
Cooking from a Professional Point of View: Jason Licker for Lickerland: Asian Accented Desserts 
(Sirivatana Interprint Public Company Limited)
licker-action-shot
 

CLICK HERE to see the full list of 2017 nominees. 

Library Notes: BBQ and Brews – May 2017 [California]

Written by: Savannah Sharrett
California Campus | Communications Liaison

The Secrets of Master Brewers: Techniques, Traditions, and Homebrew Recipes for 26 of the World’s Classic Beer Styles by Jeff Alworth

It wasn’t until the last few years that it has become “cool” to know about beer. Even for those who are not necessarily interested in brewing their own beer, the food history content included catches my interest. This book examines 7 major traditions and their relative subcategories that beer might fall under British, German, Czech, Belgian, French & Italian, American and “Brewing Wild”. Author Jeff Alworth notes that during the research process for this book and his previous, Beer Bible, he discovered that there were contradictions in methods between professional brewers, each one believing his own was correct. He explains how the varieties of styles are a result of the regional and national ways of thinking about beer. It was fascinating for me to learn that the study of beer and brewing is actually quite established and extensive. The forward includes the thoughts from a university instructor, John Isenhour, who conducts classes on both the scientific and cultural aspects of brewing. Each chapter of this book begins with an introduction to the region and gives a general view of why it’s unique. The chapters go deeper into understanding the unique brewing process by breaking it down into malt, mash, boil, fermentation/conditioning, sugars, yeast, and packaging. Despite this book being data heavy, there is an enjoyable amount of food and beverage history that lends to understanding the social and economic aspects of each region.


Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink (2nd Edition) by Randy Mosher

Author Randy Mosher urges, “Don’t even consider starting this book without a beer in your hand”. For those of us who struggle to describe why one beer is better than the next, this book provides clear and logical tools to help us be more decisive. One feature that stood out to me the most was the “Beer Aroma Spiral”: A diagram that identifies 11 common base aromas that beer tasters will experience. The diagrams in this book are really what make this book useful. From a scale of beer coloring to a bitterness ratio chart, the haze of beer identification and classification is made clear. Mosher provides the reader with an understanding of the terminology used by the professionals. Just as when a Sommelier identifies a wine, a Cicerone can deconstruct a beer into 9 aspects: aroma, head, color, carbonation, body, mouth feel, flavor alcohol and taste. For the foodies out there, Chapter 7 explains the argument of why beer and food are the perfect matches.  Mosher encourages finding the harmony between the dish and chosen beverage and he gives excellent pairing suggestions.


The Homebrewer’s Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to Making Your Own Beer from Scratch by Marika Josephson, Aaron Kleidon, and Ryan Tockstein

Creative inspiration can definitely be triggered by the environment around us and, looking back at the product can be a testament to our journey. The Homebrewer’s Almanac takes a more naturalistic view of brewing as the authors note in the preface, “carrying on the heritage of ancient traditions brings us closer to the long life cycle of the plants we briefly live with side-by-side”. They encourage seasonality and making the most of what flavors naturally occur at different times of the year. As I am sure most chefs would agree, cooking with freshest ingredients brings out the most flavor possible. The same goes for brewing beer; The quality of the final product can significantly decrease if one uses a hop that was picked, shipped and stored for who knows how long versus a hop that was just picked and immediately used. The Authors also give the readers tips on how to apply this concept via buying local and foraging. This book chronicles a 6-year collection of unique beer recipes that use seasonal ingredients. Some examples are a winter “Sweet Potato Vienne, American Ale”, a spring “Dandelion Tonic, British Ale”, a summer “Chanterelle Biere de Garde, German Alt” and a fall “Pumpkin Seed Ale, British Ale”.


Pitmaster: Recipes, Techniques and Barbeque Wisdom by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart

Barbecue is not a new invention. As noted in the foreword, “the cooking and the culture…are inextricably entwined and deeply rooted in heritage and history”. That makes me wonder why then, has barbecue become such a cornerstone of food culture? Mike Mills, four-time World BBQ Champion and owner of several restaurants gave one explanation: “folks are flocking to barbecues in search of sustenance and community…it wraps you in warmth and belonging”. Pitmaster begins with a lesson on equipment and emphasizes that fire control, clean charcoal, seasoned wood and proper airflow are all key. The photography in this book is particularly notable. I wouldn’t recommend flipping through on an empty stomach as the images, although technically being one-dimensional, capture bold 3D flavor! One recipe that is on my to-do list is the “Burnt Ends”. Interestingly, there is a recipe for “Smoke Shop Hot Links” that really teaches readers how to grind meat and smoke sausages (Hog-sausage-casing and all…).


Project Smoke: Seven Steps to Smokes Food Nirvana, Plus 100 Irresistible Recipes from Classic to Adventurous by Steven Raichlen

Now on his tenth book on the subject, Steven Raichlen focuses in on smoking techniques. Whether its beef, pork and lamb or vegetables and desserts, this book provides a crash course in everything smoke related. Recognizing that the technique had been evolving over a long period of time, Raichlen clarifies what smoke really is at the onset of the book. In a chart entitled, “A Brief Science Lesson—What is Smoke and Why Does it Taste So Good,” the reader comes to understand that smoke essentially happens when you burn wood. The variation of taste lies within the type of wood, the size of the wood pieces, the equipment used and the airflow.  For those who may already have knowledge on the subject, the conversion tables and study of types of smokers may be most useful. The book provides a complete picture to a successful meal as it provides suggestions for starters, main dishes, desserts, and cocktails.


BBQ Rules: the Old-School Guide to Smoking Meat by Myron Mixton 

As a winner of more barbecue competitions that anyone else in the world, Myron Mixton certainly knows his subject. What I appreciate about this book, in comparison to others on meat smoking, is that Mixton takes a butcher’s approach, dividing his recipes and how-to’s by animal and by cuts of meat. For example, chapter 2 on “The Hog” is broken down to the whole-hog, hog parts (shoulder, spare ribs, tails, ham, etc), and hog-extras (snout, skin, etc). Mixton encourages readers and new smokers to be involved with the whole process and avoid taking shortcuts. He is a believer in cooking outside, making your own coal, and building your own pit. He comments that many today over complicate the technique, often adding exotic ingredients and extra steps. In his book, Mixton takes readers, “back to the way real barbecue is done” and encourages always relating your processes back to, “the old-school way of doing things”.


 

 

ICC In The News: Highlights From April 2017

ICC In The News provides monthly highlights featuring ICC alumni, deans, faculty and friends. 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 April 2017, aimed to inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.


Christina Tosi Opens New NYC Milk Bar Location in Financial District.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ICC Professional Pastry Arts alumni, Christina Tosi,  opened her 9th NYC location and 12th overall location of Milk Bar in the city’s Financial District. Tosi joins a plethora of influential chefs and restaurateurs who are embracing the FiDi neighborhood, with new outposts of Mario Batali’s Eataly, Daniel Boulud’s Épicerie Boulud, and an upcoming 6,000 square-foot venture from Danny Meyer in the works for the area. Read more about MilkBar FiDi, here on Time Out New York.


ICC Expands Olive Oil Certification Program to California Campus 

The Olive Oil Program at the International Culinary Center will be expanding to the Campbell, California campus with a six-day, two-level olive oil sommelier certification course this July in conjunction with The Olive Oil Times and Curtis Cord, the program’s executive director. An international faculty of renowned experts will guide students through more than 100 olive oil samples from 26 countries in the world’s most comprehensive curriculum in olive oil quality assessment. Click here to learn how to register.


Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2017 

Alumni and executive chef of The Beatrice Inn, Angie Mar, makes the list of culinary newcomers to be recognized by Food & Wine Magazine. As an alum of The Spotted Pig and Marlow & Sons, Angie continues to break the mold of the male-dominated meat world. To see all the honorees, click here.


The Real Differences Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Learn the differences between yams and sweet potatoes from ICC Master Chef Marc Bauer, including how to spot them out in a grocery store. Chef Marc also discusses the nutritional differences between the two with Real Simple. Click here to read the full story.


The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017  [1-50]

In April, The World’s 50 Best announced the honorees for the 2017 edition of the top 50 restaurants across the globe. While NYC’s Eleven Madison Park earned the #1 spot, the ‘Highest Climber Award‘ was bestowed upon ICC alumni Dan Barber‘s Blue Hill at Stone Barns located in Pocantino Hills, New York. ICC’s Farm-to-Table program students actually have the luxury of spending a full week at Barber’s farm, while being mentored by the agriculturally conscious chef. To view the full list of restaurants, click here


Macaron or Macaroon? Here’s the Difference

In an article for Real Simple, Director of Pastry Operations, Jansen Chan, explains the major differences between macarons and macaroons. Discover the history behind both in the full article, here.


GQ Talks With Dean of Special Programs Jacques Pépin 

In a brand new interview with GQ Magazine, ICC’s very own Dean of Special Programs, Jacques Pépin, speaks out on his upcoming episode of American Masters on PBS, his funniest Julia Child story, drinking wine over water and much more. Learn more about the legendary chef, here.

ICC Annual Commencement Ceremony 2017

On Sunday, April 23, the International Culinary Center®  celebrated graduates throughout the past year at our annual commencement ceremony, held at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  Jacques Pépin, our Dean of Special Programs, offered the keynote address with wise words for graduates on how to stay humble and work hard throughout their culinary careers.

In addition to the hundreds of Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Cake Techniques, Bread Baking and Sommelier graduates, the school also recognized this year’s selected Oustanding Alumni winners. Chef Julian Medina, the chef/owner of Toloache, Tacuba, Coppelia, Yerba Buena and La Chula received the award for Excellence in Culinary Arts. Susanna Yoon, head chocolatier and founder of Stick With Me Sweets received this year’s Excellence in Pastry Arts award. Rhonda Crosson, the head baker for MeyersUSA received the award for Excellence in Bread. Hugh Mangum, a graduate of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program (2001) received the award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship as the chef/owner of Mighty Quinn’s – having multiple locations of the New York style BBQ establishment across the globe. Last but certainly not least, ICC celebrated Jhonel Faelnar as this year’s Outstanding Sommelier. As the Sommelier for The NoMad Hotel, Jhonel is the only ICC graduate to receive the distinction of being an Advanced Sommelier and is currently studying for the Master Sommelier exam.

We wish nothing but continuous success to all graduates and alumni and look forward to seeing you “Love What You Do” throughout your careers.