Jacques Pepin a the Demo

Essential Tips from Chef Jacques Pépin

July is #FCIFlashback month where we are celebrating our founding as The French Culinary Institute with exciting programming and demos that embrace our FCI legacy—after all, the International Culinary Center® is still The French Culinary InstituteTM.

On July 11th, ICC was fortunate enough to have Chef Jacques Pépin, Dean of Special Programs, visit us for his classic La Technique demonstration. Chef Pépin’s technique, skill, and knowledge are unparalleled. His impressive display of knife skills is incredible to watch and learn from, and he has been an extraordinary resource at the International Culinary Center since 1988. Chef shared some of his vast knowledge with our audience during his demonstration.

Here are some essential tips to mastering your knife skills & more straight from the source:

Have a good knife.

As you use your knife continually, it will dull. Sharpening it on a stone will make the knife last longer. To do so:

  • Saturate your stone with water or mineral oil, depending on what is recommended for your particular stone.
  • Use steel to realign the teeth of your knife.
  • Always keep the knife at the correct angle on the steel that you are sharpening the knife with, or the teeth may break.
And if you need to realign your knife blade on steel:
  • Cover the entire blade back and forth on the steel
  • Apply pressure
  • Keep your angle constant, or else you will destroy the teeth of the knife
Glue your hand to the knife you are working with.

This controls the knife, allows for an even distribution of cuts and prevents accidents.

The sharper your knife, the less you cry when cutting an onion.

Did you know that onions make us teary because a reaction in the onion releases a chemical called lachrymatory factor? A sharp knife causes less damage to the cell walls of an onion where irritants are unleashed, causing tears to form. The sharper the knife, the fewer irritants that will be released.

When using a vegetable peeler, use it flat on the cutting board.

If you wrap your hand around the peeler, instead of pinching the peeler at the top, you will be too far away from the cutting board and it will make it much more difficult.

Vinegar and salt cleans copper.

Ever wonder how Chef Pépin keeps his copper pots and pans so clean on TV? Well it’s not all in the magic of TV! He recommends using a combination of salt and vinegar to clean the grime and tarnish off of copper. It works because the acid in the vinegar strips the oxidized patina from the copper and the salt acts as a mild abrasive to remove any caked on grime.

And lastly, one of the most important pieces of advice that Chef Pépin shared with ICC students is to see the food through the chef you are learning from. He advises aspiring professionals to take pride in what the chef wants you to learn. After working with different chefs over the course of many years, you’ll have a wealth of knowledge to create your own style.

A collage of food entrepreneur

CALLING ALL CHEFS – Citi Urbanspace Challenge

Citi and Urbanspace announced the launch of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge, a program designed to connect local chefs to New York City communities and offer small businesses the chance to operate a booth at Urbanspace’s Fall 2018 pop-up markets and for one winner to have a booth at Urbanspace’s market located at 570 Lexington Ave.

CALLING ALL ICC ALUMNI

Do you have what it takes? ICC believes you do!

ENTRY PERIOD
Thursday, July 12th – Monday July 23rd (Noon, EST)

Geared towards emerging culinary entrepreneurs, the Citi Urbanspace Challenge is a creative challenge whose aim is to help discover the culinary entrepreneurs of tomorrow and provide them a platform to connect with the New York market scene. If you’re an alumni of the Culinary, Pastry, Cake, Bread, Sommelier or Culinary Entrepreneurship programs with a creative, fast-casual restaurant concept, submit your ideas from now to July 23rd at noon EST for the chance to test your concept an an Urbanspace market!

Three finalists of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge will be placed in a rent free booth at Urbanspace pop-up markets: Mad. Sq. Eats, Garment District, and Broadway Bites during the Fall 2018 season.

THE WINNER OF THE CHALLENGE

From the three finalists, the overall winner of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge will be awarded a full customized, branded booth in the prime Urbanspace at 570 Lex location for three months beginning in January 2019! Winners will be determined based on a public vote hosted on Urbanspace’s website through the fall 2018 pop-up markets and a panel of expert judges, including restauranteurs and culinary influencers & experts.

DON'T MISS OUT ON THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME—ENTER TODAY!

Chef Mark Demonstrating

Sustainability: Beyond the Plate

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

Chef Mark

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

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

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

 

Best Practices

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

Common Pitfalls

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

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

 

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

Chef Mark demonstrating

Old photo of Jacques Torres, Andre Soltner, Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, and Alain Sailhac in the Bread Kitchen at ICC

Flashback to FCI this July with French Demos, Tastings & More

In celebration of Bastille Day this July, we’re looking back at our days as The French Culinary InstituteTM with a whole month of programming dedicated to honoring French cuisine and culture, as well as our founding as FCITM. Join us for three events this July that celebrate everything we love about French culinary techniques, as well as French food & wine favorites that never go out of style!

Observe the masterful Chef Jacques Pépin, Dean of Special Programs, in his La Techniques demonstration to learn the fundamental knife skills every good cook must know. Learn the art of pairing through a tasting of French wines and cheeses carefully selected by Dean of Wine Studies and Master Sommelier, Scott Carney, with cheeses provided by Paris Gourmet. Or, travel to the region of Alsace with a demonstration and tasting of traditional and modern techniques for three Alsatian summer dishes and desserts from Chef Marc Bauer’s hometown. Check out the event details below & RSVP to attend!

Plus, we’ll be showing you how the International Culinary Center is still The French Culinary InstituteTM throughout the month of July on our social channels! Follow us all month long as we unlock the FCI vault with photos, stories, recipes and never-before-seen archives of our history. Test your knowledge with Tuesday Trivia on our Instagram stories and see how much you know about the history of FCI/ICC. Tune in every Friday on Instagram for Ask the Chefs as we hear from our FCI/ICC Chef-Instructors about their favorite French dishes, FCI memories and more! Watch us live on Facebook on July 12th at 12pm EST for 20 questions with Chef Jurgen David who has been an FCI/ICC Pastry Chef-Instructor for 20 years.

If you’re an FCI grad, Chef Instructor, or frequently dined at L’ Ecole, we want to hear from you! Share your favorite FCI memories with us using #FCIflashback and tagging @iccedu on Instagram and Twitter. Your photos may end up in our #ThrowbackThursday posts with other photos from our archives.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL

#FCIFLASHBACK

INSTAGRAM
@iccedu
TWITTER
@iccedu
FACEBOOK
@InternationalCulinaryCenter

JULY DEMOS & TASTINGS

Chef Jacques Pepin
La Technique with Chef Jacques Pépin
Wednesday, July 11 | 3:30-5pm
ICC Amphitheater

Join us for an exclusive demonstration with ICC’s Dean of Special Programs, Chef Jacques Pépin, as he shares the fundamental techniques to improve your knife skills.

white wine & rose wine in glasses
Bastille Day Wine & Cheese Tasting
Thursday, July 19 | 3:30-5pm
ICC 5th floor

ICC’s Dean of Wine Studies and Master Sommelier, Scott Carney takes us through a carefully curated pairing of French wine & cheeses, provided by Paris Gourmet, to highlight the principles behind each pairing success.

Chef Marc Bauer plating
A TASTE OF ALSACE WITH CHEF MARC BAUER
Wednesday, July 25 | 3:30-5pm
ICC Amphitheater

Defined by its rich and vibrant traditions, Alsace is a region known for its cooking, where Alsatian chefs have been particularly ingenious in their ability to use day-to-day ingredients when creating culinary masterpieces! Get a taste through this demonstration of three Alsatian summer dishes & desserts inspired by Chef Marc’s childhood.

Chef Tory Miller Cooking

ICC In The News: Highlights from June 2018

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

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

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

In Other News:

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

 

EATER | THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS 2018

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

In Other News:

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

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

In Other News:

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

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

In Other News:

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

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

Chef Michael volunteering at an event

7 Ways To Make The Most Of Culinary School

 Written by: Michael Zozobrado, 2017 Culinary Graduate

Chef Michael meeting Chef Cesare

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

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

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

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

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

 

Michael Holding Souffles Michael in Class

One of Chef Pablo's creations

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

Written by: Aditya Malhotra, Intensive Sommelier Training Student

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selection of Argentinean Wines from Pablo Ranea event

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

 

 

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

Tips to Getting Your Food Product on Shelves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Careers in Wine Panel at ICC August 2018

Brought to you by the Intensive Sommelier Training program, the CAREERS IN WINE PANEL SERIES AT ICC is designed to support aspiring wine professionals and seasoned industry vets with education, information and the opportunity to network with industry experts. Each panel brings a new set of career paths, and professionals, currently working in the industry to offer a diverse understanding of the industry!

CAREERS IN WINE PANEL AT ICC

Restaurant Service? Distribution? Wine Making? Media? Which one is right for you.

Wednesday August 8th | 5:30-7:30pm
International Culinary Center
700 West Hamilton Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
Admission is Free, RSVP Required

Find out where you fit in the wine industry during a panel discussion with industry professionals at ICC!

The wine and beverage industry has multiple tiers and options that suit different backgrounds, personalities and lifestyles. Rachel Lintott, Associate Wine Director at ICC, will moderate a panel of professionals representing the diverse avenues available to wine career seekers including distribution, restaurants, vineyards and media. Together, we’ll explore topics such as career paths, salary scales, hiring practices, and qualities that employers are looking for in candidates. Come with your questions – open Q&A with the panelists will follow!

ICC’s Admissions team will be available to provide tours or answer questions regarding our Intensive Sommelier Training program.

Light refreshments will be provided.

PANELISTS

Panelists will be announced in July! Check back for updates.

Picture of Victor standing in a bread kitchen.

Alumni Spotlight: Victor Chen, Culinary ’11

Since graduating from ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program in 2011, Victor has developed a multi-faceted career in the food industry by working for Michelin Star fine-dining restaurants, causal fare gastropubs, corporate catering companies, and farm to table dining. Today, he is working at a bakery in Mountain View, CA called the Midwife and the Baker where he and his team create artisanal breads and pastries for wholesale and their stands at local farmer markets.

“I love my career, the crafts I’ve dedicated my life to, and the training and support that I’ve received from ICC in the various pivotal moments in my career as a chef and baker.”

 

What did your life look like before going to culinary school? 

My life before taking the Culinary Arts program at ICC involved being an accountant, sitting in an office waiting to get out of work to enjoy my one great passion in life: going out with friends to eat. Even though I had a passion of eating delicious meals, I had no idea how to cook or bake and was completely lost in the kitchen. I knew that going into class I would be a complete blank state and actually had a bit of fear even handling the knives we were provided.

What inspired you to enroll at ICC?

The pivotal moment was coming to an open house and observing a class in person. After seeing how each of the students worked on dishes and gained personal feedback in their training, I knew that I had to enroll.

Can you describe what your experience was like as a student and some of your fondest memories?

Having hands-on experience with professional equipment, responsive feedback from the instructors and learning how to work in teams were the best preparation for my career in the culinary industry. There are so many aspects about cooking that you just can’t learn from reading in books or from watching videos online. The best training is when you’re actively in the environment using all your senses to focus on mastering your craft. Will this bread take exactly 10 minutes to bake? Will this sauce only need 10 grams of salt just because it is written in a recipe half a lifetime ago? Learning to deviate from recipes, to save a sauce that is off- balanced in flavor or rescuing a dish that wasn’t coming together were some of the many lessons that I learned in the classroom and kitchen environment at ICC.

My fondest memories were listening to stories that the instructors shared about their own experiences working in the industry and how demanding workloads or inspiring moments helped shaped their career development. The stories really helped to bring a humanizing perspective to being in this rewarding career and to know that even the best trained chefs in the world have made mistakes too.

As a career changer, did you ever have any doubts about leaving accounting and pursuing a career in the food and beverage industry? Where did you find the reassurance to persevere?

Yes. About halfway through my classes, I was still unsure if I really wanted to take my training further and work inside restaurants. The culinary world appeared so mysterious to me and I didn’t know if I would thrive in a professional kitchen. It was through the guidance of my classmates and also of the ICC career services office that helped encourage me to interview at local restaurants. After participating in an internship at a French Brasserie, I was hooked. The training in class was instrumental in helping me feel confident in the restaurant when my chef would ask me to make an emulsified sauce, scale a recipe, or try plating the night’s special—I knew this was where I wanted to be.

What advice do you have for students new to the kitchen?

My advice to new students is to have patience for your craft. Don’t get frustrated when you don’t quite get a technique, if you make mistakes, or if it just seems like you aren’t making leaps and bounds and getting any recognition. Mastering a craft takes a lot of discipline and a lot of time. It may take much longer than you expect but as long as you keep making small improvements every day, work a little cleaner, faster, and tastier, you’ll make progress and reach your goals. If you keep learning, keep improving and avoid making the same mistake twice, you’ll be on the right track.

How have you used your education in the your culinary career?

The training and support that I have received from ICC were crucial to helping to prepare me for my time working as a cook in restaurants as well as my eventual transition to becoming a baker. Technical training in class such as having knife skills, moving quickly, working in a clean fashion, and having enthusiasm for our craft were all elements that were valuable in all of the kitchen environments I would later join. Even as I transitioned from being a savory line cook to becoming a bread baker, those lessons that I learned from ICC were carried forward in providing me an advantageous perspective to learning new techniques, working as a valuable teammate, and honing my expertise in my new-found craft.  Now whenever I go out to eat, or enjoy a delicious pastry, I can look between the lines and analyze all the tender care and techniques used to create complex sauces, intricate lamination between dough’s, and the time and work that went into the craft. Whenever people see an amazing dish and ask if I can recreate it, I know with eagerness that even if I couldn’t right at that moment, I have the training needed to learn. By taking the training I received from ICC and pursuing a career in both the restaurant and bakery worlds, I knew it was one of the best decisions I could have made.

You started out as a cook. How did you discover your love of bread and become a baker?

Two years ago while working the pasta station, I was asked by my chef to fill-in for our pastry chef who was taking time off. After being instructed on how to create these delicious loaves of bread, I felt the need to learn more. Using the resources available to me at the ICC student library, I read about bread baking and researched the craft. It was soon after I decided to make an official pivot in my career and become a bread baker. I was able to make a successful transition from a cook to bread baking because I made use of ICC’s alumni resources: I contacted ICC career services office to seek advice in how to best make the career change and also for contacts in a new city. The amazing team responded with incredible kindness and direction to help get me transition into a new role in a new city. I felt so incredibly supported throughout the process and couldn’t thank the career services office enough.

Tell us about The Midwife and the Baker and what your role is in the bakery.

I am currently working as an artisanal bread baker in a local bakery called The Midwife and the Baker located in Mountain View, California. My role as a bread baker varies day to day but includes responsibilities such as scaling recipes, mixing and developing doughs, shaping, baking bread, organizing distribution, and selling breads to customers at the bakery and at local farmer markets. The job is physically demanding as there are long hours on your feet, constant heavy lifting, and being blasted by the heat of a hot oven, but the rewards of a hard morning’s work to create sensational breads and mastering a craft outweigh all of the physical pains. My favorite part of the day is examining the breads and seeing how any small variation I have made in my technique has on improving the quality of the bread, whether it be shaping the dough tighter or looser, adding more or less water to the dough, or just letting the bread bake a little longer. My mind races to run all of the computations on how all of these little small variations result in the final product, to record them in a mental log of all my experiences and to produce an even better product tomorrow.

What is next for you?

My goal is to tie together all of the past elements of my life experiences: business, savory, and bread baking, and to open my own bakery and café. I believe that with the instructions I have received from ICC and the guidance and practice I have experienced in my time working at restaurants and bakeries will be instrumental in preparing me for success in the near future. Can’t wait to make my dream come true!