2019 Michelin Star Recipients

15 ICC Graduates Among 2019 Michelin Star Recipients

The highly anticipated MICHELIN Guides have finally been unveiled for the 2019 New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C. markets. We’re very excited to announce that this year our alumni have received a total of 18 stars combined, and the San Francisco list is still to come! Of the 76 restaurants that made the New York City list, 16 newly starred restaurants were bestowed the reputable designation. Two of the newly starred restaurants, Oxomoco—owned by ICC graduate Justin Bazdarich—and Atomix, where alumnus Jhonel Faelnar is the Wine Director, both opened in 2018. To receive a Michelin star is a huge feat, and to receive it within the first year is even more incredible!

While New York City’s Michelin Guide is in its 27th year, Chicago and Washington D.C. are in their 9th and 3rd years, respectively. ICC is thrilled to have alumni represented in all of these cities, feeding hungry diners and adding to growing restaurant scenes around the country.

The following winners listed are the 2019 Michelin Star recipients that feature an International Culinary Center alumni, or ICC Dean, either as a chef/owner of the restaurant or an integral member of the kitchen. ICC is proud to congratulate the winners across America being recognized by the industry for their hard work and dedication to their craft.

Stop by these restaurants to check out our graduate’s in action, if you’re lucky enough to get a reservation! Don’t forget to stay tuned for San Francisco’s Michelin Guide, coming out in late November.


New York City

Three Stars (“Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”)

Per Se, Anna Bolz, Pastry Chef

Two Stars (“Excellent cooking, worth a detour.”)

Ko, David Chang, Chef/Owner

One Star (“High-quality cooking, worth a stop!”)

Agern, Rhonda Crosson, Head Baker
Atomix, Jhonel Faelnar, Wine Director
Bâtard, Jason Jacobeit, Wine Director
Blue Hill, Dan Barber, Chef/Owner
Café Boulud, Ceasar Guitierrez, Sous Chef
Contra, Jeremiah Stone & Fabian Von Hauske, Chefs/Owners
Gramercy Tavern, Howard Kalachinikoff, Chef de Cuisine
Meadowsweet, Polo Dobkin,  Chef/Owner
NoMad, Mark Welker, Pastry Chef
Oxomoco, Justin Bazdarich, Chef/Co-Owner
Tuome, Tom Chen, Chef/Owner


Chicago

One Star (“High-quality cooking, worth a stop!”)

Sepia, Andrew Zimmerman, Executive Chef 


Washington D.C.

One Star (“High-quality cooking, worth a stop!”)

The Dabney, Alex Zink, Owner/Bar Director 

Incubators for Entrepreneurs

This month, our Business Bites Resources—brought to you by ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship (CE) program—provides tips for food businesses looking for shared kitchen spaces in the wake of the sudden closing of Pilotworks earlier this month. Out of nowhere, 175 small businesses were displaced “after failing to raise the necessary capital to continue operations.”

Specialty food businesses are becoming more prevalent than ever before in today’s fast-paced retail sales market. In 2014, in the US alone, specialty food businesses were worth over $85 billion dollars. This billion dollar industry didn’t just appear out of nowhere—it came from hardworking, determined individuals who had a dream and a concept that they’ve developed into a viable food business, as many of our students have done through the CE program.

More often than not, these food business concepts started in shared kitchens and incubators around the country. Shared kitchens are the lifeline for small business entrepreneurs looking to turn their idea into a working business. They offer a commercialized kitchen space that follows federal food safety laws where innovators can create their products in a safe environment. Incubators on the other hand also help to develop the packaging, marketing, and selling of products, while still offering the shared kitchen component. Often, these incubators and shared kitchens are much more economical for small businesses that aren’t making enough money to rent out a whole commercial kitchen themselves.

Each incubator also tends to work a little differently. Our partner, Hot Bread Kitchen, allows new businesses on a rolling basis. Many incubators start new businesses in a group and only allow applicants a few times a year. The differences extend from there, including capital offered, applicants accepted, and training programs.

These incubators offer support and allow businesses to grow and flourish, which is why it was devastating to learn that Pilotworks abruptly closed their doors to 175 small businesses.

Our Culinary Entrepreneurship graduate and owner of Brutus Bakeshop, Lani Halliday, was one of the small businesses affected by the Pilotworks shut down. Halliday and her business partner, Woldy Reyes of food service company Woldy Kusina, were in the midst of planning Dominga, a cafe opening in 2019, when they were told about the news of the closing via an email. Lani, recipient of the Stacy’s Scholarship for Female Culinary Leaders, attended ICC’s program this fall on a full-tuition scholarship to formalize the business plan for Dominga.

Lani told us that “we aren’t sure what happened as it was so sudden and unexpected, but we are just trying to stay positive and use this as fire to launch Dominga.” She also shared that “it’s been beautiful to see the community coming together in such a short amount of time.” In an effort to reconcile all that they lost in the Pilotworks closing, our Culinary Entrepreneurship instructor, Alek Marfisi, started a GoFund Me to support Lani. Check out the fundraiser for Dominga here.

In support of the food business community at large, our Culinary Entrepreneurship program compiled a list of commercial kitchens, shared kitchen spaces and incubators in the NYC & Tri-State area that are available for businesses.

Shared Kitchens

Manhattan

Hot Bread Kitchen
1590 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10029
Phone: 212-369-3331
Email: Incubator@hotbreadkitchen.org
Website: www.hotbreadkitchen.org

City Cookhouse
1325 Fifth Avenue @ 111th Street
Manhattan, NY 10026
Phone: 646-580-1325
Email: info@citycookhouse.com
Website: http://www.citycookhouse.com

Brooklyn

Hana Kitchens
34 35th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11232
Phone: 718-369-7594
Website: http://www.hanakitchens.com

NYC Commercial Kitchens
Phone: 516-698-7087
Email: info@nyccommercialkitchen.com
Website: www.nyccommercialkitchen.com

Bronx

NYC Commercial Kitchens
Phone: 516-698-7087
Email: info@nyccommercialkitchen.com
Website: www.nyccommercialkitchen.com

Queens

Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen
36-46 37th Street
Long Island City NY 11101-1606
Phone: 212 452 1866
Email: MiKitchen1866@aol.com
Website: www.MiKitchenEsSuKitchen.com

BAO Food and Drink Organic Food Incubator
23-23 Borden Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 718-391-0009
Website: www.organicfoodincubator.com
Contact: Pete Herman

NYC Commercial Kitchens
Phone: 516-698-7087
Email: info@nyccommercialkitchen.com
Website: www.nyccommercialkitchen.com

Tiny Drumstick
48-18 Van Dam Street,
Long Island City NY. 11101
Phone: 718.392.9092
Email: info@tinydrumsticks.com
Website: http://www.tinydrumsticks.com

Entrepreneur Space
36-46 37th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
718-392-0025
Website: http://www.entrepreneurspace-qedc.com

Industry City
https://industrycity.com

New Jersey

Saveur Creole
131 Grove Street
Montclair, NJ 07042
Phone: 973-687-5612;
Contact: Magalye M.

Jersey Girl Cafe – Madeline’s Table
Hamilton, NJ
Phone: 908-421-6434
Contact: Chef Kathy

Bella Casa
2 Acme Street
Belleville, NJ 07109
Phone: 973-985-1224
Contact: Peter Norton

Cherry Street Kitchen
1040 Pennsylvania Ave.
Trenton, NJ 08638
Phone: 609-695-5800
Contact: John

Hesperides Kitchens
150 Florence Avenue
Hawthorne, NJ 07506
Contacts:
Albert (845) 216-1696
Lisa ( 845)216-1282

Jesse’s Cafe & Catering
139 Brighton Ave.
Long Branch, NJ 07740
Phone: 732-229-6999
Contact: Jesse Novak

Puccini Foods
1 Morris St,
Paterson, NJ
(973) 796-7677
Contact: Anthony Salvator

NY - Outside NYC Area

Battenkill Kitchen
PO Box 784
58 E Broadway
Salem, NY 12865
President: Will Lennon
Phone: 518-854-3032
Website: http://www.battenkillkitchen.org

Cook & Bake Center
360 C Mount Pleasant Av
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Phone: 914-698-3663
E-mail: info@cookandbakecenter.com
Website: www.cookandbakecenter.com

Hometown Foods, LLC
362 Eichybush Rd
Kinderhook, NY 12106
Owner: Anna Dawson
Phone: 518-758-7342
Website: www.hometownfoods.net

ABOUT BUSINESS BITES

The BUSINESS BITES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels, networking events and resources designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry.

15-Minute Caramel For Halloween Treats

With Halloween just around the corner, Associate Director of Pastry, Chef Jürgen David, showed us how to create the easiest caramel and the spookiest Halloween decorations.

For this pro tip, we chose a soft caramel directly from our Professional Pastry Arts curriculum. It’s a versatile recipe for a simple caramel, and it only takes a few ingredients to use this in so many different ways. Here, we’ve taken a little fondant and a lot of imagination to turn a quick technique into a delicious and fun treat!

 

Soft Caramel

Ingredients For the Caramel
  • 400 grams granulated sugar
  • 480 milliliters heavy cream
  • 60 grams butter
  • 90 grams honey
  • 1 vanilla bean
Ingredients For the Decorations
  • Pretzel rods
  • Fondant
  • White or Milk chocolate
  • Candy eyeballs
  • Almonds
Procedure
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and put on high heat.
  2. Cook the mixture to 122º C.
  3. Strain the mixture onto a parchment or Silpat lined sheet pan.
  4. Allow the caramel to cool completely.
  5. Cut into strips.
Recipe Notes
  • Be sure to continuously stir the caramel while it is on the stove so it does not burn.
  • Do not put caramel into the fridge to cool. The consistency will change and it will ruin the caramel.
  • For the recipe you will need: a pot, parchment paper or a Silpat, a strainer, a thermometer, a rolling pin, and a wooden spoon.

How To Make The Caramel and Decorations

1. Gather ingredients and measure into separate bowls or directly into the pot.

Ingredients

2. Turn the stove on to medium-high heat, and stir the caramel for 15 minutes, or until it reaches 122°C.

3. Once the caramel has reached the proper temperature, strain it onto parchment paper or a rubber mat (we used Silpat)

Note: this is where you want to let the caramel cool. Do not put it into the fridge, as the caramel texture and consistency will change, and it will be ruined.

pour caramel

4. Cut the caramel into strips, and begin to wrap the caramel around the pretzel rods.

roll caramel

5. Roll out your favorite fondant, and begin to decorate over the caramel wrapped pretzel rods. Use a piping bag for precise chocolate details, like you see in the pumpkin. The fingernail was created using a sliced almond!

6. Show off to friends and family at your spooky Halloween party!

Finished product

Prosecco

Prosecco is More Complex Than You Think

Champagne and Prosecco are undoubtedly the two most popular, iconic, and widely recognized sparkling wines in the world. Prosecco can often be seen as an imitation to Champagne, but they are actually very different wines with different public images. While Champagne is seen as a luxury and expensive, Prosecco is perceived as casual and inexpensive. While 307 million bottles of Champagne were sold in 2017, Prosecco had a staggering 510 million bottles sold, proving the rising popularity of Prosecco among consumers.

This month, Alan Tardi, award-winning wine author, joined us for an enlightening discussion comparing Champagne and Prosecco. He taught us about the obvious differences, while focusing on the many fundamental aspects the two wines have in common. Prosecco is commonly perceived as Champagne’s imitation, but they are actually very different wines. Fundamentally, they have different grape varieties, growing areas, and even production methods. Through the tasting, we understood what makes Champagne and Prosecco unique wine categories, while also showcasing the commonalities that they share. Read below to find out more about the similarities and differences of two of the most famous sparkling wines!

Prosecco being poured

Alan Tardi

In The Beginning...

Attendee looking at wineWhile Champagne and Prosecco achieved their fame and notoriety as sparkling wines, both originated as still wines when they were invented hundreds of years ago. There are many wines in the world that are direct imitations of Champagne, like Cava, Cremant and Franciacorta, but it is important to know that Prosecco developed along its own separate parallel path to become its own distinct wine.

Growing Area

The growing areas of both regions are highly diversified and complex, with major distinctions between each part. But, that is where the similarities seem to end! There is only one Champagne appellation, but there are three for Prosecco. These appellations include Colli Asolani DOCG, Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG, and Prosecco DOC.

Prosecco map

Transition from Sweet to Brut

Prosecco being pouredBoth Champagne and Prosecco began as sweet wines, and they both made their major US debut inside of a cocktail. Champagne Cocktail and Champagne Punch was introduced during the first half of the 19th century, while Prosecco via the Bellini was introduced in the 1970s. Even though Prosecco was introduced and is known as a brunch-y drink, there are many different styles of Prosecco. These styles include sweet, bone-dry, sparkling, still, and unfiltered, and can all be used and enjoyed in different ways.

Chocolate with Jacques Torres

ICC In The News: Highlights from October 2018

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

Erica Martinez, a Professional Pastry Arts graduate, is cooking up delicious food from her native Venezuela. If you’re in New Rochelle, check out her restaurant, Caracas Fusion! Read more about it here.

 

EATER

THE 24 BEST CHOCOLATE SHOPS IN AMERICA

VOGUE

THE BEST COOKING AND BAKING CLASSES IN NEW YORK CITY

CBS THIS MORNING

MILK BAR’S CHRISTINA TOSI ON CREATIVE OUTLET

Jacques Torres
CNN

AT 15, JACQUES TORRES TOOK AN APPRENTICESHIP AT A PASTRY SHOP. THE REST WAS HISTORY.

We love CNN‘s insiders look at our Dean of Pastry, Jacques Torres. Read about his life, how he became a pastry chef, and his amazing career!

The Dish Joan Roca made
DEPARTURES

HOW ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST CHEFS IS HELPING OUT ASPIRING CHEFS

Last month, Joan Roca, the executive chef of El Celler de Can Roca, traveled to New York City to give a demonstration to ICC students and alumni, and also award one of our students with a scholarship to his restaurant in Girona, Spain. Read more about his trip to NYC here.

FOOD 52

HOW THE COMMUNITY IS STANDING BEHIND 175 RECENTLY DISPLACED NYC FOOD BUSINESSES

When Brooklyn-based food incubator Pilotworks closed abruptly last weekend, 175 small businesses were displaced. For businesses like Dominga, a cafe collaboration between Culinary Entrepreneurship alumni and chef Lani Halliday of Brutus Bakeshop and Chef Woldy Reyes of food service company Woldy Kusina, slated to launch in 2019, the sudden closure was detrimental to normal-course business. Read about it here.

Laura Sorkin, Professional Culinary Arts graduate and co-owner of Runamok Maple in Fairfax, VT, adds maple syrup to add an element of sweetness to her food. Cook up her roasted cabbage recipe here.

American Son interior
EATER
AMERICAN SON ARRIVES AS A PLANT FILLED OASIS DOWNTOWN

Established D.C. chef and Professional Culinary Arts alumnus Tim Ma recently opened his much anticipated modern American restaurant, American Son. Read his feature in Eater and learn more about his restaurant!

CHERRY BOMBE
THE CHERRY BOMBE 100

We’re proud to recognize ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship instructor, Liz Alpern, and nine ICC alumni who made it on The Cherry Bombe 100 list for their incredible work and accomplishments as innovators and thought leaders in the culinary industry. Check out the full Cherry Bombe 100 list here.

EATER

WATCH: CAN YOU FIT A FRENCH CAKE INTO A BONBON?

 Watch our graduates Rebecca DeAngelis and Susanna Yoon as they make bonbons in Yoon’s famous chocolate shop, Stick With Me Sweets.

Lafayette
EATER
NYC’S 20 PREMIER PASTRY SHOPS

Looking for a new treat to bring to a holiday celebration? #7 on Eater’s list of Premier Pastry Shops is Lafayette, where pastry chef and graduate Tyler Atwell is cooking up delicious treats. Check it out here.

Meatball Shop Co-Owner, Seamore’s Owner and Culinary Entrepreneurship Graduate Michael Chernow is training for the New York City marathon in November. Learn how running changed his life and built his strength.

FORBES
HOW MICHELIN-STARRED CHEF JOAN ROCA CONTINUES TO ELEVATE FINE DINING

Read about Chef Joan Roca, one of the best chefs in the world, who visited ICC last month. During his visit, he awarded one of our students with a four-month scholarship to his restaurant, El Cellar de Can Roca, in Girona, Spain. Full article here.

Susanna Chocolates
BLOOMBERG
IF ONLY LIFE WERE LIKE THIS BOX OF CHOCOLATES

Hungry for more delicious chocolates? Susanna Yoon’s shop, Stick With Me Sweets, featured in Eater’s Best Chocolate Shops in America, was also featured in Bloomberg! Read more about her shop here.

Cherry Bombe 100 influential women

The Cherry Bombe 100: A Celebration of Influential Women

Over the past five years, Cherry Bombe has celebrated women in the culinary world, sharing their stories and building a community of people making the world a better place through food. This year, they introduced The Cherry Bombe 100, a list of the 100 women who inspire the food world through their creativity, energy, humanity and hard work. From chefs and restaurant owners to food activists, writers, entrepreneurs and more, these women are influential to both the culinary industry and the ICC Community!

We’re proud to recognize ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship instructor, Liz Alpern, and nine ICC alumni who made it on The Cherry Bombe 100 list for their incredible work and accomplishments as innovators and thought leaders in the culinary industry. Check out these 10 amazing women below, and see the full Cherry Bombe 100 list here.

 

Liz Alpern
Culinary Entrepreneurship Instructor 

To have chutzpah is to be audacious—and culinary consultant and teacher Liz Alpern is nothing if not audacious. She co-founded The Gefilteria as a way to rethink gefilte fish, a traditional food that few chefs were clamoring to reclaim, and has since grown the company from a single product to one with workshops, pop-up dinners, and a cookbook: The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Food. Liz, however, is as much new school as she is old school. She’s also co-founder of Queer Soup Night, a roving fundraising party that celebrates a previously overlooked category of chefs and food enthusiasts.

Ashley Christensen
Ashley Christensen
Sous Vide Intensive ’12

Since making Raleigh, North Carolina, her home, Ashley Christensen has sought to foster community through food, philanthropy and the stimulation of the city’s downtown neighborhood. After working in some of the Triangle’s top kitchens, Ashley opened Poole’s Diner in 2007, one of downtown Raleigh’s first restaurants. In 2011, she opened three new ventures—Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, and Fox Liquor Bar. In the spring of 2015, her restaurant group introduced Death & Taxes, a restaurant celebrating wood-fire cooking with Southern ingredients, and Bridge Club, a private events loft and cooking classroom. Ashley is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and founded the biannual event Stir the Pot, in which she hosts visiting chefs in Raleigh to raise funds for the SFA’s documentary initiatives.

Angela Garbacz
Angela Garbacz
 Professional Pastry Arts ’08

Angela Garbacz is the owner of Goldenrod Pastries, a boutique pastry shop in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2008, she moved to New York City to attend the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center), where she earned a degree in Classic French Pastry Arts. During her time there, she worked with top toques in the industry, including Dave Arnold, Jean Georges Vongerichten, Nils Nóren, and Harold McGee. Years later, after learning she had an intolerance to dairy, she decided to chronicle her baking journey, and started the Goldenrod Pastries blog. It was there she reimagined baking for a variety of restricted and alternative diets (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan). Her recipes, photos and anecdotes quickly gained a large and dedicated following. For a year, Angela was fulfilling catering orders out of her home kitchen while also working in international marketing. Realizing it was time to pursue pastry full-time, she quit her job in 2015 and opened the doors to Goldenrod Pastries where her all-American desserts and pastries feature unique flavor combinations and a strikingly vivid color palette.

Lani Halliday
Lani Halliday
Culinary Entrepreneurship ’18

Lani Halliday is the creative baker behind Brooklyn’s Brutus Bakeshop. She has made a name for herself with her delicious, colorful, gluten-free creations–including her fabulous snake cakes. She has contributed her time and talent to organizations such as Queer Soup Night, the roving fundraising event. She is currently at work on a new concept, Dominga Brooklyn, set to debut next year, and she is currently helping the small businesses impacted by the closing of the Pilotworks incubator program find new workspace and resources.

Angie Mar
Angie Mar
Professional Culinary Arts ’11 

Think all steakhouses are ultra-masculine affairs? Not according to Chef Angie Mar. The Seattle native has run the kitchen at The Beatrice Inn since 2013, then fully reinvented the hallowed spot as owner and executive chef in 2016. The historic, subterranean West Village restaurant, best known in the early aughts as the paparazzi-swarmed after-hours boite of choice for the Olsens, Lindsay Lohan, and Chloe Sevigny, has become an impressive shrine to meat matters, where Angie showcases whole animal butchery, live fire cooking, and dry aging prowess. Before The Beatrice Inn, Angie cooked at multiple NYC carnivore’s havens, like Marlow & Sons, Diner, and Reynard, plus The Spotted Pig. Angie proves superb steak certainly isn’t—and shouldn’t be—a bro-y boys’ club.

Camilla Marcus
Camilla Marcus
Professional Culinary Arts ’08

Camilla Marcus has one of the most modern minds in the restaurant world today. She helped bring to life some of New York’s most beloved neighborhood restaurants, including dell’anima, Riverpark, and the reopened Union Square Café, but it’s with the launch of west-bourne that her passions fully come together. An accidentally vegetarian and decidedly wholesome concept, west-bourne brings people together to eat well and do good, which means a business model that incorporates youth job training, an emphasis on organic and local produce, and a zero-waste approach to benefit the planet and its people. Camilla is also co-founder of TechTable, a hospitality technology thought leadership platform, and a partner in Pound for Pound Consulting, a boutique strategic and creative agency for hospitality-related initiatives.

Klancy Miller
Klancy Miller
The Craft of Food Writing ’04

Klancy Miller is the author of Cooking Solo: The Fun of Cooking For Yourself. She is a writer and pastry chef and earned her diplôme de pâtisserie from Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and apprenticed at the Michelin-starred restaurant Taillevent. She has appeared in The New York Times Food section and on Food Network’s Recipe for Success and Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets. She has contributed to Cherry Bombe, Bon Appétit, Food 52 and The Washington Post. Klancy is a co-founder of the cookbook club at The Wing and an advisory board member for Equity at The Table (EATT).

Grace Ramirez
Grace Ramirez
Professional Culinary Arts ’11

Grace Ramirez is the tenacious chef, author, and TV personality born in Venezuela and raised in Miami. Her gorgeous cookbook, La Latina: A Cook’s Journey Through Latin America, is a celebration of and love letter to her culture. When her proposal for a book about Latin food was rejected, Grace worked around the system and found a way to get La Latina published. She also hustled to get her TV career off the ground and today hosts Destino Con Sabor on the Food Network. Grace actively supports numerous relief efforts throughout the world for Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, working with World Central Kitchen, El Plato Caliente, Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, and many others. Her drive, passion and humanitarian efforts were recognized with a Distinguished Latina Star award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association.

Avery Ruzicka
Avery Ruzicka
Art of International Bread Baking ’11

Avery Ruzicka believes in milling your own flour, a long fermentation process, and the power of freshly baked bread. She is the baker and co-owner of Manresa Bread, the spinoff of the popular Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, California. She started working at the restaurant as a runner, but longed to be in the kitchen. Once there, she felt a restaurant of Manresa’s caliber should be making its own bread, and was given the go-ahead to start baking. Today, there are two Manresa Bread brick-and-mortar locations and stands at the Palo Alto and Campbell farmers’ markets. Avery fans will be thrilled to know an all-day bakery and cafe will open soon in Campbell, giving them another way to get the Manresa Bread delights, which include the signature Levain, hand-rolled Croissants, Whole Grain Salted Caramel Sourdough Donuts, Triple Chocolate Orange Panettone, Chocolate Babka, and more.

Christina Tosi
Christina Tosi
Professional Pastry Arts ’04

Superstar pastry chef and Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi single-handedly changed the way we look at dessert. She brought modernity and creativity to the category with her unique baked goods, including Compost Cookies and Crack Pie. She elevated soft serve from simple summer treat to something chef-worthy. And we have her to thank for the naked cake trend: she wanted to leave the outside of cakes unfrosted so we could see what was inside. Her third book, All About Cake, is out this month, and she was the subject of a recent Chef’s Table documentary so sincere it moved many of her fans to tears.

Restaurant Growth logo

8 Tips To Improve Your Social Media Presence

Written by: Marty Schecht, ’16 Graduate of the Professional Culinary Arts Program, CEO of Restaurant Growth Marketing

A key factor in determining a restaurants success in today’s world is social media marketing. If you’re a restaurant, bakery, or any other food business, these digital platforms have evolved into an extension of your daily operations that can help you to succeed.  Social media is a powerful tool that changes every day.

Here are eight tips to improve your social media strategy to reach more customers, grow your following, and improve your brand:

  1. Post 4 – 6 Times a Week
    • Each post you make is only seen by about 5% of your followers, so don’t worry about posting too much content.
  2. Engage with your Followers/Customers
    • Interacting with customers makes them feel heard, wanted, and important. Respond to reviews, comments, and messages, both good and bad.
  3. Post More Videos
    • Videos have a much higher attention rate than pictures.
  4. Re-Post Pictures that your Customers Post about your Business
    • Pick and choose the best pictures your customers have posted on Instagram by searching your businesses geotag (location) and reposting them on your page. Make sure to give the customer credit and thank them for coming in.
  5. Use Local Hashtags (if you’re a local business)
    • Using local hashtags will generate local awareness.
  6. Always Post your Specials/New Menu Items
    • Any new deals, specials, menu items, or products should be posted. Let customers know about specials and that it’s for a limited time.
  7. Follow your Competitors
    • Interacting with your competitors is good for business. Friendly competition is interesting and gets people involved and talking about your business.
  8. See your Post from the Eyes of your Customers
    • Before each post, ask yourself, do my followers care about this, is it interesting or unique. How rare is it? Will my followers want to share it?

Bonus Tips:

  • Partner with Food Bloggers
    • Locate food bloggers and influencers and interact with them. Build relationships. Invite them in for a free meal.
  • Ask Your Followers to Share
    • The biggest mistakes businesses make is not asking their followers to share their content. Sometimes a little instruction is all a follower needs.

We sat down with Marty to learn about his background, business, and the world of restaurants. Below, find our interview with him and learn more about his company!

 

How did I get involved in the culinary industry?

Taking the Professional Culinary Arts Program at ICC represented a crucial measure of my life’s path to becoming an entrepreneur.  Fueling my motivation, it drove me to a level of confidence that is required when starting your own business.

I learned numerous tangible skills but the greatest attributes I took away from my time at ICC were time management and organization.  Skills I use every day, whether I’m in a kitchen, taking notes during a client meeting, or just planning my day-to-day schedule. I am grateful for my time at ICC.

 

Why is Social Media and Digital Marketing so important to me?

Before heading off to culinary school, I studied entrepreneurial marketing at the University of Iowa.  Opening a restaurant was always my goal, even when I was studying business in college.  The restaurant industry fascinated me, and I wanted to be a part of it.  Although, I never ended up opening my own restaurant, I discovered a unique opportunity to help restaurants and other food businesses thrive using strategic social media marketing and advertising.

Therefore, after attending ICC, I invested a significant amount of time and money to understand what was happening in the constantly evolving world of online marketing. I came to understand the power behind social media and what it can do for a business—if used strategically.  I found a way to combine my passion of restaurants and the food industry, with my education and knowledge of social media.

 

How have I used my education to help others?

I started a company called Restaurant Growth Marketing as a way to help businesses reach their true potential.  As founder and CEO, my focus is to help restaurants, and other food industry related businesses, efficiently utilize the world of online marketing to grow their business in ways they never thought were possible.

My motivation derived from a few mentors I found who taught me about mind-set and how to best educate myself.  They taught me about the world of online marketing and how 95% of businesses needed help.  So, I decided to invest in my own education and apply that knowledge to assist business owners in the food & restaurant industry.

 

How do I manage my business and what services do I offer?

My daily efforts are currently focused on the Miami metropolitan area, but I have clients on both the east and west coast and can help any restaurant/food business anywhere in the United States.  Each day I aim to get face-to-face with more business owners to express the power of the internet and social media, when it’s used the correct way, and show them how I increase sales 10-20% for my clients, often in the first year.

The first step in the process after we take on a client is to dive deep into the minds of the target market to figure out the consumers’ interests, behaviors, and buying habits so we can cost-effectively reach and communicate with them.  Our goal at RGM is not to just reach lots of people or manage your social media, but rather to bring new and repeat customers – to increase revenue.

 

Where do restaurant owners go wrong and how do I help them avoid common pitfalls?

Most restaurant owners are not used to developing such a strategic marketing action plan focused on results.  One of the biggest mistakes’ restaurant owners make is not having and implementing a strategic-executable marketing plan.

What we do at Restaurant Growth Marketing is help businesses create and implement their marketing plan, through result-driven, proven marketing strategies. We focus on results and getting our clients an ROI that makes sense and makes them excited to work with us.  My objective with Restaurant Growth Marketing is to provide restaurants with a customized service focused on growing their brand and increasing customer base.  We’re excited to have such a great opportunity to provide business owners with more stability, strategy, revenue and most importantly, time to work on their business – instead of in it.

 

For more information about Restaurant Growth Marketing:

Please visit our website: https://restaurantgrowth.marketing

Check us out on Facebook: @restaurantGM or https://www.facebook.com/restaurantGM/

Follow us on Instagram: @restaurantgrowthmarketing https://www.instagram.com/restaurantgrowthmarketing/

Holiday Scholarship Special

ICC’s Holiday Scholarship Specials Announced

'TIS THE SEASON FOR SAVINGS

This holiday season, don’t miss out on giving yourself the gift of a lifetime: a culinary or pastry education!

We’re excited to announce our Holiday Scholarship Specials to help you be on your way to a new culinary or pastry career before the New Year! Begin in ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts of Professional Pastry Arts programs this November or December and you could be eligible to receive one of our holiday scholarships with awards ranging from $15,000-$25,000.

Start your New Year’s resolution’s early—check out all the ways you can get into the kitchen with a scholarship from ICC this winter. Submit your application today!

Culinary

A student working

ICC Grand Culinary Scholarship

Financial need is a criterion for this scholarship. Applicants must complete a FAFSA.

AWARD AMOUNT: $25,000

ELIGIBLE CLASSES
Must be enrolled in one of the following PROFESSIONAL CULINARY ARTS programs:

  • 11/30/2018 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)
  • 12/11/2018 Professional Culinary Arts (Tues & Thurs, Eve + Sat, Day)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • November 12, 2018

AWARD DATE:

  • November 19, 2018

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

A student working

ICC $15,000 Culinary Scholarship

Financial need is a criterion for this scholarship. Applicants must complete a FAFSA.

AWARD AMOUNT: $15,000 (multiple available)

ELIGIBLE CLASSES
Must be enrolled in one of the following PROFESSIONAL CULINARY ARTS program:

  • 11/30/2018 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)
  • 12/11/2018 Professional Culinary Arts (Tues & Thurs, Eve + Sat, Day)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • November 12, 2018

AWARD DATE:

  • November 19, 2018

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

Pastry

A student working

ICC Grand Pastry Scholarship

Financial need is a criterion for this scholarship. Applicants must complete a FAFSA.

AWARD AMOUNT: $25,000

ELIGIBLE CLASSES
Must be enrolled in one of the following PROFESSIONAL PASTRY ARTS programs:

  • 11/28/2018 Professional Pastry Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)
  • 12/14/2018 Professional Pastry Arts (Mon, Wed & Fri, Eve)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • November 12, 2018

AWARD DATE:

  • November 19, 2018

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

A student's dessert

ICC $15,000 PASTRY SCHOLARSHIP

Financial need is a criterion for this scholarship. Applicants must complete a FAFSA.

AWARD AMOUNT: $15,000

ELIGIBLE CLASSES
Must be enrolled in one of the following PROFESSIONAL PASTRY ARTS programs:

  • 11/28/2018 Professional Pastry Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)
  • 12/14/2018 Professional Pastry Arts (Mon, Wed & Fri, Eve)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • November 12, 2018

AWARD DATE:

  • November 19, 2018

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

Deconstructed carrot cake

Elements of Developing an Original Dessert

When ICC re-launched the Professional Pastry Arts program in 2014, the curriculum was updated to better serve today’s pastry chef, educating our students to understand the science and technique behind a wide range of pastry skills to unlock their creativity—to think beyond a single recipe.

It was during this time that Restaurant Day was born, providing students with the opportunity to demonstrate everything they’ve learned in the 600-hour program to their friends and family in a fun and unique dessert tasting. Every Restaurant Day menu is different, designed, created and produced by the students with a unifying theme to best represent their experiences in the program. Throughout the years, over 250 original desserts have been created—including a Matcha Cake Trifle, Carrot Beignets, Coquito Cheesecake and Sweet Corn Fraisier—showcasing the creativity of the next generation of pastry professionals completing ICC’s program.

Restaurant Day 50

Semifredo from a studentEvery Restaurant Day features a different menu curated with never before seen desserts. For the 50th running of the Restaurant Day program this September, the ICC students, staff, deans, alumni and invited guests came together to celebrate the momentous occasion. This restaurant day was even more special than usual—it commemorated the dessert creations of all the previous classes, while showcasing our current pastry student’s hard work. From black sesame mille crêpes and port-poached fig tarts, to this lemon-raspberry semifreddo (pictured here) and everything in between, our guests left with their sweet tooth satisfied. Plus, students were excited to see special guest, ICC Dean of Pastry Arts, Chef Jacques Torres, at Restaurant Day to evaluate their desserts!

See our full gallery of photos from Restaurant Day 50, including all 8 original desserts created by our students, on our Facebook page here!

The Elements

The RD 50 classWhen you stop and think about all of the elements that go into creating a dessert, it can be daunting to figure out how the pros do it. Through our Professional Pastry Arts program, students work endlessly for 115 days to learn and develop all of the skills that they need to create their own original desserts. We sat down with our Director of Pastry Operations, Chef Jansen Chan, who is the mastermind behind Restaurant Day 50 and many other pastry projects at ICC to discuss the essential elements that are required to create a dessert. Check out these tips below to help you come up with your own sweet creations at home!

  • Textures are essential to dessert composition. It provides contrast and complexity, pleasing the palette. From a graham cracker crunch, to a fluffy mousse, variety in texture is everything.
  • Flavors that go together can create perfect harmony on a plate; however, flavors that do not make sense together can completely throw off the balance of a dessert. Example: acidic fruit, such as oranges, pair well with bitter, dark chocolate to highlight one another’s flavor. Combining delicate flavors, such as jasmine tea and elderflower, confuse the palette.
  • Temperature control is a lot harder than it sounds. Having hot and ice-cold elements are delightful to eat together, but managing the placement and service of such items takes good planning and execution.
  • Contrast brings together many different elements like texture, flavor, and temperature. Have you ever eaten molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream? Simple and divine, the warm, moist chocolate center is amazing against each cold, refreshing bite of ice cream. Pastry chefs strive to create these interesting contrasts daily.
  • Complexity and cohesiveness sound like different principles, but they actually effect one another, so they need to be carefully considered. If a dessert is well-conceived and exhibits the right amount of complexity, it will feel cohesive. It is important for desserts to have a certain amount of depth, while still looking like one idea on a plate.
  • Knife skills are often attributed to cooking, but they are also important for baking. How do you think a petit four has a perfect edge to it or an orange sûpreme is achieved with precision? It is because the pastry chef has achieved extraordinary knife skills.
  • Baking skills are second nature to pastry chefs, but these skills must first be taught. From day 1 of the Professional Pastry Arts program, students are first taught the essentials of baking, both theory and practical skills, in order to build any type of plated desserts.
  • Plate design and composition is the synthesis of all the elements on the plate. No matter the diversity of ingredients, the finished dessert needs to be appealing to the eye and manageable to consume. Understanding basic design principles, such as spacial organization and color use, takes practice and creativity.A student plating
  • Recipe writing and the science behind a recipe is no joke! Most people don’t realize that there are structural elements to a good recipe and steps for recipe development, but in ICC’s immersive Pastry Arts program, students learn to write and even create their very own recipes.
  • Time management is the final piece to the dessert creation puzzle. Whether it’s managing their mise en place over several days or placing the last garnish on a plate, students always need to know how to manage their time in order to perfectly execute their plate.
Chef Joan Roca

Cooking With One of the World’s Top Restaurants at ICC

Chef Roca platingICC was fortunate to have world-renowned Chef Joan Roca, Co-owner & Executive Chef of El Celler de Can Roca—named in the top five on Restaurant Magazine’s coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants list since 2009, visit for the only demonstration and lecture in NYC this September.

The annual BBVA-sponsored world culinary tour brought Chef Roca and the culinary team of El Celler de Can Roca to New York City for two dinners at Cipriani Wall Street for invited diners to enjoy a taste of the contemporary Catalan cuisine showcased at their Girona, Spain-based restaurant. As part of this partnership, select International Culinary Center students were invited to work in the kitchen with Chef Joan Roca and the El Celler de Can Roca team to prepare for the dinners.

Jeffrey Kim plating

 

 

This special volunteer opportunity was only open to International Culinary Center students to cook alongside the Roca team for six consecutive days and learn some of their innovative techniques first hand. At the end of the event, Jeffrey Kim, one of the hand selected student volunteers, was chosen by the Roca team to receive a scholarship to continue his education through an internship at the El Celler de Can Roca restaurant. He will train for 4 months at the restaurant, which is currently ranked No. 2 restaurant in the world on the 2018 World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.

During Chef Roca’s demo, he shared the key concepts and philosophy that drives the restaurant’s innovative spirit. Read about three of the driving forces behind his team’s creativity, which were clearly displayed in the activities that took place throughout the week!

Curiosity

A student working with tomatoesDuring Chef Roca’s demo, ICC students and alumni explored their curiosity as Chef Roca shared stories about his life, restaurant, and the importance of family. At El Celler De Can Roca, family is everything. The restaurant is in the same small town of Girona, Spain where he and his brothers grew up. Just down the street stands the restaurant their parents started 60 years ago.

Even though they are one of the best restaurants in the world, Chef Roca’s “Roca Lab,” where his team uses top of the line technology to invent new food for the restaurant, allows him and his team to always foster their curiosity. In order to stay the best, they must consistently learn and develop new ideas— the same goes for any restaurant in the world. Chef Roca told the students and alumni to “always remain curious.” Just as Chef Joan and his team came up with the idea to cook veal for 70 hours at 55ºF, our students will one day come up with new ideas for the culinary world as well!

Daring

For Chef Roca’s exclusive pop-up dinner, hosted through a long-term partnership with BBVA and the brothers, 8 courses were served using his signature sous vide techniques. From the world-renowned dish featuring 5 bites from their travels around the world, to the widely known prawn with vinegar dish, diners were wowed by his daring and inventive courses.Chef Roca

10 culinary and pastry students from ICC joined Chef Roca the week prior to the dinner to help prepare the 8-course menu and learn from Chef Roca and his team. Throughout this experience, the student’s education from ICC was brought to fruition as they sorted mushrooms by size, learned how to cook razor clams at a low temperature, and developed their plating skills with a man who is known for his precision and keen eye for design.

Knowledge

The students that participatedThe third key concept of the Roca brother’s empire, knowledge, is also at the heart of ICC. With knowledge, our students are able to join their respective industries and succeed wherever they go with the skills and determination to build the culinary career they desire.

Knowledge is also a key factor in in how the Roca brother’s each became experts in their respective fields. They also possess a passion for sharing their knowledge with others, which is why in each city they travel to, they offer a culinary student the chance of a lifetime, to study beside them at their restaurant! Through demonstrating his exemplary knowledge, skill and hard work, ICC student Jeffrey Kim won a four month Jeffrey and Chef Rocainternship, all expenses paid, at their restaurant in Girona, Spain.

Jeffrey says that he is “…excited to be in the restaurant and learn the attention to detail that is required at the level of El Celler de Can Roca. Every day that we were learning from them, we learned so much, so to learn from the Roca team in a four month period will be exciting.” 

We’re so proud of Jeffrey and all of the ICC students who were selected to volunteer with the El Celler de Can Roca team. They displayed a level of maturity and skill that matched the expertise of Chef Roca’s team well!

See the full gallery of photos from Chef Roca’s Dinner & Masterclass on our Facebook here.
Click here to read about our master class with Chef Jordi Roca, Executive Pastry Chef of El Celler de Can Roca, back in 2014.