Recipe: Chocolate Crumble Focaccia

Within our NYC pastry kitchens, Director of Pastry Operations, Jansen Chan, is always coming up with new recipes and techniques to propel the creativity of Pastry Arts students and inspire them to develop recipes of their own. Learn how to recreate his latest recipe below, and join our next Open House to catch a live demonstration by Chef Jansen. CLICK HERE to learn dates and register one of ICC’s upcoming Open Houses.

 


CHOCOLATE CRUMBLE FOCACCIA 
Yield: 9” x 13” pan, about 12 servings

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INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup coffee, hot
3 ¼ cup flour, all-purpose
¼ cup sugar
7g. yeast, dry (1 sachets)
1 ½ cup water, lukewarm
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 c. dark chocolate, 55%-65%, chopped
Crumble (see next)
Powdered sugar, for garnish


PROCEDURE: 

-In a bowl, whisk cocoa with hot coffee. Reserve and let cool slightly.

-In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix cocoa mixture, flour, sugar, yeast and water at a low speed for 3-5 minutes, or until thoroughly mixed.

-Add the salt and increase the mixer speed to medium and allow to knead until the dough comes together on the hook, about 12-15 mins.

-Add chopped chocolate.

-Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl and wrap well in plastic wrap.

-Place in a warm spot, such as over a hot oven, until the dough doubles, about 1-2 hours. Or, place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator and allow to proof overnight, for at least 12 hours.

-Grease and parchment line a pan.

-Punch down the proofed dough, transfer to the prepared pan, and push and stretch the dough down evenly.

-Sprinkle the crumble on top.

-Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to proof again in a warm spot until doubled about 1-2 hours.

-Preheat the oven to 400 F°.

-Bake at 400 F for 35-40 mins. or until 185 F°, if using a thermometer.

-Allow cooling for 15 mins. before cutting.

-Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

-Wrap well to keep moist.


INGREDIENTS FOR CRUMBLE

1 ¾ cup flour, all-purpose

1 ½ cup brown sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

3 oz. (¾ stick) butter, unsalted, cold


CRUMBLE PROCEDURE: 

-Combine flour, brown sugar, salt, and sugar in a mixer bowl.

-Cut butter into smaller pieces.

-In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine butter and dry ingredients until sandy.

-Reserve in a refrigerator until needed.

 

Library Notes: Women’s History Month [March 2017]

Written by Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting several female authors from our collection.

Women Chefs of New York by Nadia Armugam profiles some of the biggest chefs in the city, including alums Jean Adamson and Christina Tosi. Each profile includes a personal history of the chef, info about where they are cooking now and several of their favorite recipes. Try out some diverse and tasty dishes from your favorite female fronted kitchens such as rabbit stroganoff, smoked duck soba and peaches and cream cookies. The recipes included are as unique as the stories of the women behind them.

photosbyarielle-20Cooking without Borders by Anita Lo “Food, like language, is constantly evolving. It is a living entity that grows and changes at each individual stove-top, at the hands of cooks across the globe,” so says Anita Lo in the introduction to this beautiful cookbook. To call her style fusion cuisine is an oversimplification because, as she says, all cuisine is fusion. Every style of cooking is influenced by others as cuisine truly knows no borders.  Check out her beautifully designed book for recipes like foie gras soup dumplings, braised pork cheeks in caramel and crisp warm sesame mocha.  Anita will also be speaking on our upcoming Food for Thought panel.

Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen by Dana Cowin
Longtime editor of Food & Wine, it was a shameful secret that Dana Cowin could not cook. She decided to up her game and learn from the pros – including ICC Deans Jacques Pepin, Jose Andres and Cesare Casella as well as alumni David Chang , Dan Barber and Zak Pelaccio. The book is fun and approachable for the new cook but seasoned foodies will love it for the insider secrets of their favorite chefs. Did you know Chef Cesare Casella freezes his cooked beans in their liquid? Mario Batali cuts up overcooked pasta, breads and fries it. These and many more tips and tricks from great chefs in addition to approachable yet unique recipes (hello Jerk Lamb!) are all included in Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen. Dana will be moderating our upcoming food for thought panel.

Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey Have you ever dreamed of living around the world? Alum Lauren Shockey did just that. After completing her culinary education she went to work in kitchens in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv and Paris. Interspersed with her grand adventure are recipes inspired by each city. An ode to life on the line, Lauren shows that no matter how different we may be, there is always common ground in the kitchen.

Girl Hunter by Georgia Pellegrini
Part memoir and part how to guide, Girl Hunter chronicles Georgia Pellegrini’s experience learning how to hunt and all the characters she met along the way. It also includes multiple recipes, from whiskey glazed turkey breast to squirrel dumplings. She also includes helpful charts of game meat characteristics and which substitutions will be successful in the recipes and useful equipment for the haute cuisine hunter.

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Recipe: Saint Patrick’s Day Corned Beef by Chef Jeff Butler

Ahead of today’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, ICC’s Lead Chef-Instructor and resident charcuterie master Jeff Butler teaches us how to create our own corned beef and cabbage dish. The multi-day process will leave you with satisfying results to impress your family and friends on St. Paddy’s day and beyond.  You won’t need the luck of the Irish to complete this recipe, although I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt! Watch the video of the full process below, and view the step-by-step procedure.


Ingredients by Step

Step 1

3 kilo of water

60 Grams pickling spice mix

12 cloves of garlic

15 gram black peppercorns whole

Step 2

288 grams Kosher Salt

12 grams Instacure #1 or DQ #1 curing salt

60 grams granulated sugar

1 Beef Brisket 12-14 lb (5-6 kilo)

Step 3

200 Ml White wine vinegar

1 bottle lager beer

5 Bay leaves

10 grams pickling spices

5 grams black peppercorns

5 cloves garlic peeled

6 Boiler Onions, peeled and left whole

6 Carrots, peeled and left whole

6 stalks celery left whole

1 Green cabbage cut into 8 wedges

10-12 red bliss potatoes


Procedure 

Step 1

Bring water to a boil and remove from flame and put in the pickling spice, garlic and black pepper corns and allow infusing off flame for 1 hour, then strain and reserve leftover spices for step 2.

Chill the infused water down to below 40 degrees.

Step 2

Weigh the water; you will need to have exactly 3 kilo of water in total.  If you have lost water due to evaporation then supplement the difference with cold tap water.

Thoroughly mix in kosher salt, Instacure #1 and sugar into the 3 kilo of water to create the brine.

Pump the brine into the brisket spacing apart injections in a pattern with approximately 1 inch spacing.

Submerge the meat in a plastic container with the remaining brine and add the reserved spices and garlic from step 1.

Let meat sit 3-5 days in the brine.  Flip the meat daily in the brine so that it gets evenly cured.

Step 3

Remove the meat from the brine, wipe off spices and discard brine.

Put brisket in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring up to a simmer.

Make a cheese cloth sachet (spice bag) of bay leaves, pickling spice, garlic, and black peppercorn.

When the water begins to simmer, skim off the foam that floats to the top. Then add the beer, vinegar and the sachet to the poaching liquid.

Gently simmer the meat for 1 hour. Check tenderness of the meat, if it slides easily off of your meat fork it is done. Check tenderness of meat every 15 minutes

Add the carrots, celery and onions to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour

Check the tenderness of the meat if it is tender then remove the brisket, cooked carrots, celery and onions from the broth and allow to rest covered.

While the meat is resting add the cabbage and potatoes to liquid in the pot.  Cook until tender. Remove and discard the sachet.

Slice the brisket across the grain and warm in some of the broth. Cut the carrots, onions, and celery into servable chunks and warm in the broth.

Serve the warmed cooked corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and vegetables with good mustard and prepared horse radish.

 

 

Recipe: Chai Panna Cotta

Article by ICC Alumni Swarna Koneru
2016 California Professional Culinary Arts Graduate

Recipes involving chai vary widely all over India  —the country of its origin. Now found throughout the US,  chai flavors are very popular with variations of cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper etc added into the mix.

These days, chai latte mixes are readily available in the super markets where you can steep into water or milk directly and enjoy. While a latte generally means a mixture of steamed milk and espresso, a chai latte is made with tea powder in a similar fashion.I happened to find this Dulce De Leche Chai Latte mix at a gourmet store and wanted to experiment with it.

I ended up creating a Chai Panna Cotta in a 2 oz shooters size for my guests at a recent party. I felt this size of desserts was good in that everyone can taste each kind, yet not eat a ton of dessert.

Preparation time
20 minutes, plus 4 hour setting time 
Serves
4-6 larger portions, or 18 2 oz portions
Serving Size
One 2 oz shooter
Calories Per Serving
Approximately 98 per serving
Difficulty
Easy
Ingredients:
1  cup whole milk
4 teaspoons plain gelatin powder (I used Knox)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoons Chai Latte Powder of your Choice (I used Mc Stevens Dulce De Leche Chai Latte)
½ cup  sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (Optional)

Procedure:

Sprinkle Gelatin powder all over the milk in a small shallow bowl and allow gelatin to soften.

In a medium saucepan set over low heat, bring the heavy cream and sugar to a low boil, and add the Chai Latte Powder and mix until combined and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove cream mixture from heat and whisk in the vanilla and gelatin along with the milk until combined. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and transfer to your serving cups and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.


Tips:
  • You can serve this with a little whipped cream on top or some caramel sauce or chocolate sauce on top if you like.I sprinkled a few coffee flavored chocolate shavings on top.
  • If you do not like a lot of sweet, reduce the amount of sugar you add, sugar content in the mixes can vary by brand so first add the chai latte powder and then adjust your sugar content accordingly.
  • If you do not have access to the chai latte powder, you can use your homemade masala chai mix as well.
  • When sprinkling the gelatin do not dump it in one place in the milk else it will not soften completely and get lumpy.

 

What is your favorite flavor combo with Chai? Let me know what you think!


Connect with Swarna on https://prathimakoneru.com as well as Pinterest and Facebook

Food for Thought: A Culinary Conversation Among Women [Event]

Women of the culinary world unite! The inaugural Food for Thought series at the International Culinary Center kicks off with an event to celebrate the diversity of women in the industry, while tackling important topics through a guided discussion tackling key issues such as family & work balance, equal pay, breaking the ‘boys club’ and much more.

A Culinary Conversation Among Women will strive to set words into actions, with the discussion moderated by Founder of Speaking Broadly and former Editor in Chief at Food & Wine, Dana Cowin in association with the International Culinary Center. Through this event, the International Culinary Center & Journee aim to inspire and influence policy, support community engagement, and positively impact all women working in culinary and hospitality careers.


PANELISTS INCLUDE:

  • REBECCA DEANGELIS (Executive Pastry Chef at Babbo NYC)
  • MELISSA RODRIGUEZ (Executive Chef at Del Posto)
  • GABRIELLE HAMILTON (Chef/Owner of Prune, Author of Blood, Bones & Butter)
  • ANITA LO (Chef/Owner of Annisa) 
  • ALLISON KAVE (Co-Founder of Butter & Scotch)
  • JACKIE MCMANN-OLIVERI (Director, Human Resources of Bold Food | Bobby’s Burger Palaces)
  • CHEF CANDY ARGONDIZZA (Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts at ICC)

We invite you to join us, participate in the discussion and have your voice heard by the NYC community! Light food and wine will be served throughout the event to foster community building & networking opportunities. Purchase your tickets here: https://yourjournee.com/event/iccjournee/

DATE:  Wednesday, March 29, 2017

TIME: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Discussion Begins at 6:30pm

LOCATION:
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway
New York, NY 10013


ABOUT THE PANEL:

melissa-rodriguez_delposto

Melissa Rodriguez (Executive Chef at Del Posto) Melissa J. Rodriguez succeeds Mark Ladner as Executive Chef of Del Posto. Melissa is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts in 1999. After graduation, Melissa spent time cooking with Elaine Bell Catering and at Oceana under Chef Cornelius Gallagher. In 2006, Melissa joined the team at Daniel Boulud’s Restaurant Daniel, where she was promoted to sous chef. After five years at Daniel, she joined the team at Del Posto in 2011 and was promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2015. She lives in Jersey City with her husband, Garrett.

 


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Rebecca DeAngelis (Executive Pastry Chef at Babbo NYC) A New Hampshire native, Rebecca DeAngelis started her pastry training at the age of 15 at Jacques Fine European Pastries in Suncook, NH. Soon after high school, DeAngelis entered the prestigious Société Culinaire Philanthropique’s 137th Salon Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France competition and became the youngest person ever awarded 1st Prize for Pastry. That accomplishment awarded her a full scholarship to The French Culinary Institute in New York City where DeAngelis honed her skills in classic French pastry techniques. DeAngelis’s skill and determination won the attention of Gina DePalma at Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca. DeAngelis trained under DePalma for five years before taking the helm of the Babbo pastry kitchen. When DePalma left Babbo in 2013, DeAngelis assumed the role of Executive Pastry Chef where she leads one of the most respected and decorated pastry departments in the nation. In October 2016, DeAngelis worked with Mario Batali to prepare the last state dinner during the Obama administration, honoring Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.


ChefCandyChef Candy Argondizza (Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts at ICC) ICC’s head of culinary and pastry Chef Candy Argondizza leads a staff of 50 chefs and oversees curriculum changes for the professional and amateur programs, keeping pace (and ahead of) an ever-changing industry. Chef Candy brought considerable experience with her when she joined ICC’s faculty in 2000 as a chef-instructor, having cooked professionally since 1979. Tapping her natural talent and determination to succeed in New York City, she landed a sous chef position at Remi, followed by several executive chef positions and invitations to cook at the James Beard House. Her strong interpersonal skills and depth of knowledge led to her quickly rising up the ranks at ICC to a leadership position at the school. Chef Candy’s most trusted resource as a chef and educator is Jacques Pepin’s La Technique, the book she most returns to and always recommends. As an accomplished tri-athlete, she also believes that a balanced lifestyle is the key to success, a wisdom she hopes to impart to her team and to ICC’s students. Her accomplishments as a teacher and administrator were recognized by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) when she received the coveted “Educator of the Year” award in 2012.


Annisa Restaurant - New York, NY

Anita Lo (Owner and Chef at Annisa)  As the chef/owner of Annisa in New York City, Anita Lo is one of the most respected chefs in the country, earning numerous accolades for her inventive Contemporary American cuisine that reflects her multicultural upbringing and classic French training. Lo, a first generation Chinese-American, grew up with her family in Birmingham, Michigan and earned a degree in French language at Columbia University. While studying at Reid Hall—Columbia’s French language institute in Paris, she fell in love with the food culture and vowed to return. Back in the U.S., Lo accepted her first kitchen job as garde-manger at Bouley, but after a year, decided to move back to Paris and enroll in Ecole Ritz-Escoffier, a revered culinary institution. After receiving her degree, graduating first in her class with honors, she returned to New York, working her way through all the stations at David Waltuck’s Chanterelle. In 2000, Lo opened Annisa (whose name means ”women” in Arabic), an intimate, upscale restaurant in Greenwich Village serving Contemporary American cuisine. Lo was named one of ten “Best New Chefs in America” in 2001 by Food & Wine and proclaimed “Best New Restaurant Chef” by the Village Voice. In 2014, Annisa received the prestigious three star rating by The New York Times.


gabrielle-hamiltonGabrielle Hamilton (Chef / Owner of Prune, Author of Blood, Bones & Butter) Gabrielle Hamilton is an American chef and author. She is the chef/owner of Prune, a restaurant in New York City, and the author of Blood, Bones, and Butter, a memoir.Hamilton said her way of eating and cooking was heavily influenced by her French mother, saying she didn’t waste food and the family often foraged for fresh ingredients from their garden and from the forests and fields surrounding their house. Hamilton received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Following a career in catering, Hamilton opened the restaurant, Prune, in New York City’s East Village in 1999. Having no formal experience in restaurants, nor culinary school education, her 30-seat restaurant garnered widespread acclaimed admiration from diners, critics and other chefs including Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain. Prune earned a spot in the Bib Gourmand section of the Michelin’s 2014 New York guide. Hamilton was featured in the fourth season of the PBS show The Mind of a Chef as well as the first season of The Taste on ABC as a guest judge.


allison_kentmeister_headshot

Allison Kave (Co-Founder of Butter & Scotch) Allison Kave is the co-founder of Butter & Scotch, a bakery & cocktail bar in Crown Heights, Brooklyn known for creative riffs on classic American desserts and craft cocktails. She is the author of First Prize Pies, the coauthor of Butter & Scotch: Recipes from Brooklyn’s Favorite Bar & Bakery, and the coauthor of the recurring “Drunk Bakers” column in Bake from Scratch magazine. Her work and recipes have been featured in a wide range of publications and media, including The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, The Food Network, and Cooking Channel, and she has taught pie workshops at the James Beard House, the International Culinary Center, and in private homes throughout NYC. Her passions are baking, booze, feminism, and puppies (not necessarily in that order).


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Jackie McMann-Oliveri (Director of Human Resources / Bold Food, Bobby’s Burger Palaces)  Jackie McMann-Oliveri recently joined the Bold Food and Bobby’s Burger Palace family as Director of Human Resources with a focus on people and culture for all Bobby Flay branded restaurants. With over 15 years of HR experience mostly in Hospitality, a strong FOH and Operations upbringing and a genuine love of food and service, she knows this next part of her journey will be amazing. She has a BS in Business, Management and Economics and Advanced Graduate certificate in HR and is a certified PHR. Her passions are leadership and talent management and she strongly believes that as leaders in this wonderful world of hospitality, we should always be selecting and hiring amazing people, giving them the support, tools and opportunities to succeed and partnering on accountability for all. She most recently served as HR Director for The Meatball Shop for around three years (will forever be a baller) and had fun opening and staffing Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center (still feels like home) over a decade ago. She is a founding member and Steering Committee member of HR Professionals in Hospitality, a lecturer at The International Culinary Center and lives and breathes an open-door policy for all her circle. Jackie has also been an active volunteer event lead for Food Bank of NY / No Kid Hungry serving NYCWFF events wearing many hats to give back to the city she loves while benefiting hungry children and being around the industry she loves for the past five or so years.


ABOUT OUR MODERATOR:

18magsub-blog427Dana Cowin ( Founder of Speaking Broadly / Ex-Editor in Chief of Food & Wine) Dana Cowin, best known for her two decades as the Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine, is a tastemaker, talent scout, author, lecturer and radio show host. During her tenure at the award-winning magazine (1995-2016), she oversaw every editorial aspect of the brand from print to web to books to social media. She expanded and introduced several honor programs to highlight emerging talent including the magazine’s annual Best New Chefs award and Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink. After Food & Wine, Cowin joined the ground-breaking restaurant group Chefs Club to continue her role as a scout, selecting chefs from around the world to be featured on their curated menus. Cowin has moved on to become host of “Speaking Broadly” on Heritage Radio Network, interviewing extraordinary women in the food industry about their greatest challenges and triumphs.  A sought-after speaker, Cowin has been a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” a presenter at TedXManhattan, a lecturer at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival and multiple food festivals and other events.  A noted author, Cowin in 2014 published “Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes,” which garnered a spot on many “Best of Fall” lists. Cowin serves on the Board of Directors of City Harvest, a hunger-relief organization, and Hot Bread Kitchen, a work force development group. For her many contributions to the culinary world, Cowin was inducted in to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Drink.  If you’re not afraid of mouth-watering images of food, follow her @fwscout on Instagram and Twitter.

 

James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist: Jason Licker

Jason’s passion for pastry, life, and travel has taken him across the globe for a true culinary experience. His first internship was at Union Square Café in New York while training at the French Culinary Institute’s Pastry Arts Program. Offering to work for free at first, Jason earned a pastry cook position in the world renown Jean Georges Restaurant, an experience which prepared him for his first Pastry Chef position at Metrazur for Charlie Palmer at the age of 23. Jason then opened The Shore Club in Miami Beach where he was promoted to Executive Pastry Chef overseeing all Food and Beverage Outlets including Nobu Miami Beach, where Jason was first exposed to Asian Cuisine.

Jason has held Executive Pastry Chef positions at the Peninsula New York, The Westin Bund in Shanghai, The Venetian Macau Hotel and Resort, The JW Marriott Hong Kong and formerly was the Corporate Pastry Chef for Cé La Vi Restaurants Worldwide. His win at Iron Chef Thailand is an affirmation of his elite Pastry status. His latest project, Lickerland, Asian-Accented Desserts is Jason’s first cookbook featuring incredible recipes, funny stories, and stunning photos. The cookbook landed Jason on the 2017 James Beard Award Semifinalists list.

Click here to view our recap of his Lickerland launch event at ICC.

James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist: Maggie Huff

Maggie Huff’s desserts offer FT33 guests a taste of something subtly sweet, reflecting a hyper-seasonality that has been the benchmark of Chef Matt McCallister’s critically acclaimed restaurant in the Dallas Design District. She considers herself fortunate to be able to get her hands on superior products such as local honey from Texas Honey Bee Guild, Caprino Royale fresh goat cheese, and produce from the same farmers sourced by the savory side of the restaurant. To that point, she isn’t afraid to employ savory elements—herbs, spices, and vegetables, as well as forms of acid, fat, and salt—to enhance the sweet flavors on the plate.

Prior to FT33, Huff had the media swooning over her sophisticated desserts at Pyramid at the Fairmont Dallas. She originally met and worked with McCallister in the highly lauded kitchen of Stephan Pyles Restaurant. The Dallas native also had a stint in New York City, first attaining her culinary degree from the French Culinary Institute, then working the back of the house in several restaurants, doing both savory and pastry. Her love of food goes back even further: Huff has been baking since she was a kid, cultivating a curiosity in the kitchen while learning from her mother the importance of measuring ingredients.

Nomination: Outstanding Pastry Chef (FT33)

For more information on the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists, click here.

James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist: Tim and Nancy Cushman

With the hopes of becoming a musician, Tim Cushman, moved to California after earning his Bachelors degree from Berklee College of Music. Like many aspiring musicians, he took a job at a restaurant and there he would begin his culinary career. Throughout next 30 years, Cushman spent his time traveling the world and cooking in restaurants in Japan, France, Thailand, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Taiwan. After his stint all over the world he came back home and in 2007 he and his wife Nancy, opened up O Ya.

Since opening the restaurant, they have received numerous accolades, including being named as the #1 new restaurant in the United States (2008) by The New York Times food critic Frank Bruni. Cushman has received praised by numerous publications such as Food & Wine Magazine, Bon Appetit and Details magazines, recognizing O Ya as one of the Top 10 Sushi Restaurants in the U.S. In 2012, Cushman was given the James Beard award for Best Chef Northeast. Since then, Cushman and his wife Nancy have opened two more restaurants: Roof at Park South in New York in 2014 and izakaya style Hojoko in Boston earlier this year.

Nomination: Outstanding Wine Program (O Ya)

For more information on the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists, click here.

James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist: Steven Cook

After graduating the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Chef Steven Cook completed the Professional Culinary Arts program at the French Culinary Institute in 2000. His education and drive combined make him one of the heavyweights in the Philadelphia scene of restaurateurs and culinary entrepreneurs.

In 2005, as chef-owner of Marigold Kitchen, Cook met his business partner Michael Solomonov. Together, they opened Zahav in 2008. The restaurant earned “4 bells” in its first year from Philadelphia Inquirer critic Craig La Ban. At Zahav, Cook and Solomonov served Israeli cuisine of salatim and mezze, and their collaboration also merged with the restaurant movement for small plates.

In 2012, Food & Wine recognized the pair as ‘Empire Builders’ for their restaurant group, CookNSolo. The empire now spans various cuisines and cites, and their first book Zahav: A World of Israel Cooking earned the James Beard Award for “Best International Cookbook” in 2016. In partnership with Broad Street Ministries, Cook also helped develop soon-to-launch, nonprofit Rooster Soup Company.

Nomination: Outstanding Service (Zahav)

For more information on the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists, click here. 

James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist: Josh Skenes

Becoming a chef has always been something Josh Skenes wanted to pursue. He remembers making mud pies as a child and growing his own herbs in his gardens to add to his omelettes. Right after his high school graduation, he moved to Boston with the expectation of going to Art school. However, Skenes rerouted his life and moved to NYC instead to attend the International Culinary Center to pursue his passion for cooking and food.

While a student at the International Culinary Center, he worked full-time under the famed Chef Jean Georges in Jean-Georges Vongerichten. After graduating culinary school in 2001, he moved back to Boston and cooked under Anthony Ambrosia at Ambroia.

In 2003, he moved to San Francisco where he became the executive chef of Chez and help the restaurant received a star rating of 3.5 /4 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Skenes caught the attention of Chef Michael Mina and was asked to help open Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach in 2005. There, Skenes was awarded more stars for his innovative spin to modern America cooking. He returned to San Francisco, where he served as a consultant to various restaurants and help them develop their recipe, menu, and overall concept.

While he was helping others develop their concept, he started to cultivate his  own concept for Saison – which he opened first as pop up and then opened it as a full restaurant. Skenes has received many awards and accolades for his talents and restaurants. This year makes the third consecutive year that Skenes has earned a 3 Michelin star rating for his venue.

NominationOutstanding Service (Saison) 

For more information on the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists, click here.