Business Bites: Financing Your Startup

Business Bites: Financing Your Startup Panel

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.

BUSINESS BITES: Financing Your Startup

Bootstrapping? Crowd funding? Debt? Equity? Which one is right for you.

Thursday November 16th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Startup financing is a critical part of any new business venture and getting it right can mean the difference between success and failure. Understanding the options available is the first step in determining what type of funding is the right fit for you and your business.

Join us for an informative discussion panel where we define and explore financing options available to food business startups and present answers to the most prevalent questions around how to approach funding. You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

PANELISTS

Alek Marfisi, Upwind Strategies
Alek Marfisi (Moderator)

Owner, Upwind Strategies

Cheryl Clements of PieShell
Cheryl Clements

Founder + CEO, PieShell

Bryan Doxford, NYBDC
Bryan Doxford

SVP + Program Manager, Community Lending at NYBDC

Serra Kazanc, Kiva US
Serra Kazanc

NYC Lead, Kiva US

Sip & Study: Japanese Tea Tasting with Rishi Tea

Written by Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

This autumn, as the weather turns cool and the sky begins to darken early, we at the ICC Library have been lucky enough to partner with the lovely tea company, Rishi. Our “Sip & Study” began in October and throughout the cooler months, we will be offering a selection of 3 different teas each Wednesday and Thursday specially curated for us by Keiko Niccolini, the Director of Luxury and Brand Alignment.

In addition to our weekly tastings, we will be partnering with Rishi for additional tea events sporadically. Our first such event was a tea blogger tasting hosted right here in the ICC Library. Rishi decorated the room beautifully and provided a selection of mochi and macarons to pair with the delicate Japanese teas. The tasting contained 4 flights and a total of 12 teas! Keiko expertly prepared each tea in the traditional style and grouped similar flavor profiles together for the best opportunity for comparison.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, be sure to stop by for “Sip & Study” and keep an eye on the events calendar for future tea events.

See what tea bloggers are saying about our recent event with Rishi Tea below!

“Loved the green tea tasting with Rishi and Keiko at ICC. It was a treat to be able to taste so many different variations of green tea in one setting with people who love tea as much as I do!”  –Jee Choe, tea blogger behind Oh, How Civilized. 

“The tea flight event was exceptional. Going in I assumed the teas we would be served would be very high quality, and they were. However, I would be remiss if I did not point out that Keiko’s preparation and presentation elevated the experience. In addition, the company of tea women who participated in the event was phenomenal. I am pleased to have been a part of the tasting.” — Georgia Silvera Seamans of the Notes on Tea blog.

‘This formidable experience included an aggressive and complete tasting (11 Teas) with tea comparison suggestions and sweet pairings. An outstanding feat curated and executed with perfection. Thank you Keiko” – Jo of Scandalous Tea

Autumn Wedding Cake Design Demo with Ron Ben-Israel

Written by Olivia Hamilton
Current Culinary Arts Student

The Sweet Genius and Guest Master Pastry Chef, Ron Ben Israel treated us to a beautiful demo last week. He showed us how to design one of his beautifully crafted 3-tier cakes with a marble finish. This was a real treat (especially eating it after).

Before he started on the main part of the cake design, he and his “elf helpers” (student volunteers) worked from the outside in. The cake was to be an autumn theme, so what is fall without some leaves? Chef Ron Ben Israel used a pasta maker during the demo to roll out the sugar paste, which he said: “each machine is different but it’s better than by hand for consistency”. After going through the machine to achieve the desired thickness, the “elves” started placing the thing sugar paste into silicon molds or using cookie cutters to make the leaves.

You don’t want to use metallic when working with the silicone since it is likely to damage it. Once the leaves had a shape, Chef showed them how to make the leaves seem more lifelike. The trick is using a metal ball fondant tool to thin the edges out a bit more to replicate real leaves which are “thin, delicate and elegant”. You also always want to be working close to yourself to help with accuracy. Another key factor is, once the sugar paste is ready you must work fast or it will dry out. Next, Chef started creating the fondant to be used on the exterior of the cake. The challenging part about making marble designs is you never know how it will turn out.

To be able to complete all this, one must be very organized. Chef Ron Ben Israel credited his organizational skills when he was a disco dancer back in the day. Chef Israel was actually a professional dancer for about 15 years after being in the Israeli army. So I asked, “how did you realize that cakes were your passion?”. To which Chef responded, “I was in the desert and saw a burning bush and saw a wedding cake in that burning bush”. He then explained that when he was younger he always liked the kitchen and would spend time there with his mom. Though, she would always kick him out since he never liked to clean! Pastry chefs always seem to be somewhat of a happy comedian and Chef Israel is no exception. Perhaps it’s all the sugar they consume.

How did he really get involved in the pastry world? Well, it’s much like anyone else when you move to a new place, you need a job. When Chef Ron Ben Israel first moved to the US he needed income and new the right person to ask. He asked his friend who helped him get a job at a chocolate store and after 2 weeks he was addicted.

He then became a cake designer and would create displays for store windows. Luckily for him, Martha Stewart walked by one day and wanted his help for her wedding magazine she was starting. The hustle was real; Chef Ron Ben Israel also rented a space at night from a caterer that had everything he needed for doing cakes. Hard work, determination, talent and a bit of luck is really what is needed to become successful. He credits networking for helping him establish his business. Later in his career, Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton invited him to do a cake demo and after talking to her for 5 minutes, he decided to become an instructor (something he never thought he would do).1

Back to putting together the cake, Chef Israel had many interesting tools including a PVC pipe that he purchased at a local plumbing store. Chef Ron is very serious about supporting locals business. The PVC he said is great because it can be put in the dishwasher along with it being the right weight to place on top of the fondant. Of the 3 tiers, the top and bottom already had their marbling fondant thanks to one of our graduates (Margret) who works for Chef Ron Ben Israel. He also said that his Sue Chef is another ICC grad that was hired years ago and has never left.

The marbling look was created by placing pieces of different shades of grey fondant overlapping then rolling it out. Every marble look is unique since there is no exact way to do it. Chef Israel then draped the fondant for the middle tier cake and used his tools to flatten the top and keep the sides in tight, along with cutting off the bottom. The cake is almost complete! Chef likes to be very precise so he uses miter boxes to cut the bamboo dowels that help support the cake. It’s important to measure your dowels based off the original cut dowel, otherwise is easier to get a variation of sizes. Each dowel was placed an inch from the outside of the cake to help support the next tier. After they had all been stacked, Chef Ron Ben Israel uses nontoxic kids glue to help glue the outside bottom for the ribbon (not edible).

The leaves were then painted with shades of gold for some pop, then placed all around the cake. Royal icing can be used as glue but it makes a space, turns white and/or leaves a mark. Whereas piping gel is clear and if you mess up you can wipe it off without leaving a mark. Once all the leaves were placed, the most important part of cake creation took place; pictures and eating it! It was the best fall spice cake I have ever had. This is what I want for my birthday, wedding, anniversary, and any other good reason to enjoy such an amazing masterpiece!

Demo Event for the Release of Master Chefs of France: The Cookbook

Master Chefs of France: The Cookbook is the new standard for all modern French cookery. It is the first cookbook produced by the MCF. This authoritative book features recipes by 77 of the 80 member chefs of the prestigious Maîtres Cuisiniers de France North American chapter (MCF-USA/Canada).  Some of these chefs you will have seen on TV; some have won multiple awards at prestigious Culinary Recognition Events, and some will not be known to you yet.  Regardless, it will be a treasured volume in every cooking library.

Each recipe is beautifully photographed by the world-famous Battman, and presented in striking color with an 8.75” x 12” hardcover landscape format. Curated by MCF-USA/Canada President Jean-Louis Dumonet, and under the passionate direction of Karen Dumonet, this exciting collection of savory dishes, 154 in all, is equally tempting to both palate and eye.  Foreword and Preface messages are provided by two giants of the French culinary tradition, Paul Bocuse, and Jacques Pepin.

The chefs live and work in 21 States in the US, in Canada, Grand Cayman, and St. Lucia. You will have seen some of them on TV; some have won multiple awards at prestigious Culinary Recognition Events, and some will not be known to you yet. With only 500 Chefs worldwide in the global organization, you will enjoy their vibrant and creative vibe.  Aside from our Dean of Special Programs, Jacques Pepin, the cookbook also features recipes from two of ICC’s own Master Chefs, Chef Marc Bauer and Chef Hervé Malivert.

Maîtres Cuisiniers de France is the most envied title that chefs aspire to have, but not everyone can become a Maître Cuisinier. The worldwide Association of Maîtres Cuisiniers de France was founded in 1951 and is the first savory culinary organization worldwide.  Its motto is to preserve and spread the French culinary arts, encourage training in cuisine, and assist professional development.”

 “The know-how and wisdom of the MCF members is a conduit to the past and a passport to the future to ensure the posterity of the French unique culinary and cultural heritage. Close to 80 MCF from all over North America have contributed their recipes to this unique and beautiful cookbook, many of them personal friends. I am looking forward to cooking from this book with friends and family while sharing a glass of wine and many of the memories and stories attached to these recipes.”   – Jacques Pépin, ICC Dean of Special Programs

The book is available for purchase now on Amazon and  autographed copies [by the photographer] are available at www.thechefsconnection.com

BOOK LAUNCH EVENT

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5 | 3:30-5PM

To celebrate the release of Master Chefs of France: The Cookbook, the International Culinary Center will be holding an exclusive demonstration and book signing with Chef Marc Bauer and Chef Hervé Malivert on Thursday, October 5 from 3:30 pm to 5 pm at the school’s New York City location. Within the 90-minute event, the two French Master Chefs will be demonstrating their personal recipes from the cookbook and will be enlightening the audience on their inspirations behind the dishes through a spirited Q&A session. Cookbooks will be available for purchase during the event and Chefs Marc and Hervé will be signing copies on-site. We hope to see you there!

Pastry Plus 2017: A Student’s Perspective

Article by Katie Malkin
Professional Pastry Arts Student

As someone who’s new to the professional pastry world, I was excited to volunteer for the International Culinary Center’s first conference for pastry professionals and listen in on some of the talks, panels, and conversations to hear what has the pastry industry abuzz.

As it turns out, there are a number of current trends that happen to be popular in the minds of top pastry chefs. While these are just the tip of the iceberg, please reference my takeaways on three of these trends below.

  • Sustainability and Wellness – Bill Yosses, Pastry Chef to the Obama’s while they were in the White House, discussed the need for pastry chefs to show leadership in considering the health impacts of their products, both to consumers and to the environment. Dessert has a place in our diets, but Bill asked chefs to encourage their customers to indulge responsibly.
  • Insta-worthiness – Magritte Preston, freelance food writer, talked about the struggle of pastry chefs to compete in the world of Instagram, on which followers tend to flock toward eye-popping, yet taste-devoid desserts. She explained that chefs could incorporate decadence, novelty, and nostalgia into their social media posts to get views while maintaining their professionalism.
  • High-Tech – Beyond the mobile technology that’s changed the way chefs promote their food, there have been a number of other technological advances that are changing the way chefs make their food. In one example, Oliver LeRoy from Sasa DeMarle discussed advances in manufacturing, such as 3D printing, that allows them to create custom molds for chefs. These kinds of innovations are helping to democratize tools for creativity throughout the industry.

Determining how to combine sustainable products and practices, Instagram-friendly desserts and experiences, and cutting-edge technologies is a difficult, yet exciting, challenge facing pastry chefs today. Pastry Plus offered industry leaders a platform for sharing ideas on how to tackle this challenge with their peers. Hopefully, there will be future opportunities and platforms for collaboration in the pastry industry. Aspiring pastry chefs like myself will keep our fingers crossed.

View the full photo gallery below with highlights from the full day of panels with some of the biggest names in the pastry industry including Emily Luchetti, Ron Ben-Israel, Jacques Torres, Miro Uskokovic, Jiho Kim, Kelly Fields, and more.

All photography courtesy of Krystal Spencer.

Highlights from The First-Ever Pastryland 2017 Charity Bake Sale

This fall, the International Culinary Center hosted the first-ever Pastryland Bake Sale, benefiting City Harvest. An afternoon for the ultimate sweet tooth, Pastryland celebrated the innovative talents and imaginations of pastry chefs, showcasing never-before-tasted desserts from the chefs of Per Se, The Modern, Del Posto, Patisserie Chanson, & many more. The event featured an 8-foot tall piped wall of royal icing (which used a total of 120 pounds of sugar), and an Ice Luge of white & dark chocolate shots presented Callebaut® and Five Acre Farms.

ICC would like to thank all the chef and restaurant participants for their delicious, one-of-a-kind contributions during the charity bake sale. As a result, ICC will be donating $5000 to support City Harvest in their hunger relief efforts.

The success of Pastryland would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors (listed below) and numerous attendees. In addition to the prestigious pastry chefs mentioned below, Pastryland also gathered social media curators such as Nina Joy of @TheFoodJoy and Sarah Merrill of @BigKidProblems as well as Dessert Professional, Dessert Buzz, The Wandering Eater blog, Union Square Hospitality Group and many others.


Caramelized White Chocolate Cake      | |    Daniel Alvarez – Pastry Chef, Union Square Café and Daily Provisions

PB + J     | |    Tyler Atwell* – Executive Pastry Chef, Lafayette

Marshmallo-licious Delight    | |    Anna Bolz* – Pastry Chef, Per Se

Assorted Linzer Cookies     | |    Stephen Collucci – Pastry Chef, Cookshop

Rhubarb Cake     | |    Douglas Hernandez – Pastry Chef, Oceana

Black + White Choux     | |    Daniel Keehner – Executive Pastry Chef, Union Square Events

Nusszopf     | |    Jiho Kim – Executive Pastry Chef, The Modern

Fudge + Dulce De Leche Bar    | |    Johana Langi – Executive Pastry Chef, The Lambs Club

Thai Tea + Coconut Tapioca    | |     Jason Licker* – Pastry Specialist & Author, Lickerland

Lemon Poppyseed Kouign Amann    | |    Rory Macdonald – Executive Chef, Patisserie Chanson

Schiacciata Con l’Uva    | |    Justine MacNeil* – Executive Pastry Chef, Del Posto

Blueberry Bundt Cake    | |    Michael Mignano – Executive Pastry Chef, Perrine at The Pierre Hotel

Chocolate Fig Cake    | |    Cynthia Peithman & Jansen Chan – Pastry Chef-Instructor & Director of Pastry Operations, International Culinary Center

Assorted Macarons    | |    Thomas Raquel – Executive Pastry Chef, Le Bernardin

Chocolate Chip Toffee Coffee Cookies    | |    James Rosselle – Corporate Executive Pastry Chef, iPic Theaters

Tarte au Chocolate au Sel et Sarrasin    | |    Daniel Skurnick – Executive Pastry Chef, Le Coucou & Buddakan

Sticky Toffee Drunken Donuts    | |    Tracy Wilk – Executive Pastry Chef, SaltBrick Tavern


Charity Partner: City Harvest

Platinum Sponsor: Callebaut®

Gold Sponsor: Sasa Demarle®

Silver Sponsor: KMT Waterjet

Bronze Sponsor: Innovative Sugarworks

Contributing Sponsors: City of SaintsFive Acre FarmsPalais Des ThésNY CakeMurray’s Baz Bagel & RestaurantMeyer’s BageriIce & ViceRenshawMichel et AugustinOatly

Pastry Plus Party Sponsor: Jacques Torres Chocolate

Leadership Partner: James Beard Foundation


All photos provided by Rachel Golden | Golden Raye Photography

Win a Trip To Spain From The International Rioja Wine & Tapas Competition

Think you can create a tapa that pairs perfectly with a Rioja? Do just that and you could win a culinary trip to Spain!

The 2nd International ‘Rioja Wine & Tapas’ competition is underway and there’s still one more month to submit your proposal!

For the second year running the D.O.Ca. Rioja, in collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center, launches this international competition to pair tapas with Rioja wines. Aimed at gastronomy school students, this competition seeks to award recipes that reflect the multicultural reality of gastronomy. Proposals must include a written recipe, image of the recipe prepared, the Rioja wine is chosen to pair with the tapa and a brief explanation of why that wine was chosen.

The winner will receive a gastronomic holiday in Spain, where they’ll visit one of the main wine producing regions–D.O.Ca. Rioja–and visit San Sebastian to eat at a renowned restaurant and enjoy a tapas tour accompanied by an expert.

To enter, submit your proposal by October 28, 2017, online at http://us.riojawine.com/tapascompetition/en/participa/.

For rules, regulations and more information visit http://us.riojawine.com/tapascompetition/en/ or email communication@riojawine.com.

Hard Work Tastes Like Miso, A Friday Evening at Hachi ju Hachi

By Savannah Sharrett,
Communications Liaison

For a refreshing, crash-course in what it means to have passion, spend a little time with Chef Suzuki and his team.

Recently, I spent a Friday evening at Hachi ju Hachi, located in downtown Saratoga, CA. Entering the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was a sense of calm to the dimly lit space. Looking in from the front door, the sun light reveals long walls lined with small tables. Straight ahead is a sushi bar with a clear view of the open kitchen.

This understated gem has been open for 8 years and has many loyal, regular customers. Looking up at the ceiling and around the walls, there is clear evidence of appreciation. Written in Sharpie, you’ll find hundreds of comments of praise. Beaming with pride, Owner & Chef, Jin Suzuki says of the walls, “You’ll notice that there is not one celebrity and only ordinary people”. The restaurant is open for regular business hours but every two weeks, the doors close to the general public to host a special sushi night where they invite a small group of people for a carefully curated tasting menu.

From time to time, students from the ICC have had the opportunity to work under the apprenticeship of Chef Suzuki. Currently, you can find two of our alumni working alongside each other in his kitchen. Working under Chef Suzuki’s guidance and training in the art of Japanese Cuisine, EJ, a 2013 culinary graduate and Kristen, a 2016 culinary graduate are cultivating qualities like patience and respect for their craft. There is something to be said about the precision and attention to detail this team of 3 is able to maintain consistency.

In an effort to understand the success of HJH, I asked EJ to share his thoughts on the restaurant’s philosophy on food. He said, “Chef Suzuki is not just a mentor. It is not just food; its philosophy and life. To survive in this kitchen you must have the mindset that this isn’t just food or recipes, it’s a lifestyle. You have to respect that”. He added, “Techniques are done correctly. Make your mistakes but don’t do it again.” In reference to the passion that has grown within him over time, EJ asks himself, “Do you want to cut cucumbers every day? Yes! Do you want to crack eggs every day? Yes! I want to.”

Although they were given a foundation in French Techniques from their schooling at the ICC, I appreciated that both EJ and Kirsten had an ease using Japanese terms. When I asked them if that was a requirement for working at HJH, EJ said, “Learning the proper words shows respect”.  Working with Chef Suzuki has certainly added to their culinary repertoire and given them versatility.

When I had first arrived that evening, EJ had been working on Saba mackerel, preparing them to be marinated at room temperature and then overnight in the fridge. I asked him if there were certain techniques he had especially enjoyed learning at HJH and he mentioned something called San Mai Oroshi– a 3 part technique used to open a fish that results in 2 full fillets with the spine still intact. He was also very proud to show me and let me taste his frozen sweet potato puree that was served like an ice cream.

I then asked Kirsten to share her thoughts on the restaurant’s philosophy. She was quick to say that, “It all starts and ends with respect”. Throughout the evening, I was impressed to hear her call Chef Suzuki, Itacho, which means in Japanese, “head of the cutting board”. Having now worked at HJH for a year, she has gained many new skills from her mentor. She was kind enough to give me a demonstration on the difference between Japanese and French knife techniques. She also mentioned that she was currently learning something called, Katsuramuki. This term refers to the ability to slice a vegetable such as a cucumber or a daikon into one long, thin sheet. For this technique, she was taught to use a Usuba, a “single-bevel knife used for cutting veggies”. Initially feeling like this task was daunting, Kerstin describes the learning process as a practical lesson in discipline and now feels driven to do it every day. She notes that her constant goal is, “doing better than the last time. I did this today and I’ll do it tomorrow”. Comparing her limited year of experience to her mentor, Chef Suzuki, she happily exclaimed, “I’ll meet you there in 30 years”!  Being the newest to the kitchen, Kirsten benefits from the experience of not only Chef Suzuki but also her fellow apprentice, EJ. In regards to her training under both of them, she noted, “They never go easy on me but I know it’s because they care and that in turn makes me care as much as them”.

Even with his 30 years of experience, Chef Suzuki doesn’t hesitate to point out that he is still learning and feels that it is his responsibility to pass on the knowledge he does have. He comments, “Most people are looking for an instant result but cooking isn’t about that.  It takes patience and discipline. The journey is not 6 months, it takes years”. Chef made sure to note that he will never claim to a master chef. Explaining that personal joy is essential, he expresses, “ I just like what I do and that’s enough”.  I asked him how he received his own training and he explained that throughout his early career in Japan, he had 3 different mentors. With that attitude in mind, the ICC is looking forward to hosting Chef Suzuki on our campus this August for a class on the history and usage of miso. (Click here to learn more.

Later that evening, Chef Suzuki asked me to stay for dinner and was very generous. I left the restaurant that evening feeling peaceful and energized. If you ever find yourself in the Bay Area, Hachi ju Hachi should definitely be on your itinerary.

 

 

 

Photo Gallery: Highlights from The NY Cake Show 2017 at Pier 36

The International Culinary Center hosted a demonstration stage at The NY Cake Show 2017 throughout June 10th and 11th at Pier 36. The stage featured 45-minute lessons with ICC Pastry Chef-Instructors including the school’s Director of Pastry Operations, Chef Jansen Chan, Senior Coordinator (Pastry), Chef Jurgen David, and Chef Michael Zebrowski, Chef-Instructor and ICC Alumni. Additional ICC alumni on the roster included Justine MacNeil, Executive Pastry Chef of Del Posto, Chef Pietro Aletto, Executive Pastry Chef at Boutrous, and various other established pastry professionals.

As a returning Education Partner of the New York Cake Show, we were excited to be part of one of the country’s premier cake competition. We were especially proud to feature our outstanding alumni chefs and pastry chef-instructors throughout the weekend at our very own demonstration theater. Amazing pastries, such as rhubarb pie, baklava sticky buns, and gluten-free chocolate cakes, were on the menu – a very exciting weekend for all our attendees! I was especially proud of our The Cookie Games V winners showcasing how to make their Browned Butter Masala Chai cookies.” – Chef Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry Operations at ICC.

 

Photo Gallery: The Cookie Games 2017

Thank you to all student participants in the 5-year anniversary of The Cookie Games, as well as our fabulous judges. The roster of judges included Angie Mar (Chef/Owner at Beatrice Inn), Dorie Greenspan (Cookbook Author), Florian Bellanger (Executive Pastry Chef at MadMac), Robb Riedel (Managing Editor of Food Network Magazine) and Erik Murnighan (President of the International Culinary Center).

Congratulations to this year’s 1st place winners, Madeline Dudek and Clara Lim, students in ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program for their India-inspired Browned Butter Masala Chai cookie. To check out their recipe to try at home, click here.  In addition to prizes furnished from our sponsors, including KitchenAid, the ladies were awarded with the opportunity to demonstrate their award-winning cookies at the New York Cake Show at Pier 36 on Sunday, June 11.