Culinary Clash 2018: ICC Winner’s Announced

Each year, the International Culinary Center in California is invited to compete in the annual Culinary Clash Student Cooking Competition & Scholarship Fundraiser. Representing Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco and Nob Hill Club at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, six teams of International Culinary Center students were selected to not only take over a restaurant kitchen for an evening, but also compete for scholarship monies towards their culinary education.

The International Culinary Center enters the 2018 Ultimate Culinary Clash as the defending champions after having won the competition last year! After weeks of competition, we’re excited to announce the winning teams from Luce and Nob Hill Club that have been selected to move on to the final competition—The Ultimate Culinary Clash in Washington DC on March 17th.

Congratulations to the team from Luce, Chef Hannah Gomez & Sous-Chef Molly Doster, and the team from Nob Hill Club, Chef Selah Kendall & Sous-Chef Andrae Gray! See the dinners that won these two teams their spot in the Ultimate Culinary Clash in DC, and the excellent work of all the ICC students who competed below!

I never really expected to win the competition, we just went in worked extra hard with all our best and had a lot fun in the process. Coming this far in the competition made me realize how much I have grown as a chef.This clash has really been a great opportunity for both Molly and I, and as an international student I am very excited about being able to showcase and have everyone get a taste of  Filipino cuisine and culture. “Veni. Vidi. Vici.”

– Hannah Gomez, Lead Chef for Team Luce

As long as God is in your corner,  anything is possible. Do what you love, and love what you do.  ”  – Chef Zulu Gray

Highlights from the 2018 Culinary Clash Dinners

LUCE at the InterContinental San Francisco
Nob Hill Club at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
March 11 — Chef Hannah Gomez | Sous Chef Molly Doster

Menu

  • Cquilao Pacifico
    Kanpachi Crudo, Lightly Marinated in Cucumber Aguachile Tomato Granita, Trout Roe
  • Poseidon’s Cradle
    Deconstructed Paella, Egg Yolk Confit, Romesco
  • The Grand Finale
    Olive Oil Cake, Brown Butter Ice Cream, Blood Orange, Meringue Brulee
March 3 — Chef Alex Lopez | Sous Chef Annu Verghese

Menu

  • Ode to the Tomato
    Tomato Decoction, Fried Green Tomatoes, Aged Cheese Brodo
  • For the Love of Pork
    Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Romanesco, Crisscross Trumpets, Maple Pistachios, Celeriac Creme
  • Citrus Ruse
    Baba Cake, Citrus Cream, Gelée, Candied Kumquats, Hazelnut, Blood Orange Crisp
March 18 — Chef Ryan Thibert | Sous Chef Tila Taghavi

Menu

  • Grilled Broccolini & Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
    Smoked Bacon, Quinoa, Chevre
  • Beef Tenderloin, Slowly Cooked with Herbs & Garlic
    Potato, Romanesco, Red Wine Jus
  • Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
    Cara Cara Orange, Brown Butter Crumble, Peanut Tuile
March 10 — Chef Selah Kendall | Sous Chef Andrae Gray

Menu

  • Pork & Shrimp Wonton
    Mushroom and Lemongrass Tisane
  • Diver Scallops
    Wilted Dandelion Green, Bacon Marmalade, Pomegranate
  • Black Sesame Creme Brulee
    Meyer Lemon Ice Cream
March 25 — Chef Robert O’Donnell | Sous Chef Michael Zozobrado

Menu

  • Mission Street Corn
    Yellow Corn, Dashi-Miso, Pichkled Chile, Cilantro
  • Lamb Shoulder Confit
    Watermelon Radish, Rutabaga, Confit Leek, Lamb Jus
  • Turron Fosters
    Rum Caramel, Jackfruit Coulis, Fish Sauce Ice Cream
March 17 — Chef Ryan Moffatt | Sous Chef Adam Silverstein

Menu

  • Carne Cruda
    Beef Tenderloin, Bone Marrow Espuma, Wild Arugula Pesto
  • Braised Oxtail Pasta
    Balsamic Cipollini Onions, Porcini Consommé, Mixed Mushrooms, Pickled Spring Vegetables
  • Tiramisu
    Frangelico Espresso Baba, Candied Hazelnuts, Marcarpone Gelato

Culinary Clash Student Cooking Competition & Scholarship Fundraiser Continues in San Francisco March 10-11

Written by Yi YeoJin
Chef Instructor/Farm to Table Coordinator
International Culinary Center®

Culinary Clash is a pretty long competition where students have been investing their time outside of class, from December 2017 to now.

Throughout this time lapse, a lot happens!  There are preliminary cooking competitions to sub-sequential competitions that are both held here at ICC, CA. From there, I meet with each group multiple times to refine their menus. This is really the fun part for the students. They get to showcase their hard work, but pitch their own menu and get to run the course at their respective hotels for one night. Each team gets to taste a little of what it feels like to manage a kitchen. Hopefully, it shows them that it’s not just skill sets and talent but communication and working with a team that leads to success.

All the while, on their own time, they are constantly pushing themselves to represent something they are proud to serve their friends, family, and the judges table.

For me, I have a lot of fun seeing the development of these students. You can see them forming ownership of their menus and I have the responsibility of fostering their empowerment. By the time they nail their menus by practicing at school, they face another challenge which is going to a totally new kitchen and workspace to replicate what they have done at school..simultaneously, communicating with their partner and hotel Chef for delegating tasks and finding out where ingredients/equipment are!

I am asking a lot out of them, but I know they are all capable. I’ve been running these competitions at ICC for the past three years and each year we always have something noteworthy to look back on. This year doesn’t fall short either. Looking forward to another stressful, enduring, sweaty yet thrilling and exciting competition this year! Lookout for us in May at the Ultimate Clash in DC!


Check out the student-curated menus and teams for March 10 and March 11.

Nob Hill Club – Chef Selah Kendall and Sous Chef Andrae Gray (March 10)

MENU: Pork and shrimp wonton with mushroom and lemongrass tisane; Diver scallop with wilted dandelion green, bacon marmalade and pomegranate; Sesame crème brulee with Meyer lemon ice cream*

Selah Kendall has been cooking ever since she could reach the stove on a stool. She worked various jobs in the restaurant industry with her very first at a local pizza parlor in Montclair, New Jersey, where she answered the phone and took orders.  Her biggest inspiration is her Great Aunt Jenne who was raised in Jamaica. She taught Selah her first skills in the kitchen and “how to cook with love.”

Watching his grandmothers and parents cook gave Andrae Gray a love and respect for cooking early on. “There is something about watching people’s eyes light up with total satisfaction when you serve them something so delicious and fulfilling. It’s a feeling that I got while watching family cook and I love seeing it on faces now.” Gray was born and raised in California’s Central Valley.

Luce – Chef Hannah Gomez and Sous Chef Molly Doster (March 11)

MENU: Hamachi Crudo; Prawn Enchilada a la Cubana; Blood Orange olive oil cake*

Currently enrolled in the ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program, Hannah Gomez brings with her a degree in entrepreneurial management and two years of running her own business to the kitchen. Born and raised in the Philippines, she always had a passion for cooking, learning from her mother, relatives and friends.

Born and raised on a farm in Iowa, Molly Doster’s journey to the International Culinary Center began in the home kitchen. “I am one of six children, which lent itself to cooking both volumes and varieties. My mom encouraged me to give the culinary field a look.” Molly is inspired by chefs including Argentina’s Francis Mallmann and hopes to one day own and operate a restaurant or bed and breakfast on her family farm.

*menus are subject to change


When: Remaining dates at Nob Hill Club at InterContinental Mark Hopkins and Luce at the                            InterContinental San Francisco are as follows:

  • Saturdays – March 10 and 17 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Nob Hill Club at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins (One Nob Hill); for reservations contact Joanna Carrasco at 415-616-6940 or Carrasco@IHG.com.
  • Sundays – March 11, 18, and 25 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco (888 Howard Street); for reservations contact Luce at 415-616-6566, luce@ihg.com or visit Openable.

The Insider’s Guide to Nailing Your Trail

Article by David Janke
Associate Dean of Students, International Culinary Center


I am a graduate of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program and a former Sous Chef at a Michelin star restaurant.  As a sous chef, I had the responsibility of setting up trails, interviewing, and vetting potential employees when they would come for a trail.  Part of my role as Associate Dean of Student is managing our Career Services department and ensuring that they properly prepare our students for the most important first step in one’s professional career: the trail. For our current students–and alumni–preparing for ICC’s upcoming Career Fair, here are 5 tips to help you succeed on your next kitchen trail!

 

1. Be persistent!

Communication in this industry is notoriously slow, and it can be frustrating to wait several days or more for a response from a potential employer.  Always use the three day rule: if they have not gotten back to you in three days, send a follow up email.

2. Ask the right questions.

When setting up the trail, there are 3 questions you should always ask.

1) What door should I enter through?
Most of the time, kitchen staff will enter a restaurant through a different entrance that is not always so easy to find.

2) What should I wear?
Most restaurants provide uniforms, but not all of them.

3) Should I bring my knives and equipment?
Different establishments provide different equipment for their employees, so it is always good to ask.  I would always bet on at least bringing your knives in a small knife roll.

3. Be punctual!

If your trail is set to start at 8am, that means you are expected to be dressed and ready to go no later than 8am.  Always give yourself plenty of time, leave early, and plan to arrive no later than 15 mins early.

4. Be positive.

Employers are not necessarily using the trail to specifically test your knife or cooking skills.  They want to see that you are competent in the kitchen, for sure.  But what is much more important is the attitude and demeanor you bring with you.  A supervisor is really looking for someone who is positive, gladly takes on new tasks and responsibilities, and has a team player mentality.  Be sure to focus on those “soft skills” throughout the trail.

5. Send a thank you email.

After you complete your trail, always send a thank you email to the person you have been communicating with from the employer.  Even if you are not offered the job, or choose not to take the position, it sets the proper tone professionally and leaves a good impression.  In an industry where everyone seems to know everyone, reputation is important.


What is a soft skill? 

“Soft skills” in this industry are traits and attributes that are more nuanced and subtle, but just as important to employers when searching for the right candidate. While one’s hard skills – knife skills, knowledge of cooking terms and techniques, etc. – are certainly important, it is the soft skills that can play a major role in one’s success. Being punctual and always arriving early, having a positive attitude and strong work ethic, being the first to volunteer your time; these are all examples of soft skills. And the good news is, these are factors that you can control. For instance, you may not have the best knife skills yet; that is a skill set that develops over time and with practice.  However, if you show a willingness to improve and excel at other soft skills, you will be successful.

 

For more information on Career Services at ICC, click here.

Honoring Stacy’s Rise Project Scholarship Recipients for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

This Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, First Class of Stacy’s Rise Project Scholarship Recipients Receive Mentorship to Help Break Through Male-Dominated Field

PR Newswire — November 2017 — In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on November 19, Stacy’s celebrated the inaugural class of Stacy’s Rise Project scholarship recipients with a professional development day hosted at the renowned International Culinary Center (ICC) in New York City. The day provided these female entrepreneurs business advice, tools, and support to continue to break through some of the toughest barriers to women in any field.

“Stacy’s is committed to empowering the next generation of female culinary leaders to pursue their dreams, and is thrilled to celebrate the first class of Stacy’s Scholarship for Female Culinary Leaders recipients,” said Stuart Beck, senior director of marketing, Stacy’s Snacks. “Each of these women has developed impressive business plans that we are proud to be able to support – and ultimately be a part of advancing the number of women entrepreneurs in the U.S.”

The Stacy’s Rise Project was born out of Stacy’s roots as a brand founded by female entrepreneur Stacy Madison, who started by baking pita bread into fresh chips each day to give her customers waiting in line at her Boston food cart. Customers loved the simple but delicious chips so much that they encouraged her to start her own brand and today they are America’s favorite pita chip. Launched earlier this year, the Stacy’s Rise Project helps female culinary entrepreneur hopefuls pursue their business endeavors through scholarship, mentorship and thought leadership. In September, Stacy’s awarded $40,000 in scholarships and stipends to four women entering the Culinary Entrepreneurship Program at ICC. Recipients participated in the six-week entrepreneurship program that demystifies the start-up process and guides them through the steps of business planning in an immersive, mentorship-driven environment.

Future culinary luminaries: the inaugural scholarship class
This year’s scholarship recipients include promising and inspiring female entrepreneurs whose business plans may differ but share a common passion for food and hospitality.

Raven Rivera was born and raised on Long Island in Bay Shore, N.Y. Although equipped with a Master of Arts in television, Raven had a dream to one day be a restaurateur. Stacy’s Rise Project and ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship Program have helped her follow her dream. She is embracing her family’s roots and is opening a Puerto Rican restaurant that families, friends and the surrounding community can enjoy.

Kiki Canuto is a trilingual world traveler from Massachusetts who would like to create connections and cultivate fulfillment through the food she serves. She is the owner of The Getaway Plate, which provides families with in-home meal prep in the Greater Boston area. Kiki’s zest for life is contagious and she is passionate about simplifying the lives of families who are very busy, but also value enjoying a meal together at the end of the day. With the tools she gained from ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship Program, she hopes to soon expand her services to Southern California.

Eunice Giarta is a Californian-turned-New Yorker. Having previously studied engineering and working in software, she found her passion for a different type of challenge—not in an office, but in a kitchen where she pursued further education in pastry arts. She enjoys the methodical, precise and special art of baking and loves sharing the fruits of her labor with others. Eunice plans to leverage the business plan and mentorship advice she received through the Stacy’s Rise Project and ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship Program to open a dessert bar in Chicago where she can share her cultural background and love of pastry by merging Asian-inspired flavors and French-pastry techniques.

Jane Deegan hails from Manhattan, New York. Baking also holds a special place in her heart, as the art has helped Janie find her light, beauty, and inspiration after struggling with homelessness and addiction growing up. Janie aspires to open a bakery and café that serves light food and specializes in delicious baked goods that are a creative, modern twist on American classics. A dream that would be far more difficult to achieve without the financial support of the Stacy’s Rise Project and the advanced culinary business education from ICC. Her most notable product thus far is her Pie Crust Cookie, which has already gained attention from top food industry experts. She currently operates an online business named Janie Bakes.

Stacy’s and ICC will continue the work of the Stacy’s Rise Project next year, awarding $60,000 in scholarships and stipends to future female entrepreneurs. Visit stacyssnacks.com/riseproject to learn more about Stacy’s Rise Project, scholarship opportunities, and the brand’s commitment to supporting women.

To learn more about the scholarship, click here.


About Stacy’s Snacks
Stacy’s Snacks is one of the many brands that make up Frito-Lay North America, the $15 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, http://www.fritolay.com/, the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/ and on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/fritolay.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

 

Jacques Torres Sugar Demo, Through the Eyes of a Culinary Student

Written by Olivia Hamilton
Culinary Student, Level 1

ICC had a sweet treat yesterday with Chef Jacques Torres, also known as Mr. Chocolate and the Dean of Pastry Arts at ICC. He is multi-talented in the world of desserts but one of most impressive disciplines he practices (in my opinion) is his work with sugar. As a current Level 1 student in the Culinary Arts program, it’s exciting to see how the other half (pastry) lives.

Sugar is hard to work with no matter who you are, or how long you’ve been working with sugar. It will burn you if you aren’t careful, along with breaking or falling apart just when you thought you had it finished. Even with these obstacles, Chef Jacques Torres made his sugar sculpture demonstration seem like a walk in the park while keeping us laughing. Whether he was using molds or manually pulling the sugar, we, the audience, were on the edge of our seats the whole time knowing how delicate sugar can be.

While filling the molds with the hot liquid sugars, Torres explained that it is best to use glucose with poured sugar. Whereas pulling sugar is more successful mixed with vinegar because it stays pliable for longer, but is also more delicate to work with. The molds were to be used to create the base structures for the sugar masterpiece that was unfolding in front of our eyes.

The Dean then showed us how to properly mix the color into pulling sugars which reminded me very much of an omelet. Clear pulling sugar is placed on a Silpat then drops of red, blue, and green food coloring is added about 3 inches apart only using the bottom half of the sugar. Chef then used a cake tester to spread a bit of the food coloring within each section. Then came the folding; he folded the sugar over in half like you would with an omelet before presenting it. Then Chef separated it into 3 sections (by color) and began to knead the sugar almost how you would with bread dough.

Torres shared with us that no matter how many years he has worked with sugar, he always seems to have the red food coloring dye his hands. While working with the super hot sugar, he also explained how your reflexes may not always help you. When you burn your finger, your first instinct is to put it in your mouth but then you burn your finger and your mouth. The best thing to do when you have sugar burning you is to wipe it off in a towel/apron or place your finger in cold water. Also sometimes you’re too late to realize that you have burned your hands and may end up with blisters that can last up to 10 days.

With all that potential of getting burned, the Dean still prefers to work without gloves, since that is the way he started doing it almost 40 years ago. Also when he started working with sugar, gloves were hard to come by and could only be purchased at a medical store. Though sweat can affect the sugar, Torres noted that his hands no longer sweat, or perhaps he sweats sugar?
Once the sugar was the right temperature to pull, Chef started to place celery sized pieces of each colored sugar next to each other. He then started to pull and stretch the sugar with a pastry students help. The sugar was pulled so far it seemed as if it was as long as the student was tall. He then used this long, skinny, multi-colored ribbon to create a bow that looked like it belonged on a birthday present.

Next, Torres showed us how to make a beautifully blossomed rose for the display piece. He started with an oval type of shape about the size of my thumb. After, he would create each petal by pulling a bit of sugar from the colored sugar patty increasing in size with each petal. He said the trick with making a good rose is, “the less you touch it, the better it is”. Another important part of making beautifully pulled sugar is that if it is too warm when you pull it, it won’t be shiny.

The master of sugar then showed us how to make a bird with a cute bonnet upon its head. The body was about the size of a hummingbird and a knife was used to help define its neck. Similar to the rose, he created the bird’s wings by pulling it piece by piece laying 5 on top of each other in a fan style. He then “glued it” by using the torch to melt the wing slightly enough that the melted sugar would help it stick to the body. He then repeated this for the other wing and did the same technique to place on the beak.

Watching Chef assemble this piece was like seeing someone play Jenga with puzzle pieces. Each piece of sugar, whether it was the stand, backdrop, or the delicate ornaments (like the bow, bird, and flower), had to be placed ever so carefully. It would be so easy for this whole creation to be destroyed in a split second, but Dean and Chef Jacques Torres is a master for a reason.

 

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.

The Cookie Games 2017 Winners: Browned Butter Masala Chai Cookies

This year’s first place winner of The Cookie Games at the International Culinary Center’s New York City campus came from Professional Culinary Arts students. The duo of Madeline Dudek and Clara Lim chose the country of India as their main inspiration for their original cookie recipe. Creating Browned Butter Masala Chai Cookies, the duo received the highest score among the 10 competitors judged by the likes of Dorie Greenspan (Cookbook Author), Angie Mar (ICC Alumni and Chef/Owner of Beatrice Inn), renowned pastry chef Florian Bellanger, Robb Riedel of Food Network Magazine, and ICC’s President, Erik Murnighan.

The following recipe yields 48 cookies. Try them out for yourself today!


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups butter, unsalted, divided
  • 1-2 star anise
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. chai spices
  • -2 parts EACH ground cardamom and ground ginger
  • -1 part EACH ground fennel seed, ground coriander and ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 4 ½ cups flour, all-purpose
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pecans, ground and toasted

For garnish:

  • 1 red beet, peeled and cubed
  • Coconut chips, unsweetened
  • 2 cups white chocolate, chopped
  • Ground cardamom, as needed
  • Ground cinnamon, as needed

    PROCEDURES

Prepare the browned butter by melting 1 cup of butter in a saucepan placed over medium heat with 1-2 star anise to infuse. Stir until nutty and light brown. Remove immediately from the heat and add the chai spices and Chinese five spice. Set aside to cool. While still liquid, strain the butter through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the spices.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the cooled browned butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add one egg or egg yolk at a time, scraping the sides occasionally. Add vanilla and molasses and mix. Add all dry ingredients and pecans and mix until just incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out and cut into diamond shapes. Place onto baking trays, lined with parchment paper. Return the portions to the refrigerator until chilled.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow cooling before decorating.


For garnish:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a blender, process beet pieces with a small amount of water. Transfer the puree to a cheesecloth lined bowl, and squeeze the juice out. Discard the beet products.

Mix coconut chips with some of the beet juice to dye them red and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes. Allow cooling before decorating.

Melt 3/4 white chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly. When completely melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add remaining white chocolate, stirring to cool the chocolate. When completely melted, add cardamom and cinnamon, as desired. Drizzle the tempered white chocolate over the cooled cookies.

Before the chocolate sets, finish with a piece of cooled, coconut chip in the center of each cookie.

Professional Quality in Cake Techniques & Design

Written by Michelle Apiar
Assistant Director of Admissions & ICC Pastry Grad ’04
Chef/Owner of Haute So Sweet Cakes

When I saw this Slimer cake, I was taken aback by the professional quality of the cake.  Being in the special occasion cake industry for over 10 years, this is the type of cake that customers would ask for.  It is a symbol of something that is hot in pop culture right now (and in the 80s with the original Ghostbusters) I could see this being either a Groom’s Cake or a Kid’s cake.  The level of skill on this cake is advanced.  For example, the difficulty of carving the creases in the body with cake and covering with fondant can be very difficult, and the fact that there are no tears or cracks in the fondant is impressive.  Carving out the mouth area and adding the sculpted fondant tongue and teeth seamlessly inside is a high-level skill.  The details in the cheeks, nose, and eyes brought in the personality of the character that brought the cake to life.  Not to mention that the fluorescent green is a perfect match to the original character, and the hot dog is an iconic detail as well.

This cake holds all the elements that are in demand in the cake industry right now and this student created a cake that I would be proud to present to my customers.  If the students are learning these types of skills in the Cake Techniques and Design class, they will be well equipped to work in the cake design industry or build a cake business of their own.

Click here to learn more about ICC’s Cake Techniques & Design program.

Follow along with Michelle’s cake design business via @HauteSoSweet on Instagram or Facebook.


International Culinary Center Students Win 2017 Culinary Clash in San Francisco

The InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco and Anna Ruiz, a culinary student at the International Culinary Center®, as the winner of the sixth annual Ultimate Culinary Clash, which took place on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco Hotel. With the assistance of the hotel’s Executive Chef Michael Wong and student sous chef Sarim Yaun, also from the International Culinary Center®, Anna received top honors while competing against three other culinary students who were paired with top chefs from InterContinental properties in the U.S. and Mexico. She received a $5,000 scholarship from the InterContinental brand and student sous chef Sarim Yaun received an additional $2,500 in scholarship. Winning student Anna Ruiz impressed the judges with her Glazed Pork Belly, Fennel Pollen Grits, Dandelion Greens dish while student sous chef Sarim Yaun served an Asparagus Veloutée alongside Anna’s dish.

Part cooking competition and part scholarship fundraiser, the Ultimate Culinary Clash brought together the winners of four regional Culinary Clash competitions to face-off against each other. The student chef finalists presented a small plate of their winning entrée from the regional Culinary Clash to an esteemed group of judges, composed of a special group of hotel executives, media, and renowned chefs, including Ryan Scott, Top Chef Alum, Emmy-award winning host of “Food Rush,” author of “One to Five,” and regular guest on NBC’s Today Show. Each dish in the competition was judged and scored on taste, creativity, and presentation. Winning student Anna Ruiz impressed the judges with her Glazed Pork Belly, Fennel Pollen Grits, Dandelion Greens dish while student sous chef Sarim Yaun served an Asparagus Veloutée alongside Anna’s dish.

David Neves, Head of F&B Solutions, InterContinental Hotels Group said: “The InterContinental brand’s commitment to its world-class restaurant and beverage program means that we constantly innovate menus that pair local flavors with global inspiration, with our Michelin-starred chefs and celebrity restaurateurs. It gives us great pride to foster the development of the next generation of culinary talent with the Culinary Clash.”

Over the course of three months, four InterContinental properties across the United States and Mexico held local competitions with culinary students. The first place winners from each hotel received the opportunity to move forward to the Ultimate Culinary Clash in San Francisco, and the following is a list of this year’s student participants:

The Ultimate Culinary Clash serves as an opportunity for the InterContinental brand to showcase its commitment to culinary excellence. The regional competitions began six years ago as a local annual cooking competition at the InterContinental San Francisco hotel’s Luce restaurant. The competition invited students from a local culinary school to compete for a chance to work with the restaurant’s Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey and showcase their own menu for one night in Luce. The competition was later expanded to include other InterContinental hotels from the U.S. and Mexico.

ICC New York Campus to Host Upcoming Japanese Cuisine Competitions

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


The Japanese Culinary Academy (NPO)

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

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

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

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


Japanese Cuisine and Food Culture Human Resource Development Committee

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

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

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