2018 Outstanding Alumni Awards: Angie Mar, Anna Bolz, Steven Cook, Aaron Babcock

ICC Announces 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award Winners

International Culinary Center’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony, held on June 3rd at New York City’s iconic Carnegie Hall, celebrated students who have completed ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts, Italian Culinary, Pastry Arts, Cake Techniques & Design, Art of International Bread Baking and Intensive Sommelier Training programs between May 2017 and June 2018.

ICC has a long tradition of celebrating the success of our graduates. Part of our process for planning each year’s Commencement is looking at who has made an impact in the previous year and left a mark on their industry. ICC selects these individuals from each field of study to honor in a series of Outstanding Alumni Awards.

This year, ICC bestowed the Excellence in Culinary Arts award to Chef Angie Mar, Chef/Owner of The Beatrice Inn in New York City. Excellence in Pastry Arts was awarded to Anna Bolz, Pastry Chef of Per Se. Steven Cook, graduate of the Culinary Arts program in 2000, and Co-Owner of CookNSolo Restaurants, received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship award. Lastly, the Outstanding Sommelier recipient was Aaron Babcock, Advanced Sommelier and the Sommelier at Quince in San Francisco who traveled from the West Coast to receive his award.

Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award winners and let their stories, and successes, be an inspiration to you!


I’m honored to provide this exceptional group of individuals with the distinction of Outstanding Alumni during the 2018 Commencement Ceremony at Carnegie Hall. It’s so inspiring to watch former ICC students thrive and innovate in the hospitality industry. We acknowledge Chef Angie Mar, Anna Bolz, Steven Cook, and Aaron Babcock, for excellence in their fields and hope that their stories inspire our new graduates to love what they do and to prosper in whatever career path they follow.” – Erik Murnighan, President of the International Culinary Center


MEET ICC’S 2018 OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS

EXCELLENCE IN CULINARY ARTS
Angie Mar | Executive Chef/Owner of The Beatrice Inn | Classic Culinary Arts, 2011

Chef Angie Mar, a native of Seattle, Washington, comes from a family of food lovers and restaurateurs. After graduating from our Culinary program in 2011, she went on to work in some of the toughest kitchens in New York, including the Spotted Pig, Marlow & Sons, Reynard, and Diner. In 2013, she took the helm of the West Village institution The Beatrice Inn, where she’s now the executive chef and owner. She has become known for working with whole animals and live fire, earning her a two-star review from the New York Times. She was Thrillist’s chef of the year in 2016, a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2017. Read more & see her interview here.


EXCELLENCE IN PASTRY ARTS
Anna Bolz | Pastry Chef of Per Se | Classic Pastry Arts, 2007Chef Anna Bolz, Pastry Chef Per Se

Anna Bolz is the Pastry Chef at the three-Michelin-starred Per Se where she oversees the production of all the dessert offerings and chocolate production for the restaurant. Born and raised in small-town Iowa, Anna studied music before pursuing her passion in pastry and baking at the International Culinary Center, then The French Culinary Institute. She cooked her way through a few of New York’s best kitchens, including Porterhouse and Jean-Georges, before landing at Per Se. Read more & see her interview here.

 


EXCELLENCE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP 
Steven Cook, Co-Owner of CookNSolo RestaurantsSteven Cook | Co-Owner of CookNSolo Restaurants & Dizengoff NYC | Classic Culinary Arts, 2000

Steven Cook may not be a household name yet, but he’s one of the country’s most successful restaurateurs and oversees a mini-empire in New York and Philadelphia along with his business partner Michael Solomonov. He graduated from our culinary arts program in 2000 and is now the co-owner of a growing family of restaurants including Zahav, Dizengoff, Federal Donuts, and the philanthropic luncheonette Rooster Soup Company (check out their website roostersoupcompany.com—they’re really doing amazing work!). The cookbook he co-wrote with his business partner, called Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, won TWO James Beard Awards in 2016, for Best International Cookbook and Book of the year. Read more here.


OUTSTANDING SOMMELIER 
Aaron Babcock, Advanced Sommelier, Sommelier at QuinceAaron Babcock, Advanced Sommelier | Sommelier at Quince | Intensive Sommelier Training, 2012

Aaron Babcock, this year’s Outstanding Sommelier, is a young man who has accomplished incredible success in a very short span of time. He graduated from our Intensive Sommelier Training program in 2012, earned his Certified Sommelier qualification and went to work at Manresa, one of California’s best restaurants. Just a few years later, at the unlikely age of 24, he passed his Advanced Sommelier exam and joined the team at Quince in San Francisco, which he helped to earn its third Michelin star. Read more here.

ICC Announces Outstanding Alumni for 2017 Commencement Ceremony

The International Culinary Center® will celebrate the annual commencement ceremony for students who have completed programs between May 2016 and April 2017. The ceremony, held at the iconic Carnegie Hall in New York City, will feature keynote speaker and Dean of Special Programs, Jacques Pépin. Each year during the ceremony, ICC honors one alumnus from each field of study in a series of Outstanding Alumni Awards. This year, ICC dedicates the Excellence in Culinary Arts award to Chef Julian Medina, Chef / Owner of Toloache, Tacuba, Coppelia, Yerba Buena, and La Chula. Excellence in Pastry Arts will be awarded to Susanna Yoon, Founder and Head Chocolatier of Stick With Me Sweets. Culinary Arts and International Bread Baking graduate and Head Baker of MeyersUSA, Rhonda Crosson, will receive the Excellence in Bread award. The Excellence in Entrepreneurship award will be presented to Hugh Mangum, Chef/Owner of Mighty Quinn’s and a graduate of ICC’s Classic Culinary Arts program. Lastly, the Outstanding Sommelier recipient and alumnus will be Jhonel Faelnar, AS, the Sommelier at The NoMad.

The commencement will be held on Sunday, April 23rd. For media inquiries, please email Angela at asamartano@culinarycenter.com


I’m honored to provide this extraordinary group of individuals with the distinction of Outstanding Alumni during the 2017 Commencement Ceremony at Carnegie Hall. It’s extremely inspiring to watch former ICC students, and even my own classmates, go on to thrive in the hospitality industry. We acknowledge Julian Medina, Susanna Yoon, Hugh Mangum, Rhonda Crosson and Jhonel Faelnar for excellence in their respective fields and hope their stories inspire our new graduates to love what they do in any career path they follow.” – Erik Murnighan, President of the International Culinary Center.


Read about the recipients of ICC’s 2017 Outstanding Alumni awards below.
EXCELLENCE IN CULINARY ARTS
Julian Medina | Chef/Owner of Toloache, Tacuba, Coppelia, Yerba Buena, La Chula | Classic Culinary Arts, 1999

Julian Medina, chef- owner of Toloache, Yerba Buena, Coppelia, Tacuba Mexican Cantina and La Chula has been creating refined Mexican cuisine for over fifteen years. Raised in Mexico City Julian moved here in 1996 and graduated from ICC (formerly French Culinary Institute) in 1999. He has been featured in many publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker and on Iron Chef American in 2011.


EXCELLENCE IN PASTRY ARTS
suzanna-yoon-stick-with-me-sweets-icc-alumniSusanna Yoon | Head Chocolatier/Founder of Stick With Me Sweets | Classic Pastry Arts, 2010

Susanna Yoon is the Head Chocolatier, Founder and heart behind one of New York’s finest confectionaries and chocolate shops, Stick With Me Sweets. Susanna was rewarded Top Ten Chocolatiers in America by Dessert Professional and attributes her intense, keen eye for perfection to her training in Michelin starred restaurants. Stick With Me Sweets’ chocolates were included amongst Oprah’s Favorite Things this past year and continue to receive many accolades for their exquisite bonbons.


EXCELLENCE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP 
hm-headshotHugh Mangum | Chef/Owner of Mighty Quinn’s | Classic Culinary Arts, 2001 

Born to a father from Texas and a mother from the Bronx, Mangum grew up among the diverse food culture of Los Angeles but always found the best barbecue in his backyard, prepared by his father. Honoring an inheritance he received after the passing of his father, Hugh Mangum graduated from New York’s French Culinary Institute in 2001. “My father had a lust for life,” he says. “I wanted to continue that tradition as we shared it—through food.”  In 2011, Mangum took his passion to the next level as Co-Founder and Pit Master for Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque which defines a distinct brand of New York-style barbecue that slots neatly into the fast-casual industry. Named after his eldest son and inspired by his late father, Mangum handles recipe development for menus across all Mighty Quinn’s locations. Mangum has also won Food Network’s hit series Chopped and has been featured on programs such as Beat Bobby Flay, Unique Eats, and more.


EXCELLENCE IN BREAD
rhondaRhonda Crosson | Head Baker at MeyersUSA | The Art of International Bread Baking, 2004 | Classic Culinary Arts, 2006

Rhonda has worked for and with some of New York’s best bakeries and high profile chefs; from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and Per Se to Amy’s Bread, Daniel Boulud and Marcus Samuelsson, where she first got her interest in Scandinavian bread making. Rhonda used to work as a chemist and holds a degree in Biological Chemistry from Bates College, as well as diplomas in both Bread Baking and Culinary Arts from the International Culinary Center, where she has also been a bread instructor. Rhonda takes great pride in perfecting her rye bread, so it tastes like that of a Danish grandmother, and when not baking, she loves to travel the world.


OUTSTANDING SOMMELIER 
jhonel-thumbJhonel Faelnar, AS | Sommelier at The NoMad | Intensive Sommelier Training, 2014

Jhonel Faelnar is currently a Sommelier at the NoMad Restaurant in New York. He has been with the Make It Nice family since 2015 and has recently taken the helm of the NoMad’s Beer Program, while preparing for the rigorous Master Sommelier examinations in 2018. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University and as captain of the men’s Judo team, wine and hospitality were far from mind in the beginning. Leaving home and moving to Osaka and then New York opened up a different culinary world that inspired his first foray into the industry in 2013, with scholarships from both the James Beard Foundation and the International Culinary Center, and an internship with Wine & Spirits Magazine. Obsessed with wine at this point, he pursued further education with Scott Carney, MS at the ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Program and the Court of Master Sommeliers at the close of 2013. Hitting the ground running from there, he worked with Roger Dagorn, MS on his first wine program where he learned invaluable lessons on wine and hospitality. Eventually moving to the NoMad Restaurant and pursuing further growth, he passed the Advanced Examinations of the CMS in July of 2016, happily the first graduate in the New York program’s short history to have done so.