THE 2017 JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEES & WINNERS – ICC Graduates

Update as of May 2, 2017: 

After last night’s James Beard Awards Gala, we learned that some notable ICC alumni walked away from the 2017 ceremony as winners. Congratulations to the following individuals and establishments for their achievements!

Ghaya Oliveria, Daniel NYC – Outstanding Pastry Chef 2017

Upon graduating from the Culinary Academy, Ghaya earned her degree in Restaurant Management from the French Culinary Institute. Ghaya joined Café Boulud in New York in 2001. As a pastry commis, under Executive Pastry Chef Remy Funfrock, Ghaya learned the importance of precision and refined her technique. At Café Boulud, Ghaya was promoted on several occasions, first to Pastry Cook, then to Pastry Sous Chef. She continued to learn from Chef Funfrock, as well as Daniel Boulud’s Corporate Pastry Chef Eric Bertoia. She credits the former with teaching her to cook fruit with delicacy, care, and respect for their natural flavors.

When Chef Daniel Boulud opened Bar Boulud in 2007, he called upon Ghaya to become Executive Pastry Chef.She became responsible for menu development and sourcing ingredients, citing the local farmers’ markets as inspiration. When neighboring Boulud Sud opened in May 2011, Ghaya’s sheer talent and ambition led Boulud to make her the Executive Pastry Chef there, too. At Boulud Sud she debuted her Grapefruit Givré – a whimsical dessert composed of a frozen grapefruit filled with grapefruit sorbet, fresh grapefruit jam, sesame crumble, sesame foam and rose water loukoum, topped with halva ‘hair’– which has received countless press accolades and praises from diners.

In July 2013, Boulud named Ghaya Executive Pastry at his flagship DANIEL. She brings traditional French pastry training, a refined palate, and unexpected flavor combinations, juxtaposed with a sense of playfulness; but above all, she brings an unwavering desire to delight! Her professional approach and talent were recognized by the James Beard Foundation with a 2012 nomination for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” and again in 2015, 2016. “Working for Daniel means always reaching for the best,” she says. “It’s knowing how to be classic and modern at the same time.”


Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA) 2017

Greg Vernick was born into a family who knew a lot about genuine quality food. His mother ran the Haddonfield Diet Shop in New Jersey, and his grandfather ran their family Philadelphia’s butcher shop Friedman’s Market. A graduate of Boston University, he went straight into CIA’s Culinary Program and soon after, the French Culinary Institute’s Sous-Vide Intensive and Pastry Techniques program.

Vernick moved to New York City to work on the line for the opening of Jean-Georges Vongericten’s Perry Street, under Chef Gregory Brainin. Vernick rose through the ranks and served as sous chef at Jean Georges, Nougatine, and Spice Market and became their corporate chef trainer for restaurants in Qatar, Tokyo, Vancouver, Boston, and Park City, Utah. After five years in the Vongerichten empire, Vernick took his final post away from home as chef de cuisine of New York’s Tocqueville.

In 2012, Vernick returned to Philadelphia and he and his wife, Julie, opened the doors to their first restaurants, Vernick Food & Drink, and soon after he received a James Beard Nomination. He would then be nominated for the award, 2 more times in 2015 & 2016.


Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY – Outstanding Service 2017

Dan Barber is the Executive Chef and co-owner of Blue Hill, a restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit farm Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in The New York Times, along with many other publications. Chef Dan Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006), the Country’s Outstanding Chef (2009), and Writing and Literature for his book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food (2015). His two restaurants have received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in the U.S. for Blue Hill New York (2013) and Blue Hill at Stone Barns (2015). In 2009, he was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”


The James Beard Foundation has released their final nominations for 2017. Included among the group of the hospitality industry’s finest, are several ICC alumni — and even our California Dean, David Kinch. We congratulate you all for receiving this deserved recognition for your achievements this year.

The final winners will be announced during The 2017 James Beard Awards Gala, hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC’s award-winning Modern Family. The ceremony will take place on Monday, May 1, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the 2017 Media Awards (formerly known as the Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards) will be hosted by JBF Award winner Andrew Zimmern and held on Tuesday, April 25, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.


Nominees
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Ghaya Oliveira [Daniel, NYC]
Restaurant Management, Class of 2004 
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Outstanding Restaurant : Momofuku Noodle Bar [David Chang, NYC]
Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2001
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Outstanding Service: Blue Hill at Stone Barns [Dan Barber, Pocantico Hills, NY] 
Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 1994 

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Outstanding Service: Zahav [Steven Cook, Philadelphia, PA]

Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2000

Steven Cook, co-founder, CookNSolo Restaurants


Rising Star Chef of the Year: Matt Rudofker [Momofuku Ssäm Bar, NYC]

Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2000

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Best Chef Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA): Greg Vernick [Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia]

Pastry Techniques, Class of 2011 

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Outstanding Chef: David Kinch [Manresa, Los Gatos, CA] 

Dean at the International Culinary Center 

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The 2017 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
Cooking from a Professional Point of View: Jason Licker for Lickerland: Asian Accented Desserts 
(Sirivatana Interprint Public Company Limited)
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CLICK HERE to see the full list of 2017 nominees. 

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.

[Recap] Jason Licker Returns to ICC to Launch First Cookbook

On Thursday, February 23, international Pastry Chef and alum Jason Licker returned to his Alma mater for a special event to launch the United States release of his first-ever cookbook, Lickerland.  Having lived abroad exploring various parts of Asia for the last decade, the culture definitely has influenced Jason’s flavor profile and approach to pastry arts. Encompassing dozens of Asian-accented desserts, the unique cookbook also includes pages that help consumers decipher the different taste experiences (including sweet, salty, sour, etc.) of each recipe.

During the 90-minute event, attendees learned more about Chef Licker through a fun-spirited Q&A with his former Pastry Chef-Instructor, Jurgen David. Additionally, everyone in the audience experienced a tasting from the cookbook. Chef Jason Licker took us through the step-by-step process of creating his White Chocolate-Junmai Sake Cream dessert with a toffee crumble. Utilizing techniques he learned in his Professional Pastry Arts many years ago, it’s easy to identify how his culinary school education has played a major influence throughout his career.

Attending the ICC was critical because in any profession, you need to crawl before you walk. With the hands-on schooling experience, I built a firm foundation of pastry knowledge.  There is nothing like learning during a hands-on job, but if you have a great education, you have an advantage. I think I would have discovered my passion for Asian cuisines no matter what because I just love food and discovering other cultures. With the culinary education I had though, it made it easier to apply those experiences abroad and translate that into my style of pastry.

 

Following the event that included students, faculty, family, friends and press, we asked Jason Licker about how it felt returning to his culinary school after all these years.

 It was an incredible moment of overwhelming joy to launch my first cookbook at where I first learned the foundation of pastry. It was a feeling of coming home.  Having (Pastry Chef) Jurgen David, a teacher of mine, now question me about my book was a full circle feeling. I was once a student in the audience, and now, I was demonstrating how to make one of my signature desserts. The team at the ICC made this special moment memorable.”

Watch highlights from the event below!

To purchase your copy of Lickerland, visit www.jasonlicker.com

PASTRY CHEF JASON LICKER REVEALS ‘LICKERLAND’ COOKBOOK + LAUNCH EVENT

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French Culinary Institute  graduate and professional Pastry Chef, Jason Licker has announced the US release of his first-ever cookbook. Celebrating 56 Asian-accented desserts, each recipe is the embodiment of Jason’s journey throughout some of Asia’s most captivating culinary capitals. Lickerland collects Pastry Chef Licker’s most cherished recipes from his magical career, seamlessly balancing Asian ingredients with classic French pastry techniques and presented beautifully with images by award-winning photographer, Jason Michael Lang.

After spending the last 12 years traveling and cooking throughout Asia, Jason is heading back stateside to make the International Culinary Center the first stop on his American Lickerland tour. Currently available throughout Asia and Europe via www.JasonLicker.com, Jason will be commemorating the United States release at his alma mater, the International Culinary Center on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 3:30pm-5pm ET.

You need to experience the bitter to realize how sweet things can be. This statement isn’t just about understanding your palate; it’s also about perseverance when faced with uncertainty. I never planned on becoming a chef. In fact, I had no idea what I was going to do. I may have always had a love affair with food, but it took a tragedy for me to realize it was actually my true calling. This book is about the memories I cherish that shaped who I am today. It’s about discovering flavors of the world in a journey that changed my life. I hope, in some small measure, it can help change yours. At the very least, you should be well-fed along the way.” Jason Licker, Pastry Chef

Limited signed copies will be available February 11th on www.JasonLicker.com or purchase on www.Amazon.com after February 23rd. A limited amount of signed copies will also be available at the event for purchase.

About the International Culinary Center®:

Founded by the late Dorothy Cann Hamilton as The French Culinary Institute in 1984, the International Culinary Center (ICC) is a global expert in professional culinary and wine education, with programs in New York, California and Italy, and graduates from more than 85 countries. The renowned six-month Total Immersion program has produced such talents as Bobby Flay, David Chang, Dan Barber, Christina Tosi and 15,000 more under the guidance of deans including Jacques Pepin and Jacques Torres. Awarded the coveted “School of Excellence” by accrediting commission ACCSC for its career education, ICC provides students with the credentials, confidence and connections to chart a successful career anywhere in the world.

About Jason Licker:

Before taking his passion for pastry into a global experience, Jason Licker received his diploma in Professional Pastry Arts through the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center®) in 1999. While in culinary school, Jason earned his first internship at Union Square Café in New York City and following graduation, earned a pastry cook position at the world renowned Jean-Georges Restaurant. Moving on to his first Pastry Chef position at Metrazur for Charlie Palmer at the age of 23, Jason elevated his craft yet again with a promotion to Executive Pastry Chef for The Shore Club in Miami Beach. Overseeing all food and beverage outlets including Nobu Miami Beach, Jason fueled his new found affinity for Asian cuisine. Holding positions as Executive Pastry Chef at the Peninsula New York, The Westin Bund in Shanghai, The Venetian Macau Hotel and Resort among others, the winner of Iron Chef Thailand (Dessert) is now making his way back stateside for the release of his inaugural pastry cookbook, Lickerland.

To RSVP for the event, email MTarigan@CulinaryCenter.com with subject Lickerland.

For all press inquiries, please email ASamartano@CulinaryCenter.com