Back-to-Culinary-School Recommended Reading

We all remember the dreaded summer reading list while growing up—a sure way to interrupt your plans at the beach, pool or park! But now, doesn’t the change in season start to get inspiring? How about a different kind of recommended reading list; one that will actually prepare you for a culinary career? Here are our top three picks from the ICC Library so you will be ready to get in the kitchen and pursue your culinary education!

Letters to a Young Chef

Our number one top most requested book of all time is the slim volume by Daniel Boulud – Letters to a Young Chef. While the highly regarded Michelin-starred chef could easily have penned another glossy cookbook or your standard memoir he instead wrote a series of short, accessible essays filled with incredibly practical advice, indispensable to anyone who wants to work in a kitchen. From taste to ego to life after restaurants, Chef Boulud has condensed his years of knowledge into a fun and easy to read book. Pick this up if you want a quick and inspiring overview of the life of a chef.

The Flavor Bible

While the student favorite may be Boulud, our Chef Instructors undoubtedly have a favorite as well! The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is recommended by nearly every instructor here from Chef Ben to Chef Jose to Chef Natalia! Why? It covers literally every flavor – sorted in a wide range of different ways. If you find a beautiful piece of striped bass but aren’t sure how you want to season it, flip to the ingredient guide to see multiple styles, some you may have never tried before. Likewise, if you are interested in learning how to cook a new style of cuisine, just turn to that section and find a full list of commonly used ingredients and flavor affinities. The entire book is interspersed with flavor advice and inspiration from well known chefs. Warning – after borrowing once from the library you may end up making the purchase and giving this essential guide permanent real estate on your kitchen counter!

The Third Plate

Meanwhile, if you are interested in the future of food and taking a deep dive into sustainability, food origins and the farm to table movement, look no further than the excellent book by our alumni Dan Barber, The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food. If you have ever wondered how Blue Hill came to be so highly regarded and successful, this book will give you some insight into Chef Barber’s philosophy in both the farm and the kitchen. Divided into soil, land, sea and seed, Chef goes through the history of agriculture, how it is changing and why it must change. If this sounds like a dry read, it is definitely not! Chef Barber is a brilliant writer who finds incredible characters and interesting stories to illustrate all his concepts.

All of these books and many more are available in the ICC Library! Students & Alumni are welcome to stop by to borrow a copy and see what else is new.

Library Notes: Favorites from Phaidon

Written by Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

favorites from phaidonOur friends and neighbors at Phaidon have extended a special offer to the ICC community – a discount on two new titles; Aska and Room for Dessert. Both of these titles are available in the library, so feel free to come have a look if you are interested! ICC students and faculty can use code RDA20 when placing their order at phaidon.com.  To celebrate, we are highlighting some other great titles from Phaidon available in the ICC Library.

Room for Dessert by Will Goldfarb is a fan favorite of our pastry department here at ICC. What makes this book really unique is that each dish includes not just your standard header followed by a recipe but a short essay regarding the inspiration behind the dish. The recipes have titles such as “Bitter Grandpa” and “Dessert of Mankind” each with beautiful plating and photography. The book also includes a section on Chef Will’s Lab of Ideas – the people he works with, how to develop new ideas and where he finds inspiration.

Aska by Fredrik Berselius again goes into much detail about inspiration, centered around the places which Chef Fredrik draws inspiration from. Find out all the details about the inner workings of the famed 2 Michelin Star Brooklyn restaurant and learn to prepare some of their most beloved dishes – from flatbread to roasted king crab to chanterelle and spruce fudge. More importantly, learn how Chef Fredrik sources his ingredients and develops his recipes.

Central by Virgilio Martinez will always have a special place in my heart because I recall the demo and book release we hosted for him here at ICC. This daring chef snuck some produce across the border so that we could see, smell and taste some root vegetables usually unavailable in the United States. This unusual cookbook is divided up by elevation including a cultural and gastronomic history of Peru along with recipes for Chef Virgilio’s modern take on the cuisine. The beautiful photos make you feel like you are actually traveling the country and coming back to the kitchen of Central.

Paella by Alberto Herraiz is beloved by many of the ICC Chefs here and pretty much in constant circulation! The book is beautifully designed to look like a rice sack and filled with the background and history of this Spanish Classic along with a wide variety of recipes for different styles and cooking methods. Of course the classics are covered but did you know that you can make Paella without any rice? Check out Herraiz’s version with quinoa and spring vegetables or black spaghetti with mushrooms. How about sweet Paella? Think rice pudding only with global inspirations including such delectable combos as apples and camembert, mango and coconut or green tea and red bean.

Library Notes: Remembering Chef Paul Bocuse

Written by Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

On January 20th the culinary world lost a visionary chef. Chef Paul Bocuse passed away in the same room where he was born 91 years ago above his main restaurant. The king of nouvelle cuisine, Chef Bocuse received many accolades and opened many restaurants throughout the years. Yet even with all the success he remained humble. Our own Chef Alain Sailhac, Dean Emeritus, recalled when Chef Bocuse stopped by the kitchen at Le Cirque to congratulate him. The two forged a friendship that would last years with Chef Alain stopping to visit whenever he was in Lyon. Chef Paul Bocuse was not only a brilliant chef but a prolific writer, so this month in the library we are highlighting his cookbooks to honor his memory.

Paul Bocuse’s French Cooking is his first book and an absolute classic. This beautiful volume was published in 1977 and includes over 1,000 recipes including 41 omelets! Very classic recipes, methods and preparation include everything from Truffle Soup Elysee to Cassoulet Languedoc Style to French Christmas Pudding. I may have to try my hand at the Poached Pears in Beaujolais. The book even includes the exact menu for the famous luncheon Chef Bocuse prepared for President Valery Giscard d’Estaing at the Elysee Palace – including the wine list. Perfect if you want to throw an unforgettable party.

If you are looking for something more specialized (and lighter to carry home!) we have Bocuse’s Regional French Cooking. When instructor Chef Jose Menendez spotted it in the display, it brought back memories. “This is just classic! Look at these recipes, essential,” he said, leafing through the terrines, gratins and roasts. This light paperback includes more color photos than the previous guide, and rather than dividing by course, it is split up by the regions of France. From the simple seafood of Provence to the Germanic influenced dishes of Alsace, Bocuse offers his take on the traditional foods and preparations of each region.  Of course there is the most from his home of Lyon, but he includes a little something for everyone – appetizer to dessert. Try your hand at the Savory Bacon and Onion Tart or the Provencal Fish Stew – classic Bouillabaisse.

The encyclopedic Complete Bocuse covers everything you need to know from his repertoire. With a beautiful layout and design and easy to follow recipes this 2010 compendium has a wide variety of recipes both savory and sweet. Try his classic Ratatouille, Quiche Lorraine or Coq au Vin and finish everything off with an Iced Cherry Souffle.

The beautiful Alain Ducasse series, My Best includes the top ten favorite recipes of all of his famous culinary friends. Each recipe is beautifully laid out with photo illustrations for each step of the recipe. This may sound like a beginner cookbook, but these are complex recipes from the master chefs of the world.  Paul Bocuse is included with My Best: Paul Bocuse. The book opens with a lovely interview giving some insight to the chef. Did you know Paul Bocuse collected mechanical organs? Next are the 10 recipes selected by Paul Bocuse with photo layouts of both the ingredients and each step of the process. Recipes include Macaroni and Cheese, Bresse Chicken Fricassee and Apple Tart.

So stop by the library to pick up a book so you can commemorate the life of this master by recreating one of his recipes.

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

Library Notes: June 2017 [California]

Written by Savannah Sharrett
ICC Communications Liaison

View the books in our California campus library that will get you in gear for National Fruit & Veggie Month.

The Book of Greens: A Cook’s Compendium by Jenn Louis

Personally, when I think of “greens,” I imagine one of three things: collard, kale, or lettuce. Author, Jenn Louis, a Southern Californian native, comments that although having grown up in an area plentiful with green produce, it wasn’t until she traveled out of the country that she, “was delighted by the number of different varieties of greens in the markets”. She points out that North American diets tend to only include greens as salads and side dishes and shared her discovery that the rest of the world integrates them more fully. Today, in California especially, with the availability of more produce in this farmers market culture, variety is no longer our problem. As many might agree, “learning to buy and cook NEW vegetables can be intimidating”.  The table of contents lists 40 different types of greens, some I had never hear of, like Caltuce, Gai Lan, Mache, Purslane, etc. This book takes each of those and breaks them down, providing background information, what season it grows, how to choose the best quality, how to clean, store, refresh, cook and what to pair it with. Despite the few carefully thought out recipes towards the back, this book is more of an encyclopedia.


The Power of Vegetables! Turbocharged Recipes for Vegetables with Guts by Peter Meehan and the Editors of Lucky Peach

As always, Lucky Peach takes an unorthodox view of matters and I happen to be a huge fan of their style.  Most veggie cookbooks emphasize what’s in season or claim to hold the key to wellness and healthfulness but instead, Meehan states simply, “I wanted weeknight all-caps cooking for people looking to eat more vegetable-centered meals”.  It is interesting to note that although meat is primarily a non-option in this book, these recipes are not prejudiced towards the occasional toss of bacon or the use of anchovies to achieve that umami flavor we are all seeking these days. Although usually very trendy, this time Lucky Peach strays from the ever so popular grain-bowls or egg-on-top-bowls and encourages home cooks to have a broader, more international view of food without overwhelming them. For example, one might try their hand at Gomen Wat, an Ethiopian dish or Sarson Ka Saag, from the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan, and even Quiche Lorraine, a French staple.  One of the most useful parts of this book might be the list of ingredients that will make a home pantry versatile and complete such as miso, bread crumbs, capers, and shitake mushrooms.


On Vegetables by Jeremy Fox

I have definitely heard of the concepts of farm-to-table and nose-to-tail but I never thought about seed-to-stalk vegetable cooking. Author, Jeremy Fox, defines this idea in saying, “if you’re going to kill something, you @&!% better not waste any of it”. He goes further and asks, “what if cooking responsibly isn’t just about honoring things with heartbeats”? The book challenges readers not to take the easiest or standardized approach to cooking but instead to cook intentionally and deliberately; to consider how the dish today carries over to the dish tomorrow. Interestingly, Fox takes the time to explain that he is not a vegetarian nor is his book a guide to being vegetarian, rather it is a manual on how to “eat what is around you”. The onset of the book spends time paying homage to the farmers and farms that provide produce for his restaurant, Rustic Canyon located in Santa Monica, CA. The book then goes on to give tips on storage and purchasing key ingredients. Something can be said to the fact that every recipe is one page with plenty of white-space.

 

Library Notes: The Cookie Books – May 2017 [New York]

It’s almost time for the Cookie Games, the annual competition where Pastry and Culinary Students compete for celebrity judge votes and an audience favorite. The rules are simple, choose an inspirational country of origin and bake four dozen cookies, but sometimes the inspiration is not so simple. That’s why here in the ICC Library we have a great selection of cookie books to help you develop your recipe. Stop by and take a look!

Celebrity judge Dorie Greenspan knows cookies, she just released the James Beard Award-winning Dorie’s Cookies last year! This book covers classics like chocolate chip and macrons, but she also developed unique recipes such as Moroccan semolina cookies and chocolate olive cookies. With such a wide and unusual variety of cookies, it is no wonder the book is award-winning. Beyond the great recipes, Dorie covers solid tips and techniques of cookie making that will help the newbie and improve seasoned bakers.

The Gourmet Cookie Book is like a primer on the history of the United States through cookies. The book compiled the best recipe from the magazine each year from 1941 through 2009. You can see how tastes, skills, and techniques changed over time and the influences of different events throughout history.  For instance, cinnamon sugar crisps of 1944 were selected because they could be sent in parcels to troops. By the 1970’s the food processor was introduced and cookie recipes such as Kourambiedes or Greek Butter Cookies proliferated.

With a foreword from Dean Jacque Torres, you know Milk & Cookies is going to cover plenty of chocolate, and you know it’s going to be a great book. Tina Casaceli does indeed include recipes for double chocolate chip mint cookies and coconut macaroons (dipped in chocolate) but she also features cookies with baked chow mein and honey lavender shortbread. The book is divided by base dough, be it vanilla, oatmeal or peanut butter. Each chapter then offers multiple variations on that base, perfect if you need guidance on how to tweak a recipe you already have to make it, even more, competition worthy!

If you are curious which cookies are favored in the kitchens of your favorite restaurants, check out One Sweet Cookie from Tracey Zaber.  Chefs from such celebrated restaurants as Eleven Madison Park, Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Le Bernadain all contribute recipes. Even our very own deans, Alain Sailhac, Andre Soltner and Jacques Torres submitted their picks for the favorite cookie. So, what do they choose? Well, you will just have to come and borrow the book to find out.

Library Notes California – April 2017

Written by: Savannah Sharrett
California Campus | Communications Liaison

April is all about Health and Nutrition! There’s no one diet that is right for everyone, so it’s important to follow a healthful eating plan that’s packed with tasty foods and that keeps your unique lifestyle in mind. Chefs and all culinary professionals have the ability to not only bring joy by means of taste, but they can also improve the lives of their customers and their community!


The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy
by Amanda Haas with Dr. Bradly Jacobs

The preface written by Dr. Jacobs and Amanda Haas personal story sets a tone of honesty. Dr. Jacobs notes that although being a Stanford Medical School Graduate, he had learned to apply a balance of conventional medical therapies alternative medicine therapies, and lifestyle therapies. In his 15 years of experience, he realized that there are many modifiable factors he calls, “upstream events,” that occur before a person seeks out medical treatment. Author Amanda Hass shares the story of her personal struggle with health issues and her understanding of what inflammation really means. As Culinary Director for Williams-Sonoma and professional cook, Amanda shares her realization that she should have realized the connection between what she ate and how she felt sooner. What stands out most in this book is the detailed yet clear list of foods that contribute to more or less inflammation in the body. Together, Amanda and Dr. Jacobs put together a cookbook that makes the simple the connection between our diet and our overall well-being.


ca-library-notes-04-2017-books-2The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery by Rebecca Katz

In the foreword, Author Rebecca Katz uses a simple simile to help readers understand the impact thoughtful eating habits when one is dealing with cancer. She explains, “cancer is like a weed in the body’s garden”, and her job, “is to work with their garden to make its solid as inhospitable as possible to the growth and spread of the weed”.  This book addresses not only those currently going through the cancer treatment process but also those who may be in a care-takers position. Rebecca encourages readers to use her book as a toolbox full of ideas that make eating and cooking less stressful during a time one may be feeling overwhelmed and most definitely fatigued. One thing that stands out the most in the book is the index of recipes organized according to side effects.


Good Clean Food: Super Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day by Lily Kunin

This book is an excellent example how a social media account can lead to bigger things. Lily Kunin, Health Coach, and Instagram-er turned cookbook Author, writes from personal experience dealing with migraine headaches that severely affected her life. She shares with readers how she discovered, “the connection between what [she] put in her body and how it made [her] feel”. Lily admits at the onset of her book that everyone will have different needs and will have different experiences when it comes to health and nutrition. With this in mind, the contents of her book are divided into 6 major sections focusing on a variety of needs whether it’s detoxing with a “super green smoothie” and  “mom’s minestrone” or restoring with a “smashed avocado toast” and “red lentil earth curry”. What makes her book unique is that she not only created a repertoire of delicious meal ideas but she also touches on natural beauty tips such as her recipe for a “coconut coffee body scrub” or a “brightening free tea face mask”.


Naturally Nourished: Healthy, Delicious Meals Made with Everyday Ingredients by Sarah Britton

Realizing that not everyone has time or interest in combing through their local grocery store or farmers market for special ingredients, Sarah Britton creatively shows readers how to put together nourishing meals with ingredients they may already have at home. She teaches home cooks how to start with basic concepts and build up with her Building Block chart. She also spends time explain methods that increase flavor without the use of extra equipment or a long list of ingredients.


Deliciously Ella Every Day: Quick and Easy Recipes for Gluten-Free Snacks, Packed Lunches and Simple Meals by Ella Woodward

Another success story from someone who worked through a personal heath obstacle. Author Ella Woodward emphasizes that, with a little organization, “taking care of yourself is much easier that you think”. For readers with busy lives, Ella includes a section of on-the-go recipes that will help you keep the focus on health even though you may have limited time. In the introduction, she includes tips on advance preparation, storage solutions, creating a well stocked and diverse pantry. One section that I look forward to trying personally is her list of soothing drinks such as her “warm beet and apple juice” or her “warming turmeric tonic”. This book is not only practical and useful recipe ideas but also packed with gorgeous photos.


To connect with the California Campus on Instagram, follow @iccedu_ca

Library Notes: New Books for November 2016

Written by: Kate Heenan
ICC Library Intern

dsc_00561Adventures of Fat Rice

Fans of restaurant cook books and graphic novels alike, check out our new book The Adventures of Fat Rice.  Conlon, Lo and Amano put together some of the favorite recipes from the Chicago restaurant, Fat Rice, with a focus on Macanese food.  The book itself is put together like an omnibus of a comic series.  The chapters include 100 recipes spanning from pickles and preserves and appetizers to desserts with a helpful building blocks chapter included at the end. Each chapter not only offers up some great recipes or “adventures”, but incredible graphics, photographs and theories about etymology and origin of the dishes included.  Be sure to check out all the adventures The Adventures of Fat Rice has to offer from the Asparagus Invasion to Attack of the Chili Clam.

dsc_00431Ferment, Pickle, Dry

Ferment, Pickle, Dry: Ancient Methods, Modern Meals by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley offers a simple and exciting guide book for preserving enthusiast.  The book includes an introduction to the ancient methods of fermenting, pickling, and drying food along with reasons why they are not just a passing fad.  Recipes included are not only staples, including basic kombucha recipes, but new and clever creations such as a sour grape pickle-tini. Included are dual recipes, where everything can be incorporated into main dishes, making sure that no jar remains unused.

DALI: Les Diners de Gala

Fans of the painter Salvador Dali will be excited to know that Dali: Les Diners de Gala has finally been republished! One glance at the cover lets a reader know they are going on a surreal culinary adventure; one that only Dali, himself, could have created. The book includes all of the original 136 recipes, plus bizarre and genius artistic renderings by Dali.  Recipes span from exotic dishes to meals to aphrodisiacs.  To quote Dali himself, “Les dîners de Gala is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of taste … If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you.”


dsc_00821The Chef’s Library

Ever wonder what your favorite Chef’s favorite cookbook is?  Well wonder no more.  Jenny Linford’s The Chef’s Library: Favorite Cookbooks from the World’s Great Kitchens does just that.  Linford interviews over 70 Chefs explaining why and what they love about their pick from Darina Allen talking about The Ballymaloe Cookbook to Michael Wignall ‘s explain how the story is also important in his pick, Origin.  Chapter 2 includes over 50 of the most influential cookbooks ever written with a brief history of the Chef and book included.  Her last chapter is a Cookbook Directory organized by Country, time and specialty.  Be sure to see if you favorite stacks up!

The Science of Wine

Jamie Goode, a widely respected authority on wine science, just came out with his second edition for The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass.  This edition includes everything we loved about the first edition’s groundbreaking reference giving information about the science of wine, ecological impacts on the future of wine making, and new technological trends.  The new edition includes a new chapter on soils and vines, oxygen management, and a linguist view for describing wine.  It also includes hot topics that the last edition wasn’t able to include such as genetically modified grapevines, the future of the cork, and more.

These and many more can be found in the “New Books” display in the ICC library! Follow @IntlCulLibrary on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.

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