riverpark farm

Understanding Your ‘Foodprint’ – April Sustainability Programming

Since 1970, Earth Day has provided a way to bring environmental challenges to the forefront of our conversations. A catalyst for ongoing education, action and change, Earth Day promotes environmental awareness and solutions while celebrating our connection to the Earth.

tomatoes being grownHere at ICC, we often think about the impact of practices in the culinary industry on the environment. Culinary education plays an important role in teaching one to think about the use of whole ingredient cooking. Our students learn the art of charcuterie and butchery to make use of the entire animal, in addition to learning to make stocks, sauces and more utilizing vegetable cut offs. Promoting usage from leaf-to-root and snout-to-tail not only minimizes food waste, but also cuts down on food cost.

In the Farm-to-Table extension of our Professional Culinary Arts program, students take their culinary education beyond the kitchen through the 4-day Farm Powered Kitchen field trip to Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. They also participate in lectures from the agriculture specialists and Stone Barns, as well as field trips to urban farms, green markets and more.

There are other ways to decrease food waste in the kitchen, one of which is composting. Since 2007, the school has composted an average of 350 lbs per day. When possible, the school also regularly donates food to The New York City Rescue Mission, including 3-tier cakes made in our Professional Pastry Arts program. To further efforts on campus to counteract our environmental impact through food, we implemented a Meatless Monday program into our Family Meals.

mushroomsMeatless Monday encourages people to eliminate meat from their diet just one day a week to see both increased health benefits and decrease their environmental impact. In just one year, by eliminating meat from our family meal each Monday, we eliminated 4,600 lbs of meat, saving 4.8 million pounds of greenhouse gases from being emitted into our atmosphere. Since an average car emits 12,000 pounds of greenhouse gases per year, that’s the equivalent of taking 400 cars off the road!

In honor of this year’s Earth Day celebrations, we’re dedicating our event programming in April to promote sustainability in food, farming and business practices to better understand your foodprint. We’ll look at the many ways food impacts the environment, like how sustainable seafood farmers and urban farm-to-table restaurants are shaking up the food industry and much more. Find a list of April demos & events below focused on sustainability and stay tuned for additional details as they become available!

Sustainable Seafood Demonstration and Lecture
with the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership
Wednesday, April 3rd | 3:30-5pm | ICC Amphitheater

Catch of the Day: Sustainable Seafood

As seafood starts to take centre place on many more plates, this session will discuss some of the important sustainability issues facing the sector and why choosing responsibly sourced products makes a big difference not only to taste, but quality, health, and to the environment.

With guests from two leading sustainability initiatives – Jose Antonio Camposano and Avrim Lazar, this session will explore how the farmed shrimp and salmon sectors are making sustainability a key attribute in delivering high quality products which benefit our oceans.

Plus live demos from Ecuadorian Chef Gabriela Cepeda and Vancouver’s Ned Bell will showcase some unique seafood dishes.

Gabriela Cepeda is owner of La Central Deli Shop in Guayaquil with 10 years of experience in the business, and was Head Chef of the Presidential House in Ecuador for 4 years.

Ned Bell is Executive Chef for OceanWise. He has experience working in some of Canada’s top kitchens and was, most recently, executive chef of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and YEW seafood + bar. Bell’s diverse background includes seven seasons on Food Network Canada’s Cook Like a Chef and he has been recognized as Canada’s Chef of the Year at Food Service and Hospitality magazine’s 2014 Pinnacle Awards.

 

Ned Bell

Long-time sustainable seafood ambassador Ned Bell is the Ocean Wise Executive Chef based at the Vancouver Aquarium. Bell’s cooking philosophy is globally inspired and locally created.

With the support of the Ocean Wise seafood program, Bell founded Chefs for Oceans in 2014 to raise awareness about sustainable seafood by riding his bike across Canada. Bell’s dedication to sustainable seafood has inspired many Canadian chefs to get involved in the cause – a movement that is having a meaningful impact on the way consumers think about the seafood they eat, where it comes from and how they, too, can help protect our oceans by making ocean-friendly seafood choices.

Bell was recently awarded the Global Seafood Award for Advocacy at the 2017 Seaweb Seafood Summit.

He has experience working in some of the country’s top kitchens and was, most recently, executive chef of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and YEW seafood + bar, a proud Ocean Wise partner. Bell’s diverse background includes seven seasons on Food Network Canada’s Cook Like a Chef and he has been recognized as Canada’s Chef of the Year at Food Service and Hospitality magazine’s 2014 Pinnacle Awards, Best Overall and Rising Star by Where magazine and Top 40 Foodies Under 40 by Western Living magazine in 2008.

Open to students & alumni – NO RSVP required. Limited seating available to the public, RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com.

Urban Farm-to-Table Demonstration with Riverpark
Led by Executive Chef Andrew Smith & Riverpark Farm Manager Jonathan Sumner
Wednesday, April 10th | 3:30-5pm | ICC Amphitheater

Nestled on a unique garden plaza with romantic East River views, Riverpark represents a dynamic culinary destination reflecting Chef Tom Colicchio’s overall vision as a restaurateur. With menus that change daily to reflect the seasonal ingredients that they have available in their urban farm, Executive Chef Andrew Smith and Riverpark Farm Manager Jonathan Sumner work together to reflect seasonality.

Join us for a demonstration and lecture with Chef Smith and Jonathan in an opportunity to learn how they create a dynamic environment for ingredients to flourish in the heart of New York City.

Open to students & alumni – NO RSVP required. Limited seating available to the public, RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com.

Business Bites: Reaping the Benefits of Going Green
Thursday, April 18th | 6:30-8pm | ICC Amphitheater
RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com

Learn more here!

63 million tons of food is wasted annually in the US—that’s equivalent to 180 Empire State Buildings—and the restaurant industry alone generates 11.4 million tons of food waste each year. There’s no denying that there remains great room for improvement to make food businesses and restaurants more sustainable. In addition to the environmental and social reasons, there are also many economic incentives for businesses to adopt sustainable practices. For instance, did you know that for every dollar invested in food-waste reduction, restaurants can realize about $8 in cost savings? Energy efficiency, composting, recycling, ingredient sourcing and packaging are all ways that food businesses can incorporate sustainable practices to improve their bottom line.

So what does it take to make your restaurant or food business sustainable through the front door and out the back?

In celebration of Earth Day this April, and part of our Understanding Your ‘Foodprint’ series, our latest installment of Business Bites, Reaping the Benefits of Going Green, will demonstrate how these ethical choices can help to reduce your bottom line. Hear from a panel of experts operating local restaurants with an emphasis on sustainability, as well as professionals working to bring solutions in food waste to consumers and food business owners a like. They’ll discuss NYC requirements for commercial organic waste, solutions for hauling food waste, composting, compostable packaging & products, sourcing ingredients, energy efficiency and more. Plus, 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!