Presents

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The holiday season is in full swing, and although Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, the season of giving is just beginning. If you’re scrambling to think of a unique gift for your loved one, friend, or even your favorite sous-chef, look no further than our Holiday Gift Guide!

This year, we highlighted three different areas of gift giving. Whether you’re shopping for the professional in your life, the foodie that knows every restaurant in Manhattan, or someone in between, check out all of our suggestions below!

For the Professional

For the culinary, pastry or wine professional in your life—from pro gear to great reads—these professional gifts are sure to delight any friend working in the industry, colleagues or your boss. But if you don’t need to impress your executive chef, you can always pick up one of these gifts for yourself!

Tilit Apron

Tilit Chef Apron

Tilit is redefining work-wear for the hospitality industry from stove to street. For the chef in your life, a Tilit Apron is wearable, durable, and long lasting. Check out their line of aprons, all made right here in New York City!

The Pastry Chef’s Little Black Book

The Pastry Chef’s Little Black Book

It’s a great time to be a pasty pro! If you are looking for a book that is traditional, but none the less very professional, check Professional Pastry Art’s graduate Michael Zebrowski’s The Pastry Chef’s Little Black Book. Be warned—this book is anything but little! It includes any and everything you may need for a professional pastry kitchen.

The Sommelier's Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe

The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe 

For more serious Sommelier studies, this beautiful book, The Sommeliers Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europegoes beyond the basics through the classic wines of Europe. Not only covering what to drink and where it’s from, this guide offers tips on how to taste and highlights many producers. It is a visual book with great design, layout and photos that are sure to be treasured by anyone who is serious about wine.

Cocktail Kingdom Essential cocktail kit

Cocktail Kingdom® Essential Cocktail Kit

Cocktail Kingdom is the world’s premier manufacturer and distributor of professional barware, offering a wide spectrum to meet the needs of the restaurant industry. This essential cocktail kit is an ideal gift for the busy restaurant owner who needs an upgrade in their life.

Polka Pants

Polka Pants

Featured in Vogue and founded by Professional Culinary Arts graduate, Maxine Thompson, Polka Pants offers tailored chef pants for women designed for functionality, comfort and style. Pick up a pair for the kitchen professional in your life, or buy a pair for yourself!

For the Young, Aspiring Professional

A student cooking

Teen Camps at ICC

For the young, aspiring chef in your life, our Teen Camps are a perfect way to get them into the kitchen. With Culinary and Pastry camp options, your teen is sure to be inspired during the week-long cooking & baking sessions. Relax knowing that your teen is learning from experienced, dedicated chef instructors (the same chef instructors who teach our Professional Culinary and Pastry Arts programs!)

For the Foodie

For the foodie friend or family member who knows all of the latest restaurants, keeps up with new food trends and has an envious home kitchen for entertaining!

Delicacies jewelry

Delicacies Jewelry

A perfect conversation starter and accessory to amp up any outfit, Delicacies Jewelry is a great way to celebrate your foodie’s favorite ingredient. They’re all about tasteful jewelry for people who love food, so whether it’s dainty farfalle pasta, or a beautiful pineapple, you can find the right option for anyone.

All About Cake

Milk Bar: All About Cake

Something that every foodie should have in their home baker tool kit is ICC Alumna Christina Tosi’s newest book—Milk BarAll About Cake. Learn how to bring the Milk Bar flavor home using her basic recipes with flavors that are anything but! This book includes bundt cakes, sheet cakes, cupcakes and, yes, the famous cake truffles. If someone in your life loves Milk Bar or even if they just love sweets, this book is the perfect gift.

Scone and coffee

One-Day Recreational Class at ICC

Give the gift of “experience” with a cooking class! Our one-day recreational classes are the perfect present for the avid home cook or bake sale guru in your life. With 20+ classes in cooking, baking and wine studies to choose from, there’s something for everyone at any age! Not sure which class they’d want to take? A gift certificate is a perfect option to let them choose!

Jacques Torres Chocolate

Jacques Torres Chocolate: Holiday Special Edition

We know we tend to favor our Dean of Pastry Arts’ amazing chocolates, but many people around the world agree that Mr. Chocolate, Chef Jacques Torres, makes some of the best bon bons around. We particularly love his Holiday Special Edition chocolate box that can satisfy any sweet-tooth. If you’re really in the holiday spirit, sit down with your box of chocolates and tune into the premiere of Netflix’s Nailed It! Holiday! season airing December 7th to see Jacques Torres as lead judge.

Essential Tools, Tops & Techniques for the Home Cook

Essential Tools, Tips & Techniques for the Home Cook

For the home cook ready to take their culinary game to the next level, pick up a copy of the newly released Essential Tools, Tips & Techniques for the Home Cook by Michelle Doll. This ICC alumna and adjunct Chef-Instructor has developed the perfect culinary compendium for the foodie to keep on hand in the kitchen. Without overwhelming, Chef Michelle walks the reader through essential culinary school techniques and tips to elevate their recipes. The book also includes recipes for every occasion and even a section for pressure cooker fanatics.

Menus: A book for your meals and memories

Menus: A Book For Your Meals and Memories

Legendary Chef, author of 29 cookbooks, acclaimed television host, Legion of Honor award winner and our Dean of Special Programs Chef Jacques Pépin has been hand-illustrating menus to keep track of what he cooked for friends, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and holidays. This book brings together Pépin’s favorite paintings so you can commemorate your own dinners with everything from the menu to the guests that joined you!

ICC Staff Picks

For when you want some help from the pros! Aren’t sure what to buy the professional, foodie, or family member who loves to entertain? Our staff are some of the most knowledgeable in the culinary industry, so if you’ve ever wondered what we use in our kitchens, look no further than our picks below!

ARY VacMaster

From our President, Erik Murnighan

When ICC President Erik is at home, he likes to pull out his ARY VacMaster chamber vacuum sealer for food preparation, preservation, and cooking sous-vide. Unlike a traditional Food Saver, a chamber vacuum sealer allows you to easily seal liquid and/or items with liquid. Whether he is making his signature hot sauce, turkey legs confit for Thanksgiving dinner, or any type of sous-vide cooking, vacuum chambers have a variety of uses. There are many new models and brands, but check out this option here.

Vitamix blender

From our Vice President of Education, Leland Scruby

Our Vice President of Education Leland is a graduate of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts and Intensive Sommelier Training programs, and recommends a Vitamix blender as a must have kitchen staple for any avid home cook. Used by professionals all over the world, it is an amazing blender that has many different features like puréeing, chopping, and even emulsifying. ICC is proud to be a Culinary School Partner of Vitamix, which provides a discount to the ICC Community. Click here and use promo code: ICCVitamix21216 to view the offers!

Gefilte fish

From our Assistant Director of Education, Judson Kniffen

Supporting our community is in our DNA, so it was easy for Judson to recommend one of our Culinary Entrepreneurship instructors Liz Alpern’s Gefilte Fish from her business The Gefilteria. Gefilte Fish is a traditional Ashkenazi appetizer served around the holiday season, and Liz’s can’t be missed!

Spatula from williams sonoma

From our Career Services Coordinator, Cortney McKenzie

For a fun gift that gives back, Cortney, graduate of both ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts and Intensive Sommelier Training programs, recommends a celebrity-designed spatula that benefits No Kid Hungry. 30% of the proceeds from every spatula goes towards helping feed children. Check out all of them here!

Kitchenaid Mixer

From our Assistant Director of Admission, Stephanie Baril

When Stephanie, ICC Professional Pastry Arts graduate and Assistant Director of Admissions is baking at home, the one thing she can’t live without is her ruby red KitchenAid Mixer. She uses her mixer whenever she gets the chance; from custom order cakes for clients, to cookies and mashed potatoes for family, a KitchenAid Mixer is a tool you’ll come back to time and again.

Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking

From our Librarian, Sara Quiroz

This year, Sara completed our Intensive Sommelier Training program, so she is all about wine for her staff pick! For any wine lover, pick up a copy of Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking by Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker. The simple, yet creative recipes with fun and unique wine pairings will make anyone a pro-hostess, as well as surprise seasoned wine lovers. It also includes fun “Pairing Cheat Sheets” such as what pairs with take away or what to drink when you don’t feel like eating!

Larmandier-Bernier "Cuvée du Levant" Vieilles Vignes Brut

From our Wine Coordinator, Elizabeth Smith

From one of the first producers to bottle single-vineyard Champagne & to champion low dosage comes this absolute stunner of a vintage cuvee. Larmandier-Bernier “Cuvée du Levant” Vieilles Vignes Brut 2007 comes from the oldest Grand Cru vines in the village of Cramant, farmed biodynamically & hand-harvested. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or impress another, this treasure of a Champagne is a perfect choice.

And One More...

Champagne gift set

In thinking about the holidays and bringing the community together, we wanted to share a piece of advice from our late Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton. Dorothy was a visionary in culinary education and helped to shape the food world as we know it today. In addition to her vast culinary knowledge, she was well versed in the world of wine and wrote an article about how a great wine must be paired with the correct glass. To pair with our Wine Coordinator Elizabeth’s amazing champagne selection, pick up a a champagne gift set that has all of your needs to accompany a beautiful bottle of champagne.

Angela Garbacz for Forbes

ICC In The News: Highlights from November 2018

ICC In The News provides monthly highlights from articles published around the world that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Stories of our 15,000+ alumni network and their successes are continuously popping up across various prestigious publications. Below, we have brought together some of our favorites from November 2018, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

Rebecca and Jansen

EATER
Watch: The Architecture-Trained Chef Creating Sky-High Pastries

Our Director of Pastry, Jansen Chan, and 2007 Professional Pastry Arts graduate & host of Eater’s new series Sugar Coated, Rebecca DeAngelis, constructed a towering re-designed Croquembouche.

Read this review of our grad Ashish Alfred’s new restaurant, Duck Duck Goose in Balimore. It offers a sophisticated take on European cuisine without the accompanying pretense, and has amazing honey-roasted duck. If you’re in Baltimore, be sure to check out his restaurant!

Chef Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, and Chef Jürgen David, Associate Director of Pastry Arts explain how to save your Thanksgiving feast from the most common kitchen mistakes like dry turkey, lumpy mashed potatoes, and more! Click here to watch more on CBS New York.

bacon egg and cheese sandwich
EATER
Manresa Bread to Debut All-Day Fare at New Cafe

Manresa Bread, co-founded and operated by Art of International Bread Baking graduate Avery Ruzicka, is opening a third location in California. Stop by one of their amazing bakeries for a delicious treat and read about the third location here.

lauren bush lauren and lani halliday
IN STYLE

As the stylish founder of Brutus Bakeshop and graduate of our Culinary Entrepreneurship program, Lani Halliday is known for her gluten-free custom creations. Get her gluten-free cookie recipe here and read about her team up with Lauren Bush Lauren.

A dish from momofuku ko
EATER
The 38 Best Restaurants in America

Eater released their 38 Best Restaurants in America. Three of our graduates were featured on the list, including David Chang, owner of Momofuku Ko, Dan Barber for Blue Hill At Stone Barns, and Steven Cook, co-owner of Zahav. Congratulations to our alumni! Check out their restaurants on the list.

Chef Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, shared his Turkey Safety Tips, from how to thaw your turkey to the proper internal temperature of your cooked turkey. And, if you insist on deep frying your turkey, Chef Hervé also shares his recommendations to keep you and your loved one’s safe. Click here to watch the video feature on CBS New York.

Few spots remain in the first London edition of the Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program, an international course jointly produced by the Olive Oil Times Education Lab and ICC. Check out the program and learn more here.

Love decorating with sprinkles but tired of the same old rainbow colors? Now you can make your own sugar sprinkles at home, in any color and shade you please! Chef Jansen Chan shows two great baking decorating techniques in one, how to make royal icing and how to turn that royal icing into your own homemade sprinkles. We went with fall colors, but you can easily adapt this for any time of year! Click here to see how in this Chowhound video.

Angela Garbacz in Forbes
FORBES

Angela Garbacz’s passion for pastry began at a young age and led her to study Pastry Arts at ICC. After discovering she had a dairy intolerance, Garbacz decided to use her knowledge of ingredients and classical techniques to craft beautiful, delectable sweets that catered to a variety of restricted and alternative diets. Read more about her and her shop, Goldenrod Pastries in Forbes.

Matt Monahan, Professional Culinary Arts ’07, co-founded Other Half Brewing in New York in 2014. Years later, it’s made it on Thrillist’s list of Best Craft Breweries in every state as the best brewery in New York. Read about it here.

David Chang
WALL STREET JOURNAL
David Chang’s Culinary Universe Is Still Growing

Read the Wall Street Journal feature on our Professional Culinary Arts graduate David Chang. Year over year he continues to expand his restaurant group Momofuku, and people continue to line-up out the door to get a taste of his latest creations. Read more about him here.

While it’s hard to think of a more American tradition than Thanksgiving, it’s actually quite easy to add a little French flavor to your dinner. Chef Alain, Chef Hervé, and Chef Marc give their recommendations for their favorite French classics that pair perfectly with turkey! Click here to read the feature in France-Amérique Magazine.

Alex LaPratt, Master Sommelier and adjunct instructor for our Intensive Sommelier Training program, was recently profiled by Wine Spectator. Read to get a glimpse into the day of a restaurant owner and Master Sommelier!

Don’t have time to make a pie crust this holiday season? No problem! Chef Jansen Chan’s pumpkin pie hack lets you make one from scratch in less than 30 minutes. Click here to see how in this Chowhound video.

Peter Sherman sees bacon as more than a side dish for diner eggs. At BarBacon, his 84-seat sports bar in Hell’s Kitchen, the salt-cured and smoked meat receives its culinary due by being battered then deep-fried, infused into whipped cream or covered with chocolate, among other treatments. Stop by his bacon focused restaurant in NYC!

atomix dish
ESQUIRE
20 BEST NEW RESTAURANTS IN AMERICA

Congratulations to our grads for making Esquire’s list of the 20 Best New Restaurants in America. From Executive Chef and Co-Owner Scott Tacinelli’s (Professional Culinary Arts ’08) evolution of Italian-American cuisine at Don Angie, Jhonel Faelnar’s incredible wine list at cutting-edge Atomix NYC(Intensive Sommelier Training ’14), and Kate Williams (Professional Culinary Arts ’07) Irish-influenced menu at Lady of the House, we are proud to recognize these amazing alumni! Read more about them here.

Bread that Yasmin baked

Time Management: An Underutilized Skill & Asset

Written by Yasmin Rasheed

Yasmin RasheedYasmin Rasheed is a 2018 graduate of The Art of International Bread Baking program. Previously, she spent 30-years in Financial Services in Executive Management, focused on coaching and developing talent. Currently, she curates wholesome recipes on her food blog, Juliet Kitchen

As a tenured corporate executive whose focus on coaching for peak performance delivered numerous commercial successes, it has become painfully clear that time management is a grossly underutilized skill. With practice, this life skill can provide ongoing work-life integration, less stress and improved productivity. The basic foundation to achieving any definition of success, time management only calls for our thoughtful and productive use of time.

Practicing effective time management leads to improved outcomes across both our professional and personal objectives. Managing this limited resource—time—more thoughtfully can be life changing and it’s is not nearly as complicated as you may think. Here are three key steps to assist you in making the most of your twenty-four-hour day!

  1. Start Early: Many successful people employ this routine daily. This habit has been hard wired into my DNA since childhood and continues to serve me well while studying in The Art of International Bread Baking program at the International Culinary Center in NYC. Since starting school, I was challenged with finding time for my usual daily exercise at the gym due to a very lengthy commute. I committed to arriving in SoHo early enough to walk for a half hour prior to the start of class. Additionally, this practice allowed me to get to the kitchen with time to spare so that I could get my station set-up for a successful day.  By creating a life-long daily routine that includes waking up one to two hours early, the “extra time” allows for “no excuses.” As a result, value-added activities don’t have to be sacrificed. This start early lifestyle keeps me motivated, highly productive and limits my stress!
  1. Create A Plan: It’s important to write down your plan for your goals and objectives; review it regularly and modify as needed. According to Forbes magazine, research shows that “People who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals, than people who don’t.”  Write down your daily to-do list to support the plan—in doing so employ the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle, which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.) This simply means that you need to prioritize the most impactful activities. Consider writing down your to-do list at the end of each day verses the start of the day; this practice will actually help you sleep better and prepare you for a new day with less stress and improved productivity. Priority planning is immensely valuable in a highly intensive culinary kitchen where the bread baking process is fast-paced and complicated. ICC Chef-Instructor Johnson Yu made it a point to give us a syllabus in advance which enabled effective planning and scheduling of how breads will be mixed and baked.
  1. Create A Schedule: Scheduling is as important as creating a plan. Prioritize high impact activities and tasks. Use a calendar, such as outlook, and add a reminder. If it’s on the calendar it is extremely likely to be completed. Creating an effective schedule requires an investment in your time—it is one of the most arduous tasks, but the reward far outweighs the cost.  Calendaring your activities keeps you organized and productive, and is a routine that continues to deliver rewards during my culinary education. Having an effective and efficient schedule in any culinary kitchen is a non-negotiable!

Applying these time management approaches thoughtfully in your professional and personal life will place you at a competitive advantage, especially if you’re pursuing a career in the culinary industry.  It will open doors more rapidly and deliver outcomes better aligned with your objectives.  You will find that you are in control of your time verses your time controlling you. So, before you begin feeling stressed, remember these three steps to manage your time and you’ll begin reaping the benefits of a happier, healthier and more productive lifestyle!

apple and pumpkin pie

Thanksgiving Tips From The Pros At ICC

This Thanksgiving, whether you plan to be the executive chef in your kitchen, or assume the role of sous chef, you’ll likely spend an average of 7 hours cooking your Thanksgiving meal! So how do the approximately 96% of American families that gather for Thanksgiving get through the daunting task of preparing this family feast? With advice from the professionals of course!

This year, our ICC Chef-Instructors shared their knowledge on everything from turkey safety tips and how to save your thanksgiving meal, to pro tips on how to make your own pumpkin spice blend and homemade sprinkles. We were challenged to create the world’s fastest pumpkin pie recipe—spoiler alert: it’s actually crust-less! We even celebrated our roots as The French Culinary Institute and shared recommendations on the perfect French Classic cocktails, appetizers, side dishes and more to accompany your traditional Thanksgiving Turkey.

So, in case you’re behind on your Thanksgiving meal prep, or need a little inspiration before you begin cooking tomorrow, check out some of these tips from ICC Chefs Hervé Malivert, Marc Bauer, Jansen ChanJürgen David and ICC Dean Alain Sailhac.

Do's & Don'ts of Holiday Dinner Safety

Chef Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Arts & Technology shares his Turkey Safety Tips, from how to thaw your turkey to the proper internal temperature of your cooked turkey. And, if you insist on deep frying your turkey, Chef Hervé also shares his recommendations to keep you and your loved one’s safe. Click here to watch the video feature on CBS New York.

How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Blend

In need of a fall pantry staple? Chef Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry, shows you how to make this DIY pumpkin spice blend to add fall flavor to any dish, whether it’s on your Friendsgiving table, or throughout the winter season! Click here to see the Chowhound video.

8 Ideas for a French Thanksgiving

While it’s hard to think of a more American tradition than Thanksgiving, it’s actually quite easy to add a little French flavor to your dinner. Chef Alain, Chef Hervé, and Chef Marc give their recommendations for their favorite French classics that pair perfectly with turkey! Click here to read the feature in France-Amérique Magazine.

The World's Easiest (Crust-less) Pumpkin Pie!

Don’t have time to make a pie crust this year? No problem! Chef Jansen Chan’s pumpkin pie hack lets you make one from scratch in less than 30 minutes. Click here to see how in this Chowhound video.

How To Make Homemade Sugar Sprinkles

Love decorating with sprinkles but tired of the same old rainbow colors? Now you can make your own sugar sprinkles at home, in any color and shade you please! Chef Jansen Chan shows two great baking decorating techniques in one, how to make royal icing and how to turn that royal icing into your own homemade sprinkles. We went with fall colors, but you can easily adapt this for any time of year! Click here to see how in this Chowhound video.

Quick Fixes for Thanksgiving Dinner Slip-Ups

Chef Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, and Chef Jürgen David, Associate Director of Pastry Arts explain how to save your Thanksgiving feast from the most common kitchen mistakes like dry turkey, lumpy mashed potatoes, and more! Click here to watch more on CBS New York.

Cookbooks and cake

Christina Tosi Is All About Cake

Christina Tosi is a pastry force to be reckoned with—the two-time James Beard Award winning pastry chef and graduate of our Professional Pastry Arts program is known for pastry confections that seemingly break all the rules! While the Milk Bar co-founder, MasterChef guest judge, and featured chef of Netflix’s Chef’s Table: Pastry juggles an already busy schedule, she has still found time to author three deliciously inspiring cookbooks—Momofuku Milk Bar, Milk Bar Life: Recipes and Stories, and Milk Bar: All About Cake.Christina Tosi

This month, ICC welcomed Christina back to her alma matter for a discussion about the inspiration behind her latest cookbook, Milk Bar: All About Cake, and how she’s developed as an author and pastry chef. While Christina’s built a business known for their creative cakes, growing up, she actually didn’t love cake. She found it to be boring and almost always following the same old formula, spongy bases of barely-there flavor topped with too-sweet frosting. After years of experimenting in the Milk Bar kitchen—and recently opening her 15th store—Christina has built a brand embracing the fantastic potential of cake, establishing that cake can (and should!) have personality, integrity, texture and visual appeal!

All About CakeThese four characteristics that cake should have are the basis of Christina’s ground rules for cake. In writing her third cookbook, Milk Bar: All About Cake, and developing her love for cake, she found that as long as cake had personality, integrity, texture and visual appeal, you could be on your way to making something delicious. Read below to find out what Christina shared in the discussion about her life and latest cookbook!

The cake must have a strong point of view, a flavor "story."

Every chef has a story, and Christina’s involves taking a leap to move to New York City, having only visited for a day once before. After studying to become an electrical engineer, she realized that what she really wanted was to bake cookies for the rest of her life. So, she sought to get an education to learn how to do just that!

In researching culinary schools, Christina shared that she “…wanted to go to the best culinary school, the most intense culinary school, that was going to put me into the wild, wonderful world of becoming a pastry chef, and there was only one place, and it was here (ICC).”Christina at the discussion

She then used ICC’s job board, what she calls her “greatest resource” at the time, to find internships and jobs that would allow her to work her way through the culinary industry. She was curious about every aspect of the industry and wanted to find her place in the food world, eventually working with two other ICC alumni, Wylie Dufresne and David Chang, which led her to open Milk Bar in 2008.

Every single layer must be amazingly delicious on its own.

Adjusting to life in New York City and attending pastry school came easy enough for Christina, as it does for many of our students, because she was so passionate about what she was learning in the kitchens of ICC every day.

Early on in her schooling at ICC, she realized that she would get out of the program what she put into it. She brought everything she could into the classroom and learned how to be proactive, which eventually grew her career into what it is today. For her, it was the difference between being a good cook and a great cook, and Christina shared that she learned that at ICC.

Hidden gems of texture within are key.

Cake TruffleChristina’s biggest piece of advice for those looking to open their own bakeries? Make sure you can sell a lot of what you want to bake to pay your rent! Christina shares that you have to love the uphill climb—every day can bring a new challenge, so it’s important to be able to be flexible and diversify yourself when opening your own bakery.

In the early days of Milk Bar, concerns would revolve around ordering enough butter for the holiday season, storing cookies in their original baking facility on the Lower East Side, and whether or not there was enough oven space to fulfill orders. Although these are still concerns of the business 10 years later, now conversations about quality control and hiring become more prevalent for the Milk Bar team as they expand across the continent. Christina explains that your business needs and concerns will evolve over the years, but at the end of the day, it is important to stay true to your brand.

...I won't frost the sides of the cake.

During Milk Bar’s early years, and while baking new desserts for David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants, customers would ask “what’s in cereal milk?,” and “can I get the recipe for compost cookies?”  Growing up cooking at home, Christina was raised with the practice of writing, word-for-word, recipes onto index cards.

Today, her cookbooks have become a way to memorialize the memories of Milk Bar and share how she, and her employees, overcame “…everything in the pursuit of doing what you love and bringing it to life.” The pages-long recipes of her famously unfrosted layer cakes don’t leave anything out, just how Christina lives her life.Christina Tosi Peace sign

When you read her three cookbooks, you feel like you’re a part of the Milk Bar family, just how Christina wants it to be. In sharing the ideas, flavor combinations, and passions of what motivates her team, she wants readers to see inside the unfrosted layers of a Milk Bar cakes, and go on to create something of their own that’s unique to themselves.

One last piece of advice for those looking to write their own cookbook—publishers look for someone with an audience who is interested, but most importantly, they look for individuality. Christina remarked that the world of cookbooks needs more individual flair. So, when you sit down to write the 200+ recipes for your cookbook, think about what makes you unique and make sure you have something to say.

Check out some of our favorite moments from the evening with Christina Tosi below!

Highlights From The Evening

15-Minute Caramel For Halloween Treats

With Halloween just around the corner, Associate Director of Pastry, Chef Jürgen David, showed us how to create the easiest caramel and the spookiest Halloween decorations.

For this pro tip, we chose a soft caramel directly from our Professional Pastry Arts curriculum. It’s a versatile recipe for a simple caramel, and it only takes a few ingredients to use this in so many different ways. Here, we’ve taken a little fondant and a lot of imagination to turn a quick technique into a delicious and fun treat!

 

Soft Caramel

Ingredients For the Caramel
  • 400 grams granulated sugar
  • 480 milliliters heavy cream
  • 60 grams butter
  • 90 grams honey
  • 1 vanilla bean
Ingredients For the Decorations
  • Pretzel rods
  • Fondant
  • White or Milk chocolate
  • Candy eyeballs
  • Almonds
Procedure
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and put on high heat.
  2. Cook the mixture to 122º C.
  3. Strain the mixture onto a parchment or Silpat lined sheet pan.
  4. Allow the caramel to cool completely.
  5. Cut into strips.
Recipe Notes
  • Be sure to continuously stir the caramel while it is on the stove so it does not burn.
  • Do not put caramel into the fridge to cool. The consistency will change and it will ruin the caramel.
  • For the recipe you will need: a pot, parchment paper or a Silpat, a strainer, a thermometer, a rolling pin, and a wooden spoon.

How To Make The Caramel and Decorations

1. Gather ingredients and measure into separate bowls or directly into the pot.

Ingredients

2. Turn the stove on to medium-high heat, and stir the caramel for 15 minutes, or until it reaches 122°C.

3. Once the caramel has reached the proper temperature, strain it onto parchment paper or a rubber mat (we used Silpat)

Note: this is where you want to let the caramel cool. Do not put it into the fridge, as the caramel texture and consistency will change, and it will be ruined.

pour caramel

4. Cut the caramel into strips, and begin to wrap the caramel around the pretzel rods.

roll caramel

5. Roll out your favorite fondant, and begin to decorate over the caramel wrapped pretzel rods. Use a piping bag for precise chocolate details, like you see in the pumpkin. The fingernail was created using a sliced almond!

6. Show off to friends and family at your spooky Halloween party!

Finished product

Prosecco

Prosecco is More Complex Than You Think

Champagne and Prosecco are undoubtedly the two most popular, iconic, and widely recognized sparkling wines in the world. Prosecco can often be seen as an imitation to Champagne, but they are actually very different wines with different public images. While Champagne is seen as a luxury and expensive, Prosecco is perceived as casual and inexpensive. While 307 million bottles of Champagne were sold in 2017, Prosecco had a staggering 510 million bottles sold, proving the rising popularity of Prosecco among consumers.

This month, Alan Tardi, award-winning wine author, joined us for an enlightening discussion comparing Champagne and Prosecco. He taught us about the obvious differences, while focusing on the many fundamental aspects the two wines have in common. Prosecco is commonly perceived as Champagne’s imitation, but they are actually very different wines. Fundamentally, they have different grape varieties, growing areas, and even production methods. Through the tasting, we understood what makes Champagne and Prosecco unique wine categories, while also showcasing the commonalities that they share. Read below to find out more about the similarities and differences of two of the most famous sparkling wines!

Prosecco being poured

Alan Tardi

In The Beginning...

Attendee looking at wineWhile Champagne and Prosecco achieved their fame and notoriety as sparkling wines, both originated as still wines when they were invented hundreds of years ago. There are many wines in the world that are direct imitations of Champagne, like Cava, Cremant and Franciacorta, but it is important to know that Prosecco developed along its own separate parallel path to become its own distinct wine.

Growing Area

The growing areas of both regions are highly diversified and complex, with major distinctions between each part. But, that is where the similarities seem to end! There is only one Champagne appellation, but there are three for Prosecco. These appellations include Colli Asolani DOCG, Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG, and Prosecco DOC.

Prosecco map

Transition from Sweet to Brut

Prosecco being pouredBoth Champagne and Prosecco began as sweet wines, and they both made their major US debut inside of a cocktail. Champagne Cocktail and Champagne Punch was introduced during the first half of the 19th century, while Prosecco via the Bellini was introduced in the 1970s. Even though Prosecco was introduced and is known as a brunch-y drink, there are many different styles of Prosecco. These styles include sweet, bone-dry, sparkling, still, and unfiltered, and can all be used and enjoyed in different ways.

Chocolate with Jacques Torres

ICC In The News: Highlights from October 2018

ICC In The News provides monthly highlights from articles published around the world that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Stories of our 15,000+ alumni network and their successes are continuously popping up across various prestigious publications. Below, we have brought together some of our favorites from October 2018, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

Erica Martinez, a Professional Pastry Arts graduate, is cooking up delicious food from her native Venezuela. If you’re in New Rochelle, check out her restaurant, Caracas Fusion! Read more about it here.

 

EATER

THE 24 BEST CHOCOLATE SHOPS IN AMERICA

VOGUE

THE BEST COOKING AND BAKING CLASSES IN NEW YORK CITY

CBS THIS MORNING

MILK BAR’S CHRISTINA TOSI ON CREATIVE OUTLET

Jacques Torres
CNN

AT 15, JACQUES TORRES TOOK AN APPRENTICESHIP AT A PASTRY SHOP. THE REST WAS HISTORY.

We love CNN‘s insiders look at our Dean of Pastry, Jacques Torres. Read about his life, how he became a pastry chef, and his amazing career!

The Dish Joan Roca made
DEPARTURES

HOW ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST CHEFS IS HELPING OUT ASPIRING CHEFS

Last month, Joan Roca, the executive chef of El Celler de Can Roca, traveled to New York City to give a demonstration to ICC students and alumni, and also award one of our students with a scholarship to his restaurant in Girona, Spain. Read more about his trip to NYC here.

FOOD 52

HOW THE COMMUNITY IS STANDING BEHIND 175 RECENTLY DISPLACED NYC FOOD BUSINESSES

When Brooklyn-based food incubator Pilotworks closed abruptly last weekend, 175 small businesses were displaced. For businesses like Dominga, a cafe collaboration between Culinary Entrepreneurship alumni and chef Lani Halliday of Brutus Bakeshop and Chef Woldy Reyes of food service company Woldy Kusina, slated to launch in 2019, the sudden closure was detrimental to normal-course business. Read about it here.

Laura Sorkin, Professional Culinary Arts graduate and co-owner of Runamok Maple in Fairfax, VT, adds maple syrup to add an element of sweetness to her food. Cook up her roasted cabbage recipe here.

American Son interior
EATER
AMERICAN SON ARRIVES AS A PLANT FILLED OASIS DOWNTOWN

Established D.C. chef and Professional Culinary Arts alumnus Tim Ma recently opened his much anticipated modern American restaurant, American Son. Read his feature in Eater and learn more about his restaurant!

CHERRY BOMBE
THE CHERRY BOMBE 100

We’re proud to recognize ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship instructor, Liz Alpern, and nine ICC alumni who made it on The Cherry Bombe 100 list for their incredible work and accomplishments as innovators and thought leaders in the culinary industry. Check out the full Cherry Bombe 100 list here.

EATER

WATCH: CAN YOU FIT A FRENCH CAKE INTO A BONBON?

 Watch our graduates Rebecca DeAngelis and Susanna Yoon as they make bonbons in Yoon’s famous chocolate shop, Stick With Me Sweets.

Lafayette
EATER
NYC’S 20 PREMIER PASTRY SHOPS

Looking for a new treat to bring to a holiday celebration? #7 on Eater’s list of Premier Pastry Shops is Lafayette, where pastry chef and graduate Tyler Atwell is cooking up delicious treats. Check it out here.

Meatball Shop Co-Owner, Seamore’s Owner and Culinary Entrepreneurship Graduate Michael Chernow is training for the New York City marathon in November. Learn how running changed his life and built his strength.

FORBES
HOW MICHELIN-STARRED CHEF JOAN ROCA CONTINUES TO ELEVATE FINE DINING

Read about Chef Joan Roca, one of the best chefs in the world, who visited ICC last month. During his visit, he awarded one of our students with a four-month scholarship to his restaurant, El Cellar de Can Roca, in Girona, Spain. Full article here.

Susanna Chocolates
BLOOMBERG
IF ONLY LIFE WERE LIKE THIS BOX OF CHOCOLATES

Hungry for more delicious chocolates? Susanna Yoon’s shop, Stick With Me Sweets, featured in Eater’s Best Chocolate Shops in America, was also featured in Bloomberg! Read more about her shop here.

Restaurant Growth logo

8 Tips To Improve Your Social Media Presence

Written by: Marty Schecht, ’16 Graduate of the Professional Culinary Arts Program, CEO of Restaurant Growth Marketing

A key factor in determining a restaurants success in today’s world is social media marketing. If you’re a restaurant, bakery, or any other food business, these digital platforms have evolved into an extension of your daily operations that can help you to succeed.  Social media is a powerful tool that changes every day.

Here are eight tips to improve your social media strategy to reach more customers, grow your following, and improve your brand:

  1. Post 4 – 6 Times a Week
    • Each post you make is only seen by about 5% of your followers, so don’t worry about posting too much content.
  2. Engage with your Followers/Customers
    • Interacting with customers makes them feel heard, wanted, and important. Respond to reviews, comments, and messages, both good and bad.
  3. Post More Videos
    • Videos have a much higher attention rate than pictures.
  4. Re-Post Pictures that your Customers Post about your Business
    • Pick and choose the best pictures your customers have posted on Instagram by searching your businesses geotag (location) and reposting them on your page. Make sure to give the customer credit and thank them for coming in.
  5. Use Local Hashtags (if you’re a local business)
    • Using local hashtags will generate local awareness.
  6. Always Post your Specials/New Menu Items
    • Any new deals, specials, menu items, or products should be posted. Let customers know about specials and that it’s for a limited time.
  7. Follow your Competitors
    • Interacting with your competitors is good for business. Friendly competition is interesting and gets people involved and talking about your business.
  8. See your Post from the Eyes of your Customers
    • Before each post, ask yourself, do my followers care about this, is it interesting or unique. How rare is it? Will my followers want to share it?

Bonus Tips:

  • Partner with Food Bloggers
    • Locate food bloggers and influencers and interact with them. Build relationships. Invite them in for a free meal.
  • Ask Your Followers to Share
    • The biggest mistakes businesses make is not asking their followers to share their content. Sometimes a little instruction is all a follower needs.

We sat down with Marty to learn about his background, business, and the world of restaurants. Below, find our interview with him and learn more about his company!

 

How did I get involved in the culinary industry?

Taking the Professional Culinary Arts Program at ICC represented a crucial measure of my life’s path to becoming an entrepreneur.  Fueling my motivation, it drove me to a level of confidence that is required when starting your own business.

I learned numerous tangible skills but the greatest attributes I took away from my time at ICC were time management and organization.  Skills I use every day, whether I’m in a kitchen, taking notes during a client meeting, or just planning my day-to-day schedule. I am grateful for my time at ICC.

 

Why is Social Media and Digital Marketing so important to me?

Before heading off to culinary school, I studied entrepreneurial marketing at the University of Iowa.  Opening a restaurant was always my goal, even when I was studying business in college.  The restaurant industry fascinated me, and I wanted to be a part of it.  Although, I never ended up opening my own restaurant, I discovered a unique opportunity to help restaurants and other food businesses thrive using strategic social media marketing and advertising.

Therefore, after attending ICC, I invested a significant amount of time and money to understand what was happening in the constantly evolving world of online marketing. I came to understand the power behind social media and what it can do for a business—if used strategically.  I found a way to combine my passion of restaurants and the food industry, with my education and knowledge of social media.

 

How have I used my education to help others?

I started a company called Restaurant Growth Marketing as a way to help businesses reach their true potential.  As founder and CEO, my focus is to help restaurants, and other food industry related businesses, efficiently utilize the world of online marketing to grow their business in ways they never thought were possible.

My motivation derived from a few mentors I found who taught me about mind-set and how to best educate myself.  They taught me about the world of online marketing and how 95% of businesses needed help.  So, I decided to invest in my own education and apply that knowledge to assist business owners in the food & restaurant industry.

 

How do I manage my business and what services do I offer?

My daily efforts are currently focused on the Miami metropolitan area, but I have clients on both the east and west coast and can help any restaurant/food business anywhere in the United States.  Each day I aim to get face-to-face with more business owners to express the power of the internet and social media, when it’s used the correct way, and show them how I increase sales 10-20% for my clients, often in the first year.

The first step in the process after we take on a client is to dive deep into the minds of the target market to figure out the consumers’ interests, behaviors, and buying habits so we can cost-effectively reach and communicate with them.  Our goal at RGM is not to just reach lots of people or manage your social media, but rather to bring new and repeat customers – to increase revenue.

 

Where do restaurant owners go wrong and how do I help them avoid common pitfalls?

Most restaurant owners are not used to developing such a strategic marketing action plan focused on results.  One of the biggest mistakes’ restaurant owners make is not having and implementing a strategic-executable marketing plan.

What we do at Restaurant Growth Marketing is help businesses create and implement their marketing plan, through result-driven, proven marketing strategies. We focus on results and getting our clients an ROI that makes sense and makes them excited to work with us.  My objective with Restaurant Growth Marketing is to provide restaurants with a customized service focused on growing their brand and increasing customer base.  We’re excited to have such a great opportunity to provide business owners with more stability, strategy, revenue and most importantly, time to work on their business – instead of in it.

 

For more information about Restaurant Growth Marketing:

Please visit our website: https://restaurantgrowth.marketing

Check us out on Facebook: @restaurantGM or https://www.facebook.com/restaurantGM/

Follow us on Instagram: @restaurantgrowthmarketing https://www.instagram.com/restaurantgrowthmarketing/

Deconstructed carrot cake

Elements of Developing an Original Dessert

When ICC re-launched the Professional Pastry Arts program in 2014, the curriculum was updated to better serve today’s pastry chef, educating our students to understand the science and technique behind a wide range of pastry skills to unlock their creativity—to think beyond a single recipe.

It was during this time that Restaurant Day was born, providing students with the opportunity to demonstrate everything they’ve learned in the 600-hour program to their friends and family in a fun and unique dessert tasting. Every Restaurant Day menu is different, designed, created and produced by the students with a unifying theme to best represent their experiences in the program. Throughout the years, over 250 original desserts have been created—including a Matcha Cake Trifle, Carrot Beignets, Coquito Cheesecake and Sweet Corn Fraisier—showcasing the creativity of the next generation of pastry professionals completing ICC’s program.

Restaurant Day 50

Semifredo from a studentEvery Restaurant Day features a different menu curated with never before seen desserts. For the 50th running of the Restaurant Day program this September, the ICC students, staff, deans, alumni and invited guests came together to celebrate the momentous occasion. This restaurant day was even more special than usual—it commemorated the dessert creations of all the previous classes, while showcasing our current pastry student’s hard work. From black sesame mille crêpes and port-poached fig tarts, to this lemon-raspberry semifreddo (pictured here) and everything in between, our guests left with their sweet tooth satisfied. Plus, students were excited to see special guest, ICC Dean of Pastry Arts, Chef Jacques Torres, at Restaurant Day to evaluate their desserts!

See our full gallery of photos from Restaurant Day 50, including all 8 original desserts created by our students, on our Facebook page here!

The Elements

The RD 50 classWhen you stop and think about all of the elements that go into creating a dessert, it can be daunting to figure out how the pros do it. Through our Professional Pastry Arts program, students work endlessly for 115 days to learn and develop all of the skills that they need to create their own original desserts. We sat down with our Director of Pastry Operations, Chef Jansen Chan, who is the mastermind behind Restaurant Day 50 and many other pastry projects at ICC to discuss the essential elements that are required to create a dessert. Check out these tips below to help you come up with your own sweet creations at home!

  • Textures are essential to dessert composition. It provides contrast and complexity, pleasing the palette. From a graham cracker crunch, to a fluffy mousse, variety in texture is everything.
  • Flavors that go together can create perfect harmony on a plate; however, flavors that do not make sense together can completely throw off the balance of a dessert. Example: acidic fruit, such as oranges, pair well with bitter, dark chocolate to highlight one another’s flavor. Combining delicate flavors, such as jasmine tea and elderflower, confuse the palette.
  • Temperature control is a lot harder than it sounds. Having hot and ice-cold elements are delightful to eat together, but managing the placement and service of such items takes good planning and execution.
  • Contrast brings together many different elements like texture, flavor, and temperature. Have you ever eaten molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream? Simple and divine, the warm, moist chocolate center is amazing against each cold, refreshing bite of ice cream. Pastry chefs strive to create these interesting contrasts daily.
  • Complexity and cohesiveness sound like different principles, but they actually effect one another, so they need to be carefully considered. If a dessert is well-conceived and exhibits the right amount of complexity, it will feel cohesive. It is important for desserts to have a certain amount of depth, while still looking like one idea on a plate.
  • Knife skills are often attributed to cooking, but they are also important for baking. How do you think a petit four has a perfect edge to it or an orange sûpreme is achieved with precision? It is because the pastry chef has achieved extraordinary knife skills.
  • Baking skills are second nature to pastry chefs, but these skills must first be taught. From day 1 of the Professional Pastry Arts program, students are first taught the essentials of baking, both theory and practical skills, in order to build any type of plated desserts.
  • Plate design and composition is the synthesis of all the elements on the plate. No matter the diversity of ingredients, the finished dessert needs to be appealing to the eye and manageable to consume. Understanding basic design principles, such as spacial organization and color use, takes practice and creativity.A student plating
  • Recipe writing and the science behind a recipe is no joke! Most people don’t realize that there are structural elements to a good recipe and steps for recipe development, but in ICC’s immersive Pastry Arts program, students learn to write and even create their very own recipes.
  • Time management is the final piece to the dessert creation puzzle. Whether it’s managing their mise en place over several days or placing the last garnish on a plate, students always need to know how to manage their time in order to perfectly execute their plate.