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.
A dish from Suyo Gastrofusion

ICC In The News: Highlights from September 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 September 2018, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

Tim Ma, a 2009 alumni of our Professional Culinary Arts program,  is now the Chief Culinary Officer of Box’d Eats, a school-lunch delivery service. Described as a Blue Apron meets Lunchables, read all about it here.

Yale University’s School of Public Health is set to host its first conference on olive oil next month. Tassos Kyriakides, the department chair at Yale’s School of Public Health, came up with the idea for the conference after completing the Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program at ICC. Read about the conference here.

A dish from Suyo Gastrofusion
NEW YORK TIMES

ELEVATED YAKITORI, DIRECT FROM JAPAN, IN THE WEST VILLAGE

Chef Andy Sen Sang, a native of Ecuador who moved to the Bronx and graduated in 2015, owns Suyo Gastrofusion. His restaurant blends Asian and Latin influences in dishes like steamed pork belly buns, and charred octopus with chorizo quinoa. Check out his feature in the New York Times here.

Little Havana in Washington, D.C. is in the talented hands of Chef Joseph Osorio. He is a graduate, and trained his whole life by cooking in the kitchen with his Cuban immigrant godmother, preparing him to serve Cubano sandwiches and egg rolls, Cuban chicken stews and whole fried fish. Check it out if you’re in D.C.!

The Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program jointly produced by the Olive Oil Times Education Lab and ICC will be offered in central London this January. It is the first time the course, which has trained hundreds of industry professionals, chefs and enthusiasts in olive oil quality assessment since it began in 2016, will venture beyond its annual New York and California sessions. Click here to learn more.

ICC in the News Article
NEW YORK TIMES

A FINE- DINING VETERAN TURNS TO STREET FOOD

Food & Wine Article on Instagram for Restaurants
FOOD AND WINE
FIVE NEW WAYS RESTAURANTS ARE USING INSTAGRAM TO DRIVE BUSINESS

How can restaurants and food businesses use Instagram to drive business? Check out these 5 tips we learned with Food & Wine in our event with Instagram for Business last month, and see why it’s more important than ever for aspiring culinary entrepreneurs!

Chef Nick Nikolopoulos graduated from our Professional Pastry Arts program and now owns Stirling, NJ bakery Gluten Free Gloriously. He says he is now creating gluten-free baked goods that taste like the real thing. Don’t miss his bakery, read more here!

A group of olive oil professionals and enthusiasts gathered in Campbell, California in early September to attend the Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program. The six-day course produced by the Olive Oil Times Education Lab and ICC provided in-depth instruction in olive oil production, quality management, advanced sensory assessment and culinary applications. Click here to learn more about the program.

With conversations buzzing about the resurgence of the Jewish Deli, some are surprised to learn that they’re having a moment in places you’d least expect. Take ICC grad Jerrod Rosen’s deli, Rye Society, which debuted in July in Denver’s River North Art District. Read more here about his desire to open a place with soul that would incorporate his family traditions in this Washington Post article.

NEW YORK TIMES

RANCH NATION

cheese souffle
FOOD AND WINE
THE 40 BEST-EVER RECIPES FROM FOOD & WINE

For Food and Wine’s 40th birthday, they looked back at their favorite recipes ever—including two from our deans! In the inaugural issue of Food & Wine, legendary chef Jacques Pépin shared his recipe for the perfect soufflé. Then, in 1979, Paula Wolfert penned an article about great Alsatian chefs cooking their mothers’ food. Included was André Soltner, then the chef at the legendary Lutèce, and he opted to recreate his mother’s outstanding potato pie. Get the recipes here.

Jhonel Faelnar
WINE & SPIRITS

BEST NEW SOMMELIERS 2018

Jhonel Faelnar, Wine Director at Atomix in NYC and graduate of our Intensive Sommelier Training program, is one of Wine and Spirits magazine’s Best New Sommeliers of 2018. Read about our graduate and his prestigious recognition here.

Chef Jacques Torres Sugar

3 Tips For Working With Sugar from Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres and his Sugar ShowpieceDean of Pastry Arts, Chef Jacques Torres stopped by ICC’s New York campus this month to show our students how to work with sugar. Working with sugar is no simple task—it takes years of practice, skill and patience. Watching Chef Torres work with sugar is like watching Picasso paint; it is awe-inspiring, and he makes manipulating and shaping the difficult medium look easy.

For this demo, “Mr. Chocolate” decided to work with something a little different than chocolate—sugar! He created a showpiece featuring a shimmering sugar swan and a lifelike sugar rose. Throughout the hour and a half demo, he shared his insider tips to working with sugar after many years of experience. Below, we highlight some of our favorite tips from him to help you pull and pour sugar like the pros!

1. Sugar Becomes Shiny Through the Process of Satiné

Through the process of pulling the sugar, air is incorporated. As you continue to work with it, a sheen appears. But, be careful not to pull it too much, or else it will become dull!

Chef Jacques Torres Satinizing sugarChef Jacques Torres Satinizing sugar

2. Silicone Molds Will Mold Sugar, but...

…dough will work too! The fat in the dough makes it so the sugar and the dough will never stick together. The temperature difference of the two help to mold the sugar into the desired shape. This is what pastry chefs used before silicone molds were invented!

Chef Jacques Torres pouring sugar

3. Be Sure to Move your Sugar

When your pulled sugar is under a heat lamp, be sure to move it around every so often. This will ensure it keeps the right temperature. Because the heat is on the top of the sugar, it is important to continually flip the sugar so the temperature stays consistent.

Chef Jacques Torres moving his sugar under the heat lamp

If you’re inspired to learn how to make a sugar showpiece like Jacques Torres, check out ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program where 60 hours of instruction are dedicated to sugar-focused décor, including showpieces like this!

Nick Lee

Nick Lee, ICC Culinary Student, Wins World Umami Cooking Competition!

Competes against five top culinary schools for an all expense-paid culinary tour in Japan.

The first-ever World Umami Forum, presented by Ajinomoto this past September, brought food science experts, renowned researchers and top culinary professionals together for a two-day consortium aimed at deepening the understanding of umami and it’s essential role in American cuisine, as well as opened the conversation about monosodium glutamate and some of the common myths surrounding MSG.

As part of the conference, the World Umami Forum challenged six semi-finalists from America’s top culinary schools in the inaugural United States of Umami Cooking Competition, held on September 20th, to create their best original, umami-rich recipe in the form of a signature entrée. ICC was honored to be selected as one of the six culinary schools, including The Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University, to participate in the competition. Through an internal selection process led by ICC’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert, Professional Culinary Arts student Nick Lee was selected to represent ICC in the competition. (Nick was selected for the competition while a student at ICC, but has recently graduated from the program).

Judged on technique and taste, these culinary students went head-to-head for a chance to win an all-expense paid culinary trip to Japan. After months of preparation refining his umami-rich recipe and one-on-one practice with ICC’s resident culinary competition coach, Chef Hervé, we’re excited to announce that ICC student, Nick Lee, was selected as the winner of the competition! We couldn’t be more proud to share Nick’s journey to victory with all of you, and the recipe behind his winning dish.

Born in South Korea, Nick grew up in the United States with a love for experiencing different cultures—travelling through various countries and living in Japan, China, and Cambodia for a time. Nick holds a Bachelors of Science degree in both Mechanical Engineering and Psychology from the University of Illinois, and his unique career background ranges from engineering, accounting and military, to hotel management—he’s worked both front of house & back of house in hotel restaurants. Having always been passionate about food, Nick decided to pursue this passion by enrolling in the International Culinary Center’s Professional Culinary Arts program in January 2018. He is currently in his final externship level of the program at Jean Georges’ Mercer Kitchen in Soho.

In preparation for the competition, Nick trained one-on-one for months with our Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert. Chef Hervé has coached many ICC students in competition to success including: Rose Weiss, winner of the 2011 Bocuse d’Or Commis Competition; Christopher Ravanello, Northeast Regional winner of the 2012 S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition; Colfax Selby, Northeast Regional winner of the 2015 S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition; Mimi Chen, winner of the 2016 Ment’or Commis competition. Through this preparation and hard work, Nick refined his recipe, timing and plating to be able to come home to ICC victorious as the 1st place winner!

The main requirement of the competition was to create an original dish circled around the theme of umami. While Nick had many directions he could have pursued for his dish, he was passionate about using all the umami ingredients that were naturally rich in MSG. That left him with ingredients like kombu, Parmigiano Reggiano, tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms. From there, he wanted to create a dish that embodied both western and eastern influences that would best represent ICC in his mind. A dish in South Korea that translates to an abalone porridge came to his mind, and he thought making a risotto out of this dish would be a great way to elevate the flavors of the ingredients he wanted to work with.

Check out Nick’s winning recipe below and you’ll see why his dish took home the gold!

Butter Poached Abalone

Served with Roasted Mushroom Risotto and Oven Dried Tomatoes

YIELD: 4 Servings

The winning dish

 

The winning dish

INGREDIENTS

For the Kombu Stock

200 g dashi kombu

200 g onion (2 whole onions)

100 g dried shiitake mushroom

200 g daikon radish

200 g leek, cleaned

6 cloves garlic

3 kg water

For the Oven Dried Tomatoes

300 g cherry tomato

140 g extra virgin olive oil

10 g parsley, chopped fine

10 g basil, chopped fine

10 g thyme sprigs

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Seaweed Crisp

20 g seaweed sheet

80 g rice flour

50 g water

10 g sesame seeds

10 g sugar

50 g soy sauce

300 g kombu stock

10 g sesame oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Abalone

5 ~ 6 fresh abalone

280 g butter

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Risotto

60 g extra virgin olive oil

100 g shallots, very finely chopped

80 g cremini mushroom, finely chopped

500 g Arborio rice

30 g soy sauce

125 g dry white wine

1 ½ kg kombu stock, or as needed*

60 g butter, plus an additional 60 g for finishing the risotto

100 g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Salt and pepper to taste

 

For the Roasted Mushroom

200 g oyster mushroom

200 g shitake mushroom

200 g maitake mushroom

1 bunch of rosemary

2 head of garlic

For Service

50 g purple radish microgreen

50 g Brussels sprout leaves

Extra virgin olive oil

PROCEDURE

For the Kombu Stock

  1. Cut kombu into squares and steep in some of the water used for the stock.
  2. Put kombu and the water steeped in into a large pot and add aromatic elements.
  3. Bring everything to boil and take kombu out immediately once it starts to boil.
  4. Strain the stock carefully and set aside for use.

For the Cherry Tomato Confit

  1. Preheat convection oven to 300°
  2. Cut tomatoes in half, in a bowl season with S/P and olive oil.
  3. Baked in oven on a bed of thyme for about 45 min or until tomato done.
  4. Once the tomatoes are done add the herbs and set aside.

For the Roasted Mushrooms

  1. Clean and cut mushrooms to desired size, season with XV olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Bake in 350°F convection oven on top of a bed a rosemary, until cooked and golden brown.
  3. Remove and set aside.

For the Seaweed Crisp

  1. Mix rice flour and water together to make batter.
  2. Cut seaweed into squares and apply batter on one side of seaweed. Sprinkle sesame seed on top of battered side of seaweed.
  3. Fry seaweed in 325°F, take it out to a cooling rack with paper towel when it starts to brown.
  4. Combine kombu stock, soy sauce, sugar until ¼ of original volume.
  5. Add sesame oil to reduced stock and drizzle over battered side of seaweed.

For the Abalone

  1. Separate abalone from the shell with a spoon.
  2. Make quadrillage mark on top of the abalone using a knife.
  3. Season each side of abalone with salt and pepper and sear until brown on each side.
  4. Butter poach abalone gently.
  5. Remove transfer to a container, smoked slightly and cover until service.
  6. On the same butter poached the Brussels sprout leaves right before serving.

For the Risotto

  1. Bring the stock to a slow, steady simmer in a russe.
  2. In a wide, shallow sautoir, sweat the finely chopped shallots and cremini mushroom in 60 g butter until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until it is hot and evenly coated with fat.
  4. Add the white wine and simmer until it has evaporated.
  5. Add enough of the stock to just cover the rice, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon, keeping the sides and bottom of the pot clean as you stir. Keep the rice at a brisk simmer and stir continuously. Continue adding stock a ½ cup at a time, until the liquid is absorbed, and maintain the heat at a lively pace.
  6. Taste the rice after 12-15 minutes. The rice is done when it is tender but still firm to the bite. As you approach the final minutes of cooking, gradually reduce the amount of stock that you add. The liquid should be a little soupy because the addition of the final ingredients will tighten up the risotto.
  7. Off the heat, add the roasted mushrooms, soy sauce, the remaining 60 g of butter, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the risotto energetically with the wooden spoon to whip the ingredients together. The consistency of the rice should be thick and creamy but still have movement, so add a few drops of stock if necessary to achieve the correct consistency.

For Service

  1. Spoon risotto into warm bowls.
  2. Slice Abalone ¼ inch thick on a bias.
  3. Garnish with seaweed crisps cherry tomato, Brussels sprout leaves, and micro purple radish.