Business Bites: Raise the Bar with Your Beverage Program

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

BUSINESS BITES: RAISE THE BAR WITH YOUR BEVERAGE PROGRAM

DEVELOP AND MANAGE YOUR WINE, BEER & SPIRITS

Thursday, November 1st | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Turning your beverage program into a profitable venture for your business takes a lot of hard work, but with the right knowledge and dedication, it can be the key to your restaurant, bar or food business’ success and longevity. From preventing over pouring to curating the best cocktail, beer and wine lists for your audience, learn how to navigate some of the common mistakes that many restaurants make, and understand the impact that your beverage program can have on your profitability.

So what do you need to know to turn your drinks to dollars?

Join us for an informative discussion with experts in the beverage industry—including wine directors, beverage consultants, bar owners, and distributors—to help make your beverage program more liquid. Our panel of experts will share tips and tools for getting started, how to grow and manage your beverage menu, finding the right solutions for your restaurant or bar, and more. You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

MODERATOR

Alek Marfisi, Upwind Strategies
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Entrepreneurship Instructor

Alek Marfisi is a native New Yorker with a passion for building things and helping people. After working advising small businesses for five years, Alek launched Upwind Strategies in 2015 with the mission of providing deeper and more relatable services to small businesses: the anti-business-school services firm. He previously worked with the NYS Small Business Development Center where he dove into the exciting intricacies of making entrepreneurial projects a reality. Since then, Alek has logged more than 11,000 hours working with small businesses and has been recognized as one of the top drivers of economic development in the country.

PANELISTS

jasonhedges
Jason Hedges, Bar Director of Gotham Bar & Grill and Partner of BarIQ

Jason Hedges is a New York based wine and spirits professional. He currently works as bar director and sommelier at Gotham Bar and Grill. He is a judge of both wine and spirits for The Ultimate Beverage Challenge and also sits on the tasting panel for Wine and Spirits Magazine. Jason has developed award winning beverage programs for multiple Michelin rated restaurants in NYC. He is passionate about creating quality.

Jason is a Court of Master Sommelier’s Certified Sommelier, and has also successfully completed the coveted Beverage Alcohol Resource’s intensive course and is certified with distinction.

More to come…

Barrel of Sherry

Certified Sherry Wine Specialist Seminar

Lustau, maker of top quality Sherries, presents a brand new wine certification available to all wine students and aficionados: the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist. Offered by Lucas Payà, Certified Sherry Educator and Lustau’s Brand Educator, this brief course offers Intermediate Level study material that has been reviewed and approved by the Regulatory Council of Jerez.

After many successful SOLD OUT workshops, ICC has partnered with Lustau again to host certification classes in both NY and CA. Buy your tickets below!

Saturday, October 6th
10:00am-12:30pm
International Culinary Center
700 West Hamilton Ave | Campbell, CA 95008

Cost: $40 per person

Thursday, November 15th
3:30pm-6:00pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor | New York, NY 10013

Cost: $35 per person

EVENT DETAILS

The program consists of a 2.5-hour class that includes:

    • Instruction on the history, geography, climate, viticulture, wine-making, and wine styles.  When studying the styles of sherry, students will learn about their differences, pairings, and best ways to serve.
    • A tasting of 6 wines, including all the basic styles (Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, and Dulce).
    • A 28-question test, graded after the course to award the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist recognition to those with a passing score of 20 or higher.

The Certificate of Achievement will be signed by both Lustau’s CEO and César Saldaña, Director of the Regulatory Council of Jerez. They will be numbered and a list of those that passed the course will be shared with the Regulatory Council.  A Certificate of Recognition will be issued to those that do not achieve the passing grade but only signed by Lustau.

Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

Instagram Tips for Food Businesses

In August, ICC welcomed the professionals at Instagram for a one-day workshop on everything food business & restaurant owners need to know to reach new and existing audiences through their social channels. Taught by the leading product management & marketing teams at Instagram, we learned tips, tricks and tools for boosting our food businesses directly from the source. We’re excited to partner with Instagram to bring you this content to help culinary entrepreneurs harness the power of social media for their businesses.

If you missed our event, below are a few key takeaways that we learned from this special workshop. Plus, stay tuned for more in depth recaps, videos and more on the @ICCedu and @InstagramforBusiness channels.

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  • 80% of Instagram users follow a business
  • 60% of Instagram users say they learn about products and services on Instagram
  • Instagram provides tools for businesses, including:
  1. Business profiles. Let users know that you are a business and gain access to specific tools for your business profile such as insights and the contact bar—now you can add a button to make reservations to your restaurant.
  2. Insights. In insights, you can take a look at your activity—how people engage with your profile and the downstream actions they’re taking—how your content is performing, and learn about your audience—including when they are the most active on Instagram.
  3. Messaging. Messaging is a key part of how you can connect with your audience in an authentic and responsive way. There are 150+ million people who use messaging each day! In addition to filters for messages to better sort responses, Instagram is about to release quick replies—a way to create/customize responses to commonly asked questions.

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  • 2 in 3 business profile visits are from non-followers, so it’s important to think about your content as if a person has never seen your business before.
  • Feed posts can drive to stories (and back again!) Instagram stories can be used for behind the scenes content, and are a great way to help to drive business goals—according to Instagram, 1 in 3 stories receive a direct message. Here are 3 things Instagram suggests thinking about when creating stories content:
  1. Do it in Real-Time
  2. Keep it Unfiltered
  3. Make it Playful
  • Drive business goals. Don’t do anything unless it drives a business goal and is trackable. One way that restaurants can drive meaningful actions on Instagram is to encourage people to take action, such as making a reservation by adding a RESERVE button to your contact bar.

Panel

During a panel discussion moderated by Aishwarya Blake from Instagram’s Product Marketing team, three successful culinary entrepreneurs spoke about how they use Instagram to drive traffic to their restaurants, food products and more. The panelists included Dani Beckerman of Jars By Dani (@jars_by_dani), Claire Mosteller of Union Square Hospitality Group (@ushgnyc), and ICC alumnus, Michael Chernow (@michaelchernow), co-founder of The Meatball Shop and founder of Seamore’s. Our key takeaways from the panel include:

  • Stay true to your brand voice. Michael uses one brand voice throughout his restaurant’s Instagram channels—himself! This helps to give the restaurants more authenticity.
  • Stories can be more playful and less edited. Dani noted that stories do not have to be “as perfect” as a feed post. The other panelists agreed!
  • Giveaways can be a fun way to interact with your audience. Claire and Michael both noted that they ran a giveaway for a new restaurant promotion, and it helped to build buzz around the restaurants!

Stories School

We were treated to a special hands-on workshop to learn new tips, and some cool tricks, to optimize Instagram stories with never-before-seen hacks straight from the team! Here are some of the tools we learned:

  • Stories are a great way to drive traffic to your feed, website, and more!
  • Swipe ups are a useful tool for large business accounts to bring followers and non-followers where you want to point them to take action—back to your website, event ticketing page, or reservation page.
  • There are many fun ways to play around with Instagram stories, like motion pinning an emoji to an element in a video, different texts and colors, and even the rewind video option.
If you’re in need of more help, click here to see Instagram’s quick guide to help restaurants get started. You can also check out the @InstagramForBusiness handle for inspiration on what you could be doing to boost your social media presence.

Finding Your Place in the Wine Industry

Written by Tyler Hawley, Current Sommelier Student

There are many different career opportunities available to someone with an interest in working within the wine field. Students and guests of the International Culinary Center had the privilege to sit in on a panel discussion with four professionals, each coming from their own respective position in the wine world. The four panelists shared their background stories, how they got where they are today and gave advice to those of us hoping to follow in their footsteps.

Distributor

Susan King is the regional manager of the Henry Wine Group’s San Francisco Peninsula and South Bay area. She spent twenty-five years working in sales within the technology industry. Throughout her career, Susan had the opportunity to experience wine from all around world, which sparked her passion for wine. In 2010, enrolled in ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program, where she became a Certified Sommelier. That combination of a career in sales and a passion for wine is what led her into the distribution field.

She describes an average day in the life of a distributor as visiting your customers and showing them new wines and spirits that they may be interested in. Someone who works in distribution has the opportunity to essentially function as his or her own CEO, by choosing their hours and how they go about selling their products to their customers. What makes distribution unique from other sales positions is that you are required to travel to your customers as opposed to them coming to you.

Anyone interested in working in the sales/distribution field needs to have strong customer service skills and knowledge of their product. They get to work with multiple different personalities, which means they need to be able to adapt their sales technique to whoever they’re selling to at that moment. Someone in distribution must be self-motivated with entrepreneurial skills because they have the ability to set their work schedule. Susan said there are many different positions available in the distribution field besides sales, such as marketing and brand management.

Typically, someone just getting started in distribution would work with larger corporate accounts until they gain enough experience to work smaller accounts. Pay within the distribution field can vary depending the company—some are completely commission based while others run on a broker system. Entry-level positions typically start around $35,000, but someone in the field can end up earning around $140,000. Once someone in distribution gains enough experience, they then have the opportunity to move unilaterally within the field.

Susan said that she loves everything about her job, but what she loves most is tasting wine with all different styles of people and finding the right solution for her customers.

Tasting Room

Michael Foley is the Manager of the tasting room at Ridge Vineyards, located in Cupertino, CA.  Michael got into wine at a young age, planting vines in his back yard when he was twelve. He started working harvest at Domenico Winery during high school and began working at Ridge in 2013.

Michael described the tasting room as “a stage” in the sense that you want to be well prepared and give your guests a show-like experience. He said that education is key—not only do you need to know the product, but you also need knowledge of the hospitality industry. Michael said that a great way to get more involved in the hospitality and tasting room side of the industry would be to work part time at a winery’s tasting room. He said the most important thing is to work somewhere you enjoy, and that hard work and dedication will get noticed and open up more opportunities.

Typically someone starting in a tasting room would make around $19 an hour, and management around $80,000 a year. However that all does depend on the winery. Michael said that working in a tasting room requires someone to be slightly extroverted, carefree, upbeat, and friendly. These characteristics help with working well with people who have different styles of personalities, and being able to adapt to situations as they happen. Michael’s favorite part about working in the tasting room is having the opportunity to create memorable experiences for his guests.

Winemaker

Ryan Beauregard is the owner and winemaker of Beauregard Vineyard, located in Santa Cruz, CA. He’s a jack-of-all-trades doing anything from farming, to wine making, to marketing. Ryan first fell in love with pinot noir, which led him to pursue studies in winemaking. Beauregard Vineyards produces around 7,000 cases of wine a year, most of which is sold direct.

Ryan spoke about how positions aren’t always readily available in the winemaking world, especially when it comes to smaller production wineries. He suggests that if you have a passion to break into the winemaking field, you should volunteer on vineyards during harvesting seasons. Do the manual labor of picking grapes, scrubbing barrels, washing floors, etc., so that you can start to further understand the winemaking process. Ryan talked about how someone interested in working in the winemaking field shouldn’t be doing it for the money, but should be doing it because they have a thirst for knowledge and want to be able to learn more about winemaking. He did say that the one thing people don’t think about is that you will be dealing with “creepy crawlies” so you have to be willing to work with nature.

To be able to understand how the terroir affects the wine and describe those subtle nuances to someone is one of the main reasons why Ryan loves being a winemaker.

Restaurant Sommelier

Aaron Babcock is a sommelier at Quince, located in San Francisco, CA. He started working at a resort in his early twenties where he fell in love with wine. Aaron said that, “you could tell there were stories within the wine cellar.” This led him to want to further his wine knowledge, so in 2012 he attended ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program where he received his Certified Sommelier training. He has since gone on to receive his Advanced Sommelier certification, and is training for the Master Sommelier exam.

Aaron said that there are two parts to the life of a sommelier working within the restaurant industry, the glamorous and non-glamorous. The glamorous side is being out on the floor interacting with the guests, and helping them find a wine that will help make their experience memorable. The non-glamorous side is all the things you do to prepare for service each night, such as stocking inventory. It depends on where you’re working, but a typical salary for a sommelier starts at around $50,000 a year, but there is no real ceiling. Similar to the tasting room, Aaron said working on the restaurant floor requires someone to be slightly extroverted and personable. He said that you do need to have a degree of humility when dealing with guests as well. Aaron’s favorite part of being a sommelier on the restaurant floor is being able to tell his guests stories about the producers, and help them find a wine they’ll love.

These professions share quite a few similarities, however, each is unique in their own right. One commonality is that you need to have a passion for wine and a desire to work hard and learn. Whether you’re selling wine, helping to make it, or anything in between, each panelist expressed that at the end of the day, it’s about doing what you love. The students at the ICC owe a big thank you to the four panelists for giving us invaluable insight into different professions within the wine world.

James La Mar

Alumni Profile: James La Mar, Sommelier ’11

James La Mar is a 2011 graduate of the Intensive Sommelier Program at ICC’s Campbell, California campus. Like most students who enroll at ICC, James was looking for a career change and for something that he was passionate about. Before coming to ICC, he remarks that he was “all over the place,” mostly doing odd jobs to keep him occupied. He started with no experience, very little knowledge, and no contacts in the industry, but he knew that choosing ICC would give him the proper foundation to start and advance in the competitive world of wine.

After graduating, he spent 6 years working part time at the now closed Beltramo’s Wines and Spirits in Menlo Park, mostly helping out during the busy winter season. The store was over 100 years old and was one of the most important family owned wine shops in the history of California. He shares that he’s very glad to have been a small part of a wonderful legacy.

Fast forward to today, he now owns Grape Obsession, an apparel and accessory brand geared towards Sommeliers and wine fanatics.T Shirts from Grape Obsession James manages everything within the business, including creating designs, managing social media content, website maintenance, book keeping, sales, and everything else you can possibly imagine. With Grape Obsession, James aims to help his fellow Sommeliers show their passion through fun apparel and accessories, while helping new Sommeliers establish themselves in the industry—donating a portion of the profits to scholarships that benefit Sommeliers on their quest for knowledge and self-improvement. 

When asked about a piece of advice he would give to someone wanting to pursue an education in wine, he says “the only people who don’t succeed in life are the ones who never try.  Even if failure is a high possibility, do it anyway.  The struggle alone will make you a better person.  If you know in your heart that you want to do it, stop over thinking it and just do it.”

Before starting Grape Obsession, James tried on many different hats in the wine industry, including sales, wine retail, and even working as a sommelier and wine steward to find his best fit. He also believes that working in different parts of the industry is an important learning experience for any Sommelier, and helps to develop a sense of the bigger picture and where you fit in. Below is his take on the pros and cons of each profession in the industry.

Retail/Tasting Room

Wine retail is an especially great place in the industry if you are new to the business and still trying to figure out where you want to go.

Pros:

  • The wine buyer makes sure that you taste almost every wine that sales reps bring, which allows you to develop your palate.
  • Physically inspecting the bottles and the boxes as they come in helps put a lot of your wine theory into practice and gives a lot of needed context.
  • The hours you work would mostly be normal business hours, allowing for a decent work life balance, though you should expect to work some holidays.
  • You will be meeting a lot of wine sales reps; working in retail gives you some great contacts if you want to move into sales later on down the line.

Cons:

  • Working in the day means that you may have less opportunities to go to industry tastings and trade events that normally happen during the day on weekdays, unless you work your way into a management or wine buyer position where attending trade events is a part of your job.
  • Due to the nature of working in retail, you will be expected to work many weekends and holidays.
  • Entry pay is also lower in retail, though as you move up through management, compensation can range from average to above average.
  • Lastly, work can be humbling as you will be expected to work a cash register, lift heavy wine boxes, stock shelves, break down boxes, and clean floors, windows, and displays.

Sales & Distribution

If you have a competitive spirit, sales can be an exciting area of the industry to work in.  As a salesman, you will be responsible for motivating yourself to meet with wine buyers, taste products, make sales calls and write emails, and schedule your daily tasks weeks, sometimes months, in advance.  Being in sales is brutal especially if you are new to the game, but if you stick with it and persevere, there is a great sense of pride and accomplishment when you develop your territory and build strong lasting relationships with your buyers.

Pros:

  • This is great if you enjoy being a self-starter and working unsupervised.
  • You will have more work life balance, even though you will be extremely busy, and you will have more opportunities to see friends and family at night and on holidays.
  • There can be opportunities to travel for work to represent your brand or attend staff training trips.
  • You will be meeting frequently with clients and wine buyers, so you will be able to build a strong network within the industry.
  • You will also be responsible for supporting your accounts by leading tastings and classes on your products for their staff, which is fun as it allows you to pass on your passion for the brands you represent.
  • Earning potential is higher in sales. Because you are paid mostly by commission, you have the opportunity to make as much money as you are willing to work for.

Cons:

  • If you don’t have a strong competitive nature, sales can be difficult.
  • In sales, you will be faced with constant rejection; you will have to be able to take criticism of yourself, and the brands you represent, in stride.
  • As a sales rep, you will also be expected to be the problem solver for each of your accounts. The delivery truck missed a case of wine that your account needs for the weekend?  Stop by the warehouse and take the case directly to the account yourself.
  • You will need to check up regularly on your products at retail stores or check in with restaurants to see how they are doing on inventory. If the product is moving slowly, it is your responsibility to help the account make the product a success by offering to teach classes to the staff, making store marketing materials, etc.
  • It will also take some time before the money starts to come in, usually a few months to a year of building your territory up, so make sure you have a financial cushion when you start out.

Sommelier/Wine Steward

Are you a night person?  If you are, being a Sommelier may be the career path for you.

Pros:

  • Working nights frees up hours during the day to pursue many productive facets of your life, including having ample time for exercise, running errands, going to wine industry tastings and study groups, and most importantly having time to study.
  • Guest interaction is one of the greatest benefits, as there is great joy to be found in putting the needs of others in front of your own
  • You will also have certain management responsibilities, including staff training and assisting on the floor of the restaurant, which builds up leadership experience.
  • The amount of wine you try as a Sommelier is far greater than any other job in the industry— you will constantly taste exotic wines from your vendors, during restaurant service to make sure they aren’t corked, and at many different industry trade tastings that you will be invited to.
  • As you move up into a wine buyer role as a Sommelier you can also be invited to luncheons and occasionally have opportunities to be sponsored to travel to wine country by your vendors, your employer, or industry publications.
  • You have the job of building a wine program, which allows you to be creative and develop skills in purchasing.
  • Earning potential can range from average to above average as you normally will be making tips, though as you come up in the industry and move into a wine director position, earning potential can be even greater.

Cons:

  • Working nights and holidays is a challenge for anyone in the restaurant industry. You should prepare your friends and family that you’ll be working on a completely opposite schedule than most of them.
  • Like any job in the public sector, you will be dealing with people and will need to develop finesse to serve all guests.
  • Being a Sommelier is a very social line of work— you need to be comfortable with talking to complete strangers and charming them.
  • You will need to know how to manage a team and treat everyone with respect.
  • There are non-glamorous parts of the job, like carrying 40 pound cases of wine, counting inventory, publishing a wine list, and understanding the restaurant and the needs of your guests so that you make appropriate purchasing decision

Unlike other industries where moving around from different types of work can be a detriment to your resume, the wine industry appreciates job applicants with well rounded work experience, as the skills you build in different lines of work are often transferable and show that you have a passion for everything about wine, including the parts that are sometimes difficult or uncomfortable.  It is important for any Sommelier to be well rounded and to have a variety of experience in the industry in order to succeed in the long run.

Check out Grape Obsession’s awesome apparel and accessories here: www.grapeobsession.com and be sure to follow them on social by clicking on each icon below!

Things to Know Before Culinary School

As a new student at ICC, it is OK to have never cooked in a professional kitchen before and to not know everything– that is why you are coming to school in the first place! When you come to culinary school, you will develop a foundation for your career and set yourself up for future success. But, coming into any new situation can be nerve-wracking, so we put together some tips and terms to learn and practice before you begin your culinary journey. Read on to start the foundation of your success!

1. Test Your Technique

You’ll learn more than 250+ professional techniques in our Culinary and Pastry Arts programs, but we think these skills are great to practice before you come to ICC. These are skills that all chefs develop overtime, so working on them before you even come to school will make you feel prepared and ready to get cooking!

  • Clean as you cook. This is possibly one of the most important kitchen skills you can learn. Having a clean station is stressed in the classroom, and getting into the habit ofClean station being neat will set you up for your future professional career.
  • Learn the basics of the metric system. Units are typically codified into the metric system in the classroom and professional kitchens, so understanding the differences between ounces, liters, grams, and so on, will make it easier to get cooking.
  • Practice visualizing the steps of a recipe and writing out the steps in shorthand onto a notecard. Professional kitchens and the classrooms of ICC do not allow for recipes or phones, so it is important to know the recipe before you step into the kitchen. Writing out the steps is said to be the best way to study and truly understand material.

2. Know Your Kitchen Terms

Brigade is a system of hierarchy found in restaurants and hotels. The hierarchical structure can vary, depending on the kitchen. Some of the variations include:

  • 1 Executive Chef and Line Cooks
  • 1 Executive Chef, 1 or more Sous Chefs, and Line Cooks
  • 1 Executive Chef, 1 Executive Sous Chef, a Chef de Cuisine for each restaurant, a Banquet Chef, perhaps a Sous Chef for each Chef de Cuisine, a Pastry Chef

 

Mis En Place, also known as mise, is all of the prepped ingredients that a chef will need in order to have a successful service. These ingredients are readily available for the chef to quickly prepare the dish needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother Sauces are the 5 sauces that every chef should have in their repertoire, and each one can be transformed into its own family of different sauces. They include:

  • Béchamel Sauce
  • Velouté Sauce

Fire: When this is heard in the kitchen, that means it is time to start preparing a dish! Typically, orders are made when they are received, but sometimes they have to be delayed to make the timing of the dishes spot on. If a table orders appetizers and entrees, the appetizers will be fired first!

 

Heard: If you’ve ever watched a cooking show before, you’ve heard this term! This is shouted back at whoever calls out instructions to the kitchen to let them know that they have been understood.

 

Behind: This term is key to kitchen safety. Any time you are crossing behind someone in a kitchen, it must be said so that the person who is dealing with the hot pan or plate of food does not injure someone else. Other terms to do with behind include sharp knife and hot behind.

 

Stage: Pronounced st-ah-j. This is the French term for externship/internship and is commonly used in kitchens and in the classroom.

 

Yes, Chef! is said in response to the head chef of the kitchen. This is to let the chef know that you have heard them and understood their message. Although it is a sign of respect and is earned in kitchens worldwide, it is also a safety measure to ensure that the kitchen runs smoothly.

3. Brush Up On Food Safety

In level one of the Professional Culinary and Pastry Arts programs, you’ll receive in-depth training on food safety & handling, and have the opportunity to receive your ServSafe® Certification from the National Restaurant Association. But before you learn the ins and outs of food safety, here are a few key tips to remember:

  • Perishable food should be kept below 45° or above 135°.
  • Dairy or protein based foods should not be left at room temperature
  • Refrigerators should stay below 41°F at all times

Back-to-Culinary-School Recommended Reading

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

Letters to a Young Chef

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

The Flavor Bible

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

The Third Plate

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

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

Aly Moore

Bugs Are Sustainable

This month, ICC’s California campus hosted Aly Moore, founder of Bugible—a blog about the world of edible insects—and EatBugsEvents.com, for an insightful presentation and tasting about how and why we eat bugs. Opening a dialogue about how what we eat impacts our bodies and our environment, we discussed how to overcome the stigma surrounding edible bugs and encouraged chefs of the next generation to have an open mind to the opportunities that tasty critters offer. Students and guests had the chance to experience the delicate flavor profiles of edible insects, like grasshoppers and bamboo worms, first-hand.

With the world’s population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, we’ll need to find sustainable ways to deliver nutritious food to our growing population. So we asked Aly to share with our readers why bugs are not only a solution to this problem, but are also one of the more provocative food sources in discussion.

Written by Aly Moore, Founder of Bugible & EatBugsEvents.com

Bugs’ Culinary Potential

There are over 2,000 species of edible bugs, and many more to be discovered. They all have unique, beautiful flavor profiles just waiting to be explored.

Imagine that you have a friend who is an artist. She paints beautiful pictures, but only uses red, pink, and yellow. She can make lovely paintings, but one day you show her the other rainbow of colors that exist – the blues, greens, purples, oranges, silvers, and more. Now she can make even more vivid paintings.

That’s where we are in the culinary world. We have a huge range of raw ingredients that chefs use, but there are rainbows of additional flavors to explore with bugs! And bugs can be tasty.

One of the top restaurants in the world, Noma, has made use of bugs for many years on their menu. Fancy restaurants in France serve up snails – or escargot. Here’s another fun fact: Bugs are small enough that the quite literally are what they eat. If you have some crickets and feed them mint, they will have a minty flavor. If you feed your crickets banana, they will adopt a banana flavor. If you feed your crickets carrots, they will turn orange! There is so much we have to explore with bugs and we are just at the very beginning.

Some put bugs into three unofficial flavor categories. The first nutty and earthy. Crickets and mealworms are examples of bugs that taste a little like seeds, nuts, or mushrooms. The second is fishy and seafood-like. Locusts and scorpions are examples of bugs that have been compared to crab. The third is meaty and savory. Sago grubs are often called the bacon of the bug world.

How Chefs Carry Big Environmental Impact

Bugs are relatively unexplored treasures of ingredients. To communicate this with the world, we need innovative foodservice efforts to further establish the pleasure aspect of bugs in dishes with bug-forward menus. While it remains to be seen whether more restaurants will evaluate the environmental impact of their menus, recent surveys suggest that our understanding of sustainability issues continues to grow.

As the conversation around sustainability and impact continues to grow, we could see increased messaging around the environmental benefits of greater bug consumption. Additionally, restaurants and foodservice operations in all categories continue to make serious efforts to reduce their food waste (that often translate into cost-savings as well.)

Why Not Bugs?

Bugs are easier on the environment than traditional protein sources, packed with nutrition, and can taste great. There’s a reason why 80% of the world’s countries have been eating bugs for thousands of years. Choose any food enviro-metric you’d like: gallons of water, Co2 equivalents of greenhouse gases, acres of land, feed-conversion-ratio comparisons, you name it. Bugs come out ahead of traditional livestock like beef. Bugs are cold blooded, meaning they don’t waste energy converting feed into body heat. Bugs take 12x less food than cows, produce 100x less Co2, take 1000x less water to raise, and can be grown anywhere.

Not only are bugs healthy for the environment, but they are packed with nutrients for us as well. The nutrients of bugs vary depending on the species and on what they are fed. But as an example, if we compare 100g of crickets to 100g of beef, we might find the cricket has 2 to 3 times more protein, more calcium, more iron, more vitamin a, more fiber, potassium, and an ideal omega 3 to 6 ratio, and all 9 essential amino acids. Bugs are gluten free. They are about 60% protein.

Framing Bugs As Ingredients

There’s a saying: it’s always easier to go down than it is to go up. Actually, I’m not sure if that is a saying. But it’s certainly a known fact in the insect community that it will benefit the public perception of edible insects if we start with gourmet chefs and top restaurants rather than pushing bugs as an ’emergency food.’ Ideally, bugs will be available to empower communities already comfortable eating them and updated farming methods will make a big difference in malnourished communities. But if we want bugs to be an ‘everybody food,’ a staple rather than a novelty, we must start at the top.

We must admit to the catch-22 situation: while it’s hoped bug eating will become a notable global trend, turning them into an ‘aspirational’ food trend like kale or wheatgrass means certain bug dishes won’t be affordable for everyone… yet. But bugs have to be affordable for people to access them on a wide scale, and to get to that point we must increase the demand.

The father of cooking with bugs, Chef David George Gordon (aka The Bug Chef) shared some insight on how we might better work with chefs, “With insects, it’s challenging because most chefs in our country don’t have much experience or expertise in that arena. But there are many culinary tricks of the trade that chefs can bring to play, making the dishes they serve look and taste good, regardless of how many legs they ingredients may have. As such, they are important contributors to the process of gaining acceptance for bug cuisine.”

He brings up a great point. Many chefs might be hesitant to work with bugs simply because they don’t know how yet. We can change that with a strong educational push.

For this reason and many others, I’m thrilled and grateful to the International Culinary Center for opening their minds and mouths to the idea of eating bugs. The members of the ICC community continue to demonstrate their commitment to innovation and global mindfulness.

About Aly Moore:
Aly studied food policy at the Yale University of Public Health and gained experience through work at  the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Research, the National Health Services (NHS ENGLAND), and Monterey Tech Public Health (Mexico). She founded a startup called Spylight.com and continues her work in the space of entrepreneurship and entertainment at somebodystudios.com. Her overwhelming curiosity about edible insects lead her to found Bugible, a blog about the world of edible insects. After hosting fun and memorable events around eating bugs—bug wine pairings, bug dinners and bug cooking classes—EatBugEvents.com emerged as a way to make entomophagy accessible, educate the public, and support the great bug-entrepreneurs.

Back-to-school scholarships for October Classes

ICC’s Back to School Scholarships!

SCHOLARSHIPS TO GET YOU BACK-TO-SCHOOL

Ready to turn up the heat on your culinary or pastry technique this October?

We’re excited to announce these scholarship opportunities at our NYC and California campus to help you get back-to-school this fall and bring you savings towards your education! Begin in ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts or Professional Pastry Arts programs this October and you could be eligible to receive one of our back-to-school scholarships with awards ranging from $3,000-$10,000.

Check out all the ways you can get back-to-school this season and submit your application today!

NEW YORK CAMPUS SCHOLARSHIPS

FRIENDS OF THE ICC SCHOLARSHIP- $10,000

Financial need is a criterion for this scholarship. Applicants must complete a FAFSA.

AWARD AMOUNT: $10,000 (multiple available)

ELIGIBLE CLASSES
Must be enrolled in the following PROFESSIONAL CULINARY ARTS or PROFESSIONAL PASTRY ARTS programs:

  • 10/3/2018 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)
  • 10/9/2018 Professional Pastry Arts (Tues & Thurs Eve, Sat Day)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • 9/20/2018 for the Professional Culinary Arts (10/3 program)
  • 9/28/2018 for the Professional Pastry Arts (10/9 program)

AWARD DATE:

  • 9/28/2018 for the Professional Culinary Arts (10/3 program)
  • 10/5/2018 for the Professional Pastry Arts (10/9 program)

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

STEPHEN MICHAEL SULES SCHOLARSHIP- $7,500

Financial need is a criterion for this scholarship. Applicants must complete a FAFSA.

AWARD AMOUNT: $7,500

ELIGIBLE CLASSES
Must be enrolled in the following PROFESSIONAL CULINARY ARTS program:

  • 10/3/2018 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

9/20/2018

AWARD DATE:

9/28/2018

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

CALIFORNIA CAMPUS SCHOLARSHIPS

LA CHAÎNE DES RÔTISSEURS SCHOLARSHIPS- $3,000

Financial need is a criterion for this scholarship. Applicants must complete a FAFSA.

AWARD AMOUNT: $3,000 (multiple available)

ELIGIBLE CLASSES
Must be enrolled in one of the following PROFESSIONAL CULINARY ARTS or PROFESSIONAL PASTRY ARTS programs:

  • 10/15/2018 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon, Wed, Fri Eve)
  • 10/17/2018 Professional Pastry Arts (Mon-Fri Day)
  • 10/17/2018 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon-Fri Day)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

9/17/2018

AWARD DATE:

10/01/2018

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

50th Restaurant Day Celebration

Win tickets to join the sweet festivities this September!

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to taste the Pastry School experience—learning to master everything from cookies and tarts to laminated doughs, wedding cakes, sugar showpieces and more—you won’t want to miss ICC’s 50th Restaurant Day celebration!

Join us for an afternoon of never-before-tasted sweets and treats brought to you by the students of the Professional Pastry Arts program. After 600 hours of professional pastry education, Restaurant Day showcases everything our students have learned in an imaginative, curated menu of original restaurant-quality desserts. Find out how you can attend below!

Friday, September 21st
12:15pm & 1:15pm Seating
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th floor | New York, NY 10013

Giveaway

For our 50th iteration of Restaurant Day, ICC is teaming up with Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres, to host a celebratory afternoon of confectionery delights! Invited guests, including students’ family and friends, will have the opportunity to take part in an exciting, restaurant-style dessert service complete with a pre-dessert, selection of original desserts, and perfect petits fours—bon bons, macarons, pâte de fruit, the list is endless! Plus, we’re bringing back one of Mr. Chocolate—Jacques Torres’—signature desserts to add to the sweet festivities.

And, while Restaurant Day happens about a dozen times a year—near the end of each Pastry Arts program—this is the first time that we’re giving 4 lucky winners the chance to experience it for themselves!

So, how do you enter to win a seat for you and a guest at the 50th Restaurant Day on Friday, September 21st and meet Jacques Torres, lead judge of Nailed It! on Netflix, in person?

  • Check out our giveaway on @JacquesTorres Instagram in the morning on Thursday, September 6, 2018
  • To enter, you’ll need to like the @JacquesTorres post, follow @ICCedu & tag 2 friends in the comments that you’d love to bring to the 50th Restaurant Day.
  • We’ll DM 4 lucky winners by 10am the next morning with details!

If you’re interested in ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program, or know someone that has a huge sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss this special event!

WHAT IS RESTAURANT DAY?

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.

About our Host— Jacques Torres, ICC's Dean of Pastry

The youngest recipient of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Pastry Chef of France) in history, he spent 12 inspired years as executive pastry chef at Le Cirque before leaving to open his renowned wholesale, retail, and e-commerce chocolate company, Jacques Torres Chocolate, in New York City. As dean of Pastry Arts, he regularly presents demonstrations to students in New York, helping students learn in 6 months what took him years as an apprentice. Chef Torres has won numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year, Chefs of America Pastry Chef of the Year, and Chartreuse Pastry Chef of the Year. He is a member of the Académie Culinaire de France, and in 2003 he was inducted by the James Beard Foundation into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.