Knives

Japanese Knives: What, Why and How To Use Them

Chef Yuuki and Chef DavidThis past January, ICC Professional Culinary Arts alumnus, David Israelow, and Chef Yuuki Tanaka, a highly regarded Kaiseki chef from Tokyo, Japan, gave a demonstration on The Art of Japanese Knife Skills and Sashimi.

Throughout the demonstration, they shared their vast knowledge of Japanese knives and the vital role they play in preparing Japanese cuisine. Below, read about what you should know about Japanese knives, why you should choose one, and how to properly use them!

What Should I Know About Japanese Knives?

Japanese knives are used by chefs all over the world for their thin and flexible blades, precise craftsmanship, and light weight.

chef yuukiTraditionally, Japanese knives have one bevel on the right side of the knife. In addition to the years of practice that it takes to become a Sashimi master, Japanese chefs attain beautifully plated Sashimi fish by using these precise blades. Even though it is common to find single bevel Japanese knives, nowadays, companies are also making double beveled knives to attract more mainstream use, much like the German made knives that are high in demand. This means that they can be used to cook other cuisines in addition to Japanese food, although there are some caveats.

Why Should I Use Japanese Knives?

chef yuuki slicingThere are many different reasons that chefs use Japanese knives in their kitchens. In addition to their flexibility and light weight, they also have different angles than German knives. These angles allow for the precision that is needed in Sashimi preparation, but also allows for chefs in general to make straight cuts.

Japanese knives also have an extremely sharp blade that tends to stay sharp for longer periods of time, depending on the use of the knife. On the Rockwell scale, which is used to determine the hardness of steel, Japanese knives are anywhere in the 60-70 range, which is why the blade stays sharper for longer. In contrast, German knives fall in the mid 50s on the Rockwell scale, which makes the steel softer, but is also one of the reasons why German knives are thicker. This then causes German knives to dull faster with more frequent use.

How Should I Use My Japanese Knives?

knifeIn contrast to the thicker and more durable German knives, Japanese knives should not be used for tough kitchen tasks, like breaking apart chicken bones. The flexibility of the knives allows for precision in cooking and presentation, but also means that the blade is more easily chipped. During this demonstration, Chef David Israelow and Chef Yuuki Tanaka showed this flexibility and precision through the use of five different knife techniques:

  1. San mai oroshi – a 3 piece filet style for round fish
  2. Go mai oroshi – a 5 piece filet style for flat fish
  3. Hegi zukuri – a sashimi cutting style from the left which produce biased cuts on an angle
  4. Hira zukuri – a sashimi cutting style from the right which produce straight block cuts
  5. Sukibiki – a scaling technique where the knife is used to cut the scales off

If you’re ready to purchase a Japanese knife for your kitchen, check out our friends at Korin Knives! They are NYC’s leading experts on Japanese knives and will help you pick out the right knife for your hand, sharpen it, and even show you the proper way to use it!

Chef Joshua Skenes

ICC In The News: Highlights from January 2019

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 January 2019, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

Fabián Von Hauske

MUNCHIES
How to Put a Twist on Classic Tiramisu with the Chef of Una Pizza Napoletana

Tiramisu is a classic and delicious Italian dessert with layers of lady fingers, marscarpone cream, and espresso. Watch how Fabián Von Hauske—chef/owner of Contra, Wildair and Una Pizza Napoletana and ICC alumnus—puts a twist on this classic. Check out his signature recipe on VICE Munchies!

Looking for a new cookie recipe to try? Check out Professional Pastry Arts graduate, Christina Tosi’s, recipe for corn cookies in The Kitchn!

You may have seen him on the Travel Channel, teaching viewers how to make LAVO’s famed one-pound meatball, followed him creating new dishes on his Instagram account, or even caught him on United Airline’s inflight entertainment. Check out alumnus Chef Marc Marrone’s story on Vegas2LA as he recaps 10+ years with TAO Group with the honor of Las Vegas Food & Wine’s Chef of the Year.

Vivian Kamen, Professional Pastry Arts alumna, was a professional pastry chef for many years before finally turning her baking skills into her organizational dream— a recipe database for all to use! Check out her story here on Forbes.

Jhonel F.
GRAPE NATION
Episode 96: Jhonel Faelnar, Atomix, NYC

Jhonel Faelnar, Advanced Sommelier and graduate of ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program, is the Wine Director of one of NYC’s hottest restaurants—Atomix! In this episode, Jhonel shares how he came to pursue his wine career after a stint in fashion, and gives listeners a look into the diverse wine list of Atomix. Listen to his story on Grape Nation’s podcast here.

Chef Joshua Skenes
THE NEW YORK TIMES

Joshua Skenes, famed chef of 3 Michelin Starred Saison in San Francisco and ICC graduate, recently branched out from his first restaurant tbringa  new concept to the Bay Area. Angler, his newest venture, is rethinking the way that restaurants look at seafood and adapt to the forces of climate change. Check out the review of Angler in the New York Times.

Congratulations to Professional Pastry Arts graduate Justine Blandon for the successful opening of her new bakery Paixtries in Bayonne, NJ. Read more about her delicious pastries here.

Alumnus Conor Swanson is opening a new restaurant, Bird & Bao, in Long Island. Here, he will showcase his perfected pork buns and fried chicken bao buns. Check out more from his restaurant here.

Former Art of International Bread instructor, now program director for the bakers in training program at Hot Bread Kitchen, and partner of ICC, Karen Bornarth was featured in Munchies’ article on New York bakers. Check it out here.

Katzie Guy Hamilton
AMNY
Cookbook ‘Clean Enough’ Balances Bowls and Toasts with Cookies and Cakes

Katzie Guy-Hamilton is a 2007 graduate of our Professional Pastry Arts program and has always loved sweets. After feeling like she wanted to amp up her health routine, she joined Equinox as their food and beverage director. Now, find her first cookbook Clean Enough: Get Back to Basics and Leave Room for Dessert, on shelves now!

Henry Lu
FOOD & WINE
The Pig-Centric Chinese New Year Feast in Brooklyn You Won’t Want to Miss

Henry Lu, ICC alumnus and Executive Chef of Loosie’s Kitchen in Brooklyn, pulls on inspiration from his heritage to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities with a feast! On Tuesday, February 5th, he serves up the “We Are All Pigs” celebration to acknowledge the Year of the Pig with what else—suckling pig. Tickets are $30. Check out his feature in Food & Wine for more info.

Olive oil professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world gathered in London last week for that city’s first Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program. Learn more about our Olive Oil Sommelier Certification program’s international endeavors, and don’t miss our next session of the program in NYC this May!

Was bolstering your cooking skills on your list of New Year’s Resolutions? Chef Hervé Malivert, our Director of Culinary Arts and Technology, sat down with Medium to share his quick tips to getting in the kitchen and building your cooking confidence. Read about what he said here.

Ashish Alfred, chef/owner of the Alfred Restaurant Group and ICC alumnus, is the rising star on the Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD food scene, earning acclaim and rave reviews at his three restaurants: Duck Duck Goose BethesdaGeorge’s Chophouse in Bethesda, and Duck Duck Goose Baltimore. Read his interview in Food and Beverage magazine here.

If you’re in Ohio and looking for a great place to have lunch or breakfast, check out alumna Chef Stacy Maple’s restaurant, Bistro 163. At her non-profit restaurant, a pay-it-forward concept is adopted to help those who can’t afford to pay for a meal. Those who can afford it are encouraged to pay more than the suggested prices. Read more about it here.

Table Talk with Michelle doll
CHOWHOUND

Table Talk, a helpful segment from our friends at Chowhound, brings together a discussion platform for home cooks. Michelle Doll—chef, food writer, Adjunct Chef Instructor and ICC alumna—is featured in this latest installment of Table Talk. Check it out here.

If you’re in Philadelphia and looking for some Italian pastries and cooking, head to Fiore in Queens Village, owned and operated by ICC alumna Justine MacNeil and partner Ed Crochet. Expect bold flavors and delicious treats! Read about it in Philly.com here.

Jesse Howland, Art of International Bread Baking graduate, is the pastry chef at LeRoux in Denver, Colorado. Read the review of LeRoux and check out what Chef Howland is up to on 5280.

International News
Brazil

Linum Bakery, the cake bakery of alumna Maria Beatriz de Almeida Pinto, is a smash hit in Brazil, delivering over 20 cakes per month. Read about her bakery in Vogue here.

Japan

Were you inspired to learn more about Japanese cuisine after our Art of Japanese Knife Skills and Sashimi demonstration this past January? Read more about the demonstration with alumnus David Israelow and Chef Yuuki Tanaka from Japan here.

Turkey

Turkey is a melting pot of cuisines that grew from ancient times and interaction with its surrounding cultures and countries. Turkish food is currently on the forefront of global cuisine, and one of the chefs helping to shed light on it is our graduate, Didem Şenol. Read about one of the most well known chefs in Turkey here.

Scholarship News

Our Professional Development Scholarship—created to support the educational pursuits of professionals working, or with experience, in the culinary and hospitality industry—is creating buzz among trade publications Total Food Service and American Cake Decorating. Over the next two years, ICC will award up to $720,000 in scholarships to industry professionals seeking to continue their education at the International Culinary Center in one of our four specialized programs of study—The Art of International Bread BakingIntensive Sommelier TrainingCake Techniques & Design, and Culinary Entrepreneurship.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to pursue your certifications and submit your application today!

salmon in brioche

Sous Vide Smoked Salmon in Brioche Recipe

On January 23rd, our Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert demonstrated the intricacies of Sous Vide cooking in celebration of International Sous Vide day! Sous Vide techniques can completely change the way a kitchen operates, in both professional restaurants and at-home settings. From determining how time and temperature influence the taste and texture of different foods, to its potential to transform rarely used cuts of meat into tender delicacies, Sous Vide methods make you think in new and exciting ways.

chef herveIn order to properly prepare the culinary professionals of today and tomorrow to use Sous Vide cooking methods in their kitchens, Chef Hervé is leading the charge with an all new hands-on curriculum. Relaunching on May 31st, our Sous Vide Intensive course will teach the techniques behind low temperature cooking and how to adapt them to your own kitchen—whether you plan to use what you learn in a professional restaurant or home kitchen setting!

You’ll explore both professional grade equipment and at-home versions of immersion circulators, as well as the difference between using sous vide vacuum bags and other alternatives. By the end, you’ll taste, test and explore various applications of sous vide cooking for your kitchen, with an array of proteins, vegetables and more! Plus, our resident master of plating techniques, Chef Hervé, will share some of his tips for plating any number of these dishes to perfection!

Before you join us for class on May 31, you can begin practicing with Sous Vide techniques at home. Check out one of the recipes from Chef Hervé’s demonstration below!

Find more information on the Sous Vide Intensive here.

Sous Vide Smoked Salmon in Brioche Recipe

Ingredients:
  • Salt, as needed
  • Sugar, as needed
  • 900 g Salmon
  • 100 g Molasses
  • 55 g Liquid smoke
  • 50 g Brown sugar
  • 5 g Black pepper

PROCEDURE

  1. Combine 4:1 ratio of salt to sugar.
  1. Season the fish heavily with the salt/sugar mixture, covering as much of the surface as possible. Let it rest for 45 minutes, then place your fish in an ice bath (a bowl filled with ice cubes and very cold water) to completely remove the salt and sugar.
  1. For making the glaze: In a bowl, combine molasses, liquid smoke, brown sugar and black pepper.
  1. Transfer the rinsed the salmon to a sheet tray and pat it dry. Next, brush the glaze onto both sides of your salmon.
  1. Place the salmon in a vacuum-pack bag and seal. Cook it sous vide for 1 hour at 113⁰F/45⁰C 
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and very cold water. Transfer the bag to the bowl and leave it there until the fish is cool to the touch. Remove bag, dry it off, and store it in the fridge either overnight or all day—recommendation is at least 8 hours.

finished plate

Business Bites Resources: Storytelling For Your Business

Every business has a story behind its origin, and restaurants and food businesses are no exception. For some, it’s the desire to showcase the food they learned to cook with their grandparents at an early age. For others, they were inspired to create a product they couldn’t find on store shelves. In ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program, we teach chefs and aspiring food business owners to take their inspiration, and motivation, behind starting a business and develop it into a defined concept and actionable business plan, all in just 6 weeks! But, in order to get started, you first have to think about what makes the story you are trying to tell compelling, what makes your brand unique, and what you have to accomplish to start your business.

So what does it take to start crafting a compelling business story?

Justine ClayWith a little help from Justine Clay, Speaker & Business Coach for Creative Entrepreneurs and Freelancers and ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship instructor, you’ll develop your story and be ready to pitch your food business idea at the end of our 6-week Culinary Entrepreneurship program. If you missed enrolling in our January session, you still have the chance to start thinking about your concept and how to tell your story before our next session in September. Check out these three steps to help you tell your story and beginning your journey to launching your business!

Establish Yourself as a Likeable Hero

Begin by thinking about what you could share about yourself that would engage your customer and have them rooting for you. The story of how you founded your business will show your customers who you are and will allow them to develop an emotional relationship with your business. By incorporating your background into the story, you can develop your customer base and establish that you are trustworthy.

Share Your Roadblock

Next, establish the moment that was daring and defining to your life. You want your customers to be tuned into your story, so show them how you overcame your obstacles to create the business that they have grown an emotional connection to. However, it’s important to remember that this is not the point where you should create a long and drawn-out story–this is where you should set yourself apart and show your customers what motivates you.

Share Your Transformation

Finally, describe how you overcame these obstacles to establish yourself as a business owner. Share your business’ mission and what you set out to accomplish in creating it. Involve your customers by expressing your excitement for your growing brand and the solutions you’ve created that will impact them!

In the end, establishing a compelling story about your brand makes for great pitch content to secure investors, customer loyalty, media attention and more!

ABOUT BUSINESS BITES

The BUSINESS BITES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels, networking events and resources designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry.

Off the Vine: Careers in Wine

Off The Vine: Careers in Wine

OFF THE VINE, brought to you by the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC, is a series of tastings, discussion panels and networking events designed to support wine professionals in the beverage industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

RESTAURANT SERVICE? DISTRIBUTION? MEDIA? WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU.

Thursday, February 28th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Find out where you fit in the wine industry during a panel discussion with industry professionals at ICC!

The wine and beverage industry is dynamic & diverse, and offers many opportunities to build an exciting career—with options that suit different backgrounds, personalities and lifestyles. For those who are seriously considering a career in the wine industry, the possibilities are endless.

Elizabeth Smith, the Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, will moderate a panel of professionals representing the diverse avenues available to wine career seekers including distribution, restaurants, media and more. Together, we’ll explore topics such as career paths to explore, hiring practices, qualities that employers seek and the paths that each panelist took to get to where they are today. Come with your questions—there will be an open Q&A with the panelists following the discussion! Plus you’ll have the opportunity to network and learn more about how ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you pursue your wine career.

Light refreshments will be provided.

MODERATOR

Elizabeth Smith, Certified Sommelier, ICC Wine Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Smith is the Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, where she assists in running the Intensive Sommelier Training program and coordinates the Court of Master Sommeliers AmericasTM Introductory and Certified Exams.  She also teaches ICC’s introductory wine classes, and organizes extracurricular wine lectures and tastings.

Elizabeth began her career at Food & Wine magazine, and spent 8 years in various sales, marketing, and business insights roles at F&W and American Express.  In 2016 she decided to take her love of wine to the next level, graduating ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program, followed by a happy year at Astor Wines and Spirits.  Elizabeth is a CMS Certified Sommelier and is currently pursuing her WSET Diploma in Wine.

She is a passionate lover of wine and food, and documents her culinary adventures on Instagram @in_vino_glorias.

PANELISTS

slim
Slim Mello, Certified Sommelier
Head Sommelier at The Mandarin Oriental | ICC Alumnus

Slim started his hospitality career at ICC (International Culinary Center) in New York with the Intensive Sommelier Training program under the instruction of Master Sommelier, Scott Carney.  In the same year, he was granted the Walter Clore Scholarship at the Court of Master Sommeliers certified examination for achieving the highest score in NYC.

In 2016,  Slim began his work at Mandarin Oriental NYC with the Internship program under the mentorship of the Master Sommelier Laura Williamson. In 2017 proceeding the internship he became the Sommelier at Asiate Restaurant of the Mandarin Oriental.

During this exciting learning process, Slim was able to expand  his knowledge at the WSET level 3 course. As well as becoming a certified Sherry Wine Specialist with the House of Lustau in 2018.

Currently, Slim resides at Mandarin Oriental as the Head Sommelier taking on new challenges that will allow him to achieve the next level on his educational journey.

michelle
Michele Thomas, Certified Sommelier
Assistant Manager and Buyer, Greene Grape Wine & Spirits, Writer & Educator | ICC Alumna

Michele Thomas is the assistant manager and buyer for Greene Grape Wine & Spirits, located in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene, neighborhood, and a writer, editor, and educator with deep roots in food, wine, and publishing. A certified sommelier (IST ’15) and former executive editor for curriculum at the International Culinary Center, she is co-author of Culinary Careers for Dummies (Wiley), and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Edible Brooklyn, and Activist Philanthropist. She has also consulted for several food and hospitality companies, including Garnish Global Studio and Gumbo Bros, and documents her varying adventures in food, wine and culture on Instagram as @Bedstuysomm.

Patty Alazraki
Brand Manager, Monsieur Touton | ICC Alumna
Cristina
Cristina Coari
Wine Education and Press Manager, Vias Imports

Cristina Coari is a native Italian from Gorizia in Northeast Italy. She joined the Vias Imports Marketing Team in 2014, and today she is especially involved in wine education projects and media/public relations.

Cristina received Master Sommelier status from AIS, the Italian Sommelier Association, in collaboration with ALMA, La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana. Prior to that, she worked in communications at Marco Felluga winery in Italy and was an intern at Domaine Select Wine Estates in New York.

Chocolate

Celebrate Chocolate Month at ICC!

chocolateIt’s no secret that here at ICC, we love chocolate. From our Dean of Pastry Arts Jacques Torres—affectionately known as “Mr. Chocolate”—to teaching our Professional Pastry Arts students how to temper chocolate for hand-painted bon bons & showpieces, chocolate runs in our veins. What better way to celebrate National Chocolate Lovers month than with four different opportunities—panel discussions, tastings, demonstrations and one-day classes—highlighting the intricacies of chocolate and it’s various applications—from sweet to savory!

We’ll begin the month with a tasting from a country known for some of the best chocolate in the world— Ecuador! On February 6th, The Ecuadorian Trade Commission travels to ICC to discuss the similarities in agriculture, production and roasting of two of the countries exports—coffee and cacao beans—through a tasting of different varieties of coffee and chocolate.

A few short days later, home cooks and foodies alike can spend their Saturday learning to create their own delicious bonbons in our hands-on one-day recreational class, Chocolate Treats & Truffles! The following week, we’re gathering a panel of some of NYC’s best single origin producers for Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources to discuss how to source ethical ingredients, understand fair trade practices, navigate customs & importing laws and more.

Lastly, we’ll finish the month with the savory side of chocolate. ICC alumnus, Danny Mena—Chef/Owner of La Loncheria in Brooklyn and one of NYC’s top Mexican chefs—will lead a demonstration on authentic Mexican Mole. He’ll explain how different regions of Mexico prepare their own versions of Mole, and demonstrate how to make two versions: Rojo & Verde. Plus, attendees will have a chance to taste the Mole as well!

Check out the event details below to see how you can join us this February! Plus, don’t forget to purchase your ICC Cooking Pass and save $100 on a one-day recreational class for two if you plan to join us with a friend for our Chocolate Treats & Truffles class (limited time offer, available for purchase through Valentine’s Day).

Ecuadorian Chocolate and Coffee Tasting

Wednesday, February 6th
3:30pm-5:00pm

Cacao beans

Coffee and chocolate carry many similarities, aside from their stronghold on worldwide consumption. Both products are prominent exports of the single origin movement and share commonalities in fruit, agriculture, harvesting, production and roasting. Join us to learn from a country with some of the best cacao and coffee: Ecuador! The Ecuadorian Trade Commission will discuss sourcing from small producers and demonstrate how to work with single origin beans of coffee and chocolate from Ecuador. Attendees will also have the opportunity to taste through different varieties of coffee and chocolate, and discuss pairing the two products. Find more information here.

This demonstration is open to ICC students and alumni, with a select number of seats available for the general public. No RSVP required for ICC students and alumni.

For general public seating, please RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com with your full name, email and event of interest.

REC: Chocolate Treats and Truffles

Saturday, February 9th
3:30pm-7:30pm | $195

bonbons

In this one-day recreational class, you’ll learn the art of tempering chocolate, and use that knowledge to create an array of treats! With an introduction to the skills used by top chocolatiers and our best recipes to take home, you will be ready to make and enjoy your own chocolate treats whenever the occasion—or craving—calls. Learn more about this hands-on class here.

Click here to Apply Now!

Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources

Wednesday, February 13th
6:30pm-8:00pm

rishi tea

With consumers moving towards ethical buying habits, higher standards for quality and equality are vital in day-to-day business operations. In Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources, you’ll hear from a panel of experts running some of NYC’s best single origin businesses—from chocolate and spice importers to coffee and tea—on how they operate profitable food businesses without compromising on quality or fair trade practices. Join us to discuss what it’s like to source from around the world, the laws and agricultural regulations with regard to importing products, fair trade best practices and the key players within a supply chain. They’ll share their tips for working with farmers, navigating customs laws and building a network of trusted producers. Plus, you’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks! Click here to learn more.

This event is open to the general public, as well as ICC students & alumni.

RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com with your full name, email and event of interest.

Authentic Mexican Mole Demonstration with Chef Danny Mena

Wednesday, February 27th
3:30pm-5:00pm

Mole

Intense with flavor and a labor of love, Mole can be prepared with dozens of ingredients—chocolate being one of them—in a variety of styles that can take hours to develop the depth of flavor desired! During this demonstration, Chef Danny Mena—ICC alumnus and Chef/Owner of La Loncheria in Brooklyn—will share his expertise in creating an authentic Mexican Mole. You’ll learn how different regions of Mexico prepare their own versions of Mole and have the chance to taste it for yourself—Chef Danny will be demonstrating two types of Mole, a Rojo & Verde. From chiles and garlic, to dark chocolate or no chocolate at all, you’ll be surprised just how many applications Mole can have in your cooking. Click here for more information.

This demonstration is open to ICC students and alumni, with a select number of seats available for the general public. No RSVP required for ICC students and alumni.

For general public seating, please RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com with your full name, email and event of interest.
pastry plus

ICC PRESENTS PASTRY PLUS—RETURNING THIS MARCH

Announcing The Second Charity Bake Sale and Pastry Conference on March 9 and 24, 2019

It’s back! The International Culinary Center (ICC) in New York City is excited to announce the second Pasty Plus Conference to be held on Sunday, March 24, 2019, and its charitable arm—the Pastryland Bake Sale running earlier in the month on Saturday, March 9, 2019, both at ICC (28 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10013). With its mission to establish a pastry community that promotes a constructive exchange of ideas and information to secure the future of the industry, ICC is proud to be hosting these not-to-be missed sweet occasions!

pastry plus attendeesLed by ICC’s Director of Pastry Operations Jansen Chan, in partnership with Callebaut and an advisory committee of top pastry chefs, Pastryland Bake Sale will take place at ICC on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 12-4PM. The daytime event will feature an array of select pastry chefs from world-class restaurants and bakeries, including Union Square Café, Bien Cuit, Bâtard, Per Se and Patisserie Chanson, who will each donate one-of-a-kind desserts for the charity bake sale, which will benefit Hot Bread Kitchen. It’s the sweetest way to give back! Check out the full list of Pastryland Chefs here!

Guests can purchase Pastryland VIP Tickets ($50 + fees) for first access to the bake sale from 12PM-1PM, which will include an exclusive Meet + Greet with top pastry chefs; plus, 5 tokens to exchange for beverages or pastries. General Admission Tickets ($15 + fees) will be available for set time slots (1PM, 1:45PM, 2:30PM or 3:15PM) and include two tokens. Additional tokens can be purchased on-site by credit/debit cards only. Attendance of over 500 sweets lovers is expected. Guests will have the opportunity to fill their shopping bags with dozens of unique baked goods from top chefs, all in one place! Tickets can be purchased beginning January 28th on Eventbrite!

last year's keynoteThe theme of Pastry Plus Conference 2019, which will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at ICC, is Sharing the Slice, presented in partnership with Callebaut, and will feature a collective presentation, activity and panel discussion focusing on how the industry must consider the way in which we connect and share information. Pastry Plus aims to connect the innovative minds of pastry professionals, providing a rare opportunity to meet and network in a positive, constructive environment to discuss the issues facing them individually and in the industry as a whole. Pastry Plus’ Keynote Address will be given by Francisco Migoya, Head Chef of Modernist Cuisine. Individual, self selected breakout classes (choice of three 75-minute sessions) will focus on preserving the craft of pastry arts; innovation in techniques, ingredients and products; and improving the workplace. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided, and a networking reception will conclude the inspiring day. ICC has also joined with the James Beard Foundation and Pastry Arts Magazine, as leadership and media partners, respectively.

Over 140 pastry chefs, pastry sous chefs, pastry cooks, pastry students, pastry enthusiasts and pastry business owners, plus food media, bloggers and social media influencers, are expected to attend the conference. General Admission Tickets for Pastry Plus ($120 + fees; $90 + fees for Early Bird from January 28 to February 25), include access to Pastryland. Click here to purchase tickets.

pastry plus attendeesIn addition, Pastry Plus is holding the Next Gen Contest presented by Callebaut, seeking the next generation pastry chef. Individuals who have not yet attended a pastry-focused educational program are eligible to apply. Two Grand Prize Winners will be awarded VIP-First Access Ticket to Pastryland, All Access Ticket to Pastry Plus 2019; Meet + Greet with members of Pastry Plus’ Advisory Committee; and a One-Day Pastry Class at ICC. Entries are due at noon on Friday, February 15, 2019. Winners will be announced Friday, February 22nd. For official contest rules and regulations go to: www.pastry.plus/nextgen.

For more information on Pastry Plus, visit www.pastry.plus.

Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources

Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources

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.

SOURCING AND IMPORTING FOR YOUR FOOD BUSINESS

Wednesday, February 13th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

For restaurants and food business owners, sourcing quality ingredients and importing products unique to your brand play an important role in setting you apart from your competitors. Your patrons become loyal customers for the quality you retain—and your prices can reflect that. Today, the expansion of global trade and ease of digital communication allows for access to exotic, hard-to-find ingredients from around the world, making it possible to introduce products direct from their origin.

But, what do you really know about your sources and where your products come from?

With consumers moving towards ethical buying habits, higher standards for quality and equality are vital in day-to-day business operations. In our latest installment of our Business Bites series, Unearthing Your Sources, you’ll hear from a panel of experts running some of NYC’s best single origin businesses about how they operate profitable food businesses without compromising on quality or fair trade practices. Join us to discuss what it’s like to source from around the world, the laws and agricultural regulations with regard to importing products, fair trade best practices and the key players within a supply chain. They’ll share their tips for working with farmers, navigating customs laws and building a network of trusted producers. Plus, you’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

MODERATOR

Alek Marfisi
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

Ethan Frisch
Ethan Frisch, Co-Founder of Burlap and Barrel

Ethan Frisch is a chef, activist and the cofounder of Burlap & Barrel, the first comprehensive single origin spice company in the US.  A former line cook and pastry chef in New York and London, he was also the co-founder and Executive Chef of Guerrilla Ice Cream, a nonprofit politically-inspired ice cream cart. As a humanitarian aid worker, he worked with NGOs including the Aga Khan Foundation in Afghanistan and Doctors Without Borders on the Syrian/Jordanian border.

He has been an adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York and an instructor with the Experiment in International Living’s Leadership Institute. He is honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Bond Street Theatre (www.bondst.org), which uses theater to teach conflict resolution and resilience in areas of instability around the world, and on the Advisory Boards of the student-led racial literacy and justice organization Princeton CHOOSE (www.princetonchoose.org) and the Fragments Theater, a youth theater company in Palestine. He is also on the Organizing Committee of the Queens International Night Market.

He holds a dual Bachelors Degree in Conflict Studies and Education and Social Change from the City University of New York, and a Masters Degree in Violence, Conflict and Development from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Stephen Thomas, Rishi Tea
Stephen Thomas, Market Manager- NYC Metro of Rishi Tea

Stephen Thomas began his hospitality career as a certified sommelier working for one of the largest wine collectors in the world. This passion led him into the world of cocktails, where his science and engineering background opened the doors to some of the top restaurants in New York. He joined Rishi tea just about 2 years ago where he was able to bring it all together under the core values of the company; Importer, selector, maker.

William Mullan
William Mullan, Brand Manager of Raaka Chocolate

William Mullan is Brand Manager for Raaka Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He is fascinated by the intersections of food, culture, and commerce; how food shapes our lives and how we shape our lives with food. After five years at Raaka, he is still not sick of chocolate and considers this to be a good thing.

Rob T.
Rob Terenzi, Co-Founder and CEO of Vega Coffee

Rob Terenzi is a co-founder and CEO of Vega Coffee, a company whose mission is to radically transform the coffee supply chain. Before starting Vega, Rob lived in Nicaragua for about 5 years working with small women-owned coffee cooperatives on improving access to markets and making great Nicaraguan coffee available domestically He also attended law school at Fordham Law and earned a masters degree in International Economics, before working as a start-up and venture finance attorney in Silicon Valley for WSGR for a bit over three years.

Tips to Make 2019 a Financial Success

2019: A Successful Year for Your Food Business

As 2018 comes to an end, food entrepreneurs get a chance to sit down and look over their financial performance for the year.  The food business is fickle; some operators seem to have it so easy and others seem to always be struggling.  If you’d like to do better in the new year, here are 3 ways you can make your business more efficient and ultimately enable you to take home more money.

What’s Your Gross Margin?
Your gross margin is the most important ratio to know about your company. It’s the percent of sales left over after you account for what your product cost you.  If you sell $10 six packs of soda and your product costs you $4, your gross margin is 60%.  On your company’s profit and loss statement, find your gross profit and divide it by your total revenue to get your gross margin.  Here are a few things to think about once you know your margin:

  • Do I operate a high gross margin or low gross margin business?
    High margin businesses (those with gross margins over 50%) benefit the most from a sales push, or working on your pricing and food costing. Low margin businesses (those with gross margins under 50%) benefit the most from finding ways to make the business more efficient by lowering overhead costs like kitchen utilities and employee overtime.
  • How does my gross margin compare to other companies in my sector?
    Once you have your gross margin you can use it to make an apples-to-apples comparison to your competitors’, or industry’s gross margin. Is it above average?  If so, make sure you keep giving your customers a meaningful reason to pay more for what you’re offering. Is it below average? Then maybe you need to consider changing your pricing and quantity structure.

Track Your Refunds and Discounts.
No other businesses face as many refunds and discounts as food businesses do.  Whether it a restaurant comp’ing a meal after a service error or free samples being given away to promote a new food product at a grocery store, discounts and refunds can seriously affect your business’ ability to make a suitable profit.   At the same time, they’re a fact of life for this industry.  The solution is to benchmark, track, and set goals for your refunds and discount.  Many bookkeepers just lump discounts and refunds into your sales figure.  Encourage them to separate these costs out into discrete figures that offset your total revenue.

Work With an Expert to Optimize Your Labor.
Foodservice labor is complicated, and the rules are changing all the time.  It’s never OK to cut your staff and overburden your team just to save a dime, but there are many ways in which your scheduling, overtime, and calculation of base wages net of credit card fees can add small costs to your payroll every week that translate into big expenses each year.  A good payroll processing technology that’s specialized for the foodservice industry is good, but in this case we recommend that you talk to an expert: preferably someone who runs human resources for other food companies.  Here are a few labor costs to think about:

  • Do your customers tip your employees via credit card? If so, make sure you are deducting credit card fees from the amount of tips you pay out to your employees.
  • What is the tradeoff between adding a shift and working your current staff overtime? Comparing these two scenarios might make a big difference in your total annual payroll costs.

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ABOUT BUSINESS BITES

The BUSINESS BITES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels, networking events and resources designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry.

Sous Vide Intensive Returns to ICC in 2019 With New Hands-On Curriculum

immersion circulator for sous videWhile the method of modern sous vide cooking has been around for more than 40 years—invented by Dr. Bruno Goussault in 1971—its popularity hasn’t slowed down. The use of sous vide cooking in restaurant kitchens continues to sweep the industry, and the emergence of new, more affordable equipment has allowed the technique to enter the kitchens of home cooks around the world.

And why wouldn’t it? The innovative cooking technique of sous vide—French for “under vaccum”—unlocks the full potential of food, enhancing flavor, texture and aroma to achieve results beyond the limits of traditional methods. Vacuum-sealed and slow-cooked in water at constant low temperatures, it produces consistently excellent quality and perfectly cooked meals.

chef Herve Malivert teaching sous vide techniquesWhen ICC’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert, sought to re-launch the Sous Vide Intensive in 2019, he realized that there was something missing to how the method was being taught. “I’ve taken many sous vide classes,” says Malivert. “Some are technique and recipe focused but not hands-on, while others are science based and hands-on, but aren’t chef or cook oriented. We wanted to build a class that incorporated the science, technique and recipes for everyone—from professionals to foodies—to be able to integrate into their restaurants or home kitchens.”

“Just like any profession, chefs always want to improve upon technique and be able to control quality. Using sous vide to cook at precise temperatures allows me to achieve this. That’s why it’s become increasingly important for professionals, culinary students, and even home cooks to understand sous vide techniques.” – Chef Hervé Malivert

The new two-day, hands-on curriculum will offer a more complete approach to teaching sous vide techniques, combining practical and theoretical instruction into one. Through this 14-hour course, students will gain an understanding of how time and temperature influence taste and texture, learning to apply proper safety techniques to sous vide preparations. They’ll evaluate the difference between classic preparations and sous vide cooking methods, and taste side by side comparisons of various temperatures, and times of cooking protein.

 

The goal is to provide students with the techniques behind low temperature cooking and how to adapt them to their own kitchens—whether they plan to use what they learn in professional restaurants or home kitchens. Rather than focusing on professional grade equipment only, this course will also review at home versions of immersion circulators, as well as the difference between using sous vide vacuum bags and other alternatives. The end result is a course that provides students with the opportunity to taste, test and explore the applications of sous vide for their kitchens with an array of proteins, vegetables and more!

To celebrate International Sous Vide Day in January and the return of ICC’s Sous Vide Intensive, we’re hosting a special sous vide cooking demonstration with ICC’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert. Join us on January 23rd to get a sneak peek of the new curriculum and learn how sous vide cooking unlocks the full potential of food to maximize taste, texture and aroma. We’ll be announcing details about the Sous Vide Intensive in January, so stay tuned and contact us if you’d like to learn more!

CHEF TIPS & TECHNIQUES: SOUS VIDE COOKING WITH CHEF HERVÉ MALIVERT

Wednesday, January 23 | 3:30-5:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

As our resident culinary technology and sous vide instructor, Chef Hervé brings years of experience—and experiments!—to the technique behind this innovative cooking method. During this demo, you’ll learn what it is, what to do—and how to do it—and most importantly, what to avoid when cooking sous vide. Chef Herve will share his tips & techniques for sous vide cooking, as well as demonstrate and compare classic vs. sous vide preparations on a classic. Plus, he’ll unveil his new sous vide eggs & bacon dish, which you’ll be able to learn in ICC’s re-launched 2-day Sous Vide Intensive course returning in the Spring of 2019.

Open to ICC Students & Alumni. Limited seating available to the general public, please RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com.

About Chef Hervé Malivert

Chef Hervé Malivert’s enthusiasm for the kitchen was evident by the age of 12, as his father was a cheese maker and going on deliveries with him was the inspiration for him to become a chef. Now, you can find him in the kitchens of ICC in his downtime creating beautifully intricate dishes and sharing them with his followers. As the Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé’s sense of adventure is put to good use as he researches and develops new techniques to include in the ICC curriculum. Read more about Chef Hervé here!