pastries

New York City’s Top Pastry Chefs Give Back At Pastryland

photography boardOn March 9th, the International Culinary Center held the second Pastryland Bake Sale benefiting Hot Bread Kitchen. More than 350 dessert lovers attended to taste exclusive pastries from 19 of New York City’s best pastry chefs, all while raising $5,350 for Hot Bread Kitchen, a non-profit organization providing culinary training to low-income women in NYC. The afternoon, which featured unique artisanal treats and re-imagined classics, showcased the talents and limitless imaginations of pastry chefs. Alumni of ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program donated some of the day’s favorites including Tyler Atwell’s (Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery) Chocolate Ring Ding, Anna Bolz’s (Per Se) Toasted Coconut Layer Cake, Lindsey Farr’s (Restaurant Marc Forgione) Snicker’s Donut, Charlotte Neuville’s (Charlotte Neuville Cakes + Confections) Miniature Cake Tasting, and Shaun Velez’s (Café Boulud) Mini Pistachio Gateaux. Even our very own Stephen Collucci, ICC Pastry Chef Instructor, got in on the fun with a Chocolate Dipped Fluffernutter cookie!

 

 

The event would not have been possible without the support of our Partner, Callebaut®, who not only generously donated the chocolate for all 19 chefs, but also unveiled the new RB1 ruby couveture in limited-edition desserts to consumers for the first time ever in New York City. A selected group of pastry chefs and chocolatiers rose to the occasion and crafted original sweets featuring the rosy color tones and fruity flavor of ruby cacao. The Ruby Velvet Choux from Monica Ng of Great Performances, Ruby Bon Bons from Christopher Curtin’s Eclat Chocolates, Mexican Ruby Scribble Cookie from Fany Gerson of La Newyorkina, Ruby Snack Bar from Dimitriy Shurygin of The Key Patisserie offered attendees a beautiful visual.

ruby

Gold Sponsor, Beurremont Butter, as well as Nielsen-Massey Vanilla provided our contributing pastry chefs with product to use in their sweet creations. This came in handy for bakery specialties like the PB+J Kouign Amann by Rory Macdonald of Patisserie Chanson, Baklava Croissant by Scott Cioe of Bien Cuit, and Sprezzatura Sourdough by Daniel Alvarez of Daily Provisions.

golden egg cream station

Specialty beverages provided by Joe’s Coffee and Rishi Tea & Botanicals, as well as Evian and Badoit, were available for purchase. In addition, guests were treated to a free Gold Egg Cream shot featuring a housemade Callebaut® Gold Chocolate syrup with milk, topped with Badoit sparkling water dispensed from giant gold chocolate eggs!

joes coffee
rishi tea
evian
badoit

jacques torres and ron ben israelFinally, a day of pastry fun wouldn’t be complete without an Instagram-friendly moment, or two! ICC’s Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres and Guest Master Pastry Chef, Ron Ben-Israel surprised attendees with a photo op at our 8 foot piped royal icing wall (which used a total of 110 pounds of royal icing).

We would like to thank all of the chefs, restaurants and bakeries who participated (see full list below), as well as our partners and sponsors who made this afternoon possible (see the full list here). A special thank you to everyone who came to Pastryland this year and gave back to the NYC food community in the sweetest way! Check out the weekend’s sweet treats below!

Exclusive Pastryland Desserts

All 19 Desserts Pictured

Chef Dmitriy Shurygin | The Key Patisserie | Ruby Snack Bar

Chef Lindsey Farr | Restaurant Marc Forgione | Snickers Donut

Chef Scott Cioe | Bien Cuit | Baklava Croissant

Chef Daniel Alvarez | Union Square Cafe and Daily Provisions | Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Chef Jin Capobianco | The River Cafe | Hazelnut Mocha Opera

Chef Rory Macdonald | Patisserie Chanson + Dessert Bar | PB+J Kouign Amann

Chef Stephen Collucci | International Culinary Center | Chocolate Dipped Fluffernutter

Chef Jeffrey Wurtz | Aureole | Dorayaki with Sweet Red Bean and Chocolate Sesame

The Bakers of Hot Bread Kitchen | Hot Bread Kitchen | Chocolate Babka

Chef Tyler Atwell | Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery | Chocolate Ring Ding

Chef Lindsey Bittner | Leonelli Restaurants | Cacao Nib Butter Cookies

Monica Ng | Great Performances | Ruby Velvet Choux

Chef Anna Bolz | Per Se | Coconut Layer Cake

Chef Charlotte Neuville | Charlotte Neuville Cakes + Confections | Mini Cake Tasting

Chef Fany Gerson | La Newyorkina | Ruby Scribble Cookies

Chef Shaun Velez | Café Boulud | Mini Pistachio Gateux with vanilla buttercream and raspberry pate de fruit

Chef Joe Murphy | Counter Hospitality | Meyer Lemon Madelienes

Chef Daniel Alvarez | Union Square Café and Daily ProvisionsSprezzatura Sourdough

Chef Christopher Curtin | Éclat ChocolateRuby Bonbons

Chef Julie Elkind | Bâtard Pate a Choux filled with Caramel Chocolate Ganache and Tropical Fruit Compote

career fair

2019 Spring Career Fair

All chefs get their start somewhere. This spring, meet your future employer and amp up your networking skills! ICC’s Career Fairs, held twice a year, allow current students & alumni to meet some of the most well-known restaurants and restaurant groups in NYC, coming specifically to ICC to meet YOU. From fine dining to fast casual, catering, bakeries and more, there is something for everyone and every career path!

Tuesday, March 19th | 3:00pm-4:30pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St | New York, NY 10013
*Open to ICC Students & Alumni ONLY*
Email jobs@culinarycenter.com with inquiries

Below is the full list of employers, but be sure to visit the ICC Community page at my.internationalculinary.com for more information and for any updates to the employer list.

Acquolina Catering
B&B Hospitality/Del Posto
Blue Bird
Blue Hill
Breads Bakery
Celestine
Choc O Pain French Bakery and Café
Convene
Crafted Hospitality
Dinex Group
Eataly
Great Performances
High Street on Hudson
Hillstone Restaurant Group
Hire Society
James Beard Foundation
JP Morgan
Loring Place
Made Nice
Major Food Group
Restaurant Marc Forgione/American Cut Steakhouse
Martha & Marley Spoon
Matterhorn Group
Mercer Kitchen
Noho Hospitality/The Dutch
Padoca Bakery
Park Ave Winter
Patina
Quality Branded
Soho House
Starr Restaurants
The Culinistas
Vice Media
dorothy

Women’s History Month: The Legacy of Our Founder

Since the early 1980’s, Women’s History Month marks a time to recognize, honor and celebrate the achievements of women around the world throughout the month of March. There are so many prevalent women in the world of food to thank for shaping the culinary and hospitality industry as we know it today. To acknowledge the importance of this month—not just as Women’s History Month, but also as the 35th Anniversary of the school’s founding and our annual Founder’s Day celebrations—we are proud to pay tribute to the life and legacy of our Founder, Dorothy Cann Hamilton. The everlasting effect she has had on both the school and the food industry can still be felt today. Below, learn about the legacy of Dorothy and use her spirit as your guiding light as you begin your new career.

In 1984 across America and the world, everything was changing. Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made the first untethered space walk, while Steve Jobs sold the first Apple Macintosh computer to the public back on Earth. President Ronald Reagan defeated Walter F. Mondale with 59% of the popular vote, and as many of the achievements of men were being widely recognized, a culinary revolution was beginning on the corner of Broadway and Grand street. This would later give way to culinary giants & thought leaders like Bobby Flay, Dan Barber, Christina Tosi and so many more.

1984Since 1984, thousands of chefs, culinary & pastry professionals, sommeliers and industry leaders have received their education at the International Culinary Center, founded as The French Culinary Institute. The school’s reputation and graduate success can be credited to our Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton’s original vision—to establish a culinary school that would educate aspiring chefs in a fast-paced program that got them into the workforce quickly and well prepared.

It all began while studying at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, during which Dorothy made frequent trips to France that exposed her to the world of French cuisine. After spending time in the Peace Corps in Thailand following college, she ventured back to New York City to work with her father, the Founder of the Apex Technical School. During this time, she continued her education, attaining a Masters in Business Administration from NYU. With a deep love of food at her core, it was then that she envisioned a way to bring her passion for food and education together.

It’s hard to imagine there was ever a time in New York City without a variety of cuisines at your fingertips—before you could order from virtually any restaurant on Seamless. A time before the Michelin Guide was even handing out stars in America. But, it’s true. There was indeed a time when the diversity of food culture was absent and the infamy of chefs did not yet exist. Dorothy’s vision for culinary education began to take shape alongside the evolution of cuisine and dining in New York City during the late 80’s and 90’s.

Many have said this before, but Dorothy was a true visionary. Known for her ability to identify what was missing and find a way to fill in the gaps, she brought a limitless creativity and resourcefulness to any problem. She identified a void in the culinary education of chefs in America—all over the world chefs were being trained in the codified techniques of French, but there was no true equivalent in the US.

dorothy w deansOnly someone with Dorothy’s determination and fearless spirit could bring the right people together to make this happen. From gathering a roster of legendary deans—Jacques Pépin, Alain Sailhac, André Soltner and Jacques Torres—to the support of industry giants like Julia Child, some of the most well known chefs in the world joined her dream, believing in what she set out to accomplish. That was the special thing about Dorothy; she had a keen ability to connect people from all walks of life. Dorothy didn’t just have a seat at the table—she was the one that built the table for the culinary world. Her gravitas and ability to connect those around her was her superpower. For this reason, many sought out her mentorship, helping numerous individuals launch their own careers, businesses and ideas in the food industry and beyond.

She cared deeply about education and the success of her students. From creating the renowned TV series Chef’s Story—later a podcast on Heritage Radio Network, featuring candid conversations with the biggest names in the industryto her blog, and eventually book, Love What You Do, Dorothy was passionate about setting people up for success in their careers. Dorothy wasn’t afraid of failure; rather, it was another way for her to learn and educate others. Her desire to continue to learn allowed her to embrace new educational pursuits for the school, establishing ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program and Olive Oil Sommelier Certification programs in recent years. It was her passion for education that inspired the recent addition of a Professional Development Scholarship for industry professionals to continue the pursuit of their education at ICC.

Today, we hope that each student who walks through our doors charts their own successful career with Dorothy in mind. Her vision, passion for food and the culinary industry, as well as her innovative spirit can be applied to everything that you do.

riverpark farm

Understanding Your ‘Foodprint’ – April Sustainability Programming

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

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

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

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

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

In honor of this year’s Earth Day celebrations, we’re dedicating our event programming in April to promote sustainability in food, farming and business practices to better understand your foodprint. From panel discussions about the effect of climate change on viticulture and wine making, to demonstrations with sustainable seafood farmers and urban farm-to-table restaurants, we’ll look at the many ways food impacts the environment, and vice versa. Find a list of April demos & events below focused on sustainability and stay tuned for additional details as they become available!

Sustainable Seafood Demonstration and Lecture
with the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership
Wednesday, April 3rd | 3:30-5pm | ICC Amphitheater
Open to students & alumni – NO RSVP required. Limited seating available to the public, RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com.

Urban Farm-to-Table Demonstration with Riverpark
Led by Executive Chef Andrew Smith & Riverpark Farm Manager Jonathan Sumner
Wednesday, April 10th | 3:30-5pm | ICC Amphitheater
Open to students & alumni – NO RSVP required. Limited seating available to the public, RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com.

Off the Vine: Climate Change in Wine
Thursday, April 11th | 6:30-8pm | ICC Amphitheater
RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com

Business Bites: Sustainable Practices for Your Restaurant
Thursday, April 18th | 6:30-8pm | ICC Amphitheater
RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com

Stay tuned for more event details coming soon!

Off the Vine: Careers in Wine

How to Jump-start Your Career 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.

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.

This month, we gathered for a dynamic panel discussion with Slim Mello, Head Sommelier at the Mandarin Oriental; Michele Thomas, Assistant Manager and Buyer at Greene Grape Wine & Spirits; Patricia Alazraki, Brand Manager for Monsieur Touton; and Cristina Coari, Wine Education and Press Manager for Vias Imports.

Together, we explored topics like career paths, hiring practices, qualities that employers seek and the paths that each panelist took to get to where they are today. Below, learn what our panelists said about translating skill sets, building your network, hiring practices, and salary expectations!

How can my skills translate to the wine industry?

wineWhen people consider changing careers to enter the wine industry, they are often worried that their skills won’t translate to wine. It’s intimidating to think about starting a new career at any point in your life, but if you share a passion for wine, you’ll fit right in to this new industry.

Your resume doesn’t always have to be perfectly polished—many of your previous work experiences can be translated into the skills needed to pursue the wine career of your dreams. So what are some of the skill sets that you can utilize in your future wine career?

For starters, a desire to learn, listen and study are all very helpful. Pursuing your wine education requires a dedication to study. Even as a professional, you’ll find it important to continue to learn about new wines, taste new producers, etc. Previous front of house or service experience is a plus, as well as any sales background. Being a people person and feeling comfortable speaking with others is very important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—being able to read a room and help identify what someone wants is not a small task. Make sure you can talk about your previous experiences and apply them to what you want to do in the future. Use your qualifications as leverage and know that all experience is good experience!

How do I build my network?

Building your network is key in any industry, especially within the tight-knit community of wine. If you want to be a part of this community, you have to put yourself in the position to meet people. Attend a tasting event. Frequent industry meet-ups. Reach out to a professional contact on social media. Making a connection, even through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can introduce you to new people who can become great resources in this business.

Panelist Patricia Alazraki, ICC alumna and Brand Manager of Monsieur Touton, found her current job through a friend’s social media post on Facebook. After reaching out to a mutual friend and asking to get coffee to learn from her expertise, her new contact ended up offering her a job. Never be afraid to reach out to someone already working in the industry or at a company you want to work for—more often than not, they are more than willing to help in any way that they can.

Speaking of social media, use your channels to build your own wine presence. Demonstrate your knowledge of wine by posting tasting notes and using popular wine hashtags. You never know who might reach out to you!

What do hiring managers look for when interviewing?

wine pouredAlthough a resume is important in any interview, all of our panelists—who are hiring managers themselves—agreed that two of the most important skills you can bring to your interview are not actually on your resume. Passion and people skills are integral to how you sell yourself in any interview. By bringing your passion for wine to the forefront of your interview, you’ll show that you’re able to connect with customers and consumers.

Interactions that you have in your interview are a good indicator for how you will interact with your customers. You have to be able to carry a conversation and learn about someone’s interests so that you can recommend the right wine to them and have them coming back for more.

What can I expect for my salary?

Like any industry, salaries in wine vary greatly. According to our panelists, who all have years of combined experience, you can expect to start at around $15-$20 while working in retail. Then, anywhere from $25,000-$50,000 is a great ballpark when you begin in a restaurant, not including what you’ll make in tips! From there, Head Sommeliers can make $70,000+ with experience, higher level certifications and percentages of monthly sales or tips. Brand Ambassadors can make anywhere in the $60,000-$90,000 range and added sales commission can increase salary.

Want to learn more about how ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you pursue your wine career? Check out our next Off the Vine panel in April!

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 professionals: 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 the certification seminar this April. Register today to reserve your seat!

Monday, April 22
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.

spring scholarship specials

ICC’s Spring Scholarships Special Announced

LET YOUR EDUCATION BLOOM AT ICC THIS SPRING

Spring is just around the corner and while April showers bring May flowers, our Spring Scholarships Special is sure to brighten your day and help you pursue your culinary or pastry education this April!

We’re excited to announce FIVE of our largest scholarship awards are being offered to help you take the first step in pursuing your culinary or pastry career this spring. Begin in any of the Professional Culinary Arts of Professional Pastry Arts programs this April and you could be eligible to receive one of our spring scholarships with awards ranging from $10,000-$25,000 towards your tuition. Plus, if you begin in any of the evening culinary or pastry programs in April, you’ll receive instant savings with our Special Spring Pricing.

Submitting your application is easy! All you need is to submit your FAFSA, complete the scholarship application online, and share your educational and career goals in either a short essay or 1 minute video. Imagine, just 60 seconds could help you save up to $25,000 on your culinary or pastry education!

Did you know, based on your FAFSA, if you’re eligible for the maximum amount in Federal Grants, the $25,000 ICC Grand Culinary Scholarship could cover the remaining costs of the Professional Culinary Arts April evening program? Same goes for the $25,000 ICC Grand Pastry Scholarship and the April evening Pastry Arts programs! This means you could pursue your culinary or pastry dreams this summer with NO out-of-pocket expenses for your education!

Don’t wait to let your dream career blossom—check out all the ways you can get into the kitchen with a scholarship from ICC this spring. Submit your application today!

Culinary Scholarships

A student working

ICC Grand Culinary Scholarship

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

AWARD AMOUNT: $25,000

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

  • 4/4/2019 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)
  • 4/8/2019 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon, Wed, Fri, Eve)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • March 25, 2019

AWARD DATE:

  • March 29, 2019

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

A student working

ICC $15,000 Culinary Scholarship

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

AWARD AMOUNT: $15,000

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

  • 4/4/2019 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)
  • 4/8/2019 Professional Culinary Arts (Mon, Wed, Fri, Eve)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • March 25, 2019

AWARD DATE:

  • March 29, 2019

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

Pastry Scholarships

A student working

ICC Grand Pastry Scholarship

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

AWARD AMOUNT: $25,000

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

  • 4/1/2019  Professional Pastry Arts (Mon, Wed & Fri, Eve)
  • 4/2/2019 Professional Pastry Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • Applications are now closed, please check back for future dates.

AWARD DATE:

  • March 22, 2019

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

A student's dessert

ICC $15,000 PASTRY SCHOLARSHIP

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

AWARD AMOUNT: $15,000

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

  • 4/1/2019 Professional Pastry Arts (Mon, Wed & Fri, Eve)
  • 4/2/2019 Professional Pastry Arts (Mon-Fri, Day)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • Applications are now closed, please check back for future dates.

AWARD DATE:

  • March 22, 2019

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

friends of the icc

Friends of the ICC Scholarship

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

AWARD AMOUNT: $10,000

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

  • 04/27/2019 Professional Pastry Arts (Tues & Thurs, Eve, Sat, Day)

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

  • April 17, 2019

AWARD DATE:

  • April 22, 2019

Click here for eligibility requirements and application details.

How Does Cacao Become Chocolate?

Raise your hand if you’re a self proclaimed chocolate lover! Whether you enjoy dark or milk chocolate, bon bons or bars, single-origin or blended, we can all agree that chocolate sparks joy in our lives. But do you know how cacao is turned into one of the most beloved treats in the world?

In Ecuador, cacao has been around since prehistoric times. Ranked 4th in the world for cacao production after the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia, they help to grow 65% of the world’s production and export 86.45 million pounds of cocoa beans to the US.

Jenny Conexion ChocolateIn celebration of National Chocolate Lover’s month, this February, the ProEcuador council in New York City visited ICC to discuss the intricacies of Ecuadorian cacao. As experts in exportable goods and services from Ecuador, alongside Ecuadorian chocolatier Jenny Samaniego of Conexion Chocolate, they shared their vast knowledge of cacao—from harvesting, fermenting and roasting to packaging and consumption—in a tasting of single origin cacao beans and chocolates. Below, check out what we learned about the different steps to turning cacao into chocolate!

 

Cocoa on the tree
Picture by Barry Callebaut

Harvesting

The harvesting of cacao pods is a culmination of years of hard work. It can take anywhere from 3-5 years for the trees to grow to the point that the flowers, and eventually cacao pods, will be ready to harvest.

Once ready, each tree produces around 30 pods each, depending on the size. The pods are then cracked open and approximately 40-50 seeds per pod are removed. It takes one tree’s entire annual harvest to make roughly 1 lb of chocolate—that’s a lot of beans!

Fermenting

Fermenting is a crucial step in the cacao to chocolate process. It is through this process that the natural aromas from the beans are brought out, and ultimately how the flavor is developed. As the beans ferment, a liquid excretes out and allows the bean to dry. This process can take around 7 days as the beans are left in the sun to dry, bringing out the flavors.

Roasting

After the drying process, the beans are cleaned to remove sticks and leaves. Similarly to coffee beans, cacao beans also have to be roasted before being turned into chocolate.

This roasting brings out the flavor from the fermentation process, but duration of roasting and at what temperature will depend on the chocolate manufacturer. During roasting, the bean are opened, allowing the part of the bean that can be eaten to be extracted.

Processing

cocoa powder
Picture by Barry Callebaut

After the roasting is complete, the outer cacao shell is removed the the inner “meat” is extracted. This is ground into a powder, which can also be separated into cocoa butter. It is this cocoa butter that can be liquefied and turned into cocoa liquor, which is then cooled and formed into blocks commonly known as bakers chocolate.

Packing

After all of these steps, the once cacao pod is turned into bakers chocolate, ready to be packaged and shipped to manufacturers!

Check out our photo gallery below from our Ecuadorian Chocolate & Coffee Tasting!
wine being poured

A Brief History of Israeli Wine-Making

Arie HochbergThis month, Arie Hochberg of Israeli Wine Direct stopped by to share his knowledge of Israeli wine. With a passion to broaden people’s understanding of wines from Israel, Arie guided an audience of wine professionals, enthusiasts, and educators through a tasting of six wines from his portfolio of boutique winemakers and vineyards in Israel, including both Kosher and non-kosher wines.

Consider exploring this an Israeli wine for your next bottle of vino and read below to hear what we learned about the vast history of wine-making in Israel!

Biblical Times

corksIsraeli’s wine history dates back centuries and continues to evolve today. Produced in the Middle East for over 5,000 years, wine is even mentioned in the bible—Noah is attributed as the man who discovered the wine making process. When King David reigned around 3000 BCE—the same David depicted in Michelangelo’s infamous sculpture in Florence, Italy—he was said to have an extensive wine cellar where he employed a man to select his wines for his meals (could this be the first sommelier?).

Around 600 CE, wine was prohibited and most of the vineyards were uprooted across Israel. During this time, only wines made in Monasteries and Jewish communities for sacramental purposes were allowed. Shortly after this, wine-making was resurrected, only to be toppled again by the Ottoman empire which spanned an astonishing 400 years, from 1517-1917, in Israel .

In 1848, after hundreds of years of lost history, the first recorded winery was opened by Yitzhak Shor. Used only for religion purposes, it wasn’t until 1882 when French born Baron Edmond James de Rothschild laid the foundation for today’s modern wine industry in Israel.

The Turning Point

wineThe Rothschild family, known best as the family behind famed Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux, France, can also be credited with many of the advancements in wine-making seen in Israel. Not only did they invest in an Israeli vineyard, but they also commissioned a study on the land of Israel to understand how to make quality wine in the country. This was the turning point for the cultivation of the wine industry in Israel.

Following Rothschild, wine-making in Israel took off. The Carmel Wine Company was founded in 1895 to sell the wines of Rishon LeZion and Zichron Ya’akov, both famous for their wines, further establishing modern day wines of Israel.

Modern Times

winesAfter many tumultuous years in the 1900’s where wine-making in Israel halted, it was finally revamped in the 1970s. This remains the turning point that many reference as when modern wine-making techniques were brought to Israel. Finally, wine was being made and consumed for enjoyment, rather than just religious purposes. For the first time since Rothschild in 1882, Israel’s climate and soil was studied again to better understand the terroir and create great wine reflective of the region.

Today, there are over 250 boutique and 70 commercial wineries thanks to the boom of wine-making in the 1990’s spanning 13,585 acres of vineyards. 60,000 tons of grapes are harvested each year, of which 11,400 tons are Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

While only 65 million bottles of wine are produced per year—comparatively, Germany’s 252,000 acres of vineyards produce 1.3 billion bottles—Israel is definitely among one of the up and coming countries producing wines of note today!

Further Reading and Sources:

“Château Lafite Rothschild | Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite).” Domaines Barons De Rothschild Lafite Chteaux Et Vignobles De Bordeaux, 2016, www.lafite.com/en/chateau-lafite-rothschild/.

Garret, Dylan. “Decoding Israeli Wine.” Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 20 Nov. 2015, www.winemag.com/2011/07/25/decoding-israeli-wine/.

Hochberg, Arie. “Wines of Israel Lecture.”  21 Feb. 2019, New York, International Culinary Center.

Menenberg, Aaron. “Thirteen Israeli Wines That Will Change Your Worldview.” The Tower, 2018, www.thetower.org/article/thirteen-israeli-wines-that-will-change-your-worldview/.

Montefiore, Adam. “Rothchild’s Kosher Commitment.” Israeli Wines Pride of Israel, 2017, winesisrael.com/en/4788/rothschilds-kosher-commitment/.

good france

Goût de France Festival 2019

Good France is bringing the taste of Provence to New York City!

Taste. Talk. Enjoy.

At the International Culinary Center, we love any excuse to celebrate French food and wine—we were founded as the French Culinary Institute after all! So this year, we’re excited to participate in the Goût de France festivities as they expand Official Good France Day, March 21st, into a 4-day festival celebrating la cuisine Provençale all around New York.

Culinary festival Goût de France/Good France returns in 2019 with a movable feast: “Provence x New York”. From March 20-23, New Yorkers will be able to experience the taste of Provence with a spotlight on the region’s best chefs and its iconic specialties. You’ll be surprised by Marseille’s wealth of influences, from cuisine to products like lavender, basil, olive oil, sea salt and wine!

ICC is proud to host the educational series of the Goût de France festival on Thursday, March 21st (the Official Good France Day worldwide) with a full day of hands-on classes, workshops and a celebratory reception. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about Provencale Cuisine directly from the best French chefs at the International Culinary Center.

Throughout the day, attendees will learn about the emblematic ingredients of Provence—without which there is no provençal cuisine—as well as how their use can go well beyond your imagination!

Check out the full list of events below and click here to get up to 50% off your tickets using code ICC to join us on March 21st!

March 21 Goût de France Events at ICC

Hands-on Cooking Class

Don’t Mess with the Bouillabaisse
10:00am to 12:00pm
General Admission – $85
International Culinary Center – 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor

  • Chef Serge Devesa
    (Loews Regency New York Hotel – Le Marseillais, NYC – Maître cuisinier de France)

Learn to make the perfect bouillabaisse, an iconic dish of the south of France, from Chef Serge Devesa, Executive Chef of Le Marsellais at the Loews Regency New York Hotel. In this 2-hour hands-on class, you’ll learn the techniques and skills to recreate this classic seafood stew at home, and leave your friends and family wanting more!

Provence in Three Tastes—Chef Demonstrations & Tastings

Panisse with Aioli Sauces and Tapenade
1:30pm to 3:00pm
General Admission – $15 (normally $30)
International Culinary Center – 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Amphitheater

  • Chef Hervé Malivert
    International Culinary Center’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology – Maître Cuisinier de France

Chef Hervé Malivert, ICC’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, will demonstrate a classic dish from the south of France that’s the perfect aperitif to your meal—Panisse served with Aioli sauces and Tapenade. You’ll learn to make Panisse, fried chickpea fritters, as well as how to emulsify your own garlic aioli the traditional way, using a mortar and pestle. Plus, with spring just around the corner, Chef Hervé will show you how to introduce Mediterranean flavors to brighten up the dish with your own olive tapenade.

Pistou Soup and Saint-Victor’s Navettes
3:30pm to 5:00pm
General Admission – $15 (normally $30)
International Culinary Center – 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Amphitheater

  • Chef Olivier Reginensi
    Corporate Executive Chef of Maison Kayser, NYC – Maître Cuisinier de France

Chef Olivier Reginensi of Maison Kayser in New York City is cooking up a traditional soup from Provence—Pistou! A delicious spring vegetable soup with onion, garlic, tomato, pasta and pesto, it’s perfect for the rainy days of April & May. Need something to go with your soup? Chef Olivier will also be baking up Saint-Victor’s Navettes, or mini sweet baguettes, to be dipped into the soup.

Ratatouille and Chichi-Fregi
5:30pm to 7:00pm
General Admission – $15 (normally $30)
International Culinary Center – 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Amphitheater

  • Chef Florian Hugo
    Chef, Author and Restaurateur

Chef Florian Hugo of Maison Hugo in New York City will demonstrate to the audience how to create one of the most beloved dishes of French Provençal cuisine—Ratatouille! You’ll learn the knife skills required to master this classic dish utilizing techniques inherit to the south of France. And if you’ve ever wondered how the infamous Beignet was introduced to New Orleans, look no further than the traditional Chichi-Fregi of Provence. Chef Florian will also demonstrate how to make Chichi-Fregi, mini donuts commonly found in France, and you’ll walk away being able to impress your friends & family with stellar knowledge of French classics.

Cocktail Reception

La Marseillaise
7:30pm to 9:30pm
General Admission – $20 (normally $35)
International Culinary Center – Entrance at 28 Crosby Street, 5th floor

  • Chef Jean-Louis Dumonet
  • Chef, Maître cuisinier de France, President of the American & Canadian Chapter
  • Chef Jean-Louis Gerin
  • Chef, President Academie culinaire de France-US Delegation
  • Chef Sébastien Baud
    Maître Cuisinier de France – Académie Culinaire de France – Chef of the Consulate General of France

Join us for a celebratory cocktail reception featuring the best of Provençale Cuisine including passed canapés by Chef Jean-Louis Dumonet, President of the Maître Cuisiner de France; Chef Jean-Louis Gerin, President of the Académie culinaire de France; Chef Sébastien Baud, Chef of the Consulate General of France; and glasses of Rosé provided by Château D’esclans.