chef kir

Recipes For A Perfect Pairing

Inspired by our Perfect Pairings: Seasonal Ingredient Challenge today? Chef Kir Rodriguez, ICC Pastry Chef-Instructor, and Chef Danielle Fonalledas, ICC Culinary Chef-Instructor, joined forces to create a three-course menu with seasonal ingredients shining throughout.

Below, get the recipes from the demonstration and re-create them for yourself at home!

For the Lime Posset
Yield: 2 cups (after reduction)

450 g. Cream.
100 g Sugar
1 lime zested.
80g.  freshly squeezed lime juice.
Berries for service

  1. Mix sugar, cream and zest and boil and reduce for 15 minutes or to 2 cups liquid
  2. Remove from heat and add juice, cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain and divide into individual ramekins. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

For the Coconut Tuile
Yield: 15 tuiles

110 g sugar
80 g dessicated coconut
90 g egg whites
90 g butter, melted

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Whisk the sugar and coconut together in a bowl.
  3. While whisking, slowly add the egg whites.
  4. Add the melted butter to the dough and whisk to combine.
  5. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  6. Drop the batter by teaspoon-size balls onto a sheet pan lined with a nonstick silicone mat.
  7. Bake the tuiles in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Allow the tuiles to cool completely and store them in well-sealed containers with desiccants.

For the Sesame Tuile
Yield: 15 tuiles

10 g milk
30 g butter
30 g sugar
10 g glucose or corn syrup
55 g sesame seeds, white or black, or a combination

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Combine the milk, butter, sugar, and glucose in a bowl. Stir in the sesame seeds.
  3. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  4. Drop the batter by teaspoon-size balls onto a sheet pan lined with a nonstick silicone mat.
  5. Bake the tuiles in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Allow the tuiles to cool completely and store them in well-sealed containers with desiccants.

For the Coconut Foam
Yield: 4 desserts

1 ( 14 oz) can full fat coconut milk, slightly warmed
30 g  powdered cane sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1. Pour the warm coconut milk into a small mixing bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla, and xanthan gum and whisk to blend completely
2. Pour the mixture into your quart-sized  iSi canister and charge with 2 cartridges.
3. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours to chill completely.
4. Alternatively, you could use the foam at room temperature.

For the Candied Kumquat
Yield: 1½ lb of candied fruits

450g sliced kumquats (roughly 1 lb)
675g  water
200 g sugar (see note)

  1. Slice the kumquats into thin slices horizontally across their equator, removing any seeds and setting them aside.
  2. Wrap the seeds in a bit of cheesecloth, tie it up and place them in the jam pot.
  3. Add in water, sugar and the sliced kumquats.
  4. Allow the fruit, water and sugar to sit overnight. Stir once or twice to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Turn on the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 35 to 45 minutes, adding a bit of water if necessary.
  6. Remove the packet of citrus seed.
  7. Simmer the jam for another 5-10 minutes until the jam reaches gel stage (220 degrees F) or gels promptly when a bit is placed on a plate that’s chilled in the freezer
  8. Enjoy
COOKING PASS

February is Perfect Pairings Month at ICC!

Who said that Valentine’s day was limited to romance? We think the “month of love” can mean so much more! So instead, we’ve curated our events this month to be all about the “perfect pairing.” From collaborations between culinary and pastry chef-instructors to exploring flavor pairings with chocolate and liqueur, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this month. Plus, bring your favorite “sous chef” to find your perfect pairing at ICC—learn how you can save $100 on a one-day recreational class with the ICC Cooking Pass!

We’ll begin the month with a special collaboration between our culinary and pastry departments. ICC Chef-Instructor’s Danielle Fonalledas and Kir Rodriguez team up to tackle seasonal ingredients in a challenge to combine their culinary and pastry skills into an epic 3-course menu. Then “Mr. Chocolate” himself, Chef Jacques Torres, joins us for National Chocolate Lovers month with a chocolate & liqueur pairing demonstration of 3 different types of bonbons—a dark, milk and white chocolate—and the ‘spirited’ fillings that go along with them. If you’re still looking for the perfect “date night” for Valentine’s Day, join us for our hands-on cooking class with Chef Danny Mena—Mexican Favorites: Tortilla Soup, Mole & More on Thursday, February 13th!

Check out the event details below to see how you can find your perfect pairing at ICC this February!

Perfect Pairings: Seasonal Menu Challenge

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

perfect pairings

Ever wonder what happens when two ICC Chef-Instructors team up for a demonstration? In this Perfect Pairings: Seasonal Menu Challenge, ICC Pastry Chef-Instructor Kir Rodriguez and ICC Culinary Chef-Instructor Danielle Fonalledas join forces to execute a three-course menu pairing various seasonal flavors, like kumquats. They’ll demonstrate how you can create a cohesive, multi-course meal that highlights the range of different ingredients in savory and sweet applications.

Together with a combined experience of over 20 years, your ICC Chef-Instructors will share how a tasty menu can be developed and executed when culinary and pastry forces unite. Gain insight into their process of menu development and how they worked together to pair seasonal flavors to develop a show-stopping menu with star-ingredients.

No RSVP required for students & alumni.
Limited seating available for the general public. RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com to attend.

Mexican Cooking: Tortilla Soup, Mole & More!

Thursday, February 13th
6:00pm-10:00pm
$195/person

Mexican Cooking

ICC’s newest one-day cooking class, Mexican Favorites: Tortilla Soup, Mole & More is just around the corner! Join Chef Danny Mena, ICC graduate and chef-owner of La Loncheria in Brooklyn, on February 13th for a flavorful introduction to cooking with mole and other warming chiles found in traditional Mexican cuisine. In this hands-on class, you’ll learn to make three classic dishes and the signature sides to accompany everyone’s favorites, including how to make handmade tortillas!

Plus, you can save $100 on a one-day, hands on recreational class for two when you purchase an ICC Cooking Pass for you and your Valentine. Purchase your ICC Cooking Pass here and register for this class today! (Offer ends Feb 14th, Cooking Pass is valid until 12/31/2020).

Perfect Pairings: Chocolate & Liqueur with Chef Jacques Torres

Wednesday, February 19th
3:30pm-5:00pm

jacques torres

February is National Chocolate Lovers Month and who better than Jacques Torres, ICC’s Dean of Pastry Arts and “Mr. Chocolate” himself to demo the perfect chocolate and liqueur pairings!

Join us on February 19th for an exclusive demonstration with Chef Torres as he demonstrates 3 different types of bonbons—a dark, milk and white chocolate—and the ‘spirited’ fillings that go along with them. From champagne, red wine and port to rum, cognac and kirsch, the flavor combinations are endless! Learn how pastry chefs use liqueurs in their kitchens to bring out the flavor of their confections and balance desserts. Plus, Chef Torres will demonstrate how to make a chocolate box for your bon bon display adorned with, what else, chocolate decorations!

No RSVP required for students & alumni.
Limited seating available to the general public. RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com to attend.

super bowl 2020

Super Bowl 2020: Up Your Game Day Menu

When it comes to the Super Bowl, almost everyone can get behind one of America’s favorite sports days of the year for different reasons—whether it’s supporting your favorite team to take home the ultimate trophy, the infamous halftime show, the million dollar ads, or even the delicious party food. But if you’re tired of the same game day foods, maybe it’s time to up your game on your kitchen skills! Every year when Super Bowl Sunday comes around, ICC President Erik Murnighan plans a special party menu designed around the two teams playing in the game, or the host stadium where the game is held. A graduate of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program, he’s not shy about putting his culinary techniques to work in the kitchen! Since every city has a distinct food culture, it’s easy to design a menu inspired by the food of the team’s hometown.

With Super Bowl Sunday just around the corner, it’s time to start your menu planning. Below, check out some of the on-theme dishes that Murnighan has prepared in the past and what he’s planning for this year’s game!

Previous Game Day Favorites

New Orleans - Shrimp Étouffée

Picture from askchefdennis.com
Picture courtesy of askchefdennis.com

New Orleans is known for a lot of different foods—gumbo, jambalaya, and po-boys to name a few. But, you can’t think of NOLA without thinking about it’s delicious seafood. In 2010, when New Orleans won the Super Bowl, Murnighan cooked up a Shrimp Étouffée to satisfy the seafood lovers at his party. Last year when Chef Aarón Sánchez visited ICC to debut his memoir Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef, he demonstrated his Shellfish Étouffée recipe that WOW-ed our jam packed audience. His pro-tip? Make sure that your roux is dark in color, it will give the dish more flavor!

Pittsburgh - The Primanti Brothers Sandwich

Picture Courtesy of Primanti Brothers
Picture Courtesy of Primanti Brothers

Primanti Brothers is synonymous with Pittsburgh. Founded in 1933, the famous sandwich chain is known for its signature sandwiches of grilled meat, melted cheese, an oil & vinegar-based coleslaw, tomato slices, and French fries between two thick slices of Italian bread. In 2011, when Pittsburgh was up against Green Bay in the Super Bowl, Murnighan re-created the famous Primanti Brothers sandwiches right in his very own kitchen. Though Pittsburgh lost that year, the sandwiches were a huge hit! To achieve the perfect sandwich, Murnighan recommends making your own homemade french fries right at home and making sure that the oil is hot enough before frying—this prevents greasy fries!

The 2020 Game Plan

Kansas City - Kansas City BBQ

Picture Courtesy of The Travel Channel
Picture Courtesy of The Travel Channel

As early as the 1900s, Kansas City has been known for their sweet and smoky barbecue. The city’s first barbecue master, Henry Perry, was known for smoking meats for hours on a bed of oak and hickory wood—not much different from how it is today! While you may not be able to smoke your meat outside in the cold weather months, you can still achieve the perfect Kansas City barbecue in your oven. For this year’s Super Bowl, Murnighan is making saucy Kansas City barbecue ribs and homemade smoked sausage to honor the Midwest’s famous smoked meats and cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs!

San Francisco - Cioppino

Picture Courtesy of Chowhound
Picture Courtesy of Chowhound

Cioppino—a tomato based, fish stew—originated in San Francisco in the late 1800s. Fishermen would often use whatever was left over from the day’s catch to make the stew, like clams, crab and shrimp. Even though Cioppino is a delicious and hearty stew for the cold, a bowl of stew is not the first food that comes to mind when thinking about Super Bowl food. Luckily, many dishes were invented in San Francisco, like sourdough bread! In the early 1800s, miners realized that the bread they were making in San Francisco had an unusual sour taste. Eventually, scientists discovered the strain of bacteria that causes that iconic taste and named it “L. sanfranciscensis.” To honor the origins of this famous bread, Erik is making homemade sourdough bread for a grilled cheese station! That way, vegetarians and grilled cheese lovers will all be satisfied. But we encourage you to elevate your game day food with a Cioppino to cheer for the 49-ers too!

pastry plus

ICC Announces Third Annual Pastry Plus Conference This March!

Impressive Roster of Pastry Chefs Join The Charity Bake Sale and Pastry Conference on March 28th and 29th

We’re thrilled to announce the return of ICC’s prominent industry conference Pasty Plus,  in partnership with Callebaut®, on Sunday, March 29, 2020. In its third and most exciting year, the theme of the conference will reflect “The Business of Taste,” and continue to build a pastry community that promotes a constructive exchange of ideas and information to secure the future of chefs and the niche industry.

This year’s programming will open with a welcome address led by Founder of ICC’s Pastry Plus, Jansen Chan, followed by an all-female lineup of panel experts Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer of Big Night Restaurant Group), Fany Gerson (Owner of La Newyorkina & Fan-Fan Doughnuts), Lani Halliday (Owner of Brutus Bake Shop) and Sherry Yard (Pastry Chef & Author), as they discuss the business of baking. A series of breakout classes that stem from the pillars of craft, innovation, and workplace are available thereafter curated by pastry legends such as Jacques Torres, Christina Tosi, and Ron Ben-Israel.

Jansen Chan
The Pastry Plus 2019 Conference Address

 

Offering an interactive and personal look at forecasted trends, conference attendees can choose three of the nine classes and seminars throughout the day. A sampling of them include:

  • Ruby Chocolate Innovation: Master chocolatier, Håkan Mårtensson, joined by Pastry Chef Rocco Lugrine, will lead a class focused on chocolate techniques and flavor pairings using Callebaut Ruby and Callebaut Gold Chocolate
  • Understanding Your Spices: Burlap and Barrel takes you on a journey of spices you thought you knew, and some you’ve probably never heard of before, to explore the impact of single-origin spices
  • The Resurgence of Bread: Ryan Morgan from Sixteen Bricks shares his story of a family business, turned leading bakery for the Cincinnati area, embracing the flavor of wheat
  • Team Diversity & Inclusion: Jackie McMann-Oliveri educates on promoting workplace diversity and best practices for a productive and inclusive work environment as Director of Talent and Culture for Bobby Flay Restaurants
  • Plant-Based Future of Pastry: Plants are the future; Eclipse Foods and Katzie Guy-Hamilton, Author of Clean Enough, discuss the trending plant-based industry and its impact on the pastry market

Additional activities throughout the day include a keynote address, networking reception and new to 2020, pre-conference Industry Field Trips at Union Square Hospitality Group’s Gramercy Tavern, Daily Provisions and The Modern, as well as Ron Ben-Israel Cakes.

“Pastry Plus is one of the rare opportunities to gather the pastry industry and foster a community,” said Jansen Chan, Founder of Pastry Plus and Director of Pastry Operations at ICC. “It is a reinvestment in our future. With this conference we are able to connect fellow pastry chefs of all skill sets and give them an opportunity to learn, network, and be inspired by peers and mentors.”

Preceding Pastry Plus on Saturday, March 28, 2020 is Pastryland, a community bake sale presented by ICC that features never-before-tasted creations from more than 20 top pastry chefs. The bake sale will be held from 12 – 3 p.m., with VIP entrance from Noon – 1 p.m., and allows locals and pastry lovers to get a taste of edible works of art for $15 general admission and $50 VIP. All proceeds from Pastryland bake sale will go to charitable partner Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Tickets for Pastryland are on sale now at pastry.plus/pastryland.

Pastryland
Desserts From Pastryland 2019

 

Tickets for Pastry Plus are available now at pastry.plus/tickets; standard general admission are $120/ticket. The package includes:

  • Access to the Pastryland Bake Sale | Saturday, March 28
  • All-access pass to the Pastry Plus Conference | Sunday, March 29
  • All-Attendee Forum: The Business of Taste, Presented by Callebaut®
  • Keynote Address
  • Choice of three 75-min Pastry Plus Sessions
  • Continental Breakfast & Lunch
  • Networking Reception
  • Gift Bag

For more information on Pastry Plus and Pastryland please visit pastry.plus

Are you an aspiring pastry professional?

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 enter. Two Grand Prize Winners will be awarded VIP-First Access Ticket to Pastryland, All Access Ticket to Pastry Plus 2020; Selection of One Industry Field Trip; Meet + Greet with members of Pastry Plus’ Advisory Committee; One-Day Pastry Class at ICC; Tilit Chef Apron and more. Entries are due at 5pm on Friday, February 28, 2020. Winners will be announced in early March. For official contest rules and regulations go to pastry.plus/nextgen.

Next Gen 2019 Winner with Jacques Torres and Ron Ben-Israel
Next Gen 2019 Winner with Jacques Torres and Ron Ben-Israel
kamayan feast

A Kamayan Feast With Woldy Reyes and ICC Alumna Lani Halliday

lani and woldyLani Halliday of Brutus Bakeshop and Woldy Reyes of Woldy Kusina are renowned Brooklyn chefs known for their innovative and collaborative projects. Since 2015, Lani has made a name for herself with her delicious, gluten-free creations, including her popular snake cakes. A graduate of ICC’s Food Business Fundamentals program, she was recently featured on the cover of Cherry Bombe magazine’s 14th issue. This month, Lani and business partner Woldy, bring a new immersive dining experience to the rooftop of the Ferris restaurant at the MADE Hotel, “Departure – A Modern Kamayan Feast”.

You could say the stars aligned for Lani and Woldy who met at commercial co-working space, Pilotworks, which closed down abruptly in late 2018. Before the closure, the duo had been working out of Pilotworks on a project that launched their partnership. Unfortunately, the sudden closure forced them to leave behind all of their food stock and supplies. When one door closed, the two found a way to open another—they began working on a new project, Departure Kamayan.

Woldy, the son of two Filipino immigrants, loves to share his heritage with the world through food and aims to modernize traditional Filipino feasts through this project. Alongside Chef Tyler Heckman and Charles Seich of Ferris restaurant at the MADE Hotel, Lani and Woldy are bringing an intimate, immersive experience to the rooftop dining room of the MADE Hotel, set in a tropical oasis. The evening features plant-based interpretations of classic Filipino dishes including Pansit, Lumpia, Adobo, Kare Kare and Bibingka, with flavors that transport you far from NYC.

#DepartureKamayan kicked-off last week as a limited, ticketed dinner series running on select days from January 21 through the end of March. Tickets are $100 per person (+tax) and can be purchased through Ferris on RESY for February 11, February 25, March 10 or March 24. We sat down with the duo to learn more about their partnership and the launch of their festive Kamayan feasts. Check out our interview with them below!

First of all, congratulations Lani on your recent cover of Cherry Bombe! What has it been like to gain this acknowledgement for everything you’ve been doing in the food industry?

Lani: Thank you so much! It’s been really dreamy to be honest. On the one hand it’s been a fantastic opportunity to practice the art of acknowledging and receiving. I definitely identify as someone who can mechanically move through accomplishments without fully acknowledging, celebrating and fully luxuriating in my experiences. So I’ve consciously chosen to do that this time around. Its also been really fun! Anyone who knows me knows i LOVE to connect and collaborate and this has certainly made that process easier. It’s opened doors for me to continue to do what I love to do best. 

How did your partnership come about?

Woldy: Lani and I met at a commercial kitchen co-working space, Pilotworks which closed down abruptly in late 2018.  Lani is the owner and pastry chef of the custom gluten-free baked-goods project, Brutus Bakeshop and I’m the chef and owner of a catering company Woldy Kusina. We admired each other’s work and I would buy her gluten free pastries for catered events. From there, we continued to collaborate on projects and we are excited to partner with Ferris’s team Chef Tyler Heckman and Charles Seich on this dinner series – #DepartureKamayan.

Lani, you opened Brutus Bakeshop in 2015 and later took ICC’s Food Business program in 2018. How would you say ICC’s program has helped you in operating an existing business?

L: The program was invaluable. I already owned Brutus when I took the course, but what the course gave me was an opportunity to ‘level-up’. I was able to learn new things, enrich areas of familiarity and crystallize some things that I already knew. It certainly clarified the areas of importance and showed me ways of understanding that I didn’t previously possess. I walked away being able to write an incredibly solid business plan as well as a skill set that will allow me to do that again for my next venture. 

What would you say is the most important trait to find in a business partner?

W: Lani and I operate and run our own businesses, respectively and we are so lucky enough that we share the same ideas and approach to doing business. Having similar ideals around hospitality, beauty, and what luxury, care and service looks like is important. Plus we enjoy and respect each other so very much. We’re like a double act. We have our own language. It’s definitely the mutual admiration society with tons of laughs with us.

What has it been like to build this partnership and dinner series?

Both: This journey has been a blessing and we are so fortunate enough that the team at Ferris has been so open and accepting of the vision that we want to share with people. They have definitely provided a safe and warming space for us to share our talents and story!

What made you want to showcase Filipino food in the Kamayan-style feast? How does it differ from other Filipino restaurants in NYC?

W: I wanted to share an important part of me which is being a proud Queer Filipino-American and to share with people a celebratory and elevated Filipino food experience. Lani and I envisioned this feast to be a multi-sensory eating experience. When guests arrive, they enter into a tropical oasis and greeted with a cocktail called “Ube Bae” a Filipino take on a piña colada. Guests then witness the feast being built and laid out onto a banana leaf covered table. As each dish comes out, the room is filled with aromas and guests are excited to eat. Before eating, we do a ceremonial hand washing. It’s a spiritual way to start the dinner. Then everyone dives into the feast and enjoys it!

kamayan dinner

Kamayan feasts are traditional in Filipino culture for celebrating community, but DEPARTURE is a modern take on this tradition. Can you share what traditional elements will be experienced in DEPARTURE, and what modern elements are being brought to the table? 

Both: Kamayan is an abundant and luscious Filipino feast served on a banana leaf and eaten with your bare hands. It’s a communal experience. I love the idea where strangers come and sit down to see a colorful array of food laid out in front of them and there are no utensils except your hands. Eating with your hands is a spiritual and personal experience. Then you formulate a conversation and bond with people around you who were once strangers, but are now your eating buddies! This builds community.

The modern approach to this Kamayan dinner is that we took classic Filipino dishes which are usually meat heavy and made it very vegetable forward. Save for fish sauce, the dinner is vegetarian, and gluten-free, save for the lumpia.

We’re seeing more dining experiences pop-up in NYC that push diners out of their comfort zone. Can you share what you hope to achieve by bringing people together in this intimate setting? Are there any challenges that you foresee?

Both:Yes, that’s a really valuable part of what we have to offer. DEPARTURE is certainly that—a departure from the familiar Euro-centric dining format that most New Yorkers identify as “normal”. As chefs, we get so much out of seeing the emotional and intellectual journey that the diners get to experience. It’s really an incredibly unique experience. The only challenges (as well as the resolutions) lie in the individual diners themselves. DEPARTURE really is a celebration of abundance, play and fun.

Oh, actually food allergies are a challenge! Because of the format, we can’t really offer concessions, substitutions or modifications. At all. We love people, we love hospitality and we really, really love to feed people, but unfortunately this one is not for our friends with certain food restrictions.

What does the future hold for Woldy & Lani? Can we expect more unique dinner-series pop-ups? What will you team up to do next?

Both: As part of our goals and fresh outlook for the new decade, we’re consciously choosing to focus solely on this series in terms of what’s next. We’ve got another 2 months left to relish this series and luxuriating in that is key to the beauty of the project. That said there are tremendously exciting things (including more projects with the Ferris Team) that are percolating for the both of us and you can follow along on our respective social media channels for updates!

Follow Lani on Instagram @brutusbakeshop and visit her website at www.brutusbakeshop.com.
Follow Woldy on Instagram @woldykusina and visit his website at www.woldyskusina.com.
Celebrating 40 Years of Food Writing

Celebrating 40 Years of Food Writing: A Conversation with Mark Bittman

Thursday, February 27th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor, NYC
General Admission: $15

Discount for Students & Alumni
(Email events@culinarycenter.com for verification to receive code)

One of the country’s most widely-admired food writers, Mark Bittman—best-selling cookbook author, journalist and TV personality—has been writing about food since 1980. Although he was never formally trained as a chef, his vast knowledge of the food world, combined with his friendly attitude towards cooking, has made him a household name for more than four decades! As the author of 30 acclaimed books, including the timeless How to Cook Everything series, he continues to educate and foster future minds of the food world at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

This February, join us to celebrate Mark Bittman’s 40 years of food writing in a lively conversation with Bittman and Yewande Komolafe—cook, food stylist, writer and spokesperson behind the dinner series, “My Immigrant Food Is…”. Together, they’ll discuss perseverance in the food industry—whether in cooking or in food writing—and how success does not come overnight. Sharing their personal, and professional experiences, we’ll explore their different paths to success and how they’ve built careers outside the kitchen. Both Bittman’s and Komolafe’s work is inspired by making cultural connections through food. They’ll address how students, chefs and professionals in the food industry can make an impact in the world—sustainability, food waste and more—as they discuss how the choices that chef’s make, matter. We’ll also hear about what goes into writing a classic cookbook, like How to Cook Everything, and Bittman’s revision process for the newest edition. Learn the secrets of an award-winning cookbook author and glean insight into one of the greatest food writers of our time!


The evening wouldn’t be complete without questions from our audience! To facilitate a smooth conversation, we ask that attendees submit their questions in advance when purchasing tickets through eventbrite, or by emailing events@culinarycenter.comQuestions from the audience will be taken in advance ONLY.

Mark Bittman
Mark Bittman
Food Writer and Cookbook Author

Mark Bittman is the author of 20 acclaimed books, including the How to Cook Everything series, the award-winning Food Matters, and The New York Times number-one bestseller, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00.

For more than two decades his popular and compelling stories appeared in the Times, where he was ultimately the lead food writer for the Sunday Magazine and became the country’s first food-focused Op-Ed columnist for a major news publication. Bittman has starred in four television series, including Showtime’s Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously. He has written for nearly every major newspaper in the United States and many magazines, and has spoken at dozens of universities and conferences; his 2007 TED talk has more than a million views. He was a distinguished fellow at the University of California (Berkeley) and a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists; he is a member of the faculty of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and is also the editor-in-chief of Heated. Throughout his career Bittman has strived for the same goal: to make the food, in all its aspects, understandable.

Yewande K
Yewande Komolafe
Writer, Recipe Developer and Food Stylist

Yewande Komolafe is a writer, recipe developer and food stylist originally from Lagos, Nigeria. Her background in food has been informed by everything from  – her grandmother’s, mother’s, and aunties’ kitchens, to restaurant kitchens across the United States. Yewande develops recipes that lend taste and texture to her experience as an immigrant in the United States. She has worked closely with chefs and restaurateurs on cookbooks, written and tested recipes for several food publications, and hosts a regular dinner series centered on food, immigration and adaptation. Her recipes and writing have appeared in the New York Times, Whetstone, Food And Wine, Munchies, Saveur, among others. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter and many jars of spices.

food business fundamentals

Business Bites Resources: 6 Actions These Food Business Owners Take Every New Year

For many, January is a time to reflect on the past year and make plans for a successful new one. Whether in your personal or professional life, New Year’s Resolutions are a great way to hold yourself accountable for a set of goals to achieve throughout the year. The same can be said for food business owners. While setting resolutions is one way that business owners align their business’ journey for the year ahead, it’s not the only way to prepare for a successful New Year!

To get insight into the minds of successful food business and restaurant owners, we spoke with several ICC Food Business Fundamentals alumni and instructors. They shared what they do at the beginning of each New Year to set their business up for success. Get their tips and advice below to see what you can integrate into your business’ routine!

Jay Spencer | ICC Food Business '11

Owner, French Press Bakery & Café

“Periodic reflection keeps me grounded and steers me forward. To prepare for the year ahead, I spend time reviewing our product offerings and creating a development plan for our staff. I find looking back on the previous year for what we produced and how well it sold useful to determine what works and what we want to change. We are always pushing ourselves to do different things but to also come back to things that people love.

I can never spend enough time on developing our staff. I am surrounded by talented people, some who have been with me before I opened the cafe. It is a tremendous accomplishment to maintain my team but to also guide them in developing themselves, and the business, in a way that creates ownership and a shared responsibility to do the best we can for our guests and each other.”

 

Mario Rodriguez | ICC Culinary Arts '09

Owner, Bootleg Avocado & ICC Food Business Fundamentals Instructor

“I tackle every new year in two ways: Goals & Investments. For Goals, I would plan about 2 years out and make them pretty lofty.  Then work your way back to the present day to figure out the road-map that will take to get there.  It can be daunting but you’ll be surprised how it forces you to accomplish the initial milestones much quicker.  For Investments, I look for where I can reinvest my money back into the company.  Things like, hiring a designer for your website, investing in a copywriter, pull off a full re-brand, or even acquire another business that will better complement yours. For one, it’s a tax write off.  And two, it’s a necessity in order to stay competitive in the food space which is always changing.”

Adam Lathan | ICC Food Business '15

Owner, The Gumbo Bros

“It sounds cheesy but every year I write down a simple series of goals for revenue, staffing and operations. I put my goals in my digital calendar and send myself a weekly reminder so that I think about what direction the business is going on a weekly basis.

Owning a business is hard, owning a restaurant is ridiculously hard… so doing something as simple as setting a major series of goals and reminding yourself of them is how you can keep focused on the bigger picture as the challenges of day-to-day operations come about.”

Elizabeth Alpern

Owner, The Gefilteria & ICC Food Business Fundamentals Instructor

“At the start of a new year I always:

  • Follow up on any outstanding accounts receivable from the previous year
  • Close out the books from the previous year ASAP
  • Set up a meeting with my accountant!
  • Reach out to any regular clients to check in on their needs and any relevant deadlines/timelines to put in my own calendar
  • Renegotiate any annual contracts”

Suji Park | ICC Food Business '09

Owner, Suji's Korean Cuisine

“In Korea, we have a saying that translates to “Did you have a good dream?” The intention behind this is having a positive mindset. I like to refer to this saying at the start of every new year. My tip for aspiring entrepreneurs is to start the year off with unwavering positivity and self-confidence. This mindset will not only affect your work, but it will help encourage and motivate those around you, specifically if you are managing a team.

I also suggest getting your ‘house’ in good order. In Korea, the first day of the new year is spent with your family, cleaning, and organizing. You can apply this to your work ‘home’ as well. Take the time at the beginning of the new year to figure out how to be more organized and efficient than the previous year. Reflect on the challenges you faced and what systems can be put into place to help overcome those challenges.” 

Rob Anderson | ICC Food Business '13 & Culinary Arts '14

Owner, The Canteen

“I don’t start the year with lists. I start with a vision.

Whenever I start something new—whether it’s a new project, a new system, or a new year—I begin by writing out a vision. Not a to-do list. Not a flowchart. Not a spreadsheet.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing gets me going like a good ol’ spreadsheet. But how can I start detailing how I will get something done before I’ve even given myself a little time and space to picture what exactly I want the end product to be? We get so wrapped up in everything that needs to get done or the granular details that we often forget to define the best case scenario of what we’d like to see happen.

A vision is a detailed picture of the success of a project at a particular time in the future. To write one, all you need is a blank piece of paper, a pen, and a stopwatch. Set your clock for 15 minutes, pick a point in the future, and just start writing a stream-of-consciousness story, as quickly as you can, about what success looks like at that moment.

What have you created? What do you see? Who helped? How? How do you feel? You might be surprised about what will come pouring out. New ideas. Pent up emotions. Subconscious desires. An inspirational road-map.

I learned this technique from Ari Weinzweig, a co-founder of the Zingerman’s community of businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan, one of the most forward thinking (and delicious) restaurant groups in the country. At Zingerman’s, they write visions all the time. Each is written to be inspiring, strategically sound, documented, and shared. It’s one of the secrets to their success.

To be honest, I was skeptical at first. To my list-loving, get-down-to-brass-tacks, kitchen-mentality, prep-list-making mind, it all seemed a bit too, well, hippy dippy. But I figured if it worked for Zingerman’s—which has grown over the last 37 years into a $70-million-dollar-a-year company—that it just might work for me and my business, as well. And it has. Who knows, give it a shot and it might help you transform your goals into realities, too.

Read more about how visioning works: https://www.zingtrain.com/content/why-and-how-visioning-works

ABOUT BUSINESS BITES

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

Ready to get started on the business plan for your restaurant, food truck, food product or other dream culinary concept? Maybe you’re looking to grow the family business or scale an existing restaurant? Register for ICC’s Food Business Fundamentals course, and you’ll have a solid business plan & pitch ready in just 6 weeks! Click here to learn more.

the power of food

The Center for Discovery’s Principles of Healthy Eating

Food has the power to greatly support or completely undermine health.  What, how much, and when we eat can often determine whether we live relatively healthy lives or spend much of it dealing with chronic illness. To celebrate the beginning of a new decade and to put health at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we invited Jennifer Franck—Assistant Chief of the Department of Nourishment Arts® at The Center for Discovery—to discuss the role of food in health and how chefs have the ability to transform people’s lives through food. During the talk, she was joined by The Center’s Executive Chef, Peggy Parten, who demonstrated these ideas in a dish prepared with ingredients grown on the farm. ICC’s Dean of Italian Studies, Chef Cesare Casella is The Center for Discovery’s Chief of The Department of Nourishment Arts®, where he leads a team of chefs creating innovative ways of delivering nutrition to the organization.

The Center for Discovery is a major research and specialty center that offers residential, medical, clinical and special education programs as well as world-class Music and Creative Arts Therapy, Adapted Physical Education, and a biodynamic agricultural program for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Through their programs, they offer a 360° view of food and use this to power the health of their residents. They also bring together farmers, chefs, and nutritionists to ensure the food that they provide is maximized at every point along the food chain.

Did you know, each day we make over 150 food related decisions? Below, learn about some of The Center’s “Principles of Healthy Eating”—the foundations of food that they teach all of their residents and guidelines you can apply to your daily choices as well!

Eat Real Food

Eating whole, non-processed, high quality food is the first step to living a healthier life. Eating whole foods is about consuming food in it’s most natural form, meaning nothing has been added or taken away.

Make Plants Rule

At least 50% of your plate should come from plant sources. By filling your plate with a “rainbow” of colors (the darker, the better!), you’re providing your body with more nutrients. Plants provide the necessary micronutrients (i.e. vitamins & minerals) that our body needs. It’s important to include a variety of different naturally colored foods on your plate—The Center recommends at least 3 per meal—as each provides different micronutrients necessary in our diets.

Feast First From The Farm

Feasting first from the farm means eating local and seasonal. Not only is this important for the health of our environment, but it also impacts our gut health. The human microbiome is influenced by our environment, and that includes our food. Our good gut bacteria understands how to digest foods that grow in our local environment, allowing us to get the most nutrients from our food.

Keep It Old School

There’s a reason that techniques and cooking methods invented thousands of years ago are still around today—they are effective at drawing the most nutrients from our food. Traditional cooking methods like fermentation are a great way to preserve the integrity of our food while also developing flavor and maximizing nutrients.

Choose Healthy Meat

Animal products that have been raised humanely are good for your health and wellness. When selecting meat, be sure that the package reads “100% grass-fed” and not “grass finished.” Grass finished implies that the animal was fed grains at some point and potentially given harmful nutrients. The healthiest animals to eat are the ones that eat what they should be eating, like grass!

Limit Factory Food

This is one of the most important elements of their healthy eating principles—avoid processed foods and refined grains & sugars. Food is information for the body, it tells our body how to act and signals changes in our health. A good rule of thumb to live by? If you don’t recognize the ingredients on the label, then your body doesn’t either!

Other principles to consider: Cook From Scratch, Drink Mostly Water, Use Friendly Fats.
So what’s the best way to get started? Try anti inflammatory eating! Combine these healthy eating principles with adding more Omega 3, Vitamin D, Phytonutrients/Superfoods and Pre/Probiotics to your diet.
square roots farm

3 Ways Square Roots Is Shaking Up Urban Farming

Earlier this January, students from our Professional Culinary Arts program with Farm-to-Table extension journeyed to Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn to visit Square Roots. Co-founded by ICC alumnus Kimbal Musk in 2017, Square Roots is an urban indoor farm growing local, real food while training the next generation of leaders in agriculture. In early 2019, they expanded to Grand Rapids, Michigan and partnered with Gordon Food Service to grow produce exclusively for their customers. In the future, they hope to continue the expansion of their farms throughout Gordon Food Service distribution centers across North America.

Farm-to-Table Students At The Farm
Farm-to-Table Students At Square Roots

While getting a first-hand look of Square Roots, Farm-to-Table students learned that their operation is so much more than a traditional farm. When Square Roots established their campus in Brooklyn, they didn’t just tend to a farm—they planted 10 reclaimed shipping containers in the middle of a parking lot and built miniature farms from the future. These hydroponic farms grow certain non-GMO vegetables around the clock—like mint, basil and other leafy greens—without pesticides.

The Shipping Containers in Brooklyn
The Shipping Containers in Brooklyn (Photo by Square Roots)

To learn more about Square Roots and how they’re changing the world of urban farming, read below!

Seed-to-Sales

Bicycle

Instead of growing mass amounts of produce to ship globally, Square Roots focuses on distributing their product locally. Through these practices, they’re actively reducing damage that can occur to produce, which results in less food waste and less spoiled product. They also transport all of their products on bicycles with storage containers—less transport and distribution means less of a carbon footprint!

Technology At The Farmer & Consumer's Fingertips

Technology

Technology is at the heart of Square Roots. Using data that they collect from their growing systems, farmers are able to analyze everything from when the seedlings were transplanted to crop yields. This allows the farmers to create a timeline for how the leafy greens were grown and put a QR code onto their packaging. Then, consumers can look up their produce’s planting timeline and learn more about how the crop was grown.

Next-Gen Farmer Training Program

Farmers

In addition to their more environmentally friendly distribution practices and technology for their farmers, they are also committed to inspiring the next generation of farmers. Throughout the Next-Gen Farmer Training Program, trainees get to learn all about plant science and computer science, in addition to earning a salary and health benefits, which is not always available to similar apprenticeships.

Dishes from Kwei Fei

ICC In The News: Highlights from January 2020

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 2020, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

Elena Reygadas
BLOOMBERG
Top Chefs Pick the Most Inspirational Women in the World of Fine Food

Chefs from around the world chose the most inspirational women in the world of fine food, and ICC alumna Elena Reygadas made the list! Check out Bloomberg’s article to see why this well regarded chef was named among some of the best chefs in the world.

Can you cook better in a $300 apron? Experts from the culinary industry weighed in, including our very own Director of Culinary Arts & Technology Hervé Malivert. Read what he said in an article in The Huffington Post.

Looking for a new restaurant to try? Visit ICC’s Art of International Bread Baking grad, Aniko Molnar’s restaurant Abbracciamento, where she handles the bread, pasta and desserts! Check it out here in Long Island Press.

MJ Adams, an ’89 graduate of our Professional Culinary Arts program, was recently written about in The New York Times for her brand new cookbook The Corn Exchange. According to Florence Fabricant, it’s a cookbook you’ll turn to time and time again. Read more about her new release and be sure to pick up a copy for your collection.

Looking for the perfect party bite? Check out Legal Seafood’s crab cake recipe from ICC alumnus Rich Vellante, executive chef of the Legal Sea Foods restaurant group! Get it in Providence Journal + read more about Chef Vellante here.

Congratulations to ICC alumnus Conor Swanson on opening his brand new restaurant Bird and Bao! Located in Long Island, be sure to try out their signature chicken bao buns. Read more about it here in Long Island Now.

chef herve malivert
COOK CONCERN
Hervé Malivert – Director of Culinary Arts & Technology At The International Culinary Center in New York City

Our Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Hervé Malivert, sat down with Cook Concern to discuss life as a chef! From plating techniques, to teaching the next generation of chefs at ICC, you’ll want to check out his interview here.

Check out this ICC Food Business graduate’s business in Needham, MA! Jay Spencer has been selling artisan pastries and bread since 2015 at French Press Bakery & Café. Read more about it in Patch and see why it’s well worth a delicious visit.

owners of kwei fei
THE LOCAL PALATE
Charleston is Eating Up Tina and David Schuttenberg’s Brand of Sichuan at Their Kitschy Hot Spot Kwei Fei

While chef, owner and ICC alumnus David Schuttenberg may think his restaurant Kwei Fei “isn’t for everyone”, residents in Charleston, South Carolina can’t get enough! Check out the review of the restaurant in The Local Palate here.

Need some tips on how to achieve piping perfection? ICC alumna & owner of Buttercream Blondie, Meghan McGarry, shared her tips for making cupcakes look beautiful. Get the tips in Salon here.

Peter Prime, owner and executive chef of Cane in Washington, D.C. is serving up delicious food inspired by his upbringing in Trinidad and Tobago. To learn more about this ICC alumnus, read the article in the Washington City Paper and learn about the inspiration behind one of his favorite dishes—oxtail!

Want tips on how to cook ground beef safely? Our Sr. Director of Culinary Arts, Chef Marc Bauer shared his advice with Inside Edition. Get his tips here.

Vanessa Rea-Marcel
THE BOSTON GLOBE
How Eastern Standard’s Vanessa Rea-Marcel Went From Ice-Cream Scooper to Award-Winning Sommelier

Want to learn how ICC alumna Vanessa Rae-Marcel went from a dancer to one of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Best New Sommeliers of 2019? In an interview with The Boston Globe, she talks restaurants she loves, how she fell into the industry & more! Read the interview here.

danny mena dish
POST MAGAZINE
Made in Mexico – More Than Just Burritos and Tacos, Cookbook Shows

Yes, ICC alumnus Danny Mena’s cookbook Made in Mexico does have recipes for delicious tacos—but that’s not all his hometown of Mexico City is known for. Before you grab your copy of his new cookbook, check out what else you’ll be cooking up in an article in Post Magazine.

Looking for a new kitchen scale? Chef Jürgen David, ICC’s Associate Director of Pastry Arts, gave his helpful tips to finding the best one in Slate. Check out the tips here.

Jacques Pépin, ICC’s very own legendary Dean, can de-bone a chicken in under a minute. In The Kitchn, watch this decades old instructional video of him de-boning a chicken and see why he’s a legend in the kitchen.

In 2018, ICC graduate Nick Lee won the inaugural United States of Umami Cooking Competition. His grand prize? An all-expenses paid culinary adventure in Japan hosted by Ajinomoto! Get a behind-the-scenes look at what he learned on his travels from some of Japan’s top chefs here.

After Chef Sarah Welch graduated from ICC, she worked in notable kitchens in NYC & Detroit. Learn how she became Executive Chef and Partner of the James Beard Award nominated Marrow in her article in Crains Detroit here.

judy joo
VANITY FAIR
Judy Joo on the Women Who Inspire Her

ICC alumna Judy Joo shared the women in the food industry who inspire her with Vanity Fair —among them was our late founder, Dorothy Cann Hamilton. Check out the story here to read why Dorothy was one of Chef Joo’s mentors and how her memory lives on.