Business Bites Resources: 4 Ways To Bring Sustainability To Your Kitchen

In celebration of Earth Day this month, and as a part of our Understanding Your ‘Foodprint’ series, our latest installment of Business Bites: Reaping the Benefits of Going Green discussed the economic rewards of making ethical & sustainable choices for your restaurant or food business.

In a passionate discussion led by moderator Alek Marfisi (Owner of Upwind Strategies & ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship instructor), panelists Christina Mitchell Grace (CEO of Foodprint Group), John Oppermann (Executive Director of Earth Day Initiative), Naama Tamir (Co-Founder of Lighthouse Lighthouse Outpost), and Michael Chernow (Co-Founder of The Meatball Shop & Founder of Seamore’s) shared their experiences running, or working with, restaurants & food businesses promoting sustainable, zero waste practices. Read our full recap of the conversation here.

You won’t be able to change everything all at once. Instead use these tips and resources to help you get started by doing one or two things differently today. Whether you’re a food business owner, chef or home cook, making small changes to your foodprint can have large impacts on the environment. Check them out below!

For The Food Business Owner

Sustainable practices aren’t limited to just the kitchen—incorporating them into every facet of your business can not only reduce waste and help to save money, but also educates your customers on how their actions impact the environment as well. Share your stories with your audience and they’ll reward you by becoming loyal customers.

This infographic from the NYC Department of Sanitation will help introduce you to the world of efficiency, creating a more usable space for your business, which will lead to less waste. Download their full Zero Waste Design Guidelines here or evaluate how much waste you generate by using their calculator here.

This organization provides organic collection solutions for small food businesses including in-house education to make composting easy, reduce waste & recycling costs, and guide you in edible food rescue opportunities.

Carbon Credit Capital helps to calculate your company’s emissions and find solutions for going carbon neutral.

Whether you’re looking for local compost drop offs or shopping for recycled kitchen appliances, Big Reuse has you covered.

For the Chef

As a chef, being focused on sustainability isn’t just trendy, it’s imperative. Chefs have an opportunity to advocate for better practices in our food systems and educate their customers through the food that they cook. In addition to the positive marketing & storytelling for your brand, incorporating sustainable practices can help to cut costs as well.

It’s no secret that chef’s enjoy cooking with what’s in season, and this seasonal food guide from FoodPrint.org allows you to search by your location and time of year to see what’s available near you! By choosing ingredients that are local, your food dollar goes directly to farmers and you eliminate environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles.

According to the Sustainable Restaurant Association, 90% of the world’s fish stocks are either fully or over-exploited. Help to recover the world’s oceans by diversifying the fish that you use and educate your customers on making the right choice.

Meat has long been at the center of the plate, but by making vegetables more appealing and using descriptive words on your menus, you can draw attention away from resource-consuming meat.

ICC special guest panelist Naama Tamir is the owner of Lighthouse Brooklyn and Lighthouse Outpost. Her restaurants go beyond farm-to-table dining, embracing sustainability in everything they do. At Lighthouse, everything has multiple uses. They recycle, compost, and collaborate with other green-oriented businesses to grow, improve and educate their staff, guests and community. From recycling empty wine bottles into candles for the restaurant and turning cooking oil into bio diesel, to returning oyster shells to the Billion Oyster Project, everything is re-purposed into a new life. Places like Industrial/Organic are taking it to the next level, deriving organic chemicals and ingredients from food waste—simultaneously diverting food waste from landfills and creating recycled home & personal care products, dietary supplements and more.

For the Home Cook

If you live in NYC, you know that the NYC Department of Sanitation requires all residents to recycle, so you’re already on the right path to decreasing your carbon footprint. Here are a few small steps you can take to bring sustainability into your kitchen, and home!

This short, fun quiz explores what your foodprint is, introducing the subject of sustainability and educates you on your carbon footprint based off of your food habits. They’ll provide you with tips at the end that you can apply to improve your foodprint.

While most chefs are trained to practice whole-ingredient cooking, it can be more difficult to do so at home without the proper education. Reducing food waste as you cook at home not only saves you money, it provides a better tasting product while also making small positive changes on the environment.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, The Earth Day Initiative has launched their Do Just 1 Thing campaign to encourage people to switch to clean energy whether for their residential or business dwelling.

60,000 plastic bags are used every 5 seconds in the US, so it’s time to start doing your part. Carry a reusable tote that you can put groceries and any other purchased items into instead of a single use plastic bag. Start now because by March 2020, NYC will have officially banned single use plastic bags.

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.

conchas

Conchas: Mexican Sweet Bread Recipe

conchasPan Dulce is a staple in Mexican culture and cuisine. Though they can be eaten at any time of the day as a snack or meal, they are typically enjoyed at breakfast. Some people estimate that there are over 2,000 varieties, but the most popular and widely-known is conchas!

In Spanish, concha translates to shell, so it makes sense that this sweet, softly baked bread is named after it’s fun shape. This Cinco de Mayo, we’re honoring the Mexican holiday by sharing how our Director of Pastry, Chef Jansen Chan, makes them in the kitchens of ICC. Check out the recipe below!

We’re also excited to announce our collaboration with Ice & Vice for the Hester Street Fair @FoodBabyNY Food Fest 2 on Cinco de Mayo! Chef Jansen and Ice & Vice are working together to create an exclusive treat, Food Baby Conchitas (a Concha Ice Cream Sandwich) in two signature flavors—Rasperry Concha with Peanut Butter Fluff & Concord Grape Ice Cream, plus a Black & White Coffee Concha with Horchata Ice Cream. The street fair is free to all, but you can register here for tickets.

Can’t wait to go to the street fair to try this signature, exclusive item? Be sure to check our Instagram on Thursday, May 2nd for details on how you can win 2 seats in our Mexican Cooking Class this August! All you’ll have to do is snap a photo of your Food Baby Conchita at the Hester Street Fair this Sunday and post to your Instagram. Stay tuned!

DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

  • 225 g. flour, all-purpose
  • 225 g. flour, bread
  • 70 g. sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 20 g. fresh yeast or (10 g. dried yeast*)
  • 60 g. milk
  • 200 g. (about 4) eggs
  • 170 g. butter, softened
  • Additional sugar, for dipping

PROCEDURE:

  1. Place all ingredients*, except butter, in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Mix at a low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until gluten develops.
  2. Slowly add butter to the dough, and allow to incorporate fully.
  3. Transfer the dough into a greased bowl and wrap in plastic wrap well.
  4. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 2-3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Place the dough on a flour work surface and punch down to deflate the dough.
  6. Portion the dough into 80g pieces.
  7. Roll each portion into a round and flatten.
  8. Place directly on a parchment-lined tray, allowing 2-3 inches around for expansion.
  9. Divide the crust dough into 28 g. portions. (See instructions to make crust dough below).
  10. Pat crust into 3” circles and place directly on top of each round.
  11. Flour each cutter and gently stamp to create an impression.
  12. Cover the tray and allow to proof for 2-3 hours in a warm spot, or until double in size.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  14. Bake for 12-15 mins. or until golden brown.
  15. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 mins.
  16. Roll in a bowl of sugar while warm.

*if using dried yeast, first dissolve in milk.

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

  • 100 g. sugar
  • 112 g. butter, softened
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ½ t. vanilla
  • 120 g. flour, all-purpose*

PROCEDURE:

  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add salt and vanilla.
  3. Add flour and allow to mix until just incorporated.
  4. Wrap the dough and allow to rest for at least 30 mins. or overnight, chilled. If the dough sits overnight, remove from refrigerator at least 30 mins. prior to use.

*for chocolate crust, substitute 20 g. of cocoa for flour

Who Will Tread the ‘Bread Carpet’ This Fall? The Bread Oscars are Back in NYC & You Can Enter!

After a stunning debut in the fall, the Tiptree World Bread Awards return to New York City for 2019, to celebrate the very best American bread bakers and the International Culinary Center is proud to return as the Educational Partner for the Awards. For only the second time in the United States, bread bakers in America will have the opportunity to enter their breads to compete and stake their claim alongside some of the best breads in the world.

David ShalamIn 2018, the Awards’ very first year, two ICC alumni received awards for their excellent submissions in the categories of baguettes and bagels. Clémence Danko, Founder of Choc O Pain French Bakery in Jersey City, and a 2010 graduate of the Art of International Bread Baking Program, brought home the American Bakers Association Baguette Award for her Baguette Traditionelle. David Shalam, 2011 graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts program and Founder/Head Baker of Heritage Bakers in Glen Cove, New York, took home the Bagel Award for his signature Heritage Bagel.

Inspired by the UK Awards, the top annual competition for professional bakers in the United Kingdom, the USA Awards took off like a rocket – loaves were received from all round the country on the Judging Day in Dumbo, Brooklyn last October.

This year, ICC’s very own Chef Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry Operations, will again bring his expertise and knowledge to the judging panel which features a line-up of New York’s food aristocracy, including legendary Brooklyn baker and James Beard Foundation Award nominee Zachary Golper of Bien Cuit, Dana Cowin, renowned food editor, New York’s top foodie instagrammer Alexa Matthews, of EatingNYC, Claudia Sanchez, Editor, Edible Queens, Scott Goodfellow, Joint Managing Director, Tiptree and David and Tracey Zabar of Zabars.

breadChef Jansen, who worked in restaurants for nearly 15 years, knows the importance of integrating a dedicated bread program into your restaurant. As one of the first bites a diner will experience, he worked for years to cultivate the bread programs in restaurants, and eventually carried this experience to overseeing the Art of International Bread Baking program at ICC which trains the next generation of bread bakers.

When asked about his top tips for award winning hopefuls, Chef Jansen remarked that, “presentation [is key]! There are lots of great tasting products out there, but many bakers forget the first impact of the visual. It’s how we first consume. Make sure to consider the final look of the product by making it look attractive and distinct – it’s a competition and every bit counts.”  Read more of Chef Jansen’s top judging tips on the World Bread Awards blog here!

Celemence DankoFor the second year in a row, ICC is calling all bread bakers in our community—especially ICC alumni—to enter their exciting, and delicious, work for the 2019 Awards which includes 14 categories, from sourdough to baguettes, gluten-free, whole wheat and more. Judging Day will take place on Tuesday October 29, 2019 where a top panel of 40 judges will taste their way through all the entries. This year, the entry fee also includes a ticket to the fabulous Awards evening at Landmark on the Park on Wednesday October 30, 2019 to mingle with VIPs of the press, baking and foodie world.

Why enter? In addition to the $1000 cash prize for the Overall Winner of the awards, it’s important to raise awareness of the craft. Chef Jansen shared, “most people enjoy bread without considering the dedication and commitment to the art of bread making. Championing your great work by entering helps build a better build bread community and understanding of your talent.”

Submit your entry for the Tiptree World Bread Awards, supported by American Bakers Association, before Monday, September 30th, 2019! Click here for more information on the entry rules.

About the Event Partners:

Tiptree is headline sponsor of the World Bread Awards USA. The first Tiptree preserves were made in 1885 and Tiptree jams and preserves are now sold across the world, many of them made with fruit still grown on their farms in Essex www.tiptree.com

Tiptree has always had strong links with the USA. Scott Goodfellow, Wilkin & Sons Joint Managing Director commented, “C. J. Wilkin, the son of our founder, toured several states back in the 1890s, to learn about fruit growing and jam making. New York City has a global reputation for excellent food, so it makes the perfect spot for the overseas Tiptree World Bread Awards. We are very much looking forward to discovering the world of artisan bread that is available across the USA.”

ICC In The News: Highlights from April 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 April 2019, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

jacques pepin
WASHINGTON POST
Jacques Pépin: Eggs are on the outs again. To me, they’ll always be perfect.

Dean Jacques Pépin grew up in a time where resources were scarce—because of this, and throughout his 70 year career, he’s always appreciated and loved eggs. Read his beautiful tribute to the simple, yet elegant, ingredient in the Washington Post here.

Over the last few decades, our Dean of Pastry Arts, Chef Emily Luchetti helped to define what great pastry in America means. In this episode of the new Pastry Arts Magazine podcast, hear from the expert on the process of writing multiple books, where she draws inspiration for new dishes & more!

At the end of March, 20 high school students cooked their hearts out in our kitchens for the CCAP Competition for Scholarships. CCAP is an organization that has helped impact 15,000+ students annually since 1990 through their culinary programs. Learn more about them and watch a recap of the competition on NY1 here.

Nowadays, almost everyone knows what Buzzfeed’s Tasty is, but do you really know who’s behind the camera? Two of the shows stars, Alexis deBoschnek and Rie McClenny, were trained at ICC and now use their culinary talents daily in the Buzzfeed test kitchens. Read about their stories in LA Weekly’s article.

The popular NYC gastro-bar Existing Conditions didn’t just open out of thin air–ICC Dean and owner of the bar Dave Arnold put in years of hard work to perfect his talents. Read more about his unusual techniques in Wine Enthusiast here.

Nicole Centeno
FORBES
One Mom’s Rollercoaster Startup Journey Through Life’s Struggles To Success

The idea for Splendid Spoon was born when Nicole Centeno, ICC alumna and founder of Splendid Spoon, came up with the idea for her company on the quest to know what she was eating. It wasn’t an easy road, but now Centeno and her team bring in over $1 million a month in revenue. Read about how she did it in Forbes here.

The judging for the world’s most important olive oil competition is set to begin May 5 at the International Culinary Center in New York. Interested in attending or learning more? Check out The Olive Oil Time’s article on the 7th Annual NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition here.

Fabian Von Hauske
VILCEK
Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts

Congratulations to Professional Culinary and Pastry Arts graduate Fabián von Hauske Valtierra of Contra, Wildair NYC & Una Pizza Napoletana! He was awarded the The Vilcek Foundation award for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts. Read about his inspiring story here or watch his video here.

Jacques Torres—ICC Dean of Pastry Arts and judge on Netflix’s Nailed It!—sat down with Inc. to share his story as one of the world’s foremost chocolatiers. Learn how he turned an abandoned factory in Brooklyn into his chocolate empire!

Daniel Gritzer learned the secrets to Soufflé from our Dean, Jacques Pépin. Read what he learned from the master in Serious Eats here.

Congrats to ’04 Professional Pastry Arts grad Melissa Weller! She’s joining the team at High St NYC as the newest partner. Check out her creations like a buttermilk-iced cinnamon-cardamom roll and a black-sesame kouign-amann. Read more in her Grub Street feature.

Ben Mims, Professional Culinary Arts ’08, is one of The LA Times brand new, in house chefs and cooking columnists. Check out the brand new food section of The LA Times for recipes, dining coverage & more!

Looking for sweet some career advice from a pro? Look no further than ICC Guest Master Pastry Chef, Ron Ben-Israel! Listen to him on Pastry Arts Magazine’s podcast and get inspired for your future career here.

zoe kanan
EATER
The Eater Young Guns Class of ’19

Congratulations to 2010 Professional Pastry Arts graduate Zoë Kanan for being awarded one of Eater’s Young Guns of 2019! She is the Head Baker AND Pastry Chef of Freehand New York’s restaurant Simon & The Whale, and was chosen for this award out of 500+ nominees for shaping the future of dining in America. Read more about her and the award in Eater here.

Brett Suzuki, ICC grad, grew up in Chicago before moving to Tokyo and NYC. All of these experiences helped to influence his tacos at the newly opened Arigato Market in Chicago. Check it out here in the Chicago Tribune.

Culinary graduate & Thai-born former restaurateur Chutatip Suntaranon has been cooking for her Queen Village neighbors for years. My-Le Vuong, a Vietnamese-born veteran restaurant manager moved in across the street from Suntaranon years ago. After years of friendship, they decided to open Kalaya, a homey, 30-seat BYOB. Check it out in Philly online here.

ICC Alumna Stephanie “Chefanie” Nass, partnered with Tod’s! Read about the exciting partnership and collection in Coveteur here.

stone barns
WASHINGTON POST
This New York restaurant sets the standard for American fine dining

ICC Alumnus & famed chef Dan Barber is no stranger to anyone in the culinary industry. Read this article in the Washington Post about how his restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, sets the standard for fine-dining in America.

How do you save family recipes when your grandmother never writes them down? Anna Francese Gass, ICC Professional Culinary Arts alumna, tackles this culinary conundrum in her new cookbook, Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women. Listen to her on Cherry Bombe’s podcast, and come meet her on May 30th at ICC.

Ed McFarland, Professional Culinary Arts grad, opened Ed’s Lobster Bar in 2007. The most popular items from his SoHo menu will find their way to his brand new Sag Harbor location. In addition to fish plates and raw bar bites, diners can expect classic lobster rolls in two sizes, as well as Mr. McFarland’s famous lobster meatballs and New England clam chowder. Check out his new location profiled in 27 East here.

food

3 Things to Know About Farmed Seafood

On April 3rd, 2019, The Global Salmon Initiative and The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership helped ICC kick off our whole month of event programming dedicated to promoting sustainability in food, farming and business practices to better understand your foodprint. 

The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership initiative established by leading farmed salmon CEOs from around the world who share a vision of providing a healthy and sustainable source of protein to feed a growing population, while minimizing their environmental footprint, and continuing to improve their social contribution. Similarly, The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) aims to create differentiation in global seafood markets so that consumers can easily find and choose shrimp products produced to the highest environmental and social standards. This month, Jose Antonio Camposano of SSP and Avrim Lazar of GSI gave insightful presentations on how the farmed shrimp and salmon sectors are making sustainability a key attribute in delivering high quality products which benefit our oceans.

For instance, did you know that Ecuador is one of the best countries in the world to get farmed shrimp from? Their use of the “extensive farming” method means that less shrimp occupy their growing ponds than other countries. In Ecuador, you can find some of the world’s leading experts on seafood farming—they have extremely strict zoning policies and regulations against farming in or near natural habitats. Their vertical integration of farming companies, paired with their high level of uniform product are just some of the reasons why the quality of shrimp from Ecuador is almost unparalleled.

chef ned and chef gabriellaTo bring the conversation together and demonstrate how sustainable seafood can be used properly, the two organizations were joined by Chef Ned Bell—long-time sustainable seafood ambassador and Ocean Wise Executive Chef based at the Vancouver Aquarium—as well as Chef Gabriela Cepeda—the owner of La Central Deli Shop in Guayaquil and former Head Chef of the Presidential House in Ecuador for 4 years.

These two companies are founded on the principle that sustainability matters. Unfortunately, in farmed seafood, that isn’t always the case. There are many misconceptions that all farmed seafood is bad—that it’s raised in diseased-riddle habitats, the end ingredient is loaded with toxins and less nutritional value—the list could go on. In reality, there are pros and cons to almost every industry in the world, but educating yourself on organizations that are minimizing their environmental impact and changing the industry as we know it is key.

Below, find three facts that will illuminate your understanding of farmed seafood, and see why it’s vital for the health and wellness of our planet, and all of its inhabitants.

9 Billion People by 2050

shrimpYou read that right. The world’s population will reach 9 billion by 2050. As of April 2019, it’s estimated that the current world population is at 7.7 billion, so the 9 billion mark could be reached sooner than we think.

You may be asking yourself, why does this matter?

Global seafood consumption has more than doubled in the past 50 years, which has put real stress on the sustainability of fishing. According to a study from 2011, global demand for seafood that we eat (and not just use for other purposes) is 143.8 million tonnes per year, and the overall consumption footprint, which also includes other uses of seafood, is 154 million tonnes. To preserve our Earth, ocean & species, finding new food sources, and how we cultivate them, is imperative.

Protein Demand Will Double By 2050

Millions and millions of tonnes of seafood is consumed each year worldwide. As diets change, populations grow and resources are stressed, there will be less room for protein produced on land. By 2050, double the amount of protein will be consumed worldwide, which is another reason why sustainable aquaculture will play an important role in feeding the Earth’s population.

50% of Seafood is Farmed

country of origin labelingIn order to protect and support wild caught seafood—and also to meet the demand of consumption worldwide—over 50% of seafood is now farmed. This has its pros and cons. While it protects wild seafood from becoming over fished, many of the countries where seafood is farmed don’t have strict regulations like the US, resulting in negative effects on the environment. Knowing where your seafood comes from and asking if it was raised in a sustainable way can help to counteract this.

To check where the seafood originated, you can look at the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), which is required on all seafood sold in the US. Frozen seafood will have two labels: one to specify where the product was packaged and one that indicates where the seafood was caught or farmed. Be aware that it may seem like the seafood is from the US, but the label may be saying that it was packaged in the US.

Farmed seafood is not bad—in fact, it is helping to save many species from over fishing and is creating new ways to feed our growing population. But, it is important to keep in mind that not all farmed seafood is created equal. Finding companies like GSI and SSP who fight for properly farmed seafood regulations and practices is how this industry will grow into the next food movement that will change the world.

Additional Resources

“Farmed Seafood.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org/industries/farmed-seafood.

“Homepage.” Global Salmon Initiative, globalsalmoninitiative.org/en/.

“SSP – Sustainable Shrimp Partnership.” SSP, www.sustainableshrimppartnership.org/.

staff, Science X. “How Much Fish Do We Consume? First Global Seafood Consumption Footprint Published.” Phys.org, Phys.org, 28 Sept. 2018, phys.org/news/2018-09-fish-consume-global-seafood-consumption.html.

riverpark demo

A Restaurant That’s Doing it Right: Riverpark

On April 10th, 2019, Executive Chef Andrew Smith and Farm Manager Jonathan Sumner of Riverpark helped ICC kick off our month of programming dedicated to promoting sustainability in food, farming and business practices to better understand our foodprint. In the past, our Professional Culinary Arts program with Farm-To-Table extension has visited Riverpark as a part of the program’s dedicated field trips for a personal tour of the farm with Chef Andrew and Farm Manager Jonathan. This time the farm was brought to ICC!

FARMING NEXT TO A FREEWAY

Riverpark is arguably one of the most unique restaurants in New York City. Situated in the middle of a concrete office plaza with East River views, it’s hard to understand what a feat it is to grow ingredients worthy of a fine-dining restaurant next to the 10 mile freeway that is the FDR. Somehow, they still manage to create a dynamic environment for ingredients to flourish year-round and produce new, seasonal menus daily.

The restaurant is in it’s 9th year—8th season for the farm—and is still producing over 100 varieties of vegetables in milk crates each year. Yes, actual milk crates. This mobile method allows Farm Manager Jonathan to rotate the crops to account for unstable wind, sun exposure & more, while a drip irrigation system that was created specifically for the milk crates helps to water the plants without flooding them and depleting them of their nutrients.

With growing conditions as difficult as this, it makes sense that Riverpark’s menu focuses on using whole ingredients and featuring their farm-grown produce at the center of the plate. Sustainability runs through the DNA of the restaurant—so it’s no surprise that their demonstration dove into what it means to use an ingredient in it’s entirety and think about the different ways a single product can be used.

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

Looking at plants & animals as a whole and respecting the ingredient is something that is ingrained into Chef Andrew. When Farm Manager Jonathan provides him with fresh vegetables from their “backyard,” or a delivery of farm-raised lamb arrives to the kitchen, it makes sense to use the whole spring onion from root to stem or every part of the lamb saddle. Chef Andrew stresses that often, the parts of the ingredients that are thrown out have the most flavor. Over $165 billion dollars in food waste is thrown out each year, when in reality, a lot of this waste could be re-purposed in kitchens, composted or used to feed those who are going hungry.

While it may be intimidating to break down a lamb saddle (the whole loin of a lamb)—and maybe not the most practical for everyday home cooking—you are able to get much more product by breaking down the animal yourself and it’s extremely doable when learned correctly. Furthermore, different parts of the animal can be re-purposed for various dishes or even frozen to be used in the future.

In addition to the popular “snout to tail” movement, it’s also important to emphasize “root to stem” cooking. As Chef Andrew broke down a whole lamb saddle for the audience, he prepared side dishes featuring produce from the farm to accompany the meat. While chopping the spring onions for garnish, Chef also utilized the roots of the spring onion for a fried crispy topping, and also shared that you can dehydrate the tops to create an onion powder.

As the world becomes more populated and resources are depleted, it is important to think of new ways to feed hungry diners around the world. As chefs, it is even more vital to respect the ingredient that you’re given and work with it to use as much of it as you can. Today, the relationship between farm-to-table is expanding, and restaurants like Riverpark give us hope for these models to thrive in urban communities.

culinary wellness month

Culinary Wellness Month – May Programming

In order to set yourself up for personal and professional success, it’s important to care for your mind, body and spirit. That’s why this month, we’re turning our attention to health and wellness in the culinary industry. Like any profession, working in kitchens and restaurants has its own occupational challenges. At ICC, we strive to prepare our students for their future career—that means providing them not only with the technical skills to excel in the kitchen, but also the tools to take care of their body and mind for a long, healthy career.

There are so many different ways to promote a healthy lifestyle, and we’re excited to bring you just a small sample of things to incorporate into your daily life that will improve your overall well being. We’ll kick off the month with a deep dive into one of the world’s healthiest foods—extra virgin olive oil. This year, the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition returns to the International Culinary Center where 18 judges will analyze hundreds of olive oils from around the world to determine the best extra virgin olive oils for 2019. Following the competition, ICC’s sold out Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Courses begin, teaching olive oil evaluation, production, chemistry, food pairing and sensory assessment. In a special demonstration & tasting designed specifically for chefs, ICC students and alumni will have the opportunity to learn about the many health benefits of olive oil and how to discern quality oils, plus how to pair certain olive oils with food to elevate flavor.

Then, we’ll explore the healing power of food with Chef Hiroko Shimbo through a demonstration of Shojin Ryori—the healthful, time-tested, and highly-respected vegetarian cuisine of Japan—and have the chance to taste and experience how this traditional cuisine promotes wellness in both mind and body. Later in the month, we’ll host two on-site workshops for current ICC students to learn how to take care of their body and mind through simple stretches, strength development and breathing exercises that can be incorporated pre- or post-kitchen shift. Read more about our Culinary Wellness month events below and follow us throughout the month for tips on how to start healthy habits at any stage of your career!

Olive Oil Tasting & Food Pairing: What Every Chef Needs To Know
Tuesday, May 7th | 3:30-5:00pm | ICC Amphitheater

olive oilWe’re kicking off our Culinary Wellness month with a tasting of one of the cornerstones of the Mediterranean diet—extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is among the world’s healthiest foods and it can elevate the flavors of dishes to new heights. On May 7th, Curtis Cord, publisher of Olive Oil Times and executive director of ICC’s Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program, will teach you how to tell if an oil is good or not and define what he believes every culinary professional should know about this important ingredient.

Curtis will be joined by Chef Perola Polillo—ICC graduate and culinary instructor in ICC’s Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program—who will demonstrate how pairing certain extra virgin olive oils with foods result in new taste experiences. The afternoon workshop will also include a tasting of some of this year’s top-rated olive oils, as ICC hosts the 2019 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition during that week.

Open to ICC Students & Alumni ONLY. RSVP is required as seating is limited. Please email events@culinarycenter.com to RSVP.

Wellness in Japanese Cuisine: Shojin Ryori Demonstration
Wednesday, May 15th | 3:30-5:00pm | ICC Amphitheather

hirokoWellness is the state of being healthy in both mind and body. In order to achieve this state, you’ll need to do more than simply drink kombucha, eliminate excess carbohydrates from your diet or consume protein powder for convenience. In this demonstration for our Culinary Wellness Series, Chef Hiroko Shimbo will introduce and illuminate Shojin Ryori, the healthful, time-tested, highly respected vegetarian cuisine of Japan.

This thousand-year-old cuisine can be a guide to the starting point of understanding our relationship to “us” – our minds and bodies; it guides one to understand why we eat, what we choose to eat, how to prepare our food and how to show our respect and appreciation to nature. Chef Hiroko will demonstrate how to make representative Shojin Ryori dishes including vegetarian dashi stock, goma-dofu (a savory tofu-like sesame cake) prepared in two ways and sesame dressed seasonal vegetables. You’ll also have a chance to taste this traditional Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine and experience firsthand how food can heal the mind and body.

Open to ICC Students & Alumni—no RSVP required.
Limited seating available for the general public by RSVP only. Please email events@culinarycenter.com to RSVP.

Taking Care of Your Body & Mind: Strength Development for Chefs
Wednesday, May 22nd | 3:15pm-3:45pm OR 4:00pm-4:30pm | Room 505

five pointsAs you develop your culinary or pastry skills in our kitchens, we also want to help you prepare your mind & body for your professional careers. On May 22, join us for an exclusive hands-on class with Five Points Gym of NYC as part of our Culinary Wellness month. During this unique event, they’ll teach us about the art of Indian Club Swinging—a popular type of exercise used to develop strength with lightweight bowling-pin shaped wooden clubs. Learn from the experts to incorporate these swinging & rotation exercises into your daily routine—you’ll gain the tools to develop your strength for the kitchen and incorporate it into your post shift recovery methods. Students will be asked to participate in physical activity—please wear loose comfortable clothing to work out in like sweat pants & t-shirts. Limited space is available, please RSVP in advance to secure your spot in one of the following 30 minute sessions.

 

Two 30-minute sessions available:

Session 1 (3:15pm-3:45pm) | 15 student max

Session 2 (4:00pm-4:30pm) | 15 student max

Open to Current ICC Students ONLY due to limited capacity.
Students must RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com with your full name, current program & level, as well as your preferred timed session. 

off the vine: uncorking today's trends in wine

Off The Vine: Uncorking Today’s Trends 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.

DISCOVER THE EMERGING TRENDS CREATING A BUZZ IN WINE

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

The world of wine is constantly evolving!  While rich with history and often rooted in ancient tradition, wine is anything but static. This multi-billion dollar business continues to change, challenging established, and aspiring, wine professionals to stay on the cutting edge of today’s trends and rising regions.

Join us for a lively conversation exploring a range of emerging trends creating buzz in the wine industry today. Elizabeth Smith, Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, will be joined by two of NYC’s top sommelier talents—Master Sommelier Alexander La Pratt and Advanced Sommelier Theo Lieberman—to get their insight on what’s in vogue, what’s here to stay and what’s just a fad. We’ll talk about everything from the rise of sparkling, natural & orange wines and indigenous grapes, to the effects of climate change and changes in consumer behavior. Plus, hear predictions from experts at the forefront of the industry on the future of these trends and what’s to come! Come with your questions—there will be an open Q&A with the panelists following the discussion, and the opportunity to network with other professionals. Don’t miss this chance to discover how today’s hot topics are evolving and how you can utilize them to your advantage on the floor, in sales, and more.

Looking to break into the industry? You’ll have the opportunity to 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
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

Theo
Theo Lieberman, Advanced Sommelier
Head Sommelier, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

Theo Lieberman has worked in the New York City food and wine business for nearly a decade. Beginning in the cocktail industry, Theo worked alongside Sasha Petraske at Milk & Honey, and then went on to become the Head Bartender and General Manager. He then moved on to serve as Head Bartender at Eleven Madison Park.

While working in fine dining, he discovered a deep love of fine wine, which he has continued to pursue as the Head Sommelier of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. He has been named one of America’s “Best New Sommeliers” by Wine & Spirits Magazine as well as Zagat’s “30 under 30.” He is the Co-Founder of Thunder Mountain Consulting and is currently pursuing the Master Sommelier Diploma through the Court of Master Sommeliers.

alex lapratt
Alexander LaPratt, Master Sommelier
Beverage Director & Co-Owner at The Atrium, ICC Intensive Sommelier Training Instructor

While many sommeliers have paid their dues as waiters or captains, few have donned a chef’s jacket in a professional kitchen. Alexander LaPratt is an exception. No stranger to working with renowned chefs dedicated to the quality of their restaurants’ wine cellar and service, Alexander has held positions as Chef Sommelier for renowned Chef Jean-Georges; Sommelier for Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin; Head Sommelier at Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne; and the first ever Cellar Sommelier at Thomas Keller’s renowned French Laundry. In 2014, Alexander then went on to become the 217th person to ever pass the coveted Master Sommelier exam. Today, Alexander is co-owner and Beverage Director of Atrium DUMBO and Beasts & Bottles, and an adjunct instructor for the International Culinary Center’s Intensive Sommelier Training program.

Throughout his career, he’s received many accolades for his achievements including the title of “Best Sommelier in America” at the 2011 American Sommelier Association competition; 2nd overall in the 2011 Chaine des Rôtisseurs Best Young Sommelier National Finals; winner of the 2nd Annual StarChefs Somm Slam; Wine & Spirits Magazine “Best New Sommelier 2011”; and represented the United States of America in the 2013 Best Sommelier of the World Competition in Tokyo, Japan. Read Alex’s full bio here.

attendees at the chocolate session

How to Choose the Right Chocolate

On Sunday, March 24th, 2019 the International Culinary Center hosted a jam-packed day of discussions and networking for pastry professionals at the second Pastry Plus Conference. Pastry Plus provides a unique opportunity to connect the innovative minds of pastry professionals to meet and discuss the changing landscape of the industry. As a community, pastry chefs, sous chefs, line cooks, bakers and pastry business owners address the evolving workplace, learn about industry innovations and expand the sphere of the modern pastry chef.

Our partner for Pastry Plus, Callebaut, hosted a breakout session on Understanding Your Chocolate with Russ Thayer (Callebaut Chef) and Rocco Lugrine (East Coast Technical Advisor–Brand Awareness for Callebaut).

In this session, they broke down everything from chocolate terms to agriculture, production and applications of various types of chocolates for confections, going in depth on how to use chocolate in the best applications possible. Below, get a peek at what we learned and develop your understanding of the vast world of chocolate!

Terms

There are a lot of terms that describe the quality of chocolate. In the professional world, you’ll often hear couverture, single origin or plantation. Couverture is a widely recognized term in Europe, but in the USA, it is less commonly used—by definition it must contain 35% cacao, including at least 31% cocoa butter. This produces a more fluid melt, which can create thinner applications. (Note: couverture can only be applied to milk and dark chocolates since white chocolate has no cacao solids present). Single origin is pretty self explanatory, although commonly used as a buzz word nowadays—this means that the chocolate is from a single point of origin (eg. country, or geographic region). The various environments produce distinct cacao bean flavor and properties. Finally, getting even more specific, plantation chocolate indicates the beans are from a single farm.

Consumers most often recognize the terms semi-sweet and bitter-sweet in dark chocolates. While these terms have a broad range, semi-sweet will often mean that it has 50-60% cocoa liquor, while bitter-sweet usually means that it has above 60% cocoa liquor.

Cocoa liquor is a semisolid mixture of cocoa butter (the edible cocoa fat extracted from cocoa beans) and cocoa solids. Despite its name, cocoa liquor does not contain any alcohol.

While this is not an exhaustive list—really, there are hundreds of terms that describe chocolate—this is some of the most common language to know.

Workability

vicsocity of chocolateWorkability generally refers to the viscosity of the melted chocolate, which comes from the ingredient composition. For instance, as you increase the fat percentage, the fluidity of the chocolate will also increase, which will change the overall workability. If a chocolate has high fluidity, it will be very liquid when melted, and produce a thinner coat when the chocolate sets. Higher fluidity is ideal for molding, decorations and dessert preparations that need a more firm texture.

Simply put, if melted chocolate is too thick, it can’t be used for molded chocolates, like a bonbon. Overall, it’s important to know that workability is a factor when determining the application of the chocolate.

Texture of Finished Product

chocolate mousseCacao percentage, which indicates the total amount of cocoa liquor, is often used to describe most chocolates. Chocolate has two main components—cocoa solids (where the flavor comes from) and cocoa butter (where the rich texture comes from). As you increase cocoa solid percentage, the chocolate becomes less sweet and gives a more pronounced texture.

In the Pastry Plus Session with Callebaut, the audience was given 3 different mousses to try that used 3 different dark chocolates. Each one had increasing amounts of cocoa butter and cocoa solids, which made each mousse thicker and firmer progressively.The goal was to recognize the impact of even the slightest changes to the percentage of cocoa composition on the final finished texture.

Taste

As cacao percentage increases, chocolate will have a stronger flavor and contain less sugar, thus becoming less sweet. However, taste is also controlled by the bean: varietal type, the geography, the climate and the processing methods, which includes fermentation and the roasting (time, temperature, and style of roasting). Much like how terroir affects a bottle of wine, the land where the cacao beans are grown and how the producer chooses to produce their beans will also impact the final dessert that you put onto a menu.

When chocolate is refined, the particles of the beans change. Fine particles will give a long lasting taste and smoother mouth feel, while the opposite can be said for large particles. Conching the chocolate is a technique that processes the chocolate mixture through rollers and reduces the cocoa solid and sugar sizes. It also generates heat which causes additional chemical reactions within chocolate. If you conch the chocolate for too long and vary different temperatures, the taste will change from fruity and acidic to toasted and milky.

callebaut logo
Want to learn more about Callebaut’s array of chocolate products? Visit Callebaut’s Website to get started!

Additional Resources & Sources:

Callebaut, Barry. “Understanding Your Chocolate.” Pastry Plus Conference. Pastry Plus, 24 Mar. 2019, New York, New York.

“Conching and Refining.” Chocolate Alchemy, chocolatealchemy.com/conching-and-refining.

Medrich, Alice. “The Dark Side of Chocolate – How-To.” FineCooking, 19 Apr. 2017, www.finecooking.com/article/the-dark-side-of-chocolate.

Rees, Nicole. “Chocolate vs. Cocoa Powder – Article.” FineCooking, 19 Apr. 2017, www.finecooking.com/article/chocolate-vs-cocoa-powder.

Genevieve Yam Kopman

My Favorite Books: An Interview with Alumna Genevieve Yam Kopman

“If I can’t read it or eat it, I’m not interested”

Meet Genevieve Yam Kopman. Culinary Arts ‘17 Graduate. Pastry Chef de Partie at Per Se.

Yam and Pepin

A culinary book helped to change Genevieve Yam Kopman’s life—so it’s not surprising that she logged some significant time in the library while she was studying at ICC. “I love books, especially culinary ones,” she says now. ”If I wasn’t here, I was at [the bookstore] Kitchen Arts and Letters.”

Before culinary school, she was working as a data associate in Toronto, at a startup called Zomato. But she found working with Excel all day “soul-sucking.” That’s when the former restaurant stagiaire started reading Dan Barber’s The Third Plate—and figured out what she really wanted to do with her life. “Someone referred to food as my ‘side hustle’” she says now. “I didn’t want it to be a side hustle, I wanted it to be my career.” In November 2016, Yam enrolled in ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program + Farm-to-Table extension, hoping that her newest life dream—working at Blue Hill at Stone Barns with Chef Dan Barber—would work out.

And it did: after her externship at Blue Hill at Stone Barns was complete, she was hired at the restaurant full time! Though her training at ICC was in culinary, she ended up transitioning to pastry, both because of her interest in it and because the pastry department was short-staffed. She learned a lot of pastry techniques during the whirlwind two years she spent at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and “loved every minute of it.” In February, she moved on to become a pastry chef de partie at Per Se.

Unsurprisingly, she admits that her style of cooking and the way she uses ingredients has a strong farm-to-table slant, influenced by the time she spent working for Chef Dan Barber. “It’s definitely seasonal and very much plant and ingredient driven. I like to keep things simple. As for desserts, I really enjoy desserts with fruit. I love sweets but don’t like desserts that are too sweet. Desserts and baked goods should never just taste like sugar—they should always have a flavor of their own.”

This spring, we challenged Genevieve to come up with the five books that influenced her most during culinary school—and which she felt would be most useful to ICC students pursuing their passion in the kitchen. Here are her top choices:

1. The Third Plate by Dan Barber

the third plateThis book really changed the way I thought about food, cooking, and agriculture. It’s insightful and makes you think critically about the way food is grown/raised, prepared, and served. It made me feel hopeful about the future of food. I can’t even begin to sum it up in a few sentences! After I read it, I wanted to share it with everyone I knew. 

2. On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

on food and cookingThis book continues to answer so many of my questions. How can we make something delicious if we don’t know anything about our ingredients? It looks at the history of milk, eggs, meat, fruits, vegetables, spices, grains, nuts, bread, sauces, sugars, alcohol, and food additives, and discusses nutrition and the principles of cooking. Along the same vein, I highly recommend Kitchen Mysteries by Hervé This…

3. The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Elix Katz

the art of fermentationI am endlessly fascinated by fermentation and preservation. Some people find fermentation very intimidating but Katz breaks it down really well and you will want to ferment everything when you’re through with it.

4. Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

vegetable literacyKnow your vegetables! Vegetable Literacy is so helpful for identifying different plant species and families. 

5. The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer

the art of french pastryI didn’t go to school for pastry, so this book was very helpful and instructive for traditional French pastry techniques. A lot of what I know was learned on the job, but most of it also came from taking the time to learn when I wasn’t at work. It’s very straightforward and the recipes are great— I think it’s one of the best pastry books out there.

There are so many other books I’d like to include (including The Last Course [by Claudia Fleming]) but I think these are… very essential, the ones that have really influenced the way I think about food.