Student Life: The Importance of Mise en Place

Written by AJ Fusco
Professional Culinary Arts Student

I would like to start off by introducing myself and giving you a little background on myself.  I am a career firefighter in Westchester County and also attend ICC in the Professional Culinary Arts program.  My passion for cooking is just as strong the one I have for firefighting, which is what led me to the decision to become a “career adder.”  I have always had a second job while being a firefighter, and decided I would like to pursue something I truly loved.  Now, I have the best of both worlds!

One of the first things we learn at ICC is “Mise en Place”, or “to put in place”.  The emphasis my Chef Instructors put on this concept could not be greater, but rightfully so.  We all know the kitchen can be a volatile environment filled heat, smoke and the ever present danger of fire and injury.  And now that I think about it, the kitchen is very similar to being in a fire!  The intense adrenaline rush of service parallels those same feelings I get when operating on the fire-ground.  And just like cooking in a kitchen, being prepared as a firefighter is vital to a successful operation.  This is when I started to connect the dots between having your mise en place in both the kitchen and the firehouse.  

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We train in the firehouse to make sure we are prepared for whatever emergency may come our way.  The fire trucks are set up in a way so that equipment is organized together and easily accessible at any moment’s notice, just like having your ingredients and tools ready to go for a busy dinner service.  But before I started ICC, I admittedly was a messy cook in the firehouse.  Having all my ingredients ready to use was just not on my mind, which certainly didn’t help the situation of not knowing if an alarm would come in while getting dinner ready for a group of hungry firefighters.  That all changed when I learned about this thing called “Mise en Place”.  Suddenly, my meals not only tasted better but I was able to cook more efficiently in the unpredictable firehouse kitchen.  Countless times I have been prepping for a meal, when suddenly an alarm comes in and everything has to stop.  The oven and burners get shut off, and we are out the door, unsure of when we will be back to finish cooking the meal.  But having everything ready to go when we return to the firehouse has prevented plenty of take-out which is always a plus. So to say “Mise en Place” has changed me for the better as a cook would be a severe understatement!

ICC Announces New York Nordic Series in Partnership with Meyers USA

Claus Meyer, the forefather of New Nordic cuisine and his Meyers USA team have partnered with the International Culinary Center to offer a range of one-day Nordic cooking courses in New York City. For over 30 years, the Danish culinary entrepreneur, restaurateur and cookbook author has dedicated himself to reviving the Danish food scene.

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The upcoming “New York Nordic” programming will offer a series of three courses that integrate the fundamentals of Nordic cuisine with the seasonality of the New York region. Students will create traditional Danish breads and seasonal dishes, while immersing themselves in Nordic culture. Join ICC and Meyers USA on November 19th for a Meyers Bageri bread baking class and New Nordic cooking class in the evening. And on December 3rd, discover how to incorporate Danish desserts this holiday season. Participants will not only take away delicious foods to enjoy at home, but a new-found understanding and appreciation of Nordic cuisine. In addition, the New York Nordic syllabus will feature an exciting leadership event hosted by Claus Meyer on November 18th.

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SPECIAL EVENT

A TASTE OF NEW YORK NORDIC WITH CLAUS MEYER | FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18 | 6:30-830PM

LEAD BY CLAUS MEYER, FOUNDER MEYERS USA | $100 | CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

ONE DAY COURSES

MEYERS BAGERI BAKING CLASS | SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 | 10:00AM – 1:30PM

HOSTED BY THOMAS STEINMANN, HEAD BAKER, MEYERS BAGERI | $195

FLØDEBOLLER AND PECAN MAPLE BRITTLE | SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 | 10:00AM – 1:00PM

LEAD BY CHEF NOAH CARROLL, EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF | GREAT NORTHERN FOOD HALL | $195

NEW NORDIC COOKING CLASS | TBD

CHEF SIMON KRÜGER, SOUS CHEF, GREAT NORTHERN FOOD HALL

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About Meyers USA: Meyers USA is a hospitality group founded by Danish, culinary entrepreneur Claus Meyer, which launched many influential restaurants as well as food projects in Denmark. Earlier this year, the group opened Agern, a casual fine-dining restaurant and bar with Nordic roots in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal and inspired by seasonal foods available to farmers and suppliers within the Tri-State area. Great Northern Food Hall, helmed by Executive Head Chef Edwyn Ferrari, is also now open in the same location. The food hall consists of five food pavilions and a bar, offering Nordic-inspired fare for on the go. Visit www.meyersusa.com for more information.

Dave Arnold Returns to ICC as Associate Dean of Culinary Technology

The International Culinary Center (ICC), a global leader in culinary and wine education, is proud to introduce Dave Arnold as the Associate Dean of Culinary Technology. After teaching at ICC from 2005 to 2011, the famed culinary innovator launches new courses, “Liquid Intelligence” and “Cooking Issues.”

On November 15th, “Liquid Intelligence,” the one-day, lecture style course delves into inventive spirits and cocktail technology. Paralleling the structure of Arnold’s book, Liquid Intelligence, the 6-hour session will explain the theory of classic cocktail technique, balance and recipe development. Arnold will build upon the fundamentals of traditional cocktails to teach new, every day bar techniques, as well as incorporate more demanding and specialized techniques. Students will learn the advancements in cocktail technology and why, when, and how to use these new techniques. Specific skills include shaking techniques, how stirring works, ice production, milk-washing techniques, and more. The course will be $495. To apply: CLICK HERE

On December 5th, Arnold will also teach “Cooking Issues,” a 4-hour lecture based off of his acclaimed podcast on Heritage Radio Network. The class will demystify the latest in innovative techniques and equipment and students will gain an understanding of commonly used modern culinary technology, such as sous vide machines, liquid nitrogen and more. The courses will be available as one-day classes to both the general public and to students.

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“One of my favorite things to do is teach people how to apply new techniques, technologies, and ingredients in a practical way,” says Arnold. “I’m excited to return to the ICC and pick up where I left off teaching culinary technology.”

About Dave Arnold: After teaching at ICC from 2005 to 2011, Dave Arnold opened Booker and Dax, a bar devoted to cutting-edge cocktail techniques and launched Booker and Dax Equipment, designing equipment for chefs and home cooks. Arnold is the author of the James Beard and IACP award-winning book Liquid Intelligence, host of the weekly podcast “Cooking Issues” on Heritage Radio Network, and founder of The Museum of Food and Drink.

Library Notes: New Books at ICC [October 2016]

The ICC library is continuously growing and evolving. In this new column, we will highlight a few favorites from our new acquisitions shelf.

Sushi Lovers alert! If you loved the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi then you are already familiar with Jiro Ono, the brilliant and delicate sushi craftsman. In Sushi Chef Sukiyabashi Jiro by Shinzo Satomi, the reader is welcomed into his kitchen. First published in Japan in 1997, it is only now available in English from translator Rei Perovic. With beautiful color photos as well as maps and diagrams, it is no stretch to call this book a sushi bible. Our own Chef Jeffery Moon loved it and called it the best sushi book he has seen. Satomi digs deeper that simple instruction during his interviews with Jiro providing an insight into his style and philosophy. This book is a must read for aspiring chefs, seafood lovers and Japanese food enthusiasts.

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As the weather starts to turn, we begin craving comfort foods that will fill the house with fragrance and cure an impending cold. The recipes in Small Victories by Julia Turshen fit the bill. Julia’s philosophy is the simpler the better and to grow as a cook and fund success in the kitchen, we must celebrate the small victories – each little step along the way.  While certainly geared toward the home cook, culinary students can take away from this an open minded, expansive approach to recipes. For each included in the book, Julia provides what she calls “Spin-Offs” or variations that completely change the recipe or utilize the ingredients in a whole new way. So whether you are craving Snow-Day Udon Soup  or Chicken + Pea Skillet Pie you will learn several other recipes right along with it. Recommended for simple go-to comfort recipes or novice cooks.

Chef Jose Pizarro owns three Spanish restaurants in London, but instead of creating a book dedicated to one of them, he chose to highlight the cuisine from his favorite city, San Sebastian. The Basque Book by Jose Pizarro is a beautiful colorful celebration of the famed Spanish city and the whole Basque region. All the recipes are labeled either “Pintxos” or “At the Table” – meaning small plates or main dishes.  However, says Jose “Sometimes I just think anything goes.” Dive in for his take on classics such as tortilla and empanada as well as new favorites like Swiss chard stew or chestnut flan. An excellent pick for photography lovers, Spanish food fanatics and fine dining fans.

We have these and many more new books available for check out now in the library. Follow us on Instagram for the most current updates @intlcullibrary

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Farmageddon Movie Screening + Q&A with Producer Kristin Canty + Joshua Brau

Farmageddon is a film that tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

On Wednesday, November 2 at 6:30pm, join us for a full screening of the film in partnership with Journee. Following the viewing, there will be a Q&A session with producer Kristin Canty and Program Manager for Food with Integrity at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Joshua Brau.

To reserve your place at the event in our 2nd floor amphitheater, visit: http://bit.ly/ICCFarmageddon

 

#InsideICC Holiday Hacks: How To Use Leftover Candy

Wondering what to do with Halloween candy after (or before) October 31? Well, the International Culinary Center has you covered this season with a series of holiday hacks that will provide you with the inspiration to love what you do, in your own home kitchen. Learn how to kick up your cookie game a few notches with this Halloween inspired hack demonstrated by ICC Chef Instructor Lindsay Busanich. 

Recipe:

  • Start by chopping up any additional candy you may have around the house. Chocolate based candy works best. M&Ms, candy corn and Reese’s Pieces are used in the following video.
  • Fold candy into already-made chocolate chip cookie batter gently with spatula.
  • Place batter into small bread loaf pan to create thicker cookies. 4×4 inch pan used in video. 
  • Add additional candy pieces on top of batter
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden brown
  • Add more candy as for a decorative garnish!

 

For more videos, visit our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/internationalculinarycenter

PUMPKIN FINANCIER

Join us at our next Open House for all programs on Tuesday, October 4 and watch our Director of Pastry Operations, Chef Jansen Chan demonstrate how to make these fall favorites! RSVP HERE

PUMPKIN FINANCIER
Yield: 12-4 oz. muffin-size financiers

Ingredients:

8 oz. Butter
1 t. Cinnamon, ground
½ t. Nutmeg, ground
¼ t. Ginger, ground
¼ t. Cloves, ground
¾ cup All-purpose flour
1 cup Almond flour
1 cup Powdered sugar
¼ t. Salt
7 Egg whites
½ cup Pumpkin puree
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Pumpkin seeds, optional, for garnish

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Procedures:

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, whisking occasionally. As the mixture begins to boil, continue stirring, until the butter is lightly browned and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat immediately and add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together the flours, powdered sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and pumpkin together until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.

Pour about 1/3 of the warm browned butter into the mixture and whisk, until smooth. Repeat twice more, adding 1/3 of the butter each time.

Allow mixture to rest and cool in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Divide the batter into greased cupcake pans.

Top with pumpkin seeds and dust with powdered sugar.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Fall Wine Event Series at California Campus

The International Culinary Center® proudly introduces a fall wine series dedicated to providing a fresh understanding and appreciation for an array of intriguing grapes, regions and producers at their Silicon Valley campus. Lead by Master Sommelier and ICC instructor Dennis Kelly, each event will be open to the public spanning from 6pm through 8pm.

ICC California WineKicking off on Thursday, October 13, expand your palette beyond the more popular wines such as Chardonnay and Cabernet. Learn how grape variety, wine styles and geographic regions play a major influence in the outcome, while tasting six different esoteric wines including Xinomavro and Scheurebe. On Thursday, November 10th ICC invites you to become versed with one of the world’s most versatile wines, Pinot Noir. Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, attendees will experience just why Pinot Noir should have a place at your holiday table through theory, smell and taste. Lastly, pop into the full swing of the holidays with Champagne: Behind the Bubbles on Thursday, December 8. Discover the nuances existing between bottles from vintages, vineyards and unique producers and celebrate the symbol of celebration.

Thursday, October 13 – Esoteric Wines
Thursday, November 10 – Pinot Noir from Around the World
Thursday, December 8 – Champagne: Behind the Bubbles

All classes require an RSVP, as seating is very limited. Please RSVP to Associate Wine Director, Rachel Lintott: rlintott@culinarycenter.com


How to Write a Cookbook Series: China: The Cookbook

Free event, RSVP to squiroz@culinarycenter.com

Join us for the next in our series on How to Write a Cookbook October 24th from 3:30-5:00pm in the auditorium.  Authors Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong Chan will be here to discuss their new book China: The Cookbook. These bestselling authors from China will only be in New York for a brief time, so don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the experience of their first English cookbook; translating not only a cookbook but a cuisine for a U.S. audience, the process of writing a cookbook and working with Phaidon to develop the definitive bible covering all 8 regions of Chinese Cuisine. Books will be available for sale and signing after the event.

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Library Notes // Wine 101

By Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

Visitors to the ICC Library sometimes mistakenly think it’s nothing but cookbooks. On the contrary, we have a very wide range of books and DVDs available on almost every subject in the culinary world. This of course, includes everything our Sommelier students may need throughout their course. If you’re not quite ready to commit to the full course but would like to dip your toe in the world of wine, here are a few highlights from our collection to get you started.

Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack provides a thorough overview of everything you need to know about wine, from fundamentals to styles to regions. Best of all, the content is incredibly visual. Wine Folly is full of great charts in bright colors; it’s a fun reader friendly guide without sacrificing the content. Pick this up if you are brand new and need an engaging starting point.

If you, like me, are more of a literary type, Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch is the pick for you! Lynch is a wine buyer who vividly recalls his travels through France painting colorful portraits of the producers and other assorted characters he met along the way. I participated in a wine book club and all of the Somm alumnus agreed it would have been incredibly helpful to read during the French portion of the class. How rare, to find a engaging and laugh out loud funny memoir that is also informative and educational. This is for the avid reader who wants to learn more about French wines.

Wine Grape: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties may very well be the most beautiful book in our collection. This hefty reference guide from Ecco includes gorgeous, lushly illustrated botanical drawings. Each variety is covered in detail, from color to origins to varieties commonly mistaken for the grape in question. I would recommend this for the amateur sommelier ready to take their education to the next level. Of course the Sommelier program here is not just about wine. The experienced Somm must also be well versed in beer, sake and spirits. Here are a couple selections of the many books we have available on the other beverages.

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While we hear a lot about food and wine pairings, it is rare to hear about how to pair beer with food. In Tasting Beer, author and beer enthusiast Randy Mosher covers the subject with the same care and detail so often afforded to wine. This book has a little bit of everything, history, tasting notes and pairing ideas all with colorful illustrations. If you are clueless about beer, but would like to know more, this book is for you.

There are many students who come by the library toward the end of the program who blind test wine with the best of them, yet are clueless when it comes to cocktails. We have an excellent selection of books on spirits, from histories to bartending guides. The Cocktail Lab by Tony Conigliaro stands out because it is more than just a collection of recipes; it details the science, art and history of a wide range of cocktails. Conigliaro covers the classics of course, but he also details his various cocktail “experiments” from perfumed drinks to sous vide cocktails.

There you have it, for the Sommalier in the stacks. Stop by the ICC Library to check out these and many more beverage books. To keep up with whats new in the library, follow us on Twitter and Instagram via @IntlCulLibrary or follow ICC directly at @ICCedu.