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.

china thecookbook

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.

IMG_0141

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.

Alumni Interview with Sylvia Yoo (Pastry’09)

In 2009, Sylvia Yoo enrolled at The International Culinary Center in New York and eventually worked in some of the city’s most formidable kitchens, including Jean-Georges and WD-50. When she returned to Los Angeles she found work at an interior design firm, and tried balancing four days there and two days on the line. The pressure of maintaining both jobs was fierce and exhausting, and Yoo eventually left the culinary industry, but still needed an outlet for her love of the kitchen.

Drawing on her love of ice cream and pastry that she had developed during her culinary ventures in New York, Sylvia was inspired to put the two together and Churro Borough was born!

– What inspired you to go to ICC?

I had taken a trip to Japan and Korea in 2009 and was mesmerized by all the beautiful food products and pastries they had.
Visually, they were like miniature sculptures with beautiful form, color, textures, but those concepts also translated over once you ate them. I thought, being a pastry cook must be like being an architect, just a different medium. Once I had returned back to New York, I decided to enroll in ICC to further my curiosity.

– Was there a moment in your life–in school or otherwise–where it all clicked and you knew what you wanted to do with your career? Can you describe it?

I was living in New York during the time of the recession and was an interior architect by profession at that time. Finding work was getting really tough and I found myself at a crossroads in my life where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and wondered if I was actually ever going to get a job back in design. I decided to take that vacation to Japan and Korea during my down time and it was in Japan that I realized that pastry arts was very similar to architecture and design. Once I returned back to NY, enrolled and began courses at ICC, I fell in love with it! I felt like I was in design school again, working with my mind and my hands again, being conceptual and actually building that concept with my bare hands. But the difference between architecture and food was that everyone and anyone was able to enjoy the food you created and you were able to experience the reactions and emotions of the user. In architecture, you don’t get that same connection…that’s when I knew that I wanted to switch careers and be a pastry chef.

Chef Sylvia Yoo Churro Borough

– What was your graduation dream? How does the business you opened reflect that?

At first I thought I wanted to work the ranks at high concept restaurants that make beautiful dessert creations and one day become their executive Pastry Chef. But after a few years of working at these types of restaurants, I started to realize that only a certain percentage of people who can afford these types of restaurants are the ones that get to see these desserts. I wanted to make desserts for EVERYONE, not just the select few. I already knew that ice cream was not only my favorite dessert to consume, but my favorite dessert to make. It’s the first thing I eat off a plated dessert because it’s the best part! Knowing that, and knowing I wanted my desserts to be more accessible, it just seemed natural that I would open up an ice cream shop.

– Any tidbits of advice for others who are considering this path?

Surround yourself with good people and good business partners (if you can afford it). It’s not just about being the chef and being in the kitchen anymore. There’s so much more to owning a business that I didn’t expect and you just can’t do everything. Currently I’m playing General Manager, Executive Chef, Head Dishwasher, Social Media Intern, Deliveryman, Handyman, mentor, mediator, etc…it can get exhausting and overwhelming, but if you can afford to have someone that can take some of the burden off your shoulders, it won’t be as stressful.

– Where do you see your dreams taking you 5 years from now?

I would like to expand the Churro Borough concept to other cities and states – New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco. But for now, just getting a couple more locations opened in Los Angeles would be just as dream-fulfilling!

Library Notes // The ABCs of the DVDs

By Rose Kernochan
ICC Library Assistant

ICC’s students come to the library asking for specialized cookbooks about molecular gastronomy, working with sugar and plating desserts. They search the bookshelves and often, they find what they need. But what they don’t know is that they have only reached our library’s top layer. Aside from the 5,000 or so volumes on the open shelves, there are rare, half-hidden reference volumes, tucked into a secluded nook–and then one last well-kept secret: the ICC’s stellar culinary DVD collection.

It’s good to study, say, Ewald Notter’s The Art of The Confectioner if you want to learn to work with sugar. But you can also watch Notter working with sugar on DVD. Likewise, you can read Dean Jacques Torres’ Dessert Circus, if you need to know about plating desserts—or you can watch him plating bombolini or almond kataifi, and talking about “plate presentation”, courtesy of one of the ICC’s large collection of DVDs by the deans (favorites like Jacques Pepin, Andre Soltner and Cesare Casella are also heavily represented).

Many of the library’s (literally) heavyweight molecular gastronomy cookbooks—such as A Day at El Bulli — are in the Reference Section, and can’t be checked out. But hidden in the DVD drawers, there are cool documentaries about Ferran Adria (like Anthony Bourdain’s “Decoding Ferran Adria”, or Gereon Wetzel’s “Cooking in Progress”), and the interactive CDs (with recipes!) which accompany a few of those expensive El Bulli reference books. Like everything else in those drawers, they can be checked out for a two-day period.

The DVDs aren’t limited to specialized topics, or even just Culinary or Pastry Arts. The ICC’s 6-disc “Basic Techniques” DVD can help provide backup for a student’s first steps in cooking school—just as the 6-disc Fundamentals of Wine (or Andrea Robinson’s Intensive Wine Class) can help teach wine basics to an early-career somm student. Knife-sharpening videos remind cooks how to keep their precise tools in the best possible shape—and there are even DVDs with tips for hand-sharpening Japanese knives.

culinary_library

If you’re a fan of a particular chef—Eric Ripert, David Chang, Anita Lo—there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find an “unplugged” interview or an unusual ICC demo starring your favorite culinary idol. You’ll be able to watch Bobby Flay tackling ceviche, or Chang doing Japanese dashi, or Ripert focusing on “scallops and foie gras with black truffle sauce”. What makes the ICC collection unique are the many in-house classes or guest chef demos—but standards like “Mind of a Chef” or Julia Child’s “The French Chef” are included also.

Last of all, there’s entertainment, designed to whet your appetite for that new food- or wine-world career. Comedy features like “Chef” , “Sideways” and the Japanese ramen classic “Tampopo” sit in the drawers next to more educational documentaries like “Mondovino” and the lyrical “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.

To access the DVDs, just ask a librarian for help—or just search the library catalogue on your own, from the ICC website. If you’re on the computer, use keywords for whatever specialized area you’re looking for: say, “dashi”, “varietal” or “cake decoration”. If you want to go manual, you can also flip through the three ring notebook marked “DVD Catalog” which is on the librarian’s desk near checkout.

Enjoy!

From Puppies to Pasta Part II

By Kris Feliz,
ICC Italian Culinary Arts graduate.
Read From Puppies to Pasta Part I

I got to culinary school having romantic ideas of Italian landscapes and giant bowls of pasta, thinking tradition and family was what drives cuisine in Italy but looking back at the Italian Culinary Experience at ICC — this total immersion curriculum expanded and exceeded my whole understanding of learning, cooking, what it means to be a chef, interacting with other chefs, and the beautiful countryside of Italy.

In the New York portion of the program, we learned all aspects of Italian cooking techniques and the connections that the cuisine has to culture, history, and language. It’s amazing how detailed and packed those days were — and Chef Guido is an excellent and genuine instructor. The foundation I built at ICC paved the way towards having a successful experience at ALMA.

As a school, ALMA is a precious gem in the Italian culinary world and it completed my education with a polish that has impacted the way I view the bigger picture of my job as a chef. Learning a complete body of wine, culture, history, language, and cooking techniques from all areas of the fine dining kitchen is just part of what I walked away with. The dedication and self discipline required to complete the complex coursework has shaped the kind of professional I am now becoming in the job market.

The campus environment is beautiful and truly helped to shape my thinking about the cooking community. Every week, we met with guest chefs who shared their wisdom and experience, allowing us to learn how these exceptional visionaries carved out their place in the modern cooking world. Simplicity, elegance, and elevation became fundamental for creation that reinforces the values of respect for the ingredients, expands traditions, and pushes the limits of today’s modern cooking techniques. Going to ALMA changed me, from a person who wanted to cook, to a chef who wants to create.

Italian Culinary Experience

Living in Italy was such a magical experience! ALMA is situated in a great location for access to many major cities, and there just wasn’t a reason not to enjoy the benefits of our free time. It’s always full sensory participation of foods, architecture, and cultural events no matter what city you visit. Travelling by train was easy and comfortable, and there’s always something happening in Italy. I had so many spontaneous experiences just because I was standing in the right spot when the marching band passed by, or when the festivals were visiting. I fell so in love with the sky, the trees, every building and cathedral, the coastlines, and mountains that I wanted to stay!

Luckily I was coming back to New York City with its high-quality, high-volume kitchen culture that is fueled by creative passionate chefs. I run into other ICC grads all the time in kitchens and it feels good to see us working and producing. I feel proud to be a working member of our graduate community! And I look back at the brilliant education I received with fondness for my creative and passionate instructors, mentors. This motivates and drives me to keep practicing, keep pushing this craft into a lifelong career of learning and giving back.

How to Write a Cookbook Series: Writing Cookbook Proposals

Free event, RSVP to smedlicott@culinarycenter.com

Join us on August 26th 3:30 – 5:00pm in the ICC Amphitheater for the next event in our How to Write a Cookbook series. This panel features three authors demystifying the process of writing a cookbook proposal.

Diana Kuan is a New York-based writer and cooking teacher. Her first cookbook The Chinese Takeout Cookbook came out from Random House/Ballantine in late 2012. Diana grew up watching her family run a Latin-flavored Chinese restaurant in Puerto Rico, and later a Polynesian-style take-out and Cantonese bakery in suburban Boston. She writes the blog Appetite for China which is about traditional dishes as well as creative takes on Chinese food and dishes that became popular due to the Chinese Diaspora around the world. If Diana can successfully apply her French culinary training to stir-fries, there is no reason traditional and non-traditional forms can’t co-exist.

ICC Alum Carrie King writes mainly on the subject in which she is most interested, food: a passion that has been clear since uttering one of her first discernible words – fries. She has cooked in restaurants in France, Ireland and New York, and spent a number of years working for various food-related nonprofits and teaching cooking classes before shifting gears to focus on her freelance writing career. Most recently, in addition to print pieces in Gather Journal and Life & Thyme, she co-wrote Amanda Freitag’s first cookbook, The Chef Next Door and is currently working with critically acclaimed chef Missy Robbins on her own debut book.

Cathy Erway likes to cook. She likes to discover new ingredients, dishes and techniques, and learn to cook them without any formal culinary training. From September 2006 through September 2008, she went AWOL from eating restaurant, take-out, or street stand food throughout the five boroughs of New York City. While becoming an office brown-bag queen and eating pretty much only food prepared herself, she explored other avenues of “not eating out” — diving into dumpsters, foraging for edible weeds, cooking for communal dinners and supper clubs, and throwing or participating in amateur cook-offs and events. Cathy wrote a book about this experience, called The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove. In 2015, she took home-cooking back to her mother’s roots and published The Food of Taiwan Cookbook. Cathy blogs at Not Eating Out in New York.

While the three authors have very different backgrounds and experiences, all three went through the process of writing a cookbook proposal and publishing their books. So if you are interested in writing a cookbook yourself or want to learn more about these fascinating women, please RSVP to smedlicott@culinarycenter.com

Bonus: there will be books available for sale and signing after the event!

Salted Double Chocolate Cookies

By ICC Professional Pastry Arts student Stephanie Rodriguez
Third Place Winner of the ICC 2016 Cookie Games

Country of Inspiration: United States of America
Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients for dough:

  • 5.3 oz/150 g. butter, unsalted
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3.5 oz/100 g. glucose syrup
  • 2 ¾ cup + 2 tablespoon bread flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt, kosher
  • 1.8 oz./50 g. chocolate chips, semi-sweet
  • 1.8 oz./50 g. chocolate chips, bittersweet
  • Coarse sea salt, for garnish, as needed.

Cookie games chocolate cookie recipe

Procedure:

1. In a tabletop mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars, until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually, add the eggs, vanilla, and glucose syrup, scraping the sides of the bowl well.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients in one addition and combine at low speed until just mixed.
5. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined. Remove the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm. Let rest at least one hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Portion the dough into 48 pieces and roll into balls. Place each portion onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, providing 1 ½” between each cookie, and flatten.
7. Top with a pinch of sea salt and bake for 7-10 minutes or until firm to the touch. Allow the cookies to cool before transferring.
8. Store well wrapped for 3-4 days.

Burnt Honey and Fennel Cookie

By ICC Culinary Arts student Nicole Hope
Second Place Winner of the ICC 2016 Cookie Games

Country of Inspiration: Morocco
Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients for dough:

  • 8 oz/225 g. butter, unsalted
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup flour, all-purpose
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed, coarsely chopped
  • Candied orange peels (see below)

Cookie Games International Culinary Center

Procedure:

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the honey over medium heat until the color turns to deep, dark caramel and reaches a temperature of 330°F, measured with a candy thermometer.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add butter, stirring until the butter is completely melted. Cool the mixture until the butter hardens again, stirring occasionally to make sure the honey doesn’t stick to the bottom.
3. In a tabletop mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the cooled butter until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until incorporated.
4. Add the flour and salt to the butter mixture in two batches, stirring to incorporate completely after each addition. Stir in the fennel seed and candied orange.
5. Turn out the dough onto parchment paper and roll into a log, 2 inches in diameter, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F. Slice log into rounds about ¼ inch thick and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden.
7. Let sit 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store well wrapped for 3-4 days.

Ingredients for Candied Orange:

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

Procedure:
1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from each orange.
2. Remove any white pith with a paring knife and julienne the orange zest.
3. Put the zest in a small sauce pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and drain.
4. Put the orange peel back in the sauce pot and cover with water again, this time adding in the sugar.
5. Bring to a boil and reduce until all the water has evaporated.
6. Remove the candied orange onto a drying rack or parchment paper and allow to air dry for about 1 hour.

Mango Colada Thumbprint Cookies

By ICC Culinary Arts students Remy Albert and Caroline Verrone
First Place Winners of the ICC 2016 Cookie Games

Country of Inspiration: Bahamas
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients for dough:

  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup coconut, shredded, unsweetened, toasted and cooled (plus additional for garnish)
  • 8 oz. butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Filling, recipe below
  • Sea salt, coarse (for garnish)

cookie_games_winners

Procedures for dough:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and toasted coconut.
3. In a tabletop mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla to the beaten butter and sugar, scraping the bowl well. Add the dry ingredients in one addition and combine until just mixed.
5. Portion the dough into 36 rounds and roll each piece in the additional toasted coconut.
6. Press the dough flat, while creating an indention for the filling and place on a cookie sheet.
7. Apply one teaspoon of the filling to the center of the cookie, top with a pinch of sea salt and bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
8. Allow the cookies to cool before transferring. Store well-wrapped cookies for 3-4 days.

Ingredients for filling:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ½ cups mango, diced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light rum
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • Pinch salt

Procedures for filling:

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Increase the heat slightly, stirring constantly until the mixture is reduced to a thick consistency.
4. Transfer immediately to another bowl to cool.
5. Filling can be made in advanced and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

Alumni Interview with Abraham Scott (Pastry Arts’16)

My name is Abraham Scott and I currently work as a Pastry Cook at 2-Michelin-starred Marea Fine Dining Restaurant. I’m a recent graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts program and I am so proud to say that ICC gave me the foundation to be working at a Top 10 NYC restaurant. Prior to attending ICC, I worked in IT for a many years at City University of New York.

– What is your best memory from your time at ICC?

A class trip to Jacques Torres’ Factory in Sunset Park, Brooklyn! Our Dean of Pastry Arts took us on a tour of his massive chocolate factory. Of course, we got a chance to taste many of the chocolate treats. It was a very inspiring outing, Jacques shared his own pastry stories and professional experiences with us.

Pastry School New York City

– Describe a day in your life.

My work day begins at 3pm. I do inventory of all of our desserts to make sure we have ingredients on hand. The Desserts menu is a wide spectrum of items which range from Mascarpone Panna Cotta to Bomboloni (Blueberry Doughnuts served with Honey & Lemon Curd). I am also responsible for prepping the desserts for the dinner service, which lasts from 6pm through 11pm on weekdays and 11:30pm on Saturdays. During the actual service, I am engaged in plating desserts at a rapid pace. Our covers average 260-300 a night, or even higher on the weekends.

Once the last order is out, I break down the station and clean the area, restock it for the morning cooks. I usually leave work at around 1:30am in the morning five days a week, and I get 2 consecutive days off a week.

Bomboloni at Marea (Photo by Ted Axelrod)
Bomboloni at Marea (Photo by Ted Axelrod)

– What would you tell someone who wants to start a career in pastry?

Since graduating from the ICC program I received EIGHT job opportunities, which is amazing! The best advice I received at ICC is to “Choose the job based on what you will to learn the most from” — that’s why now I am learning daily at Marea.

– What’s next for you?

I’m currently perfecting my ice cream recipes because I want to develop a line of ice cream products and hope to launch a pop up parlor in 2017.