Start Up Business Tips: Facility Design

Provided by the Food Business Fundamentals Program Instructors

Bradford Thompson
Founder of Bellyful Consulting Inc
Bellyful Consulting, Inc.
is a full service culinary consulting company behind multiple new restaurants, events, catering jobs, TV and film productions and major consumer brands. Bradford and his team have spearheaded projects including Southern Hospitality, Miss Lily’s Favourite Cakes and Grimaldi’s Coal Burger.

Facility Design Tip: Design with sanitation in mind – studies show more labor hours [which means $$$] are spent cleaning than actually preparing food in virtually every type of food service facility.

 

Profiles in Pastry: Matt Robicelli

Written by Daisy Martinez

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Allison and Matt Robicelli of Robicelli’s Bakery (picture courtesy of Brooklyn Magazine)

Matt Robicelli was an FDNY Paramedic who suffered a career ending injury at the age of 20, as a first responder to the World Trade Center on 9/11.

After spending a year recovering from his injuries and having reconstructive surgery on his legs, Matt was facing a future without a career. He decided to follow his first love of cooking and enrolled at ICC, where he graduated at the top of his class and became a protege of Master Chef Andres Soltner. Their friendship was fruitful and Matt became the final head boulanger at legendary New York City restaurant Lutece, gaining that title before he had even graduated. Since then, Matt and his wife Allison opened their own bakery, Robecelli’s in Brooklyn, New York to critical acclaim.

This autumn, Matt and Allison (and family) have moved their bakery to Baltimore, Maryland and partnered with Fransmart to make their delicious baked goods available nationwide through franchises! We love a story with a sweet ending!

 

 

Daisy’s Dish – December 2016

Daisy Martinez, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs and graduate of the Culinary Arts and Intensive Sommelier Training programs, shares a holiday send off to 2016!

When I was a young girl, I didn’t understand why adults would say, “I can’t believe the holidays are here again, already!” To my siblings, cousins, and friends, the holidays took forever to arrive, but now, sadly, I think I understand. Time has shifted into “ludicrous speed” (shameless “Spaceballs” reference), and it hardly seems you have time to get over last year’s tumult, before it’s upon you again. I love the holidays, though, the traditions, the memories I have built for my friends and family, and the food that we make to celebrate in our own personal way. I love the preparation, the anticipation, and most of all the giving. It is the time of year when I feel most blessed, and inspired to new beginnings.

This past year was a challenging one for the ICC family. We closed our beloved restaurant L’Ecole and lost our Founder, leader and greatest inspiration Dorothy Cann15068979_10154319356459440_476310123366870661_o Hamilton, but we withstood these losses, together, as a community. We found strength and solace in each other and even managed a smile and a chuckle–Chef Jurgen David in a hot-dog suit comes to mind!
Our halls have been graced by great personalities from the culinary world; Eric Ripert, Claus Meyer, Massimo Bottura, Julian Medina, Jacques Pepin, Andre Sailhac, Andre Soltner, Jacques Torres, Ron Ben-Israel, Ignacio Mattos and so many more. Our classrooms are driven by extraordinary chef-instructors and our offices led by an amazing team of managers, administrators and facilities staff. Last but not least our students, who have the most humble, inspiring stories from all walks of life. This is the ICC family: a unique quilt woven together, resilient, relying on each other, working together towards the same goal.

This is the time of year when we give thanks for all of our blessings; we wish for peace and take inventory of ourselves. We make resolutions with hope for the future year. We all wish you a joyful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year filled with laughter, love and promise.daisys-dish

Somm of the Month: IST Graduate, Alan Lane

Written by Daisy Martinez

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing IST grad Alan Lane recently about his experience at ICC and his transition from a U.S. Army officer to a Certified Sommelier. His passion is so infectious; I decided to let him enthrall you with the story of his journey in his own words.

Early interest in wine: As an English Literature major at Auburn University in the 1990s choosing wine at the supermarket or even at wine shops was a mystery to me.  Red?  Yes.  White?  Not really.  Rose?  No, thank you.  I wanted to know more, but I didn’t really know where to start.  Those of us in the industry know that this a common predicament for many consumers.  “Windows On The World” was the first book I used to try and educate myself.  It wasn’t until I decided to transfer to the Reserve Component from the Active Duty Component as a U.S. Army Officer effective April 1, 2015 that I thought I would pursue a career in the wine industry following release from Active Duty.

alan-lane-sommThe Transition – In November of 2014 my Commander gave me permission to work part time in a local Colorado Springs wine shop, Coaltrain Wine, Spirits, & Craft Beer. I wanted to know more, to be better, and that’s when I read about the 10 week Intensive Sommelier Program at the International Culinary Center.  My wife, daughter, and I toured the New York campus.  I knew it was meant to be.  Under the direction of Scott Carney, MS and other Master Sommeliers our class worked diligently to master our craft.  We bonded, we got to know each other, debated, tasted, searched together in the city for new wine lists, retail shops, experimented with pairings, blind tastings, industry tastings, the lot!  Our class now stays in contact mostly via social media, and I have visited Napa and Sonoma with friends I met in the class, visit my friends from class in NYC when I’m in town, and this is one of the best parts of the program at the ICC.  The camaraderie of the Sommelier Program is the closest thing I have found to parallel the camaraderie and esprit de corps of the military.  There is a common bond, a common goal, and a common passion found in the both the wine industry and the armed forces.

 

Fruition – I’ve worked in retail, distribution, and hospitality in both New York City and Colorado Springs.  Currently, I work as the Sommelier at 2South Wine Bar in Colorado Springs, CO.  Working as a Sommelier, with the Chef, the owners, my co-workers in front of house and back, helping diners find the right pairing or simply a unique wine to enjoy that they’ve never had, that’s where I find satisfaction.  After deploying to Jalalabad, Afghanistan as an Infantry (Pathfinder) Platoon Leader in 2008-2009 I wondered if I would ever find the kind of kinship, the kind of common bond that I found with the Soldiers with whom I served.  The hospitality industry, the wine, spirits, and beer industry, they have given me the same opportunity to work closely with like-minded, driven women and men who share a passion for providing value added experiences to our clients, consumers, and diners.  Without the Intensive Sommelier Program at the International Culinary Center I don’t know how quickly I would have found my place.  My experience there was unforgettable, and I encourage anyone, especially veterans who are interested in a career in the industry to check out the ICC.  It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Alumni Spotlight: Julian Medina, Class of 1999

Julian Medina, chef-owner of Toloache, Toloache 82, Toloache Thompson, both Yerba Buena and Yerba Buena Perry, Coppelia, and Tacuba Mexican Cantina locations in Astoria and Hell’s Kitchen, has been creating refined Latin cuisine for over twenty years.

Raised in Mexico City, Julian’s inspiration was the authentic home cooking of his father and grandfather. Training professionally in Mexico City, Julian was brought to New York City by Chef Richard Sandoval; later Julian was appointed as Chef de Cuisine of Sandoval’s Maya, which earned two stars from the New York Times under Julian’s leadership. Maintaining his position at Maya, Julian enrolled in the French Culinary Institute, graduating with recognition in 1999. Soon after, Julian became Executive Chef of SushiSamba, a New York City Japanese-South American restaurant, and helped to open SushiSamba 7 and South Beach’s SushiSamba Dromo.

In 2003, Julian was appointed Corporate Chef of Sandoval’s Mexican restaurants. Julian’s direction garnered Sandoval’s Pampono two stars from the New York Times. In 2004, Julian became the Executive Chef of Zocalo located in NYC’s Upper East Side.
chef-julian-medinaIn August 2007, Julian opened the theater-district gem, Toloache Mexican Bistro, the success of this first venture catalyzed the opening of seven more restaurants in nine years. He expanded the Toloache brand to include an ever popular Upper East Side Toloache 82 in 2012 and Toloache Thompson in 2013. Exploring all reaches of pan Latin cuisine, Julian opened the first Yerba Buena bistro in 2008 in the Lower East Side, and Yerba Buena Perry, West Village, in 2009. Both restaurants have been highly recognized. In 2011, Julian presented the concept of a 24/7 Cuban diner to New York City with the whimsical Coppelia, offering both day and late night foodies authentic Latin fare and dessert favorites. Most recently, the chef has returned to his Mexican roots with the ceviche, taco and fruit vessel cockteles boasting cantina, Tacuba, its two locations are Astoria and Hell’s Kitchen.

Chef Julian has been featured in many publications, including the Men’s Journal, The New Yorker and The New York Times. In 2010 Sam Sifton, famed New York Times food critic, gave Toloache one star along with an applauding review. In March 2011 Julian made his debut on Iron Chef America: Mexican Chocolate Battle, other television appearances include the Today Show, CBS “The Dish”, Beat Bobby Flay (guest judge), NY1, and Telemundo. His Mexican Hanukkah and Mexican Passover menus have become a delighted New York tradition and receive continual praise each year. Chef Julian continues to open new restaurants throughout New York City. He resides in Manhattan’s Upper East Side with his wife and daughter.

What ingredient is central to your cooking?
I love to cook with chiles as each kind is unique and their personality can be noted throughout the dish contributing to a beautiful flavor complexity.

How do you describe your food?
I believe my food is bold and full of flavor, one bite and you know all about my cooking. Presentation is also important to me so my dishes tend to be very colorful.

What would you do if you weren’t a chef? 
I would have pursued becoming an architect.

What’s on your cooking bucket list?  
Fugu (Blowfish), exploring flavor potentials of the Chilhuacle chile, publishing my own cookbook.

How do you find calm in your kitchen?
When the stress heats up in the kitchen I turn to finding fun to take the edge off, always by laughing and joking with my fellow chefs.

What cookbook is most important to you?
The Art of Peruvian Cuisine, by Tony Custer and The Lutece Cookbook, by Andre Soltner & Seymour Britchky.

Who inspires you?
Chef Daniel Boulud

What do you like to eat and drink on your night off? 
A Mezcal Negroni, a fusion cocktail with mezcal, vermouth rosso and Campari with orange peel garnish, and a good plate of tacos.

When did you realize that you loved food?
I was 15-years old and still in Mexico, and I cooked my first dish which was tamarind pork. I was hooked.

If you could stage at any restaurant in the world, where would you go and why?
Copenhagen or Spain to showcase Mexican cuisine.

 

ICC Partners with MOFAD for 2016 Gingerbread Village Display

The International Culinary Center® will launch their 2016 holiday gingerbread village for an exclusive display at the Museum of Food and Drink. This year’s village, created by ICC Director of Pastry Arts Jansen Chan and student volunteers from the Professional Pastry Arts program, will pay tribute to the historic melting pot of all immigrants in the United States. Beginning Friday, December 9 through Saturday, December 31 (between the hours of 12pm and 6pm) the village will be on display to the public attendees of MOFAD.

Illustrating the common act of breaking bread throughout various communities, seven different gingerbread bakeries will each represent the delicious contributions of immigrants from across the globe. Steamed buns, conchas, flatbread, pretzels, injera, challah, baguettes and croissants will each be showcased throughout the gingerbread village to highlight different nations. A bridge of gingerbread men will unite each island over a sea of fortune cookies – a nod to another delectable immigrant creation, and lead to the main gingerbread bakery representing the United States.

Through the collaboration, attendees will have the exclusivity of experiencing New York City’s only location to enjoy gingerbread-flavored fortune cookies – made directly on site at the Museum of Food and Drink.

I’m excited to work with MOFAD to display our Professional Pastry Arts students’ work. It is the perfect location to see how food celebrates our traditions and allows us to share the experience with one another. As always, our gingerbread displays are catered to their homes, and this year we are happy to supplement MOFAD’s study in immigrant food contributions.”
Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry Arts at the International Culinary Center®

MOFAD and ICC both share a passion for education and food culture. We are thrilled to partner with ICC to spread holiday cheer and celebrate immigrant contributions to American food culture.”
Peter Kim, Executive Director, Museum of Food and Drink

 

MOFAD is located at 62 Bayard Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

For ICC media inquiries, contact: Angela Samartano asamartano@culinarycenter.com
For MOFAD media inquiries, contact: Jen Neugeboren jen@hannaleecommunications.com 

Library Notes: New Books for November 2016

Written by: Kate Heenan
ICC Library Intern

dsc_00561Adventures of Fat Rice

Fans of restaurant cook books and graphic novels alike, check out our new book The Adventures of Fat Rice.  Conlon, Lo and Amano put together some of the favorite recipes from the Chicago restaurant, Fat Rice, with a focus on Macanese food.  The book itself is put together like an omnibus of a comic series.  The chapters include 100 recipes spanning from pickles and preserves and appetizers to desserts with a helpful building blocks chapter included at the end. Each chapter not only offers up some great recipes or “adventures”, but incredible graphics, photographs and theories about etymology and origin of the dishes included.  Be sure to check out all the adventures The Adventures of Fat Rice has to offer from the Asparagus Invasion to Attack of the Chili Clam.

dsc_00431Ferment, Pickle, Dry

Ferment, Pickle, Dry: Ancient Methods, Modern Meals by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley offers a simple and exciting guide book for preserving enthusiast.  The book includes an introduction to the ancient methods of fermenting, pickling, and drying food along with reasons why they are not just a passing fad.  Recipes included are not only staples, including basic kombucha recipes, but new and clever creations such as a sour grape pickle-tini. Included are dual recipes, where everything can be incorporated into main dishes, making sure that no jar remains unused.

DALI: Les Diners de Gala

Fans of the painter Salvador Dali will be excited to know that Dali: Les Diners de Gala has finally been republished! One glance at the cover lets a reader know they are going on a surreal culinary adventure; one that only Dali, himself, could have created. The book includes all of the original 136 recipes, plus bizarre and genius artistic renderings by Dali.  Recipes span from exotic dishes to meals to aphrodisiacs.  To quote Dali himself, “Les dîners de Gala is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of taste … If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you.”


dsc_00821The Chef’s Library

Ever wonder what your favorite Chef’s favorite cookbook is?  Well wonder no more.  Jenny Linford’s The Chef’s Library: Favorite Cookbooks from the World’s Great Kitchens does just that.  Linford interviews over 70 Chefs explaining why and what they love about their pick from Darina Allen talking about The Ballymaloe Cookbook to Michael Wignall ‘s explain how the story is also important in his pick, Origin.  Chapter 2 includes over 50 of the most influential cookbooks ever written with a brief history of the Chef and book included.  Her last chapter is a Cookbook Directory organized by Country, time and specialty.  Be sure to see if you favorite stacks up!

The Science of Wine

Jamie Goode, a widely respected authority on wine science, just came out with his second edition for The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass.  This edition includes everything we loved about the first edition’s groundbreaking reference giving information about the science of wine, ecological impacts on the future of wine making, and new technological trends.  The new edition includes a new chapter on soils and vines, oxygen management, and a linguist view for describing wine.  It also includes hot topics that the last edition wasn’t able to include such as genetically modified grapevines, the future of the cork, and more.

These and many more can be found in the “New Books” display in the ICC library! Follow @IntlCulLibrary on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.

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How To Write A Cookbook Series: Butter & Scotch

At Brooklyn’s Butter & Scotch, everything is made by hand, and seasonal, inventive flavors are created to satisfy any sweet tooth—especially those with a penchant for spirits. In their namesake cookbook, Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth dish up more than 75 recipes for incredible desserts, cocktails, and creations that shake up the traditional approach to booze and sweets.

Come meet the ladies and learn about their experience creating a cookbook based on the beloved bar on Thursday, December 15 from 3:30pm through 5pm in the ICC Amphitheatre

To RSVP, or for questions, contact Sara Quiroz at: squiroz@culinarycenter.com

For future events visit the events calendar on the ICC Community Page at  my.InternationalCulinaryCenter.com.

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Student Life: Beginning the Intensive Sommelier Training Program

I started the Intensive Sommelier Training program on Monday. It’s now only Tuesday and my head is SPINNING. Learning wine is daunting. You need to remember that you can’t expect to know everything (at least in a day!) and it’s nearly impossible to have tried every wine available. It’s like film, in that you will probably never see every single movie ever created.

I certainly didn’t come in “cold” as I’ve been working as a wine clerk in a boutique wine shop for four years now. The shop wine experience has been great, the owner, values our opinions in the buying process so we taste everything and debate it coming in, he has supplemented my Intermediate Certification through the WSET and he charges us cost on our take home bottles. It’s been a great recipe for gaining hands on spit bucket experience, but is it a career?

jared-screenshotGreat wine knowledge can open the doors to opportunities working in retail beyond a clerk position. I could move on to a store that needs managers, or could work for a larger retailer that uses buyers. Or even transition to the distribution side and begin representing wine portfolios to stores and restaurants. Will I stay with retail after getting that pin? IF I get that pin?

This is a real study and the last thing I should do is get too cocky just because I happen to know what Tokaji is. [Our instructor] Scott stressed HUMILITY in his first lecture on Monday night. If the current 200-something individuals who have achieved the Master Sommelier level can accept the concept of humility, I think I can too.

Despite my head start, I am nowhere near where I need to be yet to become a Certified Sommelier. I am familiar with a different tasting method, which I’m going to have to unlearn to some extent. I am going to have to learn to slow down and deductively ascertain varietals and regions. I am woefully unkempt in appearance, coming from the more relaxed hardwood floors of hand sales rather than the more refined manner of dress seen throughout high end restaurants and expected for class. I feel like Jed Freakin’ Clampett over here!

My study skills are weak. I managed to read the material for the first class and get my notes taken, but my head and focus are so addled that it took me all day to get through it. In any case, despite what some might think, this is rigorous joyful labor and definitely not a dalliance into a hobby. Not at this level. I am ready to become a Certified Sommelier, but my head? Still spinning!

Student Life: The Transition From Biology to Baking

I fell in love with baking at a very young age. My homemaker mom loves to bake, and so I would always be right by her side learning by osmosis. It was fun not only eating a yummy homemade dessert but also getting to spend some quality time with her. 

ava3The thought of going to pastry school was far from my mind so after I graduated high school, I went off to college with a love for science and laboratory research and majored in biology. Along with biology classes, but I also had to take other science classes, such as Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Genetics. These classes were incredibly difficult, and the vast amounts of homework and studying took a toll on me. Baking helped me to release the stress and keep me focused. I always thought baking is a science: you follow a recipe to create something, just like you follow a procedure to obtain results in an experiment. Kitchen, research lab, same difference, right?


This past summer was tough for me because I finished my four years and I needed to find a job. While in college, I realized I loved being in the lab, though I knew something was missing. I thought I wanted to land a job as a research scientist, but when I spoke to someone in the field, he made me realize that it was not for me. During my job search, I baked cookies, brownies, cakes, and cupcakes that I gave away with utter abandon. I doled out my confections to family, friends, neighbors, and the firemen that came one evening when the smoke alarm when off (Don’t ask. I now know what not to do when making caramel.) They all praised me for my skill. Most recipients told me I should sell my products!ava12

Today, I am halfway through the Professional Pastry Arts Program. I have already learned so much, from baking cookies and piping rosettes to learning how to properly ice cakes with butter cream. I even had the honor of volunteering at a Jacques Torres demonstration, and it was an amazing experience. It was like watching Picasso paint! I also love that I can go home to teach my mom some of the techniques I’m learning. She sparked my love for baking and taught me so much over the years, so it is nice for me to be able to teach her for a change. 

Follow along with Ava’s adventures on Instagram, via @ava_szabby.