James Beard Foundation Awards

James Beard Awards 2019: ICC Alumni Semifinalists & Finalists

Each year, it brings us such joy to see our alumni and Deans of the International Culinary Center recognized for excellence in their field. With the recent announcement of the 2019 semifinalists for the James Beard Awards, we’d like to congratulate the following ICC alumni [and Dean!] on their nominations. This year, the number of ICC affiliates that made the short list was a staggering 25 semifinalists! We’re so proud to see these talents acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to their craft.

Some of the highlights from this year’s announcement include the recognition of newcomers like Zoe Kanan, Head Baker of Simon & the Whale for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and Rikki Giambruno, Owner & Executive Chef of Hyacinth for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Three of this year’s Best New Restaurant semifinalists are led by our graduates both in and out of the kitchen—David Chang (Chef/Owner of Majordomo in LA), Joshua Skenes (Chef/Owner of Angler in SF) and Jhonel Faelnar (Wine Director of Atomix in NYC).

Follow us throughout awards season for updates on the James Beard Foundation Media Awards semifinalists, finalists and award winners! 

[UPDATE] With the announcement of the 2019 James Beard Award Book & Media nominees, ICC alumni and dean, David Kinch, have received a total of 33 nominations combined! Congratulations to the 15 alumni and our dean David Kinch who made it on the short list of finalists in their respective categories for a total of 20 finalist nominations! The winners will be announced later this spring, stay tuned.

2019 JAMES BEARD AWARD SEMIFINALISTS & FINALISTS [LIST OF ICC ALUMNI & DEAN]

Orange indicates selection as a finalist in the respective category.

2019 James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards

Best New Restaurant:

Angler, San Francisco, CA [Joshua Skenes, Chef/Owner of Saison, Culinary Arts ’01]

Atomix, New York, NY [Jhonel Faelnar, Wine Director of Atomix, Intensive Sommelier Training ’13]

Majordomo, Los Angeles, CA [David Chang, Owner of Majordomo, Culinary Arts ’01]

Outstanding Baker:

Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA [Culinary Arts ’10 & Art of International Bread Baking ’11]

Outstanding Chef:

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC [Sous Vide Intensive ’12]

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA [ICC Dean]

Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI [Culinary Arts ’00]

Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia, PA [Art of International Bread Baking ’98]

Outstanding Pastry Chef:

Zoe Kanan, Simon & the Whale, New York, NY [Pastry Arts ’10]

Whang Suh, Hen & Heifer, Guilford, CT [Pastry Arts ’09]

Outstanding Restaurant:

Balthazar, New York, NY [Rebecca Banks, Wine Director, Culinary Arts ’05]

O Ya, Boston, MA [Tim & Nancy Cushman, Owners of O Ya, Fundamentals of Wine ‘06]

Quince, San Francisco, CA [Aaron Babcock, Sommelier at Quince, Intensive Sommelier Training ’12]

Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis, MN [Alex Roberts, Chef/Owner of Restaurant Alma, Culinary Arts ’93]

Zahav, Philadelphia, PA [Steven Cook, Co-Owner of Zahav, Culinary Arts ’00]

Outstanding Service:

Saison, San Francisco, CA [Joshua Skenes, Chef/Owner of Saison, Culinary Arts ’01]

Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO [Kelly Jeun, Co Executive Chef, Italian Culinary Experience ’07]

Rising Star Chef of the Year:

Rikki Giambruno, Hyacinth, St. Paul, MN [Culinary Arts ’12]

Best Chef: Great Lakes:

Kate Williams, Lady of the House, Detroit, MI [Culinary Arts ’07]

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic:

Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collinswood, NJ [Culinary Arts ’02]

Best Chef: New York City:

Angie Mar, Beatrice Inn, New York, NY [Culinary Arts ’11]

Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, Wildair, New York, NY [Culinary Arts, ’07 and Culinary Arts ’09 | Pastry Arts ’10, respectively]

Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito, Don Angie, New York, NY [Culinary Arts ’08]

Best Chef: South:

Melissa Donahue, Sweet Melissa Cafe, Sanibel, FL [Culinary Arts ’01]

Best Chef: West:

Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco, CA [Culinary Arts ’01]

2019 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

Beverage:

Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way, Rebekah Peppler [Pastry Arts ’09] (Clarkson Potter) 

Cocktail Codex, Alex Day, Nick Fauchald [Culinary Arts ’04], and David Kaplan (Ten Speed Press)

Restaurant and Professional:

Rich Table, Evan Rich and Sarah Rich [Culinary Arts ’01] (Chronicle Books) 

2019 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards

Online Video, Fixed Location and/or Instructional

Mad Genius – Crispy Cheese Sticks; Waffled Okonomiyaki; and Puff Pastry, Justin Chapple [Culinary Arts ’09], Airs on: Food & Wine, YouTube and Facebook

Outstanding Reporting

Deep Dive and Food for Thought, 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, David Chang [Culinary Arts ’01], Airs on: NBC, NBCSN

Television Program, on Location

Ugly Delicious – Fried Chicken, David Chang [Culinary Arts ’01], Airs on: Netflix

2019 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards

Health and Wellness

“‘White People Food’ is Creating An Unattainable Picture of Health”, Kristen Aiken [Culinary Arts ’08]HuffPost

2019 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards

75 Seats and Under

Firm: Studio Writers, Project: Atomix, [Jhonel Faelnar, Wine Director of Atomix, Intensive Sommelier Training ’13]

The 2019 James Beard Award Winners will be announced May 6, 2019. The 2019 Media Awards will be held on April 26, 2019. For the full list of 2019 James Beard Award Semifinalists, click here
Harris plating

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Time In Pastry School At ICC

By: Harris Inskeep, Professional Pastry Arts ’19

My name is Harris Inskeep and I am a recent graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts Program at ICC. Before I joined the pastry program at ICC, I was a kindergarten teacher in New York. Although I loved my job, I was starting to feel like there was something else out there for me and that there was no better time than now to explore my passion for baking. Until I had started the program, baking had just been something I did for fun at home. I would make birthday cakes for friends or whip up cookies whenever I had the chance. Really, I was just an amateur baker that had learned what I knew from watching my mom and aunt in the kitchen.

Leaving my fulfilling job was not easy to do, but I knew that if I didn’t take this chance now, when would I? So in August of 2018, instead of setting up my classroom for 30 little ones to come into, I was setting up my mise en place in the pastry kitchens at ICC and beginning what would soon become the most rewarding chance on life I’d taken yet!

About to start the Professional Pastry Arts Program at ICC? Here are 4 things I wish I’d known when I was starting the program.

The six months that I spent in the kitchens at ICC for the Professional Pastry Arts program were some of the most fun, educational, and invigorating months of my life. From the very first day I walked into the building to my last, I learned so many essential skills from my various chef instructors and classmates; and although the amount of new techniques, habits and experiences through my time in school were invaluable, there are a few things I wish I had known before I started to make my time even more impactful. ICC prides itself on offering students a fully comprehensive educational journey. It is a school that graduates true professionals and prepares its students to be successful wherever they go after school. Not only does ICC accomplish this by offering a 600-hour jam-packed hands-on curriculum as well as extremely talented and experienced chef instructors it goes above and beyond by offering a number of out-of-kitchen  opportunities.

If you’re ready to begin your pastry education at ICC, my first piece of advice is this: Don’t miss any opportunity to observe a demo, attend a field trip, get extra practice in a workshop, or volunteer. Next, make sure you take it upon yourself to practice at home, if possible, You may be there to learn all about the world of pastry or how to decorate the most beautiful cake, but don’t underestimate the power of getting to know all of the amazing chef instructors throughout the building. Finally, when given the chance to flex your creativity, incorporate something you struggled with— you’ll be grateful later!

1. Don’t Miss Out

When I started at ICC, I attended the demonstrations that related to pastry, but I didn’t always participate in the culinary demos and  was far too nervous to volunteer. This was my first mistake. How many times in your life will you get the chance to sit in the same room as some of the most celebrated and innovative chefs from all around the world, hear about their journey, ask them questions and get insight into their lives? Attending demos is an incredible way to learn about the diverse paths within the food industry.rankly, you can learn more about what to expect when you start working by attending demos and asking questions than by just attending class.

Harris volunteeringIn addition, ICC is always looking for volunteers to help out when chefs come to visit the school. Instead of having your first time working under a professional chef be day 1 on the job, take advantage of your status as a student and give it a try! You don’t need to know how to do everything before you volunteer. Just come prepared to try your best, use what you know, and ask questions when you need help. Volunteering will not only boost your confidence, it will also give you a glimpse into what it will feel like to work for a chef. What better time to learn than when you’re in school!

2. Practice at Home

Because the 600-hour curriculum is filled with all the fundamental skills & techniques a professional needs to know,, you’ll only get a chance to make things a few times  before moving on to the next lesson. For this reason, it’s so worth it to take these recipes home and test them out in a new environment. Every chef will tell you it takes hundreds of times doing the same thing to even begin to master it. The school exposes you to so many classic and modern techniques but it’s worth it to take it upon yourself to practice things you want to master at home. You want to make a genoise that doesn’t come out thin or dense? Practice your folding at home! You want your buttercream to be smooth and clean? Mask a cake in your tiny New York apartment! Your macarons didn’t have feet when you baked them in class? Try again in your oven! At the very least, your friends, family and or roommates will be grateful.

The best part of trying these recipes at home isn’t even that you’ll be a genoise master the next day. Rather, it’s that you’ll very well take it out of the oven and realize something completely new went wrong this time. This is the magic! Trying recipes at home without a chef instructor demonstrating for you first is how you’ll identify the real questions. By attempting to make things on my own, I became a more curious student and was really able to take advantage of the talent and experience in front of me each day by preparing questions for my chef instructors.

3. Get To Know As Many Chefs As You Can

harris w instructorsSpeaking of questions, hopefully you’ll have tons of them! Maybe you’re having friends over for dinner and you want to make a juicy chicken. Or, your family needs advice on how to finally make a turkey for Thanksgiving that isn’t dry. Don’t forget that you’re in a building with so many different kinds of chefs! Get to know the chefs in culinary, bread or the cake programs. You never know where your passions will take you while at ICC, but by getting to know chefs that may not be your instructors, you will inevitably build a larger network and learn more than you might have signed up for.

4. Do What You Struggle With

Harris platingIn the first few levels of the Professional Pastry Arts program, much of what you will do is right from the textbooks.However, as you accumulate more skill and learn advanced techniques, you will have opportunities to show off your individual talents through recipe development and showpiece work. It’s tempting to want to produce something flawless and keep it safe by doing something you feel comfortable with. I suggest pushing yourself to try something you might not be as good at. Tempering chocolate isn’t your strong suit? Don’t skip out on it this is your chance to practice with the help of a professional chef as your teacher! Incorporate tempered chocolate into your dessert for restaurant day! This is especially true for the skills that are more difficult to practice at home.

Interested in the Professional Pastry Arts program? You owe it to yourself to visit the school that has been home to icons and thought leaders like Jacques Torres, Ron Ben-Israel, Christina Tosi and many more! Click here to schedule a tour to see our kitchens in action, meet with chef-instructors, career services, financial aid, and speak with our admissions team about your personal career goals.

thai cuisine

A Taste of Thailand

Thai Cuisine, well known for its spiciness, is really better characterized by its complex balancing of five distinct flavors—sour, sweet, salty, bitter, spicy—and is the secret to mastering Thai food. Though the ingredients of Southeast Asian cuisine, like fish sauce, may be unfamiliar to some, most are readily on hand and can be used to create exciting flavor profiles. Thai cuisine is vast and varied, heavily influenced by regional ingredients, food traditions and the cultures of surrounding countries. For instance, the food of Southern Thailand tends to be very spicy and incorporates a lot of seafood. In other regions, dishes are served with different types of rice—Central Thailand leans toward jasmine rice while sticky rice is a staple of Northeastern Thailand. So, to really capture the dynamic intricacies of Thai cooking, the International Culinary Center and the National Research Council of Thailand have joined forces to bring the Thai Cuisine to Global Market project to New York!

This March, ICC is hosting a 3-day series of hands-on classes, workshops and demonstrations promoting authentic Thai cuisine to the world. Through this exchange, the project seeks to strengthen the knowledge of Thai cuisine—from ingredients and techniques to regional recipes and cooking processes—and promote authentic Thai dishes to culinary students + instructors, professional chefs and foodies in the US. Join ICC and two celebrated Chefs from Suan Dusit University in Thailand as we journey to Southeast Asia, without ever leaving NYC! They’ll teach us about the complexities of Thai cuisine, and show us how to create, and balance, these flavors in our own kitchens. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the experts—check out the three days of events below!

A Taste of Thailand—Chef Demonstration of Authentic Thai Cuisine

Wednesday, March 27
3:30-5:30pm
ICC Amphitheater

We’re excited to welcome celebrated chefs from the Suan Dusit University in Thailand—Chef Jareuk Sriaroon & Chef Songpol Vithanwattana—accompanied by ICC Alumna, Chanchana Siripanwattana, for an afternoon highlighting the complex flavors of authentic Thai cuisine. Join us for a demonstration to unlock the secrets of Thai Cooking—from working with ingredients found in Southeast Asian countries, to the art of balancing sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy flavors. They’ll share the differences and similarities in different regional dishes of Thailand and explain how local Thai cuisine has adapted influences from surrounding Asian countries into their food. Bringing their expertise to New York for the first time, they’ll demonstrate four traditional Thai dishes—Mee Grob (herb crispy vermicelli), Red Curry with Roasted Duck, Gaeng Som Goong (sour soup with shrimp) and Sago Pudding with Longan & Sweet Corn. Plus, attendees will have the opportunity to taste each of the four dishes and learn how to make these popular Thai dishes in their own kitchens!

Open to ICC Students, Alumni and Staff—no RSVP required. For volunteer opportunities, please contact Natalia Pozzi at npozzi@culinarycenter.com.

Limited seating available to the general public—please RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com to attend.

Private Hands-On Class for ICC Chef Instructors & Alumni

Tuesday, March 26
3:30-5:30pm
201 Kitchen

In this 2-hour hands-on professional development workshop, ICC Chef Instructors & Alumni will have the opportunity to learn the techniques behind two authentic Thai dishes—Gratong Thong (minced chicken in crispy golden cups) and Kanom Jeen Namya (rice noodles with yellow crab curry). Through this workshop, you’ll gain an understanding of how Thai cuisine is influenced by the dishes of other Asian countries and learn firsthand how to balance Southeast Asian flavors in your kitchen.

Note: Please bring your knives & chef coat for the class.

Private Hands-On Class for Current ICC Students

Thursday, March 28
3:30-5:30pm
201 Kitchen

In this 2-hour hands-on cooking class, current ICC students will have the opportunity to experience firsthand how their culinary education can be applied to cuisines from around the world. Chef Instructors from the Suan Dusit University in Thailand will lead the class in cooking two classic Thai favorites—Pad Thai (Thai stir-fried noodles) and Spicy Beef Salad—from start to finish! You’ll learn the techniques behind authentic Thai cuisine and understand how to use ingredients commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking.

Note: Please bring your knives & come in uniform for the class.

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

Songpol “Park” Vithanwattana

Chef ParkChef Songpol “Park” Vithanwattana received his Bachelor’s degree in Kitchen & Restaurant Management from Dusit Thani College in Bangkok, Thailand before pursuing his MBA in Modern Entrepreneurship from Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok and an MBA in Hospitality Industries from HTMi, Tourism Management Institute in Switzerland.

Chef Vithanwattana’s kitchen experience spans from working as a Commis at the Hotel Sofitel Silom and Centara Grand Bangkok in Thailand before becoming Thai Chef at Ah-hua Restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland. After returning from Switzerland, he became an instructor in Culinary Technology and Service at Suan Dusit University in Thailand. Here, he contributes to the development, planning, and implementation of teaching the next generations of chefs.

Throughout his years, Chef Vithanwattana has won various awards throughout the world. In 2011, he was awarded a gold medal in the Battle of the Chef, 13th Penang International Salon Gastronomique for the meat/ poultry category and awarded the silver medal in the Chef Competition 2016, Taiwan International Food Festival TCAC Culinary Challenge.

Jareuk Sriaroon

chef jareukChef Jareuk Sriaroon began his culinary education in 1999, receiving his certificate in Food Production Operation from Dusit Thani College in Bangkok, Thaliand. He then went on to study hospitality marketing and wine in the Netherlands, as well as hotel management in England.

After his studies, he went on to work in kitchens throughout Bangkok, cooking French cuisine and refining his talents. After his time working in kitchens, he embraced his passion for education to become an instructor at Silpakorn University International College. Then, he became executive producer and host of the documentary Namprik, which celebrated Thai cuisine. Now, he’s continuing his instructor path at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University/ International Culinary School.

During his time cooking, Chef Sriaroon was awarded the title of Official Thai Chef for Thai Food Promotion from the Ruckblick Inoga and the Royal Thai Consulate of Mumbai. He also is a World Chefs Approved Judge by the World Association of Chefs Societies, on the Board of Directors for the Thailand Culinary Academy, and has been a judge in 10+ culinary competitions throughout Thailand and the world.

Chef Al

Alumni Spotlight: Chef Ashish Alfred, Culinary ’09

Chef Al at graduationAshish Alfred, chef/owner of the Alfred Restaurant Group, is THE rising star on the Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD-food scene—earning acclaim and rave reviews at his three restaurants: Duck Duck Goose Bethesda, George’s Chophouse in Bethesda, and Duck Duck Goose Baltimore.

 

Duck Duck Goose in Bethesda was recently named one of the top ten “Favorite New Restaurants” by Bethesda Magazine and “Best Restaurant in Maryland” by Southern Living Magazine. In a glowing review, The Washington Post says about Duck Duck Goose, “the delights are in the details,” adding the restaurant is “a solid neighborhood attraction whose appeal lies in the amalgam of many fine points.” In addition, Alfred’s recently opened Duck Duck Goose in Baltimore, was  proclaimed a “fabulous new Fells Point brasserie” by Baltimore Magazine and has also been selected for the Best of Baltimore issue.

 

Chef Al, as he’s often called, is just off of a command performance at the prestigious James Beard House, where he prepared a multi-course dinner for a sold-out audience. The exclusive invitation to host a Beard House dinner meant a return to New York City, where Chef Al began his culinary journey. He was classically trained at the French Culinary Institute, now the International Culinary Center, in Manhattan and honed his skills in some of Manhattan’s best kitchens.

 

Al’s technique is grounded by his classical French discipline, but he isn’t afraid to go beyond tradition, take risks and experiment with his offerings. He delivers contemporary dining concepts that are rooted in soulful cooking.

 

With his quick wit and easy banter, Chef Al is a popular guest with the media, whether he’s sharing a cooking demo and insights on local TV, or battling it out as a contender on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped.

What got you into the culinary field? Did you always know you wanted to attend culinary school and why did you choose ICC specifically?

ICC DeansI tried out the traditional college education route, but I quickly realized it wasn’t a good fit for me. I’m not one to sit still for hours on end in a classroom. I wanted to find something where I could be active, busy and productive in my own way— culinary school was the answer for me. From day one, it just felt right. The first day when I put on a uniform and showed up to class, I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

As far as why I chose ICC specifically, it really had to do with the faculty. Take, for example, the founding Deans of ICC— Jacques Pépin, Jacques Torres, Alain Sailhac, and André Soltner. They are basically the godfathers of French cooking. If I were going to play on a football team, I’d want to join the Patriots. It’s a similar sentiment. From the chef instructors, the people who built ICC, to the alumni that have graduated and gone on to do really incredible things, I think all of their resumes speak for themselves.

What was your fondest memory of attending culinary school?

My fondest memory was really the day to day experience of traveling to and from the school. ICC is an amazing school in the middle of Soho, Manhattan. You walk off of Broadway, go up to the locker room, get changed, head into class, and when you leave you’re dumped back onto the streets of Manhattan. It was incredible.

How do you think your classical French training has influenced you in the kitchen?

I own predominantly French restaurants, so my French training has been extremely useful. Even with my restaurant George’s Chophouse, which offers a more American concept, the basics are rooted in French cuisine. Take the mac and cheese at George’s, for example. I learned to make a roux in culinary school and that’s how we make mac and cheese in the Chophouse.

What led you to open your first restaurant?

I really just wanted to run my own show, have my own team and a restaurant of my own.

How do you view your role as chef/owner of three restaurants?

First and foremost, I consider myself a teacher. Every day, I come into my restaurants wanting to inspire my staff to do well, both in front of house and back of house, and encourage them to want to do better than they did yesterday. My role is much like a team captain keeping my players motivated, working toward the same common goal and doing so the right way, without taking shortcuts.

What is it like managing your time between the three restaurants in different locations?

I schedule my time based on the needs of each restaurant. For example, if I have fifty reservations on the books at my restaurant Duck Duck Goose in Baltimore, and I know I have a fully staffed kitchen and front of house, plus managers are there, chances are they don’t really need me there that night. However, say George’s Chophouse in Bethesda has the same number of reservations, but I’m down a line cook, a dishwasher called in sick that morning, and one of my managers isn’t feeling so hot, I’ll choose to spend my time there instead.

What have you learned from owning such successful restaurants, specifically Duck Duck Goose?duck duck goose

I’ve learned there’s nothing more important than building up the team of people you choose to work for you. No matter how good you are, you cannot work 365 days per year, 7 days per week. And when you’re not there, the way your team feels about you will show in the product they serve when you’re not around.

 

 

You recently cooked a 5 course dinner at the James Beard House that bridged your love of French Cuisine and added a modern twist. What was it like to cook at the James Beard House? Did you ever think that you’d end up there?

I remember showing up to orientation at culinary school where they told us we might be able to volunteer at the James Beard House to help some of the notable chefs that go through there. I definitely never thought I’d end up serving dinner at the James Beard House. Cooking that dinner was a very intense and exhilarating experience. As a chef, I’ve cooked a lot of ‘make or break’ meals, for example the opening night of a restaurant. But as soon as I got a call from the James Beard House, I realized every other meal I’ve ever cooked did not matter at all, and I’m going to be cooking on hallowed ground. It was very, very intense, but also incredible. I am very thankful for the opportunity and experience.

What is the best part about opening a new restaurant?

Opening a restaurant is essentially the culmination of to-do lists that are thousands and thousands of items long. The best part is the sense of relief once opening night has arrived. The checkered flag drops and you know you’ve checked off every item off of every list and now it’s show time.

What advice would you give to young Al on his first day of culinary school?

I would tell myself to keep my head down and just work on being a phenomenal cook. A lot of people go to culinary school thinking they’re going to become a world-changing chef. But I think priority one should be to master being a great cook first. Learn how to run a good station and how to do the small things right first. If you focus on being a good cook and have a shred of talent or a sliver of creativity, I believe becoming a great chef will follow after that.

What is your favorite dish to cook for yourself at home?

Roast chicken, mashed potatoes and something green.

Marco Pierre WhiteWhat or who inspires you the most?

I am very inspired by Marco Pierre White. He’s the kind of chef that I think that other chefs should aspire to be, just considering the amount of passion he brings to the table. He embodies the idea that the chef is just another cook.

 

 

Who were you inspired by while in culinary school at ICC?

When I attended ICC, there were two instructors there by the name of Jeff Butler and Pascal Béric (ICC note: they’re still teaching here today!). I had the good fortune of learning from them through a lot of my time there. The intensity and precision with which they work is incredible. Even today, if I cut a fish, I’m doing it the way Chef Jeff showed me. When I make sausage, I’m using Chef Pascal’s techniques. Those two instructors are what being a chef and cook is all about.

Check out Chef Al’s restaurants and follow him on social media:

Restaurant Websites

Facebook:

Instagram:

Twitter:

Business Bites Resources: How to Unearth Your Sources

For restaurants and food business owners, sourcing quality ingredients and importing products unique to your brand play an important role in setting you apart from your competitors. Your patrons become loyal customers for the quality you retain—and your prices can reflect that. Today, the expansion of global trade and ease of digital communication allows for access to exotic, hard-to-find ingredients from around the world, making it possible to introduce products direct from their origin.

With consumers moving towards ethical buying habits, higher standards for quality and equality are vital in day-to-day business operations. In our latest installment of our Business Bites series, Unearthing Your Sources, our panel of experts shared how they operate profitable food businesses without compromising on quality or fair trade practices. Check out the three things to know when sourcing your products below!

Know Your Farmers

In today’s global market, consumers want to know where their ingredients and products are coming from. Whether it’s intended to support fair-trade practices or identify single-origin goods, it’s an important aspect to the buying process. Being able to connect your customers with the farmers you source from can be both a storytelling and brand building opportunity that results in loyalty and trust.

But, that isn’t the only reason food businesses want to know where, and who they’re sourcing from. Developing a relationship with your farmers can mean the difference between getting the right products for your business, and the best quality for your customers.

Burlap and Barrel stresses this sentiment. During the panel discussion, Ethan Frisch, co-founder of Burlap and Barrel, shared a story about a farm in upstate New York that he has been working with for the past two years. Over this time, Ethan has fostered a strong relationship with Norwich Meadows Farm, opening the door to new opportunities. After much discussion, they have decided to work together to develop a special project, which wouldn’t have happened without Ethan nurturing this relationship.

Know What Your Consumers Want

It’s important to identify what motivates your customers to buy. Is it your uniquely sourced products? Is it your commitment to fair-trade, sustainability or single-origin? Is it your packaging? Figuring out the most meaningful way to communicate to your customers is a time old challenge, but the rewards can be integral to your success.

When Raaka Chocolate rebranded in 2018, they invested time and resources to figure out what their consumers really wanted to know on their bar of chocolate. In order to make the reintroduction of their brand successful, they tested everything from taste to packaging, and even rewrote their brand story. After all, much had happened in the eight years since they had founded their company. Their new packaging is vibrant and bold, much like the chocolate that it encompasses. Although subtle, it is also modeled after the landscapes from which their cacao beans come from. Instead of using common buzz words like fair trade, when you open their bar of chocolate, you’ll see their term “transparent trade” to exhibit their commitment to be transparent in everything that they do, including sourcing.

Know Your Ingredients

Sourcing quality ingredients, especially in a restaurant, market or food business that’s just starting out, can make or break the business. Whether you provide access to a hard-to-find product, a uniquely curated selection or incorporate it into a signature dish, specialty ingredients help to grow a loyal following of customers that return time and time again. They can even create demand when an ingredient has limited quantities. But, relying on specialty ingredients can also pose a difficulty for new companies.

When Vega Coffee was starting out, they knew that they wanted to import coffee from Nicaragua. In order to receive the ingredients they desired, they had to create a system with the governments in both the US and Nicaragua to import the products through customs. Although this is an extreme example, navigating import laws is an important part of sourcing your products, so you must be prepared to do your research as a business owner.

One of Rishi Tea’s best selling drinks is a masala chai drink. A key ingredient to this drink is a delicious Madagascar vanilla, but because of climate change and a few other factors, the price of vanilla has sky rocketed in recent years. As a business owner, they weighed the benefits of raising the price of their best selling drink, but possibly seeing sales decline, with the cost of sourcing the vanilla. In order to keep the price the same, they decided to source vanilla from another country—something that is not easy to do, as vanilla is grown in few places around the world. In the end, they found an amazing quality vanilla in Mexico and were able to continue their masala chai offering without raising the price or compromising on quality.

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.

mame sow

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

mame sow
HAUTE LIVING
One Thousand Museum Residences Gives A Sneak-Peek To Gourmet Culinary Offerings At The Sky Lounge

One Thousand Museum Residences is one of Miami’s most historic, architecturally significant and most luxurious developments in all of Miami. The launch of this project is highly-anticipated and comes with many amazing amenties– including The Sky Lounge, where our alumna Mame Sow is the project’s Director of Culinary. Read more in Haute Living here.

Even though National Chocolate Lovers Month is behind us, we like to celebrate with our Dean of Pastry, AKA Mr. Chocolate, all year long. Check out Jacques Torres on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert making his limited edition chocolate violin!

In the kitchen of his 50-seat restaurant, Technique, Westwood resident and ICC alumnus Ross Goldflam is applying the all-important French cooking techniques he learned while studying at ICC. The casual restaurant offers classic French food with an American twist. Check it out here.

Zoe Kanan, Pastry Plus speaker, ICC alumna and head baker at Simon & the Whale, was one of the 22 ICC graduates that received semifinalist nominations for the 2019 James Beard Awards. Congratulations Zoe on your Outstanding Pastry Chef nomination! Read more about her outstanding achievements here.

wine glasses
Slate
These Wine Glasses Are Pure Sophistication at a Bargain Price

Beautiful wine glasses don’t have to be expensive! Slate sat down with our Dean of Wine Studies, Scott Carney, MS and ICC Intensive Sommelier Training graduate Michele Thomas, as well as other wine experts, to learn which wine glasses are the best. Read their recommendations here.

winco brush
NY Mag
How to Clean Wooden Cutting Boards, According to Experts

Whether you’re julienning carrots or breaking down a full chicken, if you cook regularly, your kitchen arsenal probably includes a few good knives and cutting boards. If you’re at all serious about cooking you’ve probably learned that wooden boards are fantastic, but more difficult to clean. Read Chef Hervé Malivert’s recommendations for how to clean a wooden cutting board in NY Mag.

Margaret Eby, recent graduate of our Culinary Techniques program, gave insight into what she learned in the 100-hour program that changed the way she cooked! Read about her journey here.

Chris Morocco is a senior food editor at Bon Appétit where he works in the Test Kitchen developing recipes, dreaming up food content, and figuring out what the next big thing in food is. He regularly appears in the brand’s video content, including Bon Appétit’s new show “Making Perfect.” Read more about him here.

Want to learn more about our Dean of Pastry Jacques Torres? Check out his favorite things in this article about him from Barron’s!

Hyacinth, a new Italian restaurant in St. Paul, is one of the hottest reservations in town. Chef/owner and ICC alumnus Rikki Giambruno dishes in this interview on how he got his start, food philosophy, love for Italian food and what’s ahead. Read the interview here in Twin Cities.

slice of cake
EATER
A.M. INTEL

Have you bought your tickets for Pastryland yet? Read more about our charity bake sale in Eater, and be sure to get your tickets before next Saturday, March 9th!

Richard Hale
Miami New Times
Cancer, Diabetes, and Glaucoma Can’t Stop Restaurateur Richard Hales

Read the unbelievable story of ICC alumnus and restaurateur Chef Richard Hales. He has faced the unimaginable circumstances of overcoming brain cancer, glaucoma, and thyroid cancer, all while battling diabetes and dominating the Miami food scene with his multiple restaurants. Read his story here.

Fresh off of Atomix’s semifinalist nomination for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation, Jhonel Faelnar, Intensive Sommelier Training alumnus and Wine Director of Atomix sat down with Wine & Spirits to share his recommendations for what to drink with Korean food. Read his wine pairing recommendations here.

Congratulations to ICC alumnus Whang Suh, the owner and pastry chef at Hen & Heifer in Guilford, CT! He is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category for the 2019 James Beard Awards. Read more about him in the Hartford Courant here.

Model, Chef, and ICC alumna Paige Jimenez recently graduated from our Professional Culinary Arts program in 2018. Read about her love of the culinary arts and her advice here in Ocean Drive.

Read Food and Wine’s article featuring Stacey Kwon, Culinary ’13, President of H Mart, an asian supermarket chain, started by her father in Queens in 1982. Learn more about H Mart’s expansions and what you should buy when you take a trip to one of their stores!

other half brewing
EATER
IPA Hitmaker Other Half Brewing Is Joining Williamsburg’s Domino Development

Co-founder of Other Half Brewing and ICC alumnus Matt Monahan is expanding his popular brewery into the new Williamsburg Domino Development and opening a new Rochester location later in the year. Read about the expansions here in Eater and check out the brewery with a cult following!

Knives

Japanese Knives: What, Why and How To Use Them

Chef Yuuki and Chef DavidThis past January, ICC Professional Culinary Arts alumnus, David Israelow, and Chef Yuuki Tanaka, a highly regarded Kaiseki chef from Tokyo, Japan, gave a demonstration on The Art of Japanese Knife Skills and Sashimi.

Throughout the demonstration, they shared their vast knowledge of Japanese knives and the vital role they play in preparing Japanese cuisine. Below, read about what you should know about Japanese knives, why you should choose one, and how to properly use them!

What Should I Know About Japanese Knives?

Japanese knives are used by chefs all over the world for their thin and flexible blades, precise craftsmanship, and light weight.

chef yuukiTraditionally, Japanese knives have one bevel on the right side of the knife. In addition to the years of practice that it takes to become a Sashimi master, Japanese chefs attain beautifully plated Sashimi fish by using these precise blades. Even though it is common to find single bevel Japanese knives, nowadays, companies are also making double beveled knives to attract more mainstream use, much like the German made knives that are high in demand. This means that they can be used to cook other cuisines in addition to Japanese food, although there are some caveats.

Why Should I Use Japanese Knives?

chef yuuki slicingThere are many different reasons that chefs use Japanese knives in their kitchens. In addition to their flexibility and light weight, they also have different angles than German knives. These angles allow for the precision that is needed in Sashimi preparation, but also allows for chefs in general to make straight cuts.

Japanese knives also have an extremely sharp blade that tends to stay sharp for longer periods of time, depending on the use of the knife. On the Rockwell scale, which is used to determine the hardness of steel, Japanese knives are anywhere in the 60-70 range, which is why the blade stays sharper for longer. In contrast, German knives fall in the mid 50s on the Rockwell scale, which makes the steel softer, but is also one of the reasons why German knives are thicker. This then causes German knives to dull faster with more frequent use.

How Should I Use My Japanese Knives?

knifeIn contrast to the thicker and more durable German knives, Japanese knives should not be used for tough kitchen tasks, like breaking apart chicken bones. The flexibility of the knives allows for precision in cooking and presentation, but also means that the blade is more easily chipped. During this demonstration, Chef David Israelow and Chef Yuuki Tanaka showed this flexibility and precision through the use of five different knife techniques:

  1. San mai oroshi – a 3 piece filet style for round fish
  2. Go mai oroshi – a 5 piece filet style for flat fish
  3. Hegi zukuri – a sashimi cutting style from the left which produce biased cuts on an angle
  4. Hira zukuri – a sashimi cutting style from the right which produce straight block cuts
  5. Sukibiki – a scaling technique where the knife is used to cut the scales off

If you’re ready to purchase a Japanese knife for your kitchen, check out our friends at Korin Knives! They are NYC’s leading experts on Japanese knives and will help you pick out the right knife for your hand, sharpen it, and even show you the proper way to use it!

Chef Joshua Skenes

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

Fabián Von Hauske

MUNCHIES
How to Put a Twist on Classic Tiramisu with the Chef of Una Pizza Napoletana

Tiramisu is a classic and delicious Italian dessert with layers of lady fingers, marscarpone cream, and espresso. Watch how Fabián Von Hauske—chef/owner of Contra, Wildair and Una Pizza Napoletana and ICC alumnus—puts a twist on this classic. Check out his signature recipe on VICE Munchies!

Looking for a new cookie recipe to try? Check out Professional Pastry Arts graduate, Christina Tosi’s, recipe for corn cookies in The Kitchn!

You may have seen him on the Travel Channel, teaching viewers how to make LAVO’s famed one-pound meatball, followed him creating new dishes on his Instagram account, or even caught him on United Airline’s inflight entertainment. Check out alumnus Chef Marc Marrone’s story on Vegas2LA as he recaps 10+ years with TAO Group with the honor of Las Vegas Food & Wine’s Chef of the Year.

Vivian Kamen, Professional Pastry Arts alumna, was a professional pastry chef for many years before finally turning her baking skills into her organizational dream— a recipe database for all to use! Check out her story here on Forbes.

Jhonel F.
GRAPE NATION
Episode 96: Jhonel Faelnar, Atomix, NYC

Jhonel Faelnar, Advanced Sommelier and graduate of ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program, is the Wine Director of one of NYC’s hottest restaurants—Atomix! In this episode, Jhonel shares how he came to pursue his wine career after a stint in fashion, and gives listeners a look into the diverse wine list of Atomix. Listen to his story on Grape Nation’s podcast here.

Chef Joshua Skenes
THE NEW YORK TIMES

Joshua Skenes, famed chef of 3 Michelin Starred Saison in San Francisco and ICC graduate, recently branched out from his first restaurant tbringa  new concept to the Bay Area. Angler, his newest venture, is rethinking the way that restaurants look at seafood and adapt to the forces of climate change. Check out the review of Angler in the New York Times.

Congratulations to Professional Pastry Arts graduate Justine Blandon for the successful opening of her new bakery Paixtries in Bayonne, NJ. Read more about her delicious pastries here.

Alumnus Conor Swanson is opening a new restaurant, Bird & Bao, in Long Island. Here, he will showcase his perfected pork buns and fried chicken bao buns. Check out more from his restaurant here.

Former Art of International Bread instructor, now program director for the bakers in training program at Hot Bread Kitchen, and partner of ICC, Karen Bornarth was featured in Munchies’ article on New York bakers. Check it out here.

Katzie Guy Hamilton
AMNY
Cookbook ‘Clean Enough’ Balances Bowls and Toasts with Cookies and Cakes

Katzie Guy-Hamilton is a 2007 graduate of our Professional Pastry Arts program and has always loved sweets. After feeling like she wanted to amp up her health routine, she joined Equinox as their food and beverage director. Now, find her first cookbook Clean Enough: Get Back to Basics and Leave Room for Dessert, on shelves now!

Henry Lu
FOOD & WINE
The Pig-Centric Chinese New Year Feast in Brooklyn You Won’t Want to Miss

Henry Lu, ICC alumnus and Executive Chef of Loosie’s Kitchen in Brooklyn, pulls on inspiration from his heritage to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities with a feast! On Tuesday, February 5th, he serves up the “We Are All Pigs” celebration to acknowledge the Year of the Pig with what else—suckling pig. Tickets are $30. Check out his feature in Food & Wine for more info.

Olive oil professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world gathered in London last week for that city’s first Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program. Learn more about our Olive Oil Sommelier Certification program’s international endeavors, and don’t miss our next session of the program in NYC this May!

Was bolstering your cooking skills on your list of New Year’s Resolutions? Chef Hervé Malivert, our Director of Culinary Arts and Technology, sat down with Medium to share his quick tips to getting in the kitchen and building your cooking confidence. Read about what he said here.

Ashish Alfred, chef/owner of the Alfred Restaurant Group and ICC alumnus, is the rising star on the Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD food scene, earning acclaim and rave reviews at his three restaurants: Duck Duck Goose BethesdaGeorge’s Chophouse in Bethesda, and Duck Duck Goose Baltimore. Read his interview in Food and Beverage magazine here.

If you’re in Ohio and looking for a great place to have lunch or breakfast, check out alumna Chef Stacy Maple’s restaurant, Bistro 163. At her non-profit restaurant, a pay-it-forward concept is adopted to help those who can’t afford to pay for a meal. Those who can afford it are encouraged to pay more than the suggested prices. Read more about it here.

Table Talk with Michelle doll
CHOWHOUND

Table Talk, a helpful segment from our friends at Chowhound, brings together a discussion platform for home cooks. Michelle Doll—chef, food writer, Adjunct Chef Instructor and ICC alumna—is featured in this latest installment of Table Talk. Check it out here.

If you’re in Philadelphia and looking for some Italian pastries and cooking, head to Fiore in Queens Village, owned and operated by ICC alumna Justine MacNeil and partner Ed Crochet. Expect bold flavors and delicious treats! Read about it in Philly.com here.

Jesse Howland, Art of International Bread Baking graduate, is the pastry chef at LeRoux in Denver, Colorado. Read the review of LeRoux and check out what Chef Howland is up to on 5280.

International News
Brazil

Linum Bakery, the cake bakery of alumna Maria Beatriz de Almeida Pinto, is a smash hit in Brazil, delivering over 20 cakes per month. Read about her bakery in Vogue here.

Japan

Were you inspired to learn more about Japanese cuisine after our Art of Japanese Knife Skills and Sashimi demonstration this past January? Read more about the demonstration with alumnus David Israelow and Chef Yuuki Tanaka from Japan here.

Turkey

Turkey is a melting pot of cuisines that grew from ancient times and interaction with its surrounding cultures and countries. Turkish food is currently on the forefront of global cuisine, and one of the chefs helping to shed light on it is our graduate, Didem Şenol. Read about one of the most well known chefs in Turkey here.

Scholarship News

Our Professional Development Scholarship—created to support the educational pursuits of professionals working, or with experience, in the culinary and hospitality industry—is creating buzz among trade publications Total Food Service and American Cake Decorating. Over the next two years, ICC will award up to $720,000 in scholarships to industry professionals seeking to continue their education at the International Culinary Center in one of our four specialized programs of study—The Art of International Bread BakingIntensive Sommelier TrainingCake Techniques & Design, and Culinary Entrepreneurship.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to pursue your certifications and submit your application today!

salmon in brioche

Sous Vide Smoked Salmon in Brioche Recipe

On January 23rd, our Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert demonstrated the intricacies of Sous Vide cooking in celebration of International Sous Vide day! Sous Vide techniques can completely change the way a kitchen operates, in both professional restaurants and at-home settings. From determining how time and temperature influence the taste and texture of different foods, to its potential to transform rarely used cuts of meat into tender delicacies, Sous Vide methods make you think in new and exciting ways.

chef herveIn order to properly prepare the culinary professionals of today and tomorrow to use Sous Vide cooking methods in their kitchens, Chef Hervé is leading the charge with an all new hands-on curriculum. Relaunching on May 31st, our Sous Vide Intensive course will teach the techniques behind low temperature cooking and how to adapt them to your own kitchen—whether you plan to use what you learn in a professional restaurant or home kitchen setting!

You’ll explore both professional grade equipment and at-home versions of immersion circulators, as well as the difference between using sous vide vacuum bags and other alternatives. By the end, you’ll taste, test and explore various applications of sous vide cooking for your kitchen, with an array of proteins, vegetables and more! Plus, our resident master of plating techniques, Chef Hervé, will share some of his tips for plating any number of these dishes to perfection!

Before you join us for class on May 31, you can begin practicing with Sous Vide techniques at home. Check out one of the recipes from Chef Hervé’s demonstration below!

Find more information on the Sous Vide Intensive here.

Sous Vide Smoked Salmon in Brioche Recipe

Ingredients:
  • Salt, as needed
  • Sugar, as needed
  • 900 g Salmon
  • 100 g Molasses
  • 55 g Liquid smoke
  • 50 g Brown sugar
  • 5 g Black pepper

PROCEDURE

  1. Combine 4:1 ratio of salt to sugar.
  1. Season the fish heavily with the salt/sugar mixture, covering as much of the surface as possible. Let it rest for 45 minutes, then place your fish in an ice bath (a bowl filled with ice cubes and very cold water) to completely remove the salt and sugar.
  1. For making the glaze: In a bowl, combine molasses, liquid smoke, brown sugar and black pepper.
  1. Transfer the rinsed the salmon to a sheet tray and pat it dry. Next, brush the glaze onto both sides of your salmon.
  1. Place the salmon in a vacuum-pack bag and seal. Cook it sous vide for 1 hour at 113⁰F/45⁰C 
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and very cold water. Transfer the bag to the bowl and leave it there until the fish is cool to the touch. Remove bag, dry it off, and store it in the fridge either overnight or all day—recommendation is at least 8 hours.

finished plate

Business Bites Resources: Storytelling For Your Business

Every business has a story behind its origin, and restaurants and food businesses are no exception. For some, it’s the desire to showcase the food they learned to cook with their grandparents at an early age. For others, they were inspired to create a product they couldn’t find on store shelves. In ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program, we teach chefs and aspiring food business owners to take their inspiration, and motivation, behind starting a business and develop it into a defined concept and actionable business plan, all in just 6 weeks! But, in order to get started, you first have to think about what makes the story you are trying to tell compelling, what makes your brand unique, and what you have to accomplish to start your business.

So what does it take to start crafting a compelling business story?

Justine ClayWith a little help from Justine Clay, Speaker & Business Coach for Creative Entrepreneurs and Freelancers and ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship instructor, you’ll develop your story and be ready to pitch your food business idea at the end of our 6-week Culinary Entrepreneurship program. If you missed enrolling in our January session, you still have the chance to start thinking about your concept and how to tell your story before our next session in September. Check out these three steps to help you tell your story and beginning your journey to launching your business!

Establish Yourself as a Likeable Hero

Begin by thinking about what you could share about yourself that would engage your customer and have them rooting for you. The story of how you founded your business will show your customers who you are and will allow them to develop an emotional relationship with your business. By incorporating your background into the story, you can develop your customer base and establish that you are trustworthy.

Share Your Roadblock

Next, establish the moment that was daring and defining to your life. You want your customers to be tuned into your story, so show them how you overcame your obstacles to create the business that they have grown an emotional connection to. However, it’s important to remember that this is not the point where you should create a long and drawn-out story–this is where you should set yourself apart and show your customers what motivates you.

Share Your Transformation

Finally, describe how you overcame these obstacles to establish yourself as a business owner. Share your business’ mission and what you set out to accomplish in creating it. Involve your customers by expressing your excitement for your growing brand and the solutions you’ve created that will impact them!

In the end, establishing a compelling story about your brand makes for great pitch content to secure investors, customer loyalty, media attention and more!

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.