Hands holding food

ICC Alumni Participating in NYC Restaurant Week

Dining out in New York City offers some of the best culinary experiences, but with over 24,000 restaurants to choose from, eating at all can become expensive. This summer, don’t miss the highly anticipated NYC Restaurant Week, where you’ll find special prix-fixe menus at hundreds of restaurants across town. From July 23 through August 17, you’ll have the chance to sample the incredible array of eateries that make up NYC’s culinary culture with prix-fixe meals at over 380 of NYC’s finest restaurants (two-course lunch, $26; three-course dinner, $42).

So why does ICC love NYC Restaurant Week? With many of our 15,000+ alumni still working in NYC, many of the restaurants on this year’s list feature ICC graduates leading the kitchens of our favorite restaurants!

If you want to get a taste of just some of our graduates, check out some of the NYC Restaurant Week establishments where our alumni work and book your table here.

 

Aisha Momaney, Executive Pastry Chef

David Battin, Executive Chef

  • The Red Cat feels like a real neighborhood joint—the decor has a funky, homemade feel to it, with its hanging vintage lamps and barn walls—but the food is world-class. Grilled double pork chops are served with a black olive-and-roast cauliflower puree, while crispy sautéed skate wing is accompanied by sweet-and-sour eggplant.

David Chang, Executive Chef/Owner

  • Momofuku Nishi, located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, creates Italian-inspired dishes using unexpected techniques and ingredients. In addition to a la carte pasta, meat and fish offerings, the menu also features a house-made pasta tasting with an optional wine pairing.

Gerald San Jose, General Manager

Hooni Kim, Executive Chef/Owner

  • Danji showcases authentic Korean flavors prepared with classic techniques to enhance the taste, texture and aesthetic of each dish. They offer small but shareable portions served in multiple courses, allowing diners to enjoy each dish hot out of the kitchen.
  • Hanjan is Chef Hooni Kim’s second restaurant after Danji, located in the Flatiron District. Many of the dishes at Hanjan are meant to evoke Korean street markets that offer comfort food enjoyed by people in Korea in their everyday life.

Ian Coogan, Executive Chef

James Friedberg, Executive Chef

  • Nickel & Diner serves globally driven, re-imagined diner fare inspired by Chef James Friedberg’s experience in some of NYC’s top kitchens, including Le Cirque and Aureole. The menu changes often, reflecting the current season with local and seasonal ingredients from the surrounding neighborhood of Chinatown.

Jeremie Tomczak, Head Chef

Julian Medina, Executive Chef/Owner

Julieta Ballesteros, Executive Chef/Owner

  • La Loteria is a new take on authentic Mexican cuisine from celebrity chef Julieta Ballesteros. The West Village eatery features an exciting and surprising mix of Mexican recipes ranging from the deliciously elemental “street” taco to the luscious lobster quesadilla.

Karen Shu, Chef de Cuisine

  • Loring Place offers seasonal, local, American cuisine by chef Dan Kluger in the heart of Greenwich Village. The menu, comprised of small and large shareable plates, spotlights farms and farmers whom Kluger has gotten to know intimately over 20 years of frequenting the Union Square Greenmarket.

 

Don’t forget to make your reservations for NYC Restaurant Week and experience these wonderful restaurants, and more, throughout the city where our alumni work. With over 300 options, you can’t go wrong!

 

Michael-Vinegar-Tasting-Event

Destination Vinegar

By: Wajma Basharyar

Photographer, Author and Podcast-host, Michael Harlan Turkell had his first acid trip at the age of 19 when famed Bostonian Chef Barbara Lynch gave him a cap full of something.  He shot it back and recalls having “one of the most profound sensory experiences” of his life up until that point. That spiritual explosion of flavor – sweet, sour, sapid – became his gateway to the world of acidity.

Erwin Gegenbauer, Gegenbauer Vinegar Brewery
Erwin Gegenbauer, Gegenbauer Vinegar Brewery

Fast forward 15 years, he found himself in Vienna, Austria on the doorsteps of Erwin Gegenbauer, the maker of that first shot and quite possibly the best vinegar-craftsman in the world.  While interacting with Gegenbauer, Michael learned the importance of capturing the purity of an ingredient and why it’s crucial in creating a great tasting vinegar.

“The majority of vinegar that I had tasted (up until that first Gegenbauer shot) was the kind that hits you in your chest, makes you cough; you can feel it on your tongue, but you don’t actually taste it,” says Michael.

Acid Trip book cover

 

 

 

While many people may associate it with bad grapes, during that trip, he realized that vinegar is actually made with the best grapes available.  His yearning to learn more about how ingredients impact the quality of the product led him on a global journey to study vinegar-making practices from the people and places that have evolved the craft.  He chronicled the expedition in a newly-released book, ACID TRIP: Travels in the World of Vinegar (Abrams, $29.99)

Through his lens, we’re transported to France, Italy, Austria, Japan and throughout North America to learn about the art and science of vinegar.  The photography brings to life the richness of the recipes, the insights from world-renowned chefs including Daniel Boulud, Massimo Bottura and April Bloomfield. The book captures the essence of why good vinegar is necessary for culinary arts while the how-to tutorials give the reader front-row access to making their own vinegar at home with bases, such as honey, apple cider vinegar, rice and wine.

plated dish
Sandre in Beurre Blanc

In France, Michael investigated the role of vinegar in relation to food techniques and the application thereof.  What he concluded was that it all comes down to the basic balance of acid and fat; both elements prevalent in French food and more specifically, French sauces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Italy, Michelin-star Chef Massimo Bottura, who runs the number one restaurant in the world, showed Michael an example of a balsamic vinegar that was unlike any balsamic he had tasted before.

 

Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana

Iio Jozo, shari, temakiAs a self-proclaimed Japanophile, Michael was elated to make the trip to Japan and find a producer who could explain the full cycle of rice vinegar from start to end. “Given how much rice is produced in Asia, it’s unsurprising that a remarkable range of rice vinegars can be found there, too. I am partial to the premium rice vinegars of Japan, which are exceptionally fresh and clean-tasting.”

 

 

 

 

 

Iio Jozo, shari, temaki

Earlier this month, the ICC’s California campus was honored to have author/photographer/ podcast-host, Michael Harlan Turkell, visit the campus. He spent the afternoon educating students, alumni and staff all about the vinegar-making process. He shared stories of his travel experiences meeting the world’s best vinegar makers and he brought with him a range of artisanal varieties for us to taste.

  • Acetaia Leonardi Balsamic Vinegar – a very special blend of balsamic vinegar aged for up to 25 years with the finest grapes
  • Acetum Mellis Mead Vinegar – a honey vinegar with a golden, translucent color that has a delicate and fresh taste with a spark of acidity
  • Pojer e Sandri Dolomiti Italian varieties in Cherry, Quince and Black Current – each has a distinct flavor and taste to represent its base ingredient Sparrow Lane, California Citrus Vinegar – a light, fresh and flavorful melody of orange, lime and lemon incorporated in fine barrel-aged chardonnay

At first glance, Michael Harlan Turkell may appear to be just another Brooklynite with a barrel of beer in his backyard.  We came to learn, however, that he started working in kitchens as a young kid at the age of 15 in his hometown of Westchester, New York, and dreamed of becoming a full-fledged chef.  Interestingly, when he later moved to Boston for college, he ended up dropping out of school to again work in restaurants. It wasn’t until he entered the high-end food scene in Boston that his palette was awakened to something new.  Today, he is an expert in at-home vinegar making.  He was proud to tell us that he even spent two years reverse-engineering one process and figured out the secret to making a great beer vinegar in his Brooklyn backyard!

Vinegar from the tasting at ICC
Vinegar Varieties

According to Michael, generally, two kinds of vinegar have found their way to our dinner tables today; either the balsamic poured on salad or the apple-cider vinegar (ACV), touted for its health benefits.  He explained that he aims to change that paradigm by broadening our acidic horizons and expanding our palettes to offer a more varied selection of vinegar that brings a harmonious balance of flavor to our everyday meals.

For a perfect summer treat, try a fresh take on the Negroni.

BALSAMIC NEGRONI, FROM DAMON BOELTE, GRAND ARMY, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

MAKES A 48-OUNCE (1.4-L) PITCHER, SERVES 4 TO 8

16 ounces (180 ml) of CAMPARI

16 ounces (180 ml) COCCHI VERMOUTH DI TORINO

16 ounces (180 ml) GIN, BEAFEATER preferred

½ pint (165 g) STRAWBERRIES, sliced

½ ENGLISH CUCUMBER, sliced

ICE

½ cup (120 ml) BALSAMIC VINEGAR, DOP

In the pitcher, mix together Campari, vermouth and gin.  Add the sliced strawberries and cucumber, let sit for 30 minutes for all the flavors to mingle, then top with ice.

To serve, put a few ice cubes in a rocks glass, pour in 6 ounces (120 to 180 ml) of the Negroni, and float 1 tablespo0n of the balsamic vinegar on top.

Baker Zoe in the kitchen

ICC In The News: Highlights from July 2018

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 July 2018, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

  • Chef Fausto Mieres, an alumni of FCI, opened a fast casual, made-to-order healthy restaurant in Westchester. Check it out here if you’re looking for a delicious and healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner!
  • Opened in 2014, Madame Sou Sou Cafe is a delightful treat where you can go to enjoy owner Effie’s French creamy cheesecake or the pistachio cake paired with an iced espresso or whipped frappe. Effie is a graduate of FCI’s French Pastry making course. Read about the cafe here.
  • Heart Health Weekend is happening Aug. 4 and 5 at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel in Harrison. NY. Curtis Cord – the Executive Director, Olive Oil Sommelier Certification program – will discuss the benefits of olive oil use and offer a tasting. Read more here.
A dish from Claro
EATER
THE 38 ESSENTIAL NYC SUMMER 2018 RESTAURANTS

Looking for a new spot to try this summer? Look no further than Claro, which serves up Oaxacan fare in Brooklyn, New York and is featured as an essential restaurant to try. Alumni Chef Jose Alvarez will be sure to wow you with the up and coming Oaxacan cuisine.

  • Chef Andrae Bopp — the former owner of a landscape and sprinkler business – decided to attend FCI and eventually worked in the kitchens of acclaimed NYC spots such as Le Bernardin, Bouley and Balthazar. Now he owns Andrea’s Kitchen, a gourmet gas station eatery. Check it out if you’re in Walla Walla, Washington.
  • The Surf Lodge in Montauk has our very own FCI alumni, Chef de Cuisine Angela Bazan. Together with the Head Chef, Ron Rosselli, they bring together local suppliers and years of experience to create Italian and Mediterranean inspired cuisine.
Inside of Hyacinth
EATER
INSIDE GRAND AVENUE’S ALMOST OPEN ITALIAN EATERY 

On August 14, Hyacinth will open in St. Paul. The Italian eatery is the work of chef/owner Rikki Giambruno, chef de cuisine Paul Baker, and general manager Beth Johnson. Giambruno is a graduate of ICC and an alum of several New York restaurants. The menu is a modern mix of Italian dishes included pastas, entrees and antipasti.

  • Embrace the island life at Tommy Bahama in NYC– no, we don’t mean the clothing store! FCI Alum Chef Jeremie Tomczak is cooking up island flavors on 5th ave in NYC. Don’t miss it!
  • Chef Cesare Casella, Dean of Italian Studies at ICC and head of the Department of Nourishment Arts at the Center for Discovery, works at the residential and educational facility for people of all ages with complex disabilities in Sullivan County, New York. Read how they are working to bring accessible nutrition to everyone.
  • If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, look no further than Montclair, New Jersey, a short distance from New York City. Be sure to eat at Marcel or MishMish, from alumni Chef Meny Vaknin. Read more about his restaurants.
FORTUNE
40 UNDER 40

Chef Christina Tosi, creator of MilkBar and a 2004 graduate of ICC, was listed on Fortune’s list of 40 Under 40. Fortune creates this ranking annually of the most influential young people in business. Read her feature and meet the other honorees.

  • Chef Allison Katz, a 2003 graduate of the Professional Culinary Arts program, has been a staple on the North Fork, NY foodie scene for several years. Chef Katz has a long culinary résumé and will soon be at the helm of her very own place, Ali Katz Kitchen, in Mattituck. Read more about her.
  • Krishni Shroff, a 2010 alum, is a “bread baker of exceptional talent.” Shroff attended ICC’s The Art of International Bread Baking course to perfect her sourdough baking skills and now owns a bakery in Mumbai, India. Read more from GQ India here.
Zoe Kashan's headshot
RESY
BREAKING BREAD AND BREAKING GROUND

Baker Zoe Kanan, a 2010 graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts program, is “breaking bread and breaking ground” at Studio and at Simon & The Whale. She is head baker for both restaurants, and people flock to them for her sugary chocolate morning buns or anise-flecked black bread. Read about her journey.

  • Every summer, at Hayground School in Bridgehampton, NY world-renowned five-star chefs gather to raise much-needed financial aid for the school and its Edible Garden/Kitchen Science program. This year’s Hayground Chefs Dinner will be held Sunday, July 29, and our Dean of Special Programs, Chef Jacques Pépin, is being honored.
  • Casa Peal will open in Williamsburg, VA in October 2018, and they will serve seafood bites, tacos and twists on American Southern classics. Chef Mikey Maksimowicz, who is a 2005 graduate of the Professional Culinary Arts program, is opening the restaurant with wife and Chef Chelsea Maksimowicz.
Chocolate

Where Health Meets Decadence… 7 Reasons Why Dark Chocolate Can Be a Healthy Choice

Written by: Trees Emma Martens, Owner of Emma’s DelightsEmma

2013 Chocolate Candy and Confections Class

Emma’s Delights’ owner-chocolatière, Trees Emma Martens, was born and raised in Belgium and like most Belgians, she grew up with fine chocolates. Her mom was a great cook and a fabulous baker-pâtissière, and from a very young age, Emma spent countless hours helping her mom measuring and mixing ingredients in the family kitchen, and most importantly taking care of the ‘quality assurance’ of the finished product by tasting it at all the different stages of production. No wonder she claims that crafting chocolates must be ingrained in her DNA. 

Emma has been experimenting daily in her own kitchen since her college years. After moving to the Bay Area in 1996 with her family, she eagerly included a variety of culinary elements from the many cultures surrounding her into her own recipes. Emma’s Delights continues that tradition.

We‘ve all heard the saying, “dark chocolate is good for you,” and there are many studies claiming just that. Here are my top 7 health benefits attributed to a high cocoa percentage dark chocolate*:

  1. Fights Free Radicals: Dark chocolate contains plenty of antioxidants that reduce free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage cells).
  2. Protects Your Skin: The flavanols, a plant-based nutrient, found in dark chocolate absorb ultraviolet rays thus protecting your skin against their damaging effects. Please note that it’s still good to wear sunscreen!
  3. Improves Blood Flow: Dark chocolate is said to lower blood pressure and may even improve brain function by increasing blood flow, which can help you perform better on intellectual tests.
  4. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease: Dark chocolate (together with exercise and a healthy diet) can lower the risk of heart disease because it raises the HDL (good cholesterol) and decreases the oxidized LDL (meaning “bad” cholesterol has reacted with free radicals).
  5. Increases Productivity: Dark chocolate contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine (a blood vessel widener), but at a low enough level to not keep you awake at night.
  6. Reduces Stress: Apparently, dark chocolate also helps reduce stress hormones that can lead to collagen breakdown (wrinkles) and excess oil production (acne).
  7. Lose Weight: Eating a piece of dark chocolate as a snack will lower your craving for sweets and fatty foods and reduces feelings of hunger. This will make it easier to stick to your regular diet plan and help you to reduce body weight.

* If 90% cacao mass is too bitter for you, try a 70%. Just make sure that sugar is not the first ingredient listed and that your plain dark chocolate is truly dairy-free.

If all these scientific reasons cannot persuade you to include dark chocolate into your diet, just think of how good eating a piece of chocolate can make you feel… to indulge without guilt!

With Emma’s Delights, my goal is to handcraft high quality chocolates in small volume with emphasis on the uniqueness of Belgian chocolates. I want to stay as close as possible to the original art of Belgian ‘praline’ making, using traditional molds and soft fillings. I am also passionate about eating healthy so I use only ‘real’ ingredients for my fillings. I avoid any coloring or preservatives, I never use glucose or any other sugary syrups, and I only use organic cane sugar for caramelized fillings. Many of my customers are also happy to know that my fillings are dairy free and all are gluten free. In staying true to my motto, “where decadence becomes healthy,” I offer a large selection of gourmet products made with 70% cacao mass Belgian chocolate, nuts, seeds, or dried fruit.

While Emma’s Delights is mainly an online store that concentrates on “order only,” you can also find me at holiday markets and corporate pop ups. As a small business owner, my job description includes everything from janitor to CEO. In one day, I can go from purchasing ingredients and developing recipes to, fulfilling customer orders and making my chocolates and fillings. There is also a lot of administrative work and marketing involved, i.e answering emails and sending out quotes, writing newsletters, taking pictures for Instagram and, of course, there is always a lot of clean up.

Although maintaining such high standards for my products takes much effort, the “farm to table” movement has always been a way of life for me. In fact, I grew up eating healthy meals cooked from scratch, using fresh vegetables and fruit mostly grown in our own garden. I also have fond memories of assisting my mom every Saturday, baking cakes, pastries, and pies that we would deliver to our neighbors on Sundays as gifts. Even though my mom was an amazing amateur baker/pâtissière, the dessert ‘par excellence’ for me was definitely chocolate, and more specifically our famous Belgian chocolates.

Growing up in Belgium, we always had chocolate in the pantry and after moving to the United States, I especially missed those Belgian ‘pralines’ (hard shell chocolates with soft fillings). One particular year, my craving for them was so great that I decided to make them myself. I did a lot of research online, bought some chocolate molds, and started making my own chocolates. My first attempts didn’t always work out well, but I was intrigued by the process and wanted to learn more about tempering and the whole chocolate making craft. I began taking some amateur classes and became hooked. Since I wanted to really master the art of chocolate making, I was fortunate that the ICC was offering a 5-week course and eagerly signed up for it. Meanwhile, I had to practice a lot and shared my first results with friends and family. Even though my chocolates were still far from perfect, they were a big hit and people often encouraged me to start a business. I knew it would be tough, but the idea of becoming a chocolatière was appealing to me because I saw a niche for it: Belgian chocolates made by a Belgian in the Bay Area, using Belgian couverture chocolate.

Learn more about Emma’s Delights on her website [http://emmasdelights.com] and be sure to follow her on Instagram @emmasdelights!

If It Grows Together, It Goes Together – French Wines & Cheeses

In celebration of #FCIFlashback month, ICC hosted a special Bastille Day Wine & Cheese pairing event with specialty French cheeses provided by Paris Gourmet. For this event, which was the first wine and cheese pairing event I’ve ever attended, I was seated in a room with a Master Sommelier and 50 knowledgeable wine professionals. As a recent college graduate, a 22-year old lover of white wine (the sweeter, the better), and someone who knows little about wine, I was nervous. I rarely am intimidated by anything, but I felt clueless about how to participate in a tasting with people who had been doing this for who-knows-how long.

Sitting in the back of the room, I wondered whether I would actually have to spit into a cup (what is that even for?!) and if I should attempt to swirl the wine, or if should I just sip it out of its glass? Luckily, ICC’s Dean of Wine Studies and Master Sommelier, Scott Carney, took us through each wine and cheese pairing with ease and explained how to properly sample each pairing (for the record, you smell the cheese, then the wine, then combine the pairing). ICC’s wonderful Wine Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Smith, CS, who organized the event, also helped to create an informative slide show to help the newbie’s follow along (mostly me!).

Here is what I learned from the event, including each pairing and the different regions in France where they came from. Try to create these pairings at home, and remember the saying “if it grows together, it goes together… but the rules are made to be broken!”

  1. The Loire Valley is well known for its beautiful castles and scenery. A few hours’ drive outside of Paris, it was a popular place for châteaux to be built. The Loire Valley is also considered to be one of France’s most diverse wine regions, and popularity for their wines has been increasing throughout the last decade, even though they have been producing wines since Roman times.
    • The Pairing: For the first pairing of the event, we were given 2017 Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc and Le Chevrot, a goat cheese. I enjoyed this wine for its fresh citrus flavors, and Dean Carney was sure to point out how the tartness cleansed the palette and enhanced the creaminess of the cheese. I was indeed surprised how the wine somehow made the cheese creamier!
  2. Normandy is known for its seafood, pears and apples, and butter and cheese. The climate in Normandy – colder and somewhat more volatile than the rest of France – makes it ideal for apples, not so much for grapes. This is one of the many reasons that the best cider in the world comes from Normandy, and why Dean Carney decided to have us try a cider instead of a wine. If you ever have the chance, don’t miss the opportunity to try Normandy cider!
    • The Pairing: The second pairing was my personal favorite—a pear cider and Camembert cheese. The cider was Eric Bordelet’s Poiré Authentique, and in Dean Carney’s estimation, “they are one of the top producers of pear cider in the world.” It was so delicious and surprisingly light. The cheese—oh my, the cheese— was maybe one of the best cheeses I have ever tasted, and I am an avid cheese lover. It was made from the milk of Normandy cows, who are known for their rich, grassy milk. If you like mushrooms and truffles as much as I do, you must try this cheese. Somehow it tastes like truffles without actually having any truffles in the cheese.
  3. Jura, at the Swiss border near Lake Geneva, has a long history of cheese and wine-making. Arguably France’s most obscure wine region, Jura’s wines are unusual, distinctive, and completely different from wines made anywhere else in the world. It’s a tiny region, as in 5,200 acres planted, which is said to account for just 0.2% of French wine production overall. The Trousseau grape, which is what we sampled, is one of the grapes that Jura is known for.
    • The Pairing: This pairing was interesting and unlike any wine and cheese that I have tried. The cheese, a Montboissé, was strong and pungent in its aftertaste. There are two layers to the cheese; traditionally, one made from morning milk and the other from evening milk, separated by a thin layer of ash. The wine, 2015 Domaine Pignier Côtes du Jura Trousseau, was vibrant and tangy and somehow the cheese brought out buttery notes. While the cheese was not my favorite, I enjoyed the wine and would love to try it again.
  4. The Basque Region of France borders the better known Spanish Basque Region and has a population of less than 300,000. The region has a unique food and culture scene because of its complex cultural identity and history. Lesser known for their wines and therefore difficult to find, they are delicious and delightful when you come across them.
    • The Pairing: For this pairing we had the opportunity to try a cheese that is believed to be the oldest of all French cheeses, and said to be one of the first cheeses ever made. Ossau-Iraty smells oddly similar to Parmesan and has similar nutty flavors to Gouda. This cheese needs a fuller bodied wine since it has such a strong flavor, so Dean Carney paired it with 2016 Alain Graillot Saint-Joseph Syrah. Aged in 1-3 year-old neutral burgundy barrels which soften the edges of a wine, this particular wine was fruity and the pairing was perfection.
  5. The Occitanie Region, proclaimed by Vogue as “the new wine region to visit in France,” has had vines since the Greek planted them in 5th century B.C. Occitanie is also the birthplace of sparkling wine and one of the few places in the world where you can craft almost any type of wine. Remarkably, this region includes more acreage of vineyards than all of the land in Australia—almost 550,000 acres.
    • The Pairing: This was the pairing that I was most intrigued by. The 1997 Château Guiraud 1er Cru Classé Sauternes had a distinct caramel color and the most intense bouquet that I have ever smelled in a wine. The cheese was a sight not for the faint of heart. Most people are used to seeing the mold in bleu cheese, but this Roquefort had more craters of mold than I had ever seen. Even though it surprisingly did not have much of a smell, upon first bite its sharp, tangy flavor immediately made my eyes water. The wine itself was shockingly sweet despite its notes of maturity and perfectly paired with the pungent cheese. Despite its looks, the cheese was incredible and had a soft texture.

So if you’re just as inspired as I was by this afternoon of wine & cheese, try to recreate some of these pairings for yourself! Ask your local wine retailer for wines from these regions and visit Paris Gourmet’s website to try some of these unique cheeses.

Thank you to Paris Gourmet for the delicious cheese, ICC’s Dean of Wine Studies Scott Carney, MS for his perfect pairings and informative lecture, and ICC’s Wine Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Smith, CS, for her tireless efforts to put together the event.

Jacques Pepin a the Demo

Essential Tips from Chef Jacques Pépin

July is #FCIFlashback month where we are celebrating our founding as The French Culinary Institute with exciting programming and demos that embrace our FCI legacy—after all, the International Culinary Center® is still The French Culinary InstituteTM.

On July 11th, ICC was fortunate enough to have Chef Jacques Pépin, Dean of Special Programs, visit us for his classic La Technique demonstration. Chef Pépin’s technique, skill, and knowledge are unparalleled. His impressive display of knife skills is incredible to watch and learn from, and he has been an extraordinary resource at the International Culinary Center since 1988. Chef shared some of his vast knowledge with our audience during his demonstration.

Here are some essential tips to mastering your knife skills & more straight from the source:

Have a good knife.

As you use your knife continually, it will dull. Sharpening it on a stone will make the knife last longer. To do so:

  • Saturate your stone with water or mineral oil, depending on what is recommended for your particular stone.
  • Use steel to realign the teeth of your knife.
  • Always keep the knife at the correct angle on the steel that you are sharpening the knife with, or the teeth may break.
And if you need to realign your knife blade on steel:
  • Cover the entire blade back and forth on the steel
  • Apply pressure
  • Keep your angle constant, or else you will destroy the teeth of the knife
Glue your hand to the knife you are working with.

This controls the knife, allows for an even distribution of cuts and prevents accidents.

The sharper your knife, the less you cry when cutting an onion.

Did you know that onions make us teary because a reaction in the onion releases a chemical called lachrymatory factor? A sharp knife causes less damage to the cell walls of an onion where irritants are unleashed, causing tears to form. The sharper the knife, the fewer irritants that will be released.

When using a vegetable peeler, use it flat on the cutting board.

If you wrap your hand around the peeler, instead of pinching the peeler at the top, you will be too far away from the cutting board and it will make it much more difficult.

Vinegar and salt cleans copper.

Ever wonder how Chef Pépin keeps his copper pots and pans so clean on TV? Well it’s not all in the magic of TV! He recommends using a combination of salt and vinegar to clean the grime and tarnish off of copper. It works because the acid in the vinegar strips the oxidized patina from the copper and the salt acts as a mild abrasive to remove any caked on grime.

And lastly, one of the most important pieces of advice that Chef Pépin shared with ICC students is to see the food through the chef you are learning from. He advises aspiring professionals to take pride in what the chef wants you to learn. After working with different chefs over the course of many years, you’ll have a wealth of knowledge to create your own style.

A collage of food entrepreneur

CALLING ALL CHEFS – Citi Urbanspace Challenge

Citi and Urbanspace announced the launch of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge, a program designed to connect local chefs to New York City communities and offer small businesses the chance to operate a booth at Urbanspace’s Fall 2018 pop-up markets and for one winner to have a booth at Urbanspace’s market located at 570 Lexington Ave.

CALLING ALL ICC ALUMNI

Do you have what it takes? ICC believes you do!

ENTRY PERIOD
Thursday, July 12th – Monday July 23rd (Noon, EST)

Geared towards emerging culinary entrepreneurs, the Citi Urbanspace Challenge is a creative challenge whose aim is to help discover the culinary entrepreneurs of tomorrow and provide them a platform to connect with the New York market scene. If you’re an alumni of the Culinary, Pastry, Cake, Bread, Sommelier or Culinary Entrepreneurship programs with a creative, fast-casual restaurant concept, submit your ideas from now to July 23rd at noon EST for the chance to test your concept an an Urbanspace market!

Three finalists of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge will be placed in a rent free booth at Urbanspace pop-up markets: Mad. Sq. Eats, Garment District, and Broadway Bites during the Fall 2018 season.

THE WINNER OF THE CHALLENGE

From the three finalists, the overall winner of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge will be awarded a full customized, branded booth in the prime Urbanspace at 570 Lex location for three months beginning in January 2019! Winners will be determined based on a public vote hosted on Urbanspace’s website through the fall 2018 pop-up markets and a panel of expert judges, including restauranteurs and culinary influencers & experts.

DON'T MISS OUT ON THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME—ENTER TODAY!

Chef Mark Demonstrating

Sustainability: Beyond the Plate

 Written by: Mark Duesler, Chef Consultant for the Food Service Technology Center

Chef Mark

My name is Mark Duesler. I am the Chef Consultant for the Food Service Technology Center (FSTC), a resource for foodservice professionals. In California, we have programs set up specifically for energy efficiency in the foodservice sector and for good reason: refrigerating, cooking, holding, and serving food is incredibly energy intensive! On average, foodservice facilities use 5-to-10 times more energy than other commercial businesses.

To give you a better idea of this disparity, in 16 hours, a small fast food restaurant uses about the same amount of energy as a Home Depot or other big box store would in 24 hours. And with so many restaurants, it is important to consider energy use not only from a business perspective, but from an environmental approach as well.

From rebate incentives for energy-efficient equipment to invaluable design consultations and equipment demonstration programs, the FSTC offers many programs to culinarians as they grow and learn about their craft. We’ve collected several ways to curb energy use in foodservice operations from instituting best practices among staff to avoiding common pitfalls leading to unnecessary consumption. Check them out below!

 

Best Practices

  • Fix Water Leaks– While they may seem small, that constant drip adds up.
  • Replace Worn Refrigerator Gaskets– Refrigeration is always running. If the door gaskets are worn, a cooler or freezer is working harder than necessary, it is sucking energy and shortening its life. From experience, walk-ins always seem to go down at the end of service on a Saturday night (and that is no fun).
  • On/Off Schedules– Most modern equipment only needs about 15 minutes to preheat. If it doesn’t need to be on, then shut it down. This practice also keeps the space more comfortable.
  • Purchase Rebate Qualified Equipment– Rebate-qualified equipment has been designed/tested to be more efficient. This often means that the equipment performs better as well. Lost revenue to utility bills can be much more costly in the long run than the initial up-front cost of purchase.
  • Energy Audits– A free service provided by the FSTC (for PG&E customers). We can come out and identify where the best energy efficient opportunities are in your kitchen.

Common Pitfalls

  • All equipment is the same”– These tools are the backbone of any operation. Not taking the time to examine the various energy pits in your operation ends up costing more money and precious time.
  • Not Cleaning Condenser Coils– If you don’t clean the refrigerator’s coils, it is being starved of much needed air to cool the unit. This can also lead to a short life span and increased energy usage.
  • Complacency– Ask questions and keep asking. There are a lot of resources out there to help you. Restaurants are constantly evolving with many moving targets, so the answer today may not be the same answer tomorrow.

Did you know you can try out the most advanced appliances without committing to a purchase? At the FSTC, we have an inventory of high-end demonstration equipment such as combination ovens, high-speed ovens, pressure fryers, vacuum sealers, and immersion circulators. These pieces of equipment are available for you to test your recipes and hone your skills. As a cook, it is a terrific way to expand your knowledge as you further your career. It’s an opportunity to learn what tools and technologies are available, which can help you gain an advantage in the particularly competitive culinary world.

 

Missed our Foodservice Sustainability Workshop? Learn about energy saving practices with Chef Mark Duesler & Matt Greco, owner of Salt Craft Restaurant, at the Food Service Technology Center on Thursday, July 19th. Event is free & open to the public. Click here to learn more.

Chef Mark demonstrating

Old photo of Jacques Torres, Andre Soltner, Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, and Alain Sailhac in the Bread Kitchen at ICC

Flashback to FCI this July with French Demos, Tastings & More

In celebration of Bastille Day this July, we’re looking back at our days as The French Culinary InstituteTM with a whole month of programming dedicated to honoring French cuisine and culture, as well as our founding as FCITM. Join us for three events this July that celebrate everything we love about French culinary techniques, as well as French food & wine favorites that never go out of style!

Observe the masterful Chef Jacques Pépin, Dean of Special Programs, in his La Techniques demonstration to learn the fundamental knife skills every good cook must know. Learn the art of pairing through a tasting of French wines and cheeses carefully selected by Dean of Wine Studies and Master Sommelier, Scott Carney, with cheeses provided by Paris Gourmet. Or, travel to the region of Alsace with a demonstration and tasting of traditional and modern techniques for three Alsatian summer dishes and desserts from Chef Marc Bauer’s hometown. Check out the event details below & RSVP to attend!

Plus, we’ll be showing you how the International Culinary Center is still The French Culinary InstituteTM throughout the month of July on our social channels! Follow us all month long as we unlock the FCI vault with photos, stories, recipes and never-before-seen archives of our history. Test your knowledge with Tuesday Trivia on our Instagram stories and see how much you know about the history of FCI/ICC. Tune in every Friday on Instagram for Ask the Chefs as we hear from our FCI/ICC Chef-Instructors about their favorite French dishes, FCI memories and more! Watch us live on Facebook on July 12th at 12pm EST for 20 questions with Chef Jurgen David who has been an FCI/ICC Pastry Chef-Instructor for 20 years.

If you’re an FCI grad, Chef Instructor, or frequently dined at L’ Ecole, we want to hear from you! Share your favorite FCI memories with us using #FCIflashback and tagging @iccedu on Instagram and Twitter. Your photos may end up in our #ThrowbackThursday posts with other photos from our archives.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL

#FCIFLASHBACK

INSTAGRAM
@iccedu
TWITTER
@iccedu
FACEBOOK
@InternationalCulinaryCenter

JULY DEMOS & TASTINGS

Chef Jacques Pepin
La Technique with Chef Jacques Pépin
Wednesday, July 11 | 3:30-5pm
ICC Amphitheater

Join us for an exclusive demonstration with ICC’s Dean of Special Programs, Chef Jacques Pépin, as he shares the fundamental techniques to improve your knife skills.

white wine & rose wine in glasses
Bastille Day Wine & Cheese Tasting
Thursday, July 19 | 3:30-5pm
ICC 5th floor

ICC’s Dean of Wine Studies and Master Sommelier, Scott Carney takes us through a carefully curated pairing of French wine & cheeses, provided by Paris Gourmet, to highlight the principles behind each pairing success.

Chef Marc Bauer plating
A TASTE OF ALSACE WITH CHEF MARC BAUER
Wednesday, July 25 | 3:30-5pm
ICC Amphitheater

Defined by its rich and vibrant traditions, Alsace is a region known for its cooking, where Alsatian chefs have been particularly ingenious in their ability to use day-to-day ingredients when creating culinary masterpieces! Get a taste through this demonstration of three Alsatian summer dishes & desserts inspired by Chef Marc’s childhood.

Chef Tory Miller Cooking

ICC In The News: Highlights from June 2018

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 aggregated some of our favorites from June 2018, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

Jacques Pepin and Anthony BourdainKQED | JACQUES PÉPIN SHARES MEMORIES OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN

Longtime friend of the late Anthony Bourdain and Dean of Special Programs at ICC, Jacques Pépin, shares memories of Bourdain and the importance of his work in the food industry. Read Pépin’s interview here.

In Other News:

  • Chef and restaurateur Judy Joo joined the Today show for the make-ahead Monday series, to cook up her deliciously crispy, juicy Korean fried chicken, that then turns into burgers and kimchi fried rice. Read about how to make it here.
  • Alumna Christine Byrne, shares that her impulsive decision to go to culinary school was in part inspired by the late Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, and thus she moved to NYC and spent 10 months at then FCI learning to cook. Read her full story here.
  • The Ottomani, a chic Middle Eastern restaurant in Singapore, created a series of visiting guest chefs called The Nomad Series. ICC alumni and James Beard nominated author Chef Jason Licker kicked off the series with his take on exotic Middle Eastern flavors. Read about it here.

 

EATER | THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS 2018

Congratulations to ICC Alumni Chef Dan Barber, chef/owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Chef Joshua Skenes, chef/owner of Saison, on making the 2018 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list at numbers 12 & 46 respectively.

In Other News:

  • Aaron Sanchez hosted a fundraising event at Redbird on June 5, featuring names like Ben Ford, Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman and more. The event helped to benefit a scholarship for the Latino community looking to attend The International Culinary Center. Read more.
  • Anticipation for FCI grad John Wipfli’s latest project, a 33 ft long BBQ trailer with Apple Seedhouse + Brewery is taking Minneapolis by storm! Read about what he is cooking up in his smoker here.
THE DISH | THE ICONIC CHEF TORY MILLER

Read about ICC alumni and Chef, Tory Miller,  and how he got his start in the culinary world and took it by storm.

In Other News:

  • Eric Suh, FCI graduate, talks about the bittersweet move of the New Star Fish Market (a family owned business) from the Essex Street Market to the new food hall location which will expand to include a kitchen space with small menu of daily seafood offerings.
  • Chef Shorne Benjamin, FCI Grad, was one of two Caribbean born chefs handpicked to cook at this year’s Citi Taste of Tennis DC event. Chef Shorne infuses a contemporary approach of Caribbean cuisine to create what he calls New Age Caribbean. Read about him here.
  • ICC and Pace University Alumni James Park shares his experience in the 2017 ICC Cookie Games Competition and his original recipe for the Honey Butter Chip Shortbread Cookies, inspired by the addictive Korean snack, Honey Butter Chips.
EATER | EATER YOUNG GUNS 2018

Congratulations to ICC Alumni Gerald Addison, co-Executive Chef of Maydan & Compass Rose in DC and Zoe Kanan, head baker for the Freehand Hotels’ Studio and Simon and the Whale on their Eater Young Guns 2018 Nominations!

In Other News:

  • Mordi’s Schnitzel Truck opened in April 2014 out of the love of two things – Israeli street food + Jersey City, and it has now blossomed into a brick-and-mortar spot in Jersey City. Chef and owner Mordechai Chichportiche is a graduate of FCI. Read the blurb about his new spot here.
  • Huascar Aquino, an alumni of ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program, competed on June 19th’s episode of Chopped on Food Network. His shop, Huascar & Co. Bake Shop, is known for its delicious cupcake creations and much more. Read about him here.
  • The new Wells St. Market in Chicago combines some of Chicago’s star chefs in a sleek new food market. This market includes 11 restaurants, one of which is owned and operated by an alumni of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program, Chris Chowaniec. His restaurant, Chow Brothers, offers an innovative and modern take on Polish treats.
OLIVE OIL TIMES | OLIVE OIL SOMMELIER PROGRAM RETURNS TO ICC’S CALIFORNIA CAMPUS

The Olive Oil Sommelier Certification program will return to Campbell, California September 10-15. Participants will be led through guided tastings of more than 160 olive oils in this six-day, two-level program spanning production, quality management, and advanced sensory assessment.