Tips to Make 2019 a Financial Success

2019: A Successful Year for Your Food Business

As 2018 comes to an end, food entrepreneurs get a chance to sit down and look over their financial performance for the year.  The food business is fickle; some operators seem to have it so easy and others seem to always be struggling.  If you’d like to do better in the new year, here are 3 ways you can make your business more efficient and ultimately enable you to take home more money.

What’s Your Gross Margin?
Your gross margin is the most important ratio to know about your company. It’s the percent of sales left over after you account for what your product cost you.  If you sell $10 six packs of soda and your product costs you $4, your gross margin is 60%.  On your company’s profit and loss statement, find your gross profit and divide it by your total revenue to get your gross margin.  Here are a few things to think about once you know your margin:

  • Do I operate a high gross margin or low gross margin business?
    High margin businesses (those with gross margins over 50%) benefit the most from a sales push, or working on your pricing and food costing. Low margin businesses (those with gross margins under 50%) benefit the most from finding ways to make the business more efficient by lowering overhead costs like kitchen utilities and employee overtime.
  • How does my gross margin compare to other companies in my sector?
    Once you have your gross margin you can use it to make an apples-to-apples comparison to your competitors’, or industry’s gross margin. Is it above average?  If so, make sure you keep giving your customers a meaningful reason to pay more for what you’re offering. Is it below average? Then maybe you need to consider changing your pricing and quantity structure.

Track Your Refunds and Discounts.
No other businesses face as many refunds and discounts as food businesses do.  Whether it a restaurant comp’ing a meal after a service error or free samples being given away to promote a new food product at a grocery store, discounts and refunds can seriously affect your business’ ability to make a suitable profit.   At the same time, they’re a fact of life for this industry.  The solution is to benchmark, track, and set goals for your refunds and discount.  Many bookkeepers just lump discounts and refunds into your sales figure.  Encourage them to separate these costs out into discrete figures that offset your total revenue.

Work With an Expert to Optimize Your Labor.
Foodservice labor is complicated, and the rules are changing all the time.  It’s never OK to cut your staff and overburden your team just to save a dime, but there are many ways in which your scheduling, overtime, and calculation of base wages net of credit card fees can add small costs to your payroll every week that translate into big expenses each year.  A good payroll processing technology that’s specialized for the foodservice industry is good, but in this case we recommend that you talk to an expert: preferably someone who runs human resources for other food companies.  Here are a few labor costs to think about:

  • Do your customers tip your employees via credit card? If so, make sure you are deducting credit card fees from the amount of tips you pay out to your employees.
  • What is the tradeoff between adding a shift and working your current staff overtime? Comparing these two scenarios might make a big difference in your total annual payroll costs.

Title

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.

Sous Vide Intensive Returns to ICC in 2019 With New Hands-On Curriculum

immersion circulator for sous videWhile the method of modern sous vide cooking has been around for more than 40 years—invented by Dr. Bruno Goussault in 1971—its popularity hasn’t slowed down. The use of sous vide cooking in restaurant kitchens continues to sweep the industry, and the emergence of new, more affordable equipment has allowed the technique to enter the kitchens of home cooks around the world.

And why wouldn’t it? The innovative cooking technique of sous vide—French for “under vaccum”—unlocks the full potential of food, enhancing flavor, texture and aroma to achieve results beyond the limits of traditional methods. Vacuum-sealed and slow-cooked in water at constant low temperatures, it produces consistently excellent quality and perfectly cooked meals.

chef Herve Malivert teaching sous vide techniquesWhen ICC’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert, sought to re-launch the Sous Vide Intensive in 2019, he realized that there was something missing to how the method was being taught. “I’ve taken many sous vide classes,” says Malivert. “Some are technique and recipe focused but not hands-on, while others are science based and hands-on, but aren’t chef or cook oriented. We wanted to build a class that incorporated the science, technique and recipes for everyone—from professionals to foodies—to be able to integrate into their restaurants or home kitchens.”

“Just like any profession, chefs always want to improve upon technique and be able to control quality. Using sous vide to cook at precise temperatures allows me to achieve this. That’s why it’s become increasingly important for professionals, culinary students, and even home cooks to understand sous vide techniques.” – Chef Hervé Malivert

The new two-day, hands-on curriculum will offer a more complete approach to teaching sous vide techniques, combining practical and theoretical instruction into one. Through this 14-hour course, students will gain an understanding of how time and temperature influence taste and texture, learning to apply proper safety techniques to sous vide preparations. They’ll evaluate the difference between classic preparations and sous vide cooking methods, and taste side by side comparisons of various temperatures, and times of cooking protein.

 

The goal is to provide students with the techniques behind low temperature cooking and how to adapt them to their own kitchens—whether they plan to use what they learn in professional restaurants or home kitchens. Rather than focusing on professional grade equipment only, this course will also review at home versions of immersion circulators, as well as the difference between using sous vide vacuum bags and other alternatives. The end result is a course that provides students with the opportunity to taste, test and explore the applications of sous vide for their kitchens with an array of proteins, vegetables and more!

To celebrate International Sous Vide Day in January and the return of ICC’s Sous Vide Intensive, we’re hosting a special sous vide cooking demonstration with ICC’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert. Join us on January 23rd to get a sneak peek of the new curriculum and learn how sous vide cooking unlocks the full potential of food to maximize taste, texture and aroma. We’ll be announcing details about the Sous Vide Intensive in January, so stay tuned and contact us if you’d like to learn more!

CHEF TIPS & TECHNIQUES: SOUS VIDE COOKING WITH CHEF HERVÉ MALIVERT

Wednesday, January 23 | 3:30-5:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

As our resident culinary technology and sous vide instructor, Chef Hervé brings years of experience—and experiments!—to the technique behind this innovative cooking method. During this demo, you’ll learn what it is, what to do—and how to do it—and most importantly, what to avoid when cooking sous vide. Chef Herve will share his tips & techniques for sous vide cooking, as well as demonstrate and compare classic vs. sous vide preparations on a classic. Plus, he’ll unveil his new sous vide eggs & bacon dish, which you’ll be able to learn in ICC’s re-launched 2-day Sous Vide Intensive course returning in the Spring of 2019.

Open to ICC Students & Alumni. Limited seating available to the general public, please RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com.

About Chef Hervé Malivert

Chef Hervé Malivert’s enthusiasm for the kitchen was evident by the age of 12, as his father was a cheese maker and going on deliveries with him was the inspiration for him to become a chef. Now, you can find him in the kitchens of ICC in his downtime creating beautifully intricate dishes and sharing them with his followers. As the Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé’s sense of adventure is put to good use as he researches and develops new techniques to include in the ICC curriculum. Read more about Chef Hervé here!

Tips To Grow Your Beverage Program

This month, our Business Bites Resources—brought to you by ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship (CE) program—provides tips for food businesses looking to bolster their drink menu.

the panelists from the eventAt the beginning of November, members from the culinary community gathered for a panel to discuss the importance of having a beverage program in your restaurant that gets customers back to the bar.  The four panelists were experienced members of the culinary and beverage industry, including Jason Hedges, Bar Director of Gotham Bar & Grill and Partner of BarIQ; Noah Rothbaum, Editor of Half Full from The Daily Beast; Nora Favelukes, President of QW Wine Experts; and Vanessa Da Silva, Sommelier at Ninety Acres.

In the discussion, they shared their tips for creating and managing a successful beverage program, as well as how to turn your drinks into dollars. We’ve gathered some of their tips for success below!

Specialty Cocktails Drive Sales

Our panelists all agreed that specialty cocktails can drive sales and bring in new customers, while increasing margins for the business. Not only are cocktails experiencing a renaissance among bar scenes, but they can also be a fun and visual “Instagram-able” feature on your menu, increasing brand awareness. One tip that we learned from our experts—using fresh juice not only makes a cocktail more delicious, but is surprisingly a way to save money as it can be cheaper than buying expensive pre-made mixes.

Invest in Ice

For most guests, their first experience in a restaurant is ordering a cocktail, so why not take your cocktail to the next level? Ice is a daily requirement in all restaurants, and a universal ingredient in bar drinks. Despite its importance, ice can often be overlooked. Many bar programs are turning to ice blocks, specialty cubes and more to provide a better appearance and experience for their customers. In the end, the cocktails look better, but can also taste better as ice that is higher in quality won’t dilute a cocktail with water as fast.

Bar Software

Bar software can make or break a restaurant in today’s world. According to San Pellegrino, 100% of US restaurants on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list are using a software called BinWise. In addition to these restaurants, Jason Hedges and Vanessa Da Silva, both panelists that work in the restaurant industry, also use BinWise to manage their restaurants inventory and more. There are many other options on the market, so the key is to find a software that works for your business. In the end, bar software programs can increase time saved during inventories, help to gain insights into what products are being poured the most, create a database to have information readily available, and help to recapture lost money.

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.

Business Bites raise the bar with your beverage program

Business Bites: Raise the Bar with Your Beverage Program

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

BUSINESS BITES: RAISE THE BAR WITH YOUR BEVERAGE PROGRAM

DEVELOP AND MANAGE YOUR WINE, BEER & SPIRITS

Thursday, November 1st | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Turning your beverage program into a profitable venture for your business takes a lot of hard work, but with the right knowledge and dedication, it can be the key to your restaurant, bar or food business’ success and longevity. From preventing over pouring to curating the best cocktail, beer and wine lists for your audience, learn how to navigate some of the common mistakes that many restaurants make, and understand the impact that your beverage program can have on your profitability.

So what do you need to know to turn your drinks to dollars?

Join us for an informative discussion with experts in the beverage industry—including wine directors, beverage consultants, bar owners, and distributors—to help make your beverage program more liquid. Our panel of experts will share tips and tools for getting started, how to grow and manage your beverage menu, finding the right solutions for your restaurant or bar, and more. You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

MODERATOR

Alek Marfisi, Upwind Strategies
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Entrepreneurship Instructor

Alek Marfisi is a native New Yorker with a passion for building things and helping people. After working advising small businesses for five years, Alek launched Upwind Strategies in 2015 with the mission of providing deeper and more relatable services to small businesses: the anti-business-school services firm. He previously worked with the NYS Small Business Development Center where he dove into the exciting intricacies of making entrepreneurial projects a reality. Since then, Alek has logged more than 11,000 hours working with small businesses and has been recognized as one of the top drivers of economic development in the country.

PANELISTS

jason hedges
Jason Hedges, Bar Director of Gotham Bar & Grill and Partner of BarIQ

Jason Hedges is a New York based wine and spirits professional and the Bar Director at Gotham Bar and Grill. His consultancy, Bar IQ, helps new and existing bar and restaurant concepts achieve ultimate quality and profitability. Jason is a judge of both wine and spirits for The Ultimate Beverage Challenge and also sits on the tasting panel for Wine and Spirits Magazine. Jason has developed award winning beverage programs for multiple Michelin rated restaurants in NYC. He is passionate about creating quality.

Jason is a Court of Master Sommelier’s Certified Sommelier, and has also successfully completed the Beverage Alcohol Resource’s intensive course and is certified with distinction.

noah
Noah Rothbaum, Editor of Half Full from The Daily Beast

Noah Rothbaum is the editor of The Daily Beast’s Half Full section. He also hosts the podcast Life Behind Bars with legendary cocktail historian David Wondrich.

In addition, Rothbaum is the author of the book The Art of American Whiskey: A Visual History of the Nation’s Most Storied Spirit, through 100 Iconic Labels and the associate editor of the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. Rothbaum’s first book, The Business of Spirits: How Savvy Marketers, Innovative Distillers, and Entrepreneurs Changed How We Drink, was published in 2007.

According to Chicago magazine’s chief dining critic, Jeff Ruby, “Rothbaum knows drinking like Newton knew gravity, but he’s not all high and mighty about it, creating laws and whatnot.” And The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog called him “one of the smartest tipplers (and writers on spirits) we know.”

He is the former editor-in-chief of Liquor.com, and has contributed to the Wall Street JournalNew York TimesO MagazineDetailsMen’s JournalMen’s FitnessFood & WineGastronomica, and more.

Nora Favelukes
Nora Z. Favelukes, President of QW Wine Experts

Leading Expert on Imported Wines to the United States, Influencer, Spokesperson, Presenter and Moderator.

Wine expert with years of international experience; equipped with rare understanding of the inner workings and complexities of the U.S., South American and European wine industries. A skilled spokesperson, moderator, negotiator and a natural diplomat.

Ms. Favelukes entered the wine trade in her native Argentina in 1984. Her early professional credits include the post of Export Director at Bodegas Navarro Correas, Argentina. In 1988, she moved to the United States to work as East Coast Sales Manager for Vinos Argentinos. In 2000, she became National Sales Manager for Billington Imports – where she was responsible for the introduction of Bodegas Catena. And, from 1995 through 2001 she was Director of Fine Wines for Palm Bay Imports.

Today, Ms. Favelukes is President of QW Wine Experts, a consulting firm she launched in 1995, which is dedicated to the nationwide public relations, marketing and sales of imported fine wines to the United States market.

Professional credits:
•Past-President of the Wine Council of Argentina in the United States
•Guest lecturer on South American Wines
•The Foreign Service Institute in Washington DC
•The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University
•New York City College of Technology on South American and Iberian Peninsula

urce’s intensive course and is certified with distinction.

IMG_20180825_151954_551
Vanessa Da Silva, Sommelier at Ninety Acres

Vanessa Da Silva grew up in rural Maine. While studying abroad in Florence, Italy, she took a recreational wine class and became enamored with wine.  After graduating from the University of Maine with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & International Business, Vanessa pursued a career in marketing but soon realized her budding interest in wine was more than a hobby. Vanessa completed the Intensive Sommelier Training Course at the International Culinary Center in January of 2013 and simultaneously passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory and Certified exams.

After several years working as a Sommelier in Manhattan restaurants, Vanessa returned to the ICC where she took on the role of the Wine Coordinator, working on the educational side of wine. In 2017, Vanessa decided to return to the restaurant industry and took on a role at Ninety Acres – a farm-to-table restaurant in Pepack, New Jersey. Vanessa is currently honing her Sommelier skills as she prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Examination.

Barrel of Sherry

Certified Sherry Wine Specialist Seminar

Lustau, maker of top quality Sherries, presents a brand new wine certification available to all wine students and aficionados: the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist. Offered by Lucas Payà, Certified Sherry Educator and Lustau’s Brand Educator, this brief course offers Intermediate Level study material that has been reviewed and approved by the Regulatory Council of Jerez.

After many successful SOLD OUT workshops, ICC has partnered with Lustau again to host certification classes in both NY and CA. Buy your tickets below!

Saturday, October 6th
10:00am-12:30pm
International Culinary Center
700 West Hamilton Ave | Campbell, CA 95008

Cost: $40 per person

Thursday, November 15th
3:30pm-6:00pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor | New York, NY 10013

Cost: $35 per person

EVENT DETAILS

The program consists of a 2.5-hour class that includes:

    • Instruction on the history, geography, climate, viticulture, wine-making, and wine styles.  When studying the styles of sherry, students will learn about their differences, pairings, and best ways to serve.
    • A tasting of 6 wines, including all the basic styles (Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, and Dulce).
    • A 28-question test, graded after the course to award the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist recognition to those with a passing score of 20 or higher.

The Certificate of Achievement will be signed by both Lustau’s CEO and César Saldaña, Director of the Regulatory Council of Jerez. They will be numbered and a list of those that passed the course will be shared with the Regulatory Council.  A Certificate of Recognition will be issued to those that do not achieve the passing grade but only signed by Lustau.

Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

Instagram Tips for Food Businesses

In August, ICC welcomed the professionals at Instagram for a one-day workshop on everything food business & restaurant owners need to know to reach new and existing audiences through their social channels. Taught by the leading product management & marketing teams at Instagram, we learned tips, tricks and tools for boosting our food businesses directly from the source. We’re excited to partner with Instagram to bring you this content to help culinary entrepreneurs harness the power of social media for their businesses.

If you missed our event, below are a few key takeaways that we learned from this special workshop. Plus, stay tuned for more in depth recaps, videos and more on the @ICCedu and @InstagramforBusiness channels.

101

  • 80% of Instagram users follow a business
  • 60% of Instagram users say they learn about products and services on Instagram
  • Instagram provides tools for businesses, including:
  1. Business profiles. Let users know that you are a business and gain access to specific tools for your business profile such as insights and the contact bar—now you can add a button to make reservations to your restaurant.
  2. Insights. In insights, you can take a look at your activity—how people engage with your profile and the downstream actions they’re taking—how your content is performing, and learn about your audience—including when they are the most active on Instagram.
  3. Messaging. Messaging is a key part of how you can connect with your audience in an authentic and responsive way. There are 150+ million people who use messaging each day! In addition to filters for messages to better sort responses, Instagram is about to release quick replies—a way to create/customize responses to commonly asked questions.

201

  • 2 in 3 business profile visits are from non-followers, so it’s important to think about your content as if a person has never seen your business before.
  • Feed posts can drive to stories (and back again!) Instagram stories can be used for behind the scenes content, and are a great way to help to drive business goals—according to Instagram, 1 in 3 stories receive a direct message. Here are 3 things Instagram suggests thinking about when creating stories content:
  1. Do it in Real-Time
  2. Keep it Unfiltered
  3. Make it Playful
  • Drive business goals. Don’t do anything unless it drives a business goal and is trackable. One way that restaurants can drive meaningful actions on Instagram is to encourage people to take action, such as making a reservation by adding a RESERVE button to your contact bar.

Panel

During a panel discussion moderated by Aishwarya Blake from Instagram’s Product Marketing team, three successful culinary entrepreneurs spoke about how they use Instagram to drive traffic to their restaurants, food products and more. The panelists included Dani Beckerman of Jars By Dani (@jars_by_dani), Claire Mosteller of Union Square Hospitality Group (@ushgnyc), and ICC alumnus, Michael Chernow (@michaelchernow), co-founder of The Meatball Shop and founder of Seamore’s. Our key takeaways from the panel include:

  • Stay true to your brand voice. Michael uses one brand voice throughout his restaurant’s Instagram channels—himself! This helps to give the restaurants more authenticity.
  • Stories can be more playful and less edited. Dani noted that stories do not have to be “as perfect” as a feed post. The other panelists agreed!
  • Giveaways can be a fun way to interact with your audience. Claire and Michael both noted that they ran a giveaway for a new restaurant promotion, and it helped to build buzz around the restaurants!

Stories School

We were treated to a special hands-on workshop to learn new tips, and some cool tricks, to optimize Instagram stories with never-before-seen hacks straight from the team! Here are some of the tools we learned:

  • Stories are a great way to drive traffic to your feed, website, and more!
  • Swipe ups are a useful tool for large business accounts to bring followers and non-followers where you want to point them to take action—back to your website, event ticketing page, or reservation page.
  • There are many fun ways to play around with Instagram stories, like motion pinning an emoji to an element in a video, different texts and colors, and even the rewind video option.
If you’re in need of more help, click here to see Instagram’s quick guide to help restaurants get started. You can also check out the @InstagramForBusiness handle for inspiration on what you could be doing to boost your social media presence.
Aly Moore

Bugs Are Sustainable

This month, ICC’s California campus hosted Aly Moore, founder of Bugible—a blog about the world of edible insects—and EatBugsEvents.com, for an insightful presentation and tasting about how and why we eat bugs. Opening a dialogue about how what we eat impacts our bodies and our environment, we discussed how to overcome the stigma surrounding edible bugs and encouraged chefs of the next generation to have an open mind to the opportunities that tasty critters offer. Students and guests had the chance to experience the delicate flavor profiles of edible insects, like grasshoppers and bamboo worms, first-hand.

With the world’s population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, we’ll need to find sustainable ways to deliver nutritious food to our growing population. So we asked Aly to share with our readers why bugs are not only a solution to this problem, but are also one of the more provocative food sources in discussion.

Written by Aly Moore, Founder of Bugible & EatBugsEvents.com

Bugs’ Culinary Potential

There are over 2,000 species of edible bugs, and many more to be discovered. They all have unique, beautiful flavor profiles just waiting to be explored.

Imagine that you have a friend who is an artist. She paints beautiful pictures, but only uses red, pink, and yellow. She can make lovely paintings, but one day you show her the other rainbow of colors that exist – the blues, greens, purples, oranges, silvers, and more. Now she can make even more vivid paintings.

That’s where we are in the culinary world. We have a huge range of raw ingredients that chefs use, but there are rainbows of additional flavors to explore with bugs! And bugs can be tasty.

One of the top restaurants in the world, Noma, has made use of bugs for many years on their menu. Fancy restaurants in France serve up snails – or escargot. Here’s another fun fact: Bugs are small enough that the quite literally are what they eat. If you have some crickets and feed them mint, they will have a minty flavor. If you feed your crickets banana, they will adopt a banana flavor. If you feed your crickets carrots, they will turn orange! There is so much we have to explore with bugs and we are just at the very beginning.

Some put bugs into three unofficial flavor categories. The first nutty and earthy. Crickets and mealworms are examples of bugs that taste a little like seeds, nuts, or mushrooms. The second is fishy and seafood-like. Locusts and scorpions are examples of bugs that have been compared to crab. The third is meaty and savory. Sago grubs are often called the bacon of the bug world.

How Chefs Carry Big Environmental Impact

Bugs are relatively unexplored treasures of ingredients. To communicate this with the world, we need innovative foodservice efforts to further establish the pleasure aspect of bugs in dishes with bug-forward menus. While it remains to be seen whether more restaurants will evaluate the environmental impact of their menus, recent surveys suggest that our understanding of sustainability issues continues to grow.

As the conversation around sustainability and impact continues to grow, we could see increased messaging around the environmental benefits of greater bug consumption. Additionally, restaurants and foodservice operations in all categories continue to make serious efforts to reduce their food waste (that often translate into cost-savings as well.)

Why Not Bugs?

Bugs are easier on the environment than traditional protein sources, packed with nutrition, and can taste great. There’s a reason why 80% of the world’s countries have been eating bugs for thousands of years. Choose any food enviro-metric you’d like: gallons of water, Co2 equivalents of greenhouse gases, acres of land, feed-conversion-ratio comparisons, you name it. Bugs come out ahead of traditional livestock like beef. Bugs are cold blooded, meaning they don’t waste energy converting feed into body heat. Bugs take 12x less food than cows, produce 100x less Co2, take 1000x less water to raise, and can be grown anywhere.

Not only are bugs healthy for the environment, but they are packed with nutrients for us as well. The nutrients of bugs vary depending on the species and on what they are fed. But as an example, if we compare 100g of crickets to 100g of beef, we might find the cricket has 2 to 3 times more protein, more calcium, more iron, more vitamin a, more fiber, potassium, and an ideal omega 3 to 6 ratio, and all 9 essential amino acids. Bugs are gluten free. They are about 60% protein.

Framing Bugs As Ingredients

There’s a saying: it’s always easier to go down than it is to go up. Actually, I’m not sure if that is a saying. But it’s certainly a known fact in the insect community that it will benefit the public perception of edible insects if we start with gourmet chefs and top restaurants rather than pushing bugs as an ’emergency food.’ Ideally, bugs will be available to empower communities already comfortable eating them and updated farming methods will make a big difference in malnourished communities. But if we want bugs to be an ‘everybody food,’ a staple rather than a novelty, we must start at the top.

We must admit to the catch-22 situation: while it’s hoped bug eating will become a notable global trend, turning them into an ‘aspirational’ food trend like kale or wheatgrass means certain bug dishes won’t be affordable for everyone… yet. But bugs have to be affordable for people to access them on a wide scale, and to get to that point we must increase the demand.

The father of cooking with bugs, Chef David George Gordon (aka The Bug Chef) shared some insight on how we might better work with chefs, “With insects, it’s challenging because most chefs in our country don’t have much experience or expertise in that arena. But there are many culinary tricks of the trade that chefs can bring to play, making the dishes they serve look and taste good, regardless of how many legs they ingredients may have. As such, they are important contributors to the process of gaining acceptance for bug cuisine.”

He brings up a great point. Many chefs might be hesitant to work with bugs simply because they don’t know how yet. We can change that with a strong educational push.

For this reason and many others, I’m thrilled and grateful to the International Culinary Center for opening their minds and mouths to the idea of eating bugs. The members of the ICC community continue to demonstrate their commitment to innovation and global mindfulness.

About Aly Moore:
Aly studied food policy at the Yale University of Public Health and gained experience through work at  the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Research, the National Health Services (NHS ENGLAND), and Monterey Tech Public Health (Mexico). She founded a startup called Spylight.com and continues her work in the space of entrepreneurship and entertainment at somebodystudios.com. Her overwhelming curiosity about edible insects lead her to found Bugible, a blog about the world of edible insects. After hosting fun and memorable events around eating bugs—bug wine pairings, bug dinners and bug cooking classes—EatBugEvents.com emerged as a way to make entomophagy accessible, educate the public, and support the great bug-entrepreneurs.

50th Restaurant Day Celebration

Win tickets to join the sweet festivities this September!

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to taste the Pastry School experience—learning to master everything from cookies and tarts to laminated doughs, wedding cakes, sugar showpieces and more—you won’t want to miss ICC’s 50th Restaurant Day celebration!

Join us for an afternoon of never-before-tasted sweets and treats brought to you by the students of the Professional Pastry Arts program. After 600 hours of professional pastry education, Restaurant Day showcases everything our students have learned in an imaginative, curated menu of original restaurant-quality desserts. Find out how you can attend below!

Friday, September 21st
12:15pm & 1:15pm Seating
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th floor | New York, NY 10013

Giveaway

For our 50th iteration of Restaurant Day, ICC is teaming up with Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres, to host a celebratory afternoon of confectionery delights! Invited guests, including students’ family and friends, will have the opportunity to take part in an exciting, restaurant-style dessert service complete with a pre-dessert, selection of original desserts, and perfect petits fours—bon bons, macarons, pâte de fruit, the list is endless! Plus, we’re bringing back one of Mr. Chocolate—Jacques Torres’—signature desserts to add to the sweet festivities.

And, while Restaurant Day happens about a dozen times a year—near the end of each Pastry Arts program—this is the first time that we’re giving 4 lucky winners the chance to experience it for themselves!

So, how do you enter to win a seat for you and a guest at the 50th Restaurant Day on Friday, September 21st and meet Jacques Torres, lead judge of Nailed It! on Netflix, in person?

  • Check out our giveaway on @JacquesTorres Instagram in the morning on Thursday, September 6, 2018
  • To enter, you’ll need to like the @JacquesTorres post, follow @ICCedu & tag 2 friends in the comments that you’d love to bring to the 50th Restaurant Day.
  • We’ll DM 4 lucky winners by 10am the next morning with details!

If you’re interested in ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program, or know someone that has a huge sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss this special event!

WHAT IS RESTAURANT DAY?

When ICC re-launched the Professional Pastry Arts program in 2014, the curriculum was updated to better serve today’s pastry chef, educating our students to understand the science and technique behind a wide range of pastry skills to unlock their creativity—to think beyond a single recipe. It was during this time that Restaurant Day was born, providing students with the opportunity to demonstrate everything they’ve learned in the 600-hour program to their friends and family in a fun and unique dessert tasting. Every Restaurant Day menu is different, designed, created and produced by the students with a unifying theme to best represent their experiences in the program. Throughout the years, over 250 original desserts have been created—including a Matcha Cake Trifle, Carrot Beignets, Coquito Cheesecake and Sweet Corn Fraisier—showcasing the creativity of the next generation of pastry professionals completing ICC’s program.

About our Host— Jacques Torres, ICC's Dean of Pastry

The youngest recipient of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Pastry Chef of France) in history, he spent 12 inspired years as executive pastry chef at Le Cirque before leaving to open his renowned wholesale, retail, and e-commerce chocolate company, Jacques Torres Chocolate, in New York City. As dean of Pastry Arts, he regularly presents demonstrations to students in New York, helping students learn in 6 months what took him years as an apprentice. Chef Torres has won numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year, Chefs of America Pastry Chef of the Year, and Chartreuse Pastry Chef of the Year. He is a member of the Académie Culinaire de France, and in 2003 he was inducted by the James Beard Foundation into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

FAMED CHEF FROM ONE OF WORLD’S TOP RESTAURANTS TO HOST MASTER CLASS AT ICC

MASTER CLASS & DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF JOAN ROCA

Co-Owner & Executive Chef of El Celler de Can Roca
Wednesday, September 19th | 2:30-4:00pm
ICC Amphitheater
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor | NYC
Open to ICC Students & Alumni* ONLY

This September, current students of the International Culinary Center will have not one, but two unique opportunities to learn from world-renowned chef Joan Roca, Co-owner & Executive Chef of El Celler de Can Roca—named in the top five on Restaurant magazine’s coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants list since 2009, including top spots in 2013 and 2015.

The annual BBVA-sponsored world culinary tour brings the Roca brothers and the culinary team of El Celler de Can Roca to New York City for two dinners at Cipriani Wall Street on September 18 and 19 for invited diners to enjoy a taste of the contemporary Catalan cuisine showcased at their Girona, Spain-based restaurant. As part of this partnership, select International Culinary Center students will be invited to work in the kitchen with Chef Joan Roca and the El Celler de Can Roca team to prepare for the dinners. This special volunteer opportunity is open to current ICC students only to cook alongside the Roca team and learn some of their innovative techniques first hand. At the end of the event, one ICC student volunteer will be selected by the Roca team to receive a scholarship to continue their education with an internship to train for 4 months at their famed restaurant in Spain, currently named No. 2 restaurant in the world on the 2018 World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.

In addition to the dinner, ICC will be hosting the only NYC master class with Chef Joan Roca on Wednesday, September 19th at 2:30pm for current ICC students and alumni* as part of the educational activities of their New York City tour. Chef Roca, known best for his ground-breaking sous-vide techniques, will discuss the history & inspiration behind the family-operated restaurant, while demonstrating the same modern techniques used to transform Catalan cuisine at their restaurant in Girona, Spain. This special opportunity to learn from one of today’s most influential chefs will be open to current ICC students, with limited seating available for ICC alumni* and media guests.

*ICC Alumni, please contact events@culinarycenter.com to RSVP for this event as seating is limited. Standing room may be available.

Prosecco

DUELING BUBBLES: Prosecco ConVal Workshop with Alan Tardi

The two most popular sparkling wine categories in the world today are undoubtedly Champagne and Prosecco. Despite fundamental differences in image, production, process and price, the two bubblies have — surprisingly — much in common, such as their origin, history and evolutionary development of these otherwise different wines.

Monday, October 15th | 3:00-5:00pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor | New York, NY 10013

Cost: $25 per person

*Must be at least 21 years of age and an ICC Intensive Sommelier Training Student, Graduate, or Industry Professional*

 

EVENT DETAILS

Join us for a special workshop and tasting with Alan Tardi, award-winning wine author, comparing Champagne and Prosecco—noting the obvious differences, while focusing on the many fundamental aspects the two wines have in common. Through the tasting we’ll clarify what makes Champagne and Prosecco essentially unique categories, while also showcasing the commonalities in their individual trajectories. We’ll also showcase the surprisingly diverse and complex terroir of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene area and the many different typologies within the appellation. In the end, you’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of both wines, and the nature of sparkling wine in general.

Some of the wines we’ll taste will be coming directly from Italy for this event, including the sneak preview of a brand-new soon-to-be-released prosecco with super-extended lees aging in autoclave.

Wines tasted will be focused on uncommon prosecchi including:

  • Still prosecco without bubbles
  • Bottle re-fermented prosecco
  • Prosecco with extended lees ageing
  • Single village and/or single vineyard prosseco from a variety of different terroirs
  • Proseccos in a variety of residual sugar levels

Examples of corresponding Champagnes will be noted, but not tasted.

Who is Alan Tardi?

AlanAlan Tardi initially became interested in wine while working as a cook and chef in some of New York’s finest establishments (Chantarelle, Lafayette, Le Madri). After opening his own restaurant in New York City in 1992, Alan began sitting in on panel tastings at the nearby offices of Wine and Spirits and eventually began writing for the magazine. In 2003, Alan moved to the village of Castiglione Falletto in the heart of the Barolo region in Piemonte, Italy, where he spent several years working in the surrounding vineyards and wineries through all phases of the growing and production process, an experience which completely changed his perspective on wine. His first book, ‘Romancing the Vine: Life, Love and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo’ (St Martins Press, 2006) won a James Beard Award for Best Wine and Spirits Book of 2006. His new book, “Champagne, Uncorked: The House of Krug and the Timeless Allure of the World’s Most Celebrated Drink” (Hachette 2016) won a Gourmand Best in the World Award in the French Wine category. Alan currently divides his time between New York and Castiglione Falletto.