ICC to Host Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar Course

wine region in italyThis October, the International Culinary Center is pleased to host the Wine Scholar Guild for a first-of-its-kind boot camp offering of the Italian Wine Scholar credential program. The program serves as an advanced and comprehensive study to help master the complex wines of Italy. The Wine Scholar Guild provides specialized study & certification programs on the wines of France, Italy and Spain for the professional development of wine industry members and committed students of wine.

The Italian Wine Scholar Study and Certification program offers up-to-date, extensive and precise information on the diverse wines and wine regions of Italy. Created by native Italian, Maurizio Brioggi, (Wine Scholar Guild Education Director for Italy) with the support of the Italian wine DOC/G consortia, this specialization program is designed for all advanced students of wine, whether wine professionals or serious wine enthusiasts. The study manuals follow a regional approach with strong tie-ins to terroir and exploration of history, culture, climate, viticulture, varietals, wine making and all DOC and DOCG regulations.

Italian Wine Scholar Boot Camp: Unit 1, Northern Italy

Saturday, October 19th & 26th | 8:30am – 6:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway

For the first time, the Italian Wine Scholar Boot Camp will provide students with the opportunity to complete Unit 1: Northern Italy of the two-unit curriculum in just two consecutive Saturday sessions on October 19 & 26. Unit 2: Central & Southern Italy will be held in the same intensive two-day format at a later date in April 2020. Other offerings of this curriculum can take up to 16 sessions to complete. Students will not only have the opportunity to complete their study in an accelerated format, but will also take the required examinations at ICC following the completion of Day 2.

wine scholar logoThose who successfully complete the two-level curriculum and achieve a final passing score on the requisite examinations will earn the title of Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) from the Wine Scholar Guild. For industry professionals, the IWS certification provides a validation of your Italian wine expertise and enhances your resume; it also serves as a point of distinction within the wine trade. Many use the program as a resource and supplement to move toward advanced general wine study programs, including the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier examination, WSET Diploma (Level 4) and more.

alan tardi


Unit 1 of the Italian Wine Scholar Boot Camp will be held on Saturday October 19 & 26 from 8:30am-6:00pm, hosted at the International Culinary Center in Soho—462 Broadway, New York City. The program will be taught by Alan Tardi, renowned wine & food writer, educator and approved IWS instructor. Unit 1: Northern Italy tuition is $795 and includes two days of classroom instruction with guided tastings of representative wines, a 274-page IWS study manual, one-year access to the IWS online study program plus registration for the Part 1 exam which will be held during the final hour of the second class. The boot camp format is intended to be a review class for the Italian Wine Scholar exams—registered students will be asked to study the course materials in advance of the class (materials will be mailed to students).


For more information, please contact Nikki Palladino, ICC Wine Program Coordinator at or call 646-254-7558.
cookie games

Who Will Reign Supreme? Cookie Games 2019 is Coming!

The seventh annual school-wide Cookie Games Competition returns to the International Culinary Center on Thursday, August 15th at 4:00pm. Follow us for coverage of this year’s games!
Thursday, August 15th | 4:00-5:30pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor
cookie games

For the past seven years, the Cookie Games competition has challenged current ICC students to create an original cookie recipe inspired by a country of their choice. Each year, Professional Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts students go head to head to see who really has the best baking chops!

Over the years, students have delivered a wide assortment of international concepts such as Duck Fat Cookies (France), Rosy Taro Cookie (China) and Mole Cookie (Mexico). Winning entries have included: Dulcetto Bar (Russia) by Bojena Linton (2013), Coconut Daun Pandan (Malaysia) by Vianna Sinnan (2014) and Chocolate Cardamom Button (India) by Savita Bhat (2015), and most recently, the Umami Cookie (Japan) by Rebecca Ng (2018).

Based on submissions, an in-house committee will select 10 finalists to produce their cookie for a high-profile judging panel. The judges will award first, second and third place winners. In addition, all audience and press attendees at the ceremony will have a chance to try each of the eligible cookies and vote for a Fan Favorite. This year’s esteemed panel of judge’s will feature Bao Ong (Food & Drink Editor, Time Out New York), the team from Gramercy Tavern—Michael Anthony (Executive Chef) and Miro Uskokovic (Pastry Chef), and Emma Bengtsson (Executive Chef, Aquavit).

Previous year’s judges have included: Kate Heddings (Senior Editor of Food & Wine), Anna Bolz (Pastry Chef of Per Se), Jacques Torres (Chef/Owner of Jacques Torres Chocolate), Christina Tosi (Chef/Owner of Milk Bar), Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer of Big Night Restaurant Group), Angie Mar (Chef/Owner at Beatrice Inn), Dorie Greenspan (Cookbook Author), and  Robb Riedel (Managing Editor of Food Network Magazine).

Get ready for the games! Check out highlights from last year’s Cookie Games competition here.
In the mood for cookies? Try this Umami Cookie recipe from last year’s Cookie Games!


1st Place – KENWOOD Kitchen Machine Stand Mixer, $30 Gift Card to MoMA Design Store

2nd Place –De’Longhi Countertop 24L Oven, $20 Gift card to MoMA Design Store

3rd Place – BRAUN Hand Mixer, $10 Gift card to MoMA Design Store

Fan Favorite –Vahlrona Chocolate, $40 Gift card to MoMA Design Store

*Prizes are subject to change.


Kenwood Logo
Braun Logo
Valrhona Chocolate Logo
moma design store

Business Bites: Perfecting Your Pitch

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.


How To Leave Your Investors Hungry For More

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

One of the biggest challenges for restaurants and food business owners seeking growth is securing investors. So, how do you convince a total stranger to believe that your idea will sell? Well, it all starts with a great pitch and a solid business plan to back it up! From coffee shops to elevators, networking events and more, entrepreneurs must be ready to share their pitch at a moment’s notice. That means delivering your unique sales proposition and brand story in a short amount of time that gets them hooked.

But, where do you start when your pitch has to be succinct and well-delivered to make a lasting impact?

Join us for an informative discussion with experts who have experience as small business owners, investors, business coaches and more to learn the secrets to crafting a great pitch for your restaurant or food business! Whether you’re in the start-up phase, or looking to grow your existing business, you’ll learn what every good pitch should include, how to avoid common mistakes when pitching and what to do to make your pitch stand out. Our panel will share their experiences on where to find investors and insider tips on what they really want to hear. Plus, learn the 5 major stages of start-up funding to develop your financial acumen and get you on the road to success. 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 this September!


Alek Marfisi
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.


paul daitz
Paul Daitz, Executive Chairman of BCMS

A veteran of the global M&A market, Paul joined BCMS as its Executive Chairman in 2013. Paul spent seventeen years at Goldman, Sachs & Co., most recently as a senior member of the Global M&A Group. Based at the London office, he served as Chief Operating Officer of the Investment Banking Division in Europe and as a senior member of the M&A team. After Goldman Sachs, Paul was Senior Managing Director at Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc., and the Head of the Telecommunications, Media, Entertainment & Technology Group for North America. He was responsible for the firm’s mergers & acquisitions, financial advisory and principal investing activities across these industries.

April Wachtel – Founder/CEO, Swig + Swallow

April Wachtel is a passionate educator, an experienced mixologist, a cocktail and spirits instructor, and founder of Swig + Swallow, the cocktail mixer company. She is a 22 year veteran in the beverage and hospitality industry, working in every role from busser to bartender to beverage director, to brand ambassador to beverage consultant. April has appeared on The Today Show, and Fox & Friends, as well as The Pitch Podcast, The Travel Bite, Tech Bites, The Main Course, Sharp & Hot, and more.

Evan Madden-Peister
Evan Madden-Peister, Strategy Designer at Business Models Inc.

Evan is a strategy designer and provacateur, with an entrepreneurial spirit and analytical impulses. He draws stories from different business contexts, and from the world/life at large, to shift perspectives and draw creative parallels for the participants. A career grounded in entrepreneurship as a member of the founding teams at Birch Coffee and Delhicioso, as well as consulting for multiple startups and coaching at the Starta Accelerator, has given Evan a bias towards creation. That foundation has also driven home the reality that change can happen fast, and that in order for large organizations to thrive they need to stay adaptive to the needs of their customers. This means embracing and putting into action a more agile method of thinking and doing—as a Strategy Designer at Business Models Inc. he helps his clients do exactly that.


Celebrate Bastille Day With French Cooking at ICC This July!

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 two demos and tastings this July that celebrate everything we love about French culinary techniques, food and wine, as well three hands-on one-day cooking classes to get you mastering the art of French cooking yourself!

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. Experience the art of pairing through a tasting of Rosé wines and regional French cuisine from our Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert. Plus, be sure to register for our French Culinary Institute hands-on one day classes offered all month long!

Check out the event details and classes below & register to attend!


Tour de Rosé: Demo and Food Pairing with Chef Hervé Malivert
Wednesday, July 24 | 3:30-5pm
ICC Amphitheater

ICC’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, Chef Hervé Malivert, will showcase some of the best food and wine from France! We’ll travel through France, right in the heart of NYC, to taste regional dishes from around the country. You’ll watch the steps to creating delicious French classics, then enjoy the dishes paired with rosé wines from the same region! We’ll taste from well known regions, like Provence and Champagne, as well as Languedoc-Roussillon. Plus, don’t miss Chef Hervé’s surprise pairing where we will explore a lesser known region as well!

Open to current ICC students and alumni, RSVP required. Limited seating for the general public may be available with an RSVP to

Chef Jacques Pepin
La Technique with Chef Jacques Pépin
Wednesday, July 31 | 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.

Open to current ICC students and alumni, no RSVP required. Limited seating for the general public available with an RSVP to


Saturday, July 13 | 10am- 2pm

Learn how to make the perfect baguette! Get hands-on in mixing, fermenting, folding and shaping your dough with Old-World techniques before scoring and finishing it in the oven.  Then, take home your skills to get that rich, chewy texture, the aroma and the satisfying crunch of the crust in your own kitchen.

Saturday, July 13 | 3:30-7:30pm

Learn how easy it is to make marvelous madeleines—those elegant and distinctively shell-shaped French cakes—and the ever-popular classic French macaron (Gerber or macaron en français using almonds, meringue, buttercream and ganache). The result: delicate, delicious creations in bright, bold colors.

FCI French Classics: Soup De Poissons & More
Saturday, July 20 | 10:00am-2:00pm

Escape to the South of France In this installment of our French Classics series. You’ll learn the secrets behind Soupe de Poissons à la Marseillaise—four different fish in a broth fragrant with saffron and Vichysoisse, the classic potato-leek soup. And for the grand finale, you’ll learn to make your own crèmes caramel.

commencement 2019

ICC Celebrates 2019 Commencement Ceremony at Carnegie Hall

carnegie hallIn 1891, Carnegie Hall was founded on the premise “…that this hall will intertwine itself with the history of our country.” (Andrew Carnegie, 1890) 128 years later, aspiring chefs and sommeliers join the list of musical legends like Édith Piaf, Frank Zappa and Benny Goodman who took center stage in the world-renowned theater. For the seventh year running, graduates of ICC’s career programs from June 2018 to May 2019 took to the Carnegie Hall stage to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments at ICC’s Annual Commencement Ceremony held on Sunday, June 2. This also marked the school’s 35th Anniversary since its founding as The French Culinary Institute in 1984.

To say the energy in the grand hall was palpable is an understatement. As graduates marched to the cherished melody of Pomp and Circumstance, families and friends, who travelled far and wide to celebrate this year’s graduates, filled the space with explosions of applause. They were joined by members of the ICC Community—Faculty & Staff, Deans, Chef Instructors and Outstanding Alumni Award winners—all of whom shared in cheers of excitement! ICC President Erik Murnighan—who graduated from the culinary program almost two decades ago—began the ceremony by sharing what he believes to be the true measure of success in our industry. Mr. Murnighan shared that, “doing what you love and achieving your goals are great measures of success, celebrity or not. In fact, the highest regarded celebrities in our industry are those who built a successful career first and garnered celebrity based on their accomplishments.”

He went on to note that success is, “forging a new path, creating something unique and interesting, and making people happy.” While many ICC alumni have gone on to achieve notoriety as celebrity chefs, there are others who have created something important to their communities—whether it’s a restaurant, artisanal ice cream shop or popular wine store—that continue to impact the culinary landscape regardless of whether they are a “household name”. We’re proud to see these alumni achieve success in so many different areas to pave the way for the next generation.  

This sentiment certainly rings true for our 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award winners, each of whom demonstrate excellence in their field of study and whose achievements contribute to shaping our culinary and hospitality communities. Leland Clark, Vice President of Student Affairs, presented this years awards to five very deserving recipients—Scott Tacinelli of Don Angie for Excellence in Culinary Arts, Zoë Kanan of Simon and the Whale and The Studio for Excellence in Pastry Arts, Vanessa Da Silva of Ninety Acres for Outstanding Sommelier, Matt Monahan of Other Half Brewing for Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Ben Mims of The Los Angeles Times for Excellence in Media.

zoe kananEach recipient gave a short acceptance speech where they shared advice for members of the graduating class hoping to follow in their footsteps, like setting personal goals and continuing to be curious. Kanan, who heads up all things sweet and baked at the Freehand Hotel’s establishments, remarked how full circle it was to receive the award that both of her mentor’s— fellow graduates Christina Tosi (Pastry ‘04) and Melissa Weller (Pastry ‘04)—had received years prior.   From many years in the industry, Kanan shared the importance of “treating every person that you work beside with compassion and respect, from dishwashers to owners. Kitchen work is teamwork, and support from your team is what will give you an edge.”

aaron sanchezFollowing the  presentation of diplomas for Professional Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Art of International Bread Baking, Cake Techniques & Design and Intensive Sommelier Training graduates, Chef Aarón Sánchez, Commencement Keynote Speaker, addressed the newly minted alumni with words of wisdom for entering the industry . Chef Aarón, who needed no introduction, is a James Beard Award winning Chef/Owner of Johnny Sanchez in New Orleans, and co-star of FOX’s MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. Beyond the kitchen, his philanthropic work has helped to encourage diversity in the kitchen, specifically through the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund that provides full culinary scholarships and mentorships to ICC.

student with instructorsBefore beginning his speech, Chef Aarón stopped to note the diversity of students walking across the stage, including the many women graduating, and shared the joy he felt in seeing this as the son of a female chef. He commended the graduates for making the bold and courageous choice to enter into the culinary industry, stating that “sadly, only 25% of people out there do what they really love to do.”

Chef Aarón expressed the importance of mentoring and remarked, “I encourage you to make a list of all the people that you admire, whether it’s me, any of the chefs on this stage, your instructors. Write a list and  engage those chefs.” Make yourself available and offer your services to them. “If they are really good mentors, they will make that call on your behalf,” Chef shared.

Throughout, Chef Aarón shared advice for realizing your potential, not letting fear hold you back, savoring your culinary memories, trusting the process, and becoming a well-rounded chef—encouraging graduates to travel, read the newspaper and find inspiration in other art forms. To end, he reflected on his initial dreams as a chef to own his own restaurant and be the captain of his own ship. But, he attributes his success to continuing to challenge himself and find new sources of inspiration, which has led him to his various career paths today.  He left graduates with these closing words: “The future is extremely bright and extremely delicious!”

chef pablo

Pop Up Dinner with Chef Pablo Ranea

Every year, after celebrating the end of the harvest season in their native Mendoza, Chef & Sommelier Pablo Ranea and Architect Alejandro Cohen pack their bags full of spices, unique ingredients and the spirit of adventure in search of inspiring experiences and challenges.

Together, they bring their unique take on food pairings and gastronomy to cities around the world. Whether the dinner event is held in a private garden or a culinary school, their carefully designed menus showcase Latin America’s best cooking techniques and recipes paired with exquisite wines.

This one-of-a kind experience is the result of Pablo’s well-tested recipes gathered through his extensive travels in cities and countries including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Finland, France, Denmark, Dominican Republic and Peru.

Friends gather around a table with a common desire to enjoy a memorable experience of aromas, tastes and textures of Argentinian and Latin American cooking, wines and history. Pablo and Alejandro arrive with a traveling kitchen of gastronomic marvels and the unique Argentinian wines not found in America.  Prepare for an adventure of the senses.


Pop Up Dinner with Pablo Ranea
Friday, June 28th | 7:30pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby Street
On Friday, June 28th, Chef Pablo & Alejandro return to New York City to present a six course dinner paired with 10 premium Argentinian wines at the International Culinary Center in SoHo. This will be the first time one of their pop up dinners will be open to the public.

PLATED DISHFor this dinner, Chef Pablo will prepare some of his iconic dishes such as Octopus chicharron with green chimichurri, as well as butternut squash, truffle and shrimp raviolis. He will also bring exotic flavors such as Lucuma artisan ice cream with Argentinian dulce de leche to the table.

During the dinner, Pablo—who is also a Sommelier—will introduce specially paired wines like Susana Balbo Brioso white blend (the number one white blend of Argentina); Malbecs from the best districts of Mendoza like Gauchezco Oro Appellation Gualtallary; Tinto Negro Limestone Block and Andillian by Lacoste de Los Andes.

In addition, LOS BUENDIA—a marvelous Bolero band from Mendoza—will fly to NYC to perform during the event.

They invite you to book an unforgettable experience. Attendance is by reservation and pre-payment only. Tickets are $195 and can be purchased here. For reservation questions, please email for more details.

Please note, this is a dinner format (not a class) and seating will be communal like a big Italian family.

Guests with allergies or dietary restrictions will need to provide notice at least 10 days in advance.


Bugible: How & Why We Eat Bugs

Explore the flavor profiles of the food of the future—bugs! 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. Bugs are not only a solution to this problem, but are also one of the more provocative food sources in discussion.

There’s a reason why 80% of the world’s countries have been eating bugs for thousands of years. Bugs come out ahead of traditional live stock, like beef, in any food enviro-metric—gallons of water, Co2 equivalents of greenhouse gases, acres of land, feed-conversion-ration comparisons and more.

ICC is excited to be hosting Aly Moore founder of Bugible—a blog about the world of edible insects—and 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’ll examine the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, discuss how to overcome the stigma surrounding edible bugs and encourage chefs of the next generation to have an open mind to the opportunities that tasty critters offer. Join us for a guided tasting on Wednesday, June 5th from 3:30-5pm to explore the delicate flavor profiles of critters like grasshoppers and bamboo worms.


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

About Aly Moore

aly mooreAfter studying public health at Yale University, Aly Moore searched for a way to address the challenges to feed our growing sustainably and nutritiously feed our growing population. She started (blog) to support the growing insect agriculture industry and slowly grew a cult following on Instagram. To reach broader audiences, Eat Bugs Events was formed as an Aladdin’s den of unique educational events like Bug & Wine Pairings, Bug Dinners & Bug Cooking Classes. Since, Bugible has become the leading media & PR brand for the insect agriculture industry, appearing on Netflix’s Bill Nye, Food & Wine, Forbes, & others. Today, Bugible focuses on continuing to spread awareness about other sustainable and nutritious potential of bugs through collaborations with institutions of all kinds from the International Culinary Center, Yale University, Parks & Recreation Districts, or even the Girl Scouts of America.

She is heavily involved in growing the industry’s trade organization – The North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture (NACIA). Learn more here. 

culinary wellness month

Culinary Wellness Month – May Programming

In order to set yourself up for personal and professional success, it’s important to care for your mind, body and spirit. That’s why this month, we’re turning our attention to health and wellness in the culinary industry. Like any profession, working in kitchens and restaurants has its own occupational challenges. At ICC, we strive to prepare our students for their future career—that means providing them not only with the technical skills to excel in the kitchen, but also the tools to take care of their body and mind for a long, healthy career.

There are so many different ways to promote a healthy lifestyle, and we’re excited to bring you just a small sample of things to incorporate into your daily life that will improve your overall well being. We’ll kick off the month with a deep dive into one of the world’s healthiest foods—extra virgin olive oil. This year, the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition returns to the International Culinary Center where 18 judges will analyze hundreds of olive oils from around the world to determine the best extra virgin olive oils for 2019. Following the competition, ICC’s sold out Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Courses begin, teaching olive oil evaluation, production, chemistry, food pairing and sensory assessment. In a special demonstration & tasting designed specifically for chefs, ICC students and alumni will have the opportunity to learn about the many health benefits of olive oil and how to discern quality oils, plus how to pair certain olive oils with food to elevate flavor.

Then, we’ll explore the healing power of food with Chef Hiroko Shimbo through a demonstration of Shojin Ryori—the healthful, time-tested, and highly-respected vegetarian cuisine of Japan—and have the chance to taste and experience how this traditional cuisine promotes wellness in both mind and body. Later in the month, we’ll host two on-site workshops for current ICC students to learn how to take care of their body and mind through simple stretches, strength development and breathing exercises that can be incorporated pre- or post-kitchen shift. Read more about our Culinary Wellness month events below and follow us throughout the month for tips on how to start healthy habits at any stage of your career!

Olive Oil Tasting & Food Pairing: What Every Chef Needs To Know
Tuesday, May 7th | 3:30-5:00pm | ICC Amphitheater

olive oilWe’re kicking off our Culinary Wellness month with a tasting of one of the cornerstones of the Mediterranean diet—extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is among the world’s healthiest foods and it can elevate the flavors of dishes to new heights. On May 7th, Curtis Cord, publisher of Olive Oil Times and executive director of ICC’s Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program, will teach you how to tell if an oil is good or not and define what he believes every culinary professional should know about this important ingredient.

Curtis will be joined by Chef Perola Polillo—ICC graduate and culinary instructor in ICC’s Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program—who will demonstrate how pairing certain extra virgin olive oils with foods result in new taste experiences. The afternoon workshop will also include a tasting of some of this year’s top-rated olive oils, as ICC hosts the 2019 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition during that week.

Open to ICC Students & Alumni ONLY. RSVP is required as seating is limited. Please email to RSVP.

Wellness in Japanese Cuisine: Shojin Ryori Demonstration
Wednesday, May 15th | 3:30-5:00pm | ICC Amphitheather

hirokoWellness is the state of being healthy in both mind and body. In order to achieve this state, you’ll need to do more than simply drink kombucha, eliminate excess carbohydrates from your diet or consume protein powder for convenience. In this demonstration for our Culinary Wellness Series, Chef Hiroko Shimbo will introduce and illuminate Shojin Ryori, the healthful, time-tested, highly respected vegetarian cuisine of Japan.

This thousand-year-old cuisine can be a guide to the starting point of understanding our relationship to “us” – our minds and bodies; it guides one to understand why we eat, what we choose to eat, how to prepare our food and how to show our respect and appreciation to nature. Chef Hiroko will demonstrate how to make representative Shojin Ryori dishes including vegetarian dashi stock, goma-dofu (a savory tofu-like sesame cake) prepared in two ways and sesame dressed seasonal vegetables. You’ll also have a chance to taste this traditional Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine and experience firsthand how food can heal the mind and body.

Open to ICC Students & Alumni—no RSVP required.
Limited seating available for the general public by RSVP only. Please email to RSVP.

Taking Care of Your Body & Mind: Strength Development for Chefs
Wednesday, May 22nd | 3:15pm-3:45pm OR 4:00pm-4:30pm | Room 505

five pointsAs you develop your culinary or pastry skills in our kitchens, we also want to help you prepare your mind & body for your professional careers. On May 22, join us for an exclusive hands-on class with Five Points Gym of NYC as part of our Culinary Wellness month. During this unique event, they’ll teach us about the art of Indian Club Swinging—a popular type of exercise used to develop strength with lightweight bowling-pin shaped wooden clubs. Learn from the experts to incorporate these swinging & rotation exercises into your daily routine—you’ll gain the tools to develop your strength for the kitchen and incorporate it into your post shift recovery methods. Students will be asked to participate in physical activity—please wear loose comfortable clothing to work out in like sweat pants & t-shirts. Limited space is available, please RSVP in advance to secure your spot in one of the following 30 minute sessions.


Two 30-minute sessions available:

Session 1 (3:15pm-3:45pm) | 15 student max

Session 2 (4:00pm-4:30pm) | 15 student max

Open to Current ICC Students ONLY due to limited capacity.
Students must RSVP to with your full name, current program & level, as well as your preferred timed session. 

off the vine: uncorking today's trends in wine

Off The Vine: Uncorking Today’s Trends in Wine

OFF THE VINE, brought to you by the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC, is a series of tastings, discussion panels and networking events designed to support wine professionals in the beverage industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.


Wednesday, May 8th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

The world of wine is constantly evolving!  While rich with history and often rooted in ancient tradition, wine is anything but static. This multi-billion dollar business continues to change, challenging established, and aspiring, wine professionals to stay on the cutting edge of today’s trends and rising regions.

Join us for a lively conversation exploring a range of emerging trends creating buzz in the wine industry today. Elizabeth Smith, Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, will be joined by two of NYC’s top sommelier talents—Master Sommelier Alexander La Pratt and Advanced Sommelier Theo Lieberman—to get their insight on what’s in vogue, what’s here to stay and what’s just a fad. We’ll talk about everything from the rise of sparkling, natural & orange wines and indigenous grapes, to the effects of climate change and changes in consumer behavior. Plus, hear predictions from experts at the forefront of the industry on the future of these trends and what’s to come! Come with your questions—there will be an open Q&A with the panelists following the discussion, and the opportunity to network with other professionals. Don’t miss this chance to discover how today’s hot topics are evolving and how you can utilize them to your advantage on the floor, in sales, and more.

Looking to break into the industry? You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about how ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you pursue your wine career.

Light refreshments will be provided.


Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith, Certified Sommelier, ICC Wine Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Smith is the Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, where she assists in running the Intensive Sommelier Training program and coordinates the Court of Master Sommeliers AmericasTM Introductory and Certified Exams.  She also teaches ICC’s introductory wine classes, and organizes extracurricular wine lectures and tastings.

Elizabeth began her career at Food & Wine magazine, and spent 8 years in various sales, marketing, and business insights roles at F&W and American Express.  In 2016 she decided to take her love of wine to the next level, graduating ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program, followed by a happy year at Astor Wines and Spirits.  Elizabeth is a CMS Certified Sommelier and is currently pursuing her WSET Diploma in Wine.

She is a passionate lover of wine and food, and documents her culinary adventures on Instagram @in_vino_glorias.


Theo Lieberman, Advanced Sommelier
Head Sommelier, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

Theo Lieberman has worked in the New York City food and wine business for nearly a decade. Beginning in the cocktail industry, Theo worked alongside Sasha Petraske at Milk & Honey, and then went on to become the Head Bartender and General Manager. He then moved on to serve as Head Bartender at Eleven Madison Park.

While working in fine dining, he discovered a deep love of fine wine, which he has continued to pursue as the Head Sommelier of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. He has been named one of America’s “Best New Sommeliers” by Wine & Spirits Magazine as well as Zagat’s “30 under 30.” He is the Co-Founder of Thunder Mountain Consulting and is currently pursuing the Master Sommelier Diploma through the Court of Master Sommeliers.

alex lapratt
Alexander LaPratt, Master Sommelier
Beverage Director & Co-Owner at The Atrium, ICC Intensive Sommelier Training Instructor

While many sommeliers have paid their dues as waiters or captains, few have donned a chef’s jacket in a professional kitchen. Alexander LaPratt is an exception. No stranger to working with renowned chefs dedicated to the quality of their restaurants’ wine cellar and service, Alexander has held positions as Chef Sommelier for renowned Chef Jean-Georges; Sommelier for Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin; Head Sommelier at Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne; and the first ever Cellar Sommelier at Thomas Keller’s renowned French Laundry. In 2014, Alexander then went on to become the 217th person to ever pass the coveted Master Sommelier exam. Today, Alexander is co-owner and Beverage Director of Atrium DUMBO and Beasts & Bottles, and an adjunct instructor for the International Culinary Center’s Intensive Sommelier Training program.

Throughout his career, he’s received many accolades for his achievements including the title of “Best Sommelier in America” at the 2011 American Sommelier Association competition; 2nd overall in the 2011 Chaine des Rôtisseurs Best Young Sommelier National Finals; winner of the 2nd Annual StarChefs Somm Slam; Wine & Spirits Magazine “Best New Sommelier 2011”; and represented the United States of America in the 2013 Best Sommelier of the World Competition in Tokyo, Japan. Read Alex’s full bio here.


Cookbook Conversation With Alumna Anna Gass & HarperCollins

On May 30th, join us for a discussion with Cristina Garces, Editor at HarperCollins Publishers, in conversation with ICC Alumna Anna Francese Gass, author of newly released cookbook Heirloom Kitchen. Gain insight into what it takes to write a cookbook, as well as what publishers are looking for and the working dynamics between an author and publisher. Learn about food styling, writing and editing recipes, and even tasting (and testing) the recipes. Plus, taste one of the final recipes in her book, “Church Festival” Spanakopita, and ask the questions you need to get your cookbook published!

Copies of Anna’s new book, Heirloom Kitchen, will be available for purchase. Anna will also be signing books after the event.


Thursday, May 30th | 3:30-5:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Anna Francese Gass grew up in a small town on the Rhode Island shore before moving to New York City for university and an exciting new life. After a stint in the corporate world, she decided—in order to be truly happy—she needed to spend her time in the kitchen, instead of an office cubicle.

She quit her fast-paced sales job and, in 2011, enrolled in the Professional Culinary Arts program at the French Culinary Institute, now The International Culinary Center, in Lower Manhattan to follow her dream of cooking. Soon thereafter, she found her niche in test kitchens, and has worked for Whole Foods, Mad Hungry, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Food52.

After assisting on numerous successful cookbooks, she decided to write her own, Heirloom Kitchen. For this cookbook, she traveled around the country cooking with Mothers and Grandmothers, and her hope is that by transcribing these cherished recipes, they will continue to be shared and loved for generations to come.