aaron sanchez

Chef Aarón Sánchez To Visit ICC This October

ICC Students & Alumni Invited to an Exclusive Demonstration & Talk to Celebrate the Release of Sánchez's New Book

Join us for an exciting demonstration & discussion with Aarón Sánchez, award-winning chef and judge on FOX’s hit culinary competition series MasterChef. In this exclusive ICC demo, Chef Sánchez will be debuting his brand new memoir, Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef, which will be released on the day of the demonstration! You’ll have the opportunity to be one of the first in the world to purchase his memoir and have it personally signed by him at the demonstration. Plus, don’t miss your chance to get a taste of Chef’s Quick New Orleans Shellfish Étouffée! This is the first dish that he cooked for his mom after finishing his training in New Orleans and is featured in his new book.

Chef Aarón Sánchez Demo
Tuesday, October 1
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Amphitheater | New York, NY 10013
Open to ICC Students & Alumni
*RSVP Required*
Be sure to come with your questions ready for the audience Q&A portion of the demonstration!

aaron sanchez and studentWhere I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef  is a powerful new memoir from one of America’s most preeminent chefs and television personalities. Sánchez shares the story behind his food, family, and professional journey and is a highly personal account of growing up and finding his way as a son, father, Latino, and as a chef. In Where I Come From, Sánchez dives into his early years with remarkable candor, injecting his story with adrenaline and revealing how he fell in love with cooking and started a career in the fast-paced culinary world. Sánchez interlaces his experiences with recipes from moments in his life such as his mother’s Pineapple-Ginger Chicken Wings with Soy-Pineapple Glaze, Seared Salmon with Pumpkin Seed Mole, and Tequila-Battered Cauliflower Tacos with Chimichurri and Chipotle Mayonnaise. He shares the invaluable lessons he learned from his upbringing and his training—both inside and outside the kitchen—and offers an intimate look into the chaotic and nontraditional life of a professional chef and television personality.

aaron sanchezSánchez is the chef and owner of Mexican restaurant Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans and author of two cookbooks. Sánchez learned how to cook from an early age through helping his family prepare traditional Mexican food and is still passionate about preserving his family’s legacy through food and encouraging diversity in the kitchen. As an active philanthropist, Sánchez launched the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund, which is an initiative that empowers aspiring chefs from the Latin community to follow their dreams and attend ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program.

Barrel of Sherry

Certified Sherry Wine Specialist Seminar Returns This November 2019

Lustau, maker of top quality Sherries, presents a brand new wine certification available to all wine students and professionals: 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 the certification seminar this November. Register today to reserve your seat!

Thursday, November 14, 2019
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor | New York, NY 10013

Cost: $35 per person


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.

elevating hospitality through wine

Off The Vine: Elevating Hospitality Through Wine

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

How Sommeliers Have Become Ambassadors of Hospitality

Thursday, September 26th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

The importance of service is not an unfamiliar concept to the world of Sommeliers. In fact, organizations like the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas® have long been responsible for setting a global standard of excellence for beverage service within the hospitality industry. While standard service techniques and proper mise-en-place remain the same, the role of service in hospitality continues to evolve and Sommeliers are being asked to expand with it. As ambassadors of hospitality, Sommeliers must adapt to take service beyond the bottle to fit the needs of today’s customer.

So how can sommeliers stay relevant in this changing industry?

In our next Off the Vine panel, we’ll sit down with wine industry professionals Anna-Christina Cabrales (Certified Sommelier—General Manager & Wine Director of Morrell Wine Bar) and Jerry Cox (Advanced Sommelier—Sommelier at Le Coucou) to discuss how sommeliers can maximize their value in restaurants. We’ll explore the role of sommeliers as ambassadors of hospitality—both on and off the restaurant floor—and how it’s evolving with the use of social media. In addition, we’ll discuss how sommeliers are driving taste trends both in service, and as wine list curators, and the outcomes of such change—think the rise of natural wine or the stunted appearance of varietals like Pinot Grigio! Plus, they’ll share professional words of wisdom that every sommelier should know, such as the do’s and don’t(s) of service, balancing wine knowledge with guest experience, and how to provide customers with the information they can’t get from a Google search! 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.

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.


nikki palladino
Nikki Palladino, Certified Sommelier, ICC Wine Program Coordinator

Nikki Palladino joins her alma matter as ICC’s newest Wine Program Coordinator. Nikki began her career in publishing, earning a certificate in Books & Digital Magazine Media from NYU’s SPI Program.  Thereafter, she secured a Juris Doctorate from Villanova University School of Law – clerking for a judge and working for a legal consulting firm in Manhattan.

After traveling to Napa, however, she was drawn to the vine and decided to shift her career focus to hospitality. After graduating from ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training Program, Nikki joined B&B Hospitality Group, where she worked first as a Server at La Sirena and eventually as a Sommelier, at beloved neighborhood spot, Lupa. More recently, Nikki worked as Head Sommelier at the seafood staple Oceana, in Midtown.  While at Oceana, Nikki was featured in Food & Wine Magazine and was responsible for purchasing wines for the Italian portion of the List.

She is a member of Women of the Vine and is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas®.


Anna Christina Cabrales
Anna-Christina Cabrales, Certified Sommelier
Beverage Director and General Manager of Morrell Wine Bar

Morrell Wine Bar Beverage Director and General Manager, Anna-Christina Cabrales brings a wealth of wine and culinary experience to her position. Growing up in a large family of chefs, Anna’s love of food and wine led her to the International Culinary Center where she received a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts and graduated from the first Intensive Sommelier Training program. Since joining Morrell in 2012, Anna-Christina has expanded the by-the-glass selection to, at one point, more than 150 wines. Her efforts have been recognized and awarded by The World of Fine Wine in 2014 naming Morrell Wine Bar’s glass list “Best by-the-glass Wine List” and the 2015 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for growing the bottle list well over 1,200 selections. Outside of work, she enjoys her time dining and enjoying wines from the regions of Champagne, Northern Rhone, Bandol and Burgundy.

Jerry Cox, Advanced Sommelier
Sommelier at Le Coucou

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Jerry graduated from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University with a degree in Marketing. After college, he spent a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina studying culinary arts at Gato Dumas Colegio de Gastronomía. In 2013, he moved to NYC where he began working at Colicchio & Sons. Jerry enrolled in ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program in the spring of 2014, passing the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas’ Introductory and Certified Sommelier Examinations upon completion of the program. After several months of travel in 2015, which included a stage at a B&B in the Loire Valley, Jerry returned to NYC in 2016. Shortly after, he began working as a Sommelier and opening member of the Le Coucou team. Since opening, the team has achieved such accolades as the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the U.S. and Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. Jerry passed the CMS Advanced Sommelier Examination in July of 2019.

group shot


The 7th Annual Cookies Games was, yet again, a huge success! Throughout the week, students prepped their original cookie recipes and demonstrated the extraordinary creativity of ICC’s Professional Culinary and Pastry Arts students. A total of 19 applications from current students were submitted for the chance to compete this month. An in-house selection committee narrowed it down to 10 finalists who produced a wide variety of interesting flavors and textures inspired by countries around the world. This year, the selection committee chose recipes that included never-before-seen (in The Cookie Games!) ingredients like parsley, porcini mushrooms, rosewater, Stilton blue cheese and masa harina.

all of the cookiesFrom the use of turmeric in the Spiced Golden Coco Cookie inspired by India, to the bold blue-cheese in the Stilton Cherry Walnut Shortbread, students combined their technique-based education with their travels, heritage and memories to create unique submissions for the games. Check out the full list of finalist creations below!

“The Cookies Games is an exciting opportunity for the next generation of chefs to flex their creative muscles. The 7th annual games this year brought a broad range of ingredients and pairings. I applaud all the professional ICC students for their innovation and determination in this tough competition.” —Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry Operations and Creator of The Cookie Games

chocolate masa cookie

This year’s first place winner, Professional Pastry Arts student Hester Farabee, took home the Grand Prize—KENWOOD Kitchen Machine Stand Mixer, Valrhona Alpaco 66% Dark Chocolate and $30 Gift Card + book from the MoMA Design Store—for her Mexican-inspired Mexican Chocolate Masa Cookie. Craving more of her delicious, sandwich cookies? You can make Hester’s cookies at home, click here for full recipe.

Congratulations are also in order for Pastry student, Lily Hu, who came in second place with her Crazy Rich Asians’ Shortbread inspired by her Chinese heritage. In her delicious recreation of a Millionaire’s Shortbread, she incorporated Chinese Five-spice powder, which commonly includes cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns. Lily took home a De’Longhi Countertop Oven and $20 Gift Card + book from the MoMA Design Store.

Third place went to the USA-inspired Barbecue Cookie created by Professional Pastry Arts student, Dressler Parsons. Dressler explained that her inspiration for the cookie came from her dad’s love of creating smokey-barbecue in their backyard. He was even there in the jam-packed audience cheering her on! Dressler received a BRAUN Hand Mixer and $10 Gift Card + book from the MoMA Design Store.

Finally, the audience vote for Fan Favorite went to none other than Professional Culinary Arts student, Hayley McLean’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Cookie, inspired by her travels through the United Kingdom. During her externship at Citi Group, Hayley learned how to create a proper sticky toffee pudding from her head chef who was originally from the UK!

chef michael anthonyWe’d like to thank all the student participants of the 2019 Cookie Games, as well as our expert judges who provided thoughtful critique and suggestions to our students. This year’s roster of judges included Bao Ong (Food & Drink Editor, Time Out New York), the team from Gramercy Tavern—Michael Anthony (Executive Chef) and Miro Uskokovic (Pastry Chef), Emma Bengtsson (Executive Chef, Aquavit) and Mike Chau of @foodbabyny. We’d also like to recognize the generosity of our sponsors who provided the prizes and gift bags for all competitors. A special thank you to Valrhona for providing all of the chocolate for the competition! Check out our full gallery of photos from this year’s games below!


USA | Dressler Parsons

China | Lily Hu

Armenia | Mary White

Mexico | Hester Farabee

Japan | Jeremy Rick

Italy | Samantha Daily

USA | Regan E. Peschel

India | Jennifer Fay

Great Britain | Hayley McLean

Great Britain | Iuliia Kiskie


Kenwood Logo
Braun Logo
Valrhona Chocolate Logo
michel et augustin
milk bar
moma design store
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 | 3:45-5:30pm
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), Emma Bengtsson (Executive Chef, Aquavit) and Mike Chau of @foodbabyny.

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.


USA | Dressler Parsons

China | Lily Hu

Armenia | Mary White

Mexico | Hester Farabee

Japan | Jeremy Rick

Italy | Samantha Daily

USA | Regan E. Peschel

India | Jennifer Fay

Great Britain | Hayley McLean

Great Britain | Iuliia Kiskie


Kenwood Logo
Braun Logo
Valrhona Chocolate Logo
moma design store

Business Bites: Perfecting Your Pitch

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Food Business Fundamentals 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 Food Business Fundamentals program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks this September!


Alek Marfisi
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Food Business Fundamentals 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 events@culinarycenter.com

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 events@culinarycenter.com


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 chefpabloranea@gmail.com 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 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’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 Bugible.com (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.