Inside ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training

A review of ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program by Bottlenotes:

Inside ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training

“As the amount of wine Americans drinks continues to rise annually, so too does the number of people taking the Court of Master Sommeliers’ introductory exam,” reads a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. We scoped out the Intensive Sommelier Training program at International Culinary Center (ICC), based in Soho, NYC, and Silicon Valley, CA, to see the steps to somm-hood. The comprehensive course—the first and only approved by the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas—educates candidates with 300+ wines (the bar tab would equal $10,000+ in any other setting), and culminates in the exam given on-site.

drinkThe seven somm steps:

  • Taste and taste and taste with the school’s Master Sommeliers to develop powers of identification
  • Grasp the logic of food-and-wine pairing recommendations
  • Learn proper storage, aging and service to bring the best out of your bottles
  • Show your business brain—design a wine list based on a case study
  • Walk the vineyards, tour the cellar and do the “viti-vini” on a field trip
  • Live the 8,000-year history of wine making via countries that blazed the taste trail
  • Embrace the challenge of a learning journey that will forever change the way you live, wine and dine


As the ultimate gift for a wine lover or a new career path for yourself, ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training classes are held throughout the year. For dates and details, please go to

Learn more about ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training Program.

ICC CEO Talks Foodie Gifts to CBNC

International Culinary Center Founder & CEO Dorothy Cann Hamilton gives her recommendation in CNBC’s “50 gift ideas for the foodie who has everything.”

Books for the foodie
Dorothy Cann Hamilton, International Culinary Center president and founder

Food memoirs head up the list of Hamilton’s gifts she likes to give and receive. For the barbecue fan or meat lover, she suggests barbecue expert Steve Raichlen’s books. Dorie Greenspan’s books are another favorite.

CLICK HERE for the full list.

The Cookie Games at ICC in Good Morning America

The Cookie Games at the International Culinary Center in Soho featured in ABC News:

“…the students of the International Culinary Center in New York City held the prestigious and competitive “Cookie Games.” Students were tasked with representing the country of their choice in cookie form, and the results were pretty creative.”

To read the full article and to check out the recipes for the winning cookies, click here: See Which Cookie Reigned Supreme at Culinary School Cookie Games

ICC & SinoVision Debut a New Cooking Show: Asian Kitchen

Got your chef’s hat set? What about the pots and pans? Well, it’s official folks – SinoVision has partnered with the International Culinary Center (ICC) to produce the network’s first cooking show, Asian Kitchen, a 12-episode series featuring chefs who graduated from the renowned cooking school headquartered in Soho, New York. The talents – all rising stars in New York City and graduates of either ICC’s Culinary or Pastry programs within the past 14 years – share their interpretations and influences of Asian cuisine for American audiences, including cooking demos and tips. Think of it as a one on one crash course with some of the hottest chefs around. The simple and unique recipes they will share are enjoyed by thousands of New Yorkers at their local restaurants, and now they’re going to be all yours.

Asian Kitchen will premiere Saturday November 15 at 7 PM on both NYC Channel 73 and WMBC Channel 63.3 as well as Sunday November 16 at 7 PM on WMBC Channel 63.4.

The show is being hosted by Christie Clements and Tian Zhu and will feature the following talents:

  • Chaz Brown, Executive Chef of Seoul Chicken and Seoul Noodle, NYC, creates Asia-meets-Dixie cuisine
  • Eton Chan, Founder of Eton’s Dumplings and Sous Chef at Facebook, NYC, specializes in dumplings, buns and hand-pulled noodles
  • Christina Lee, Pastry Chef of Recette and The Gander, NYC, draws her inspiration from modern art
  • Ben Pope, Executive Chef and Partner of 2duckgoose, Brooklyn, NY, where the Hong Kong native brings a European twist to classic Cantonese dishes
  • Suchanan Aksornnan (also known as Chef Bao Bao), Executive Chef of Baoburg, Brooklyn, NY, adds Spanish and Asian influences to French cuisine
  • Kee Ling Tong, Chocolatier and Owner of Kee’s Chocolates, NYC, makes chocolates flavored with seasonal ingredients
  • Jonathan Wu, Executive Chef and Partner of Fung Tu, NYC, is known for his creative, personal Chinese-American food

More About the International Culinary Center

Founded as The French Culinary Institute in 1984, the International Culinary Center (ICC) is the global expert in professional culinary and wine education, with programs in New York and California. The renowned six-month Total Immersion program has produced other talents as Bobby Flay, David Chang, Dan Barber, Hooni Kim, Christina Tosi and 15,000 more under the guidance of deans including Jacques Pepin and Jacques Torres. Awarded the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ “Culinary School of Excellence” for its career programs—the industry’s top honor—since 2010, ICC provides students with the credentials, confidence and connections to chart a successful career anywhere in the world. The White House announced ICC, along with the James Beard Foundation, will imagine and build the USA Pavilion at the World EXPO in Milan in 2015.

ICC Celebrates 30th Anniversary on CBS News

ICC CEO, dean and alums talk 30 years of ICC on CBS This Morning.

In 1984, The French Culinary Institute opened its doors in Soho, NYC. Flash-forward three decades, and FCI – now International Culinary Center (ICC) – has programs in New York and California, with more in the mix. Next big global move: The White House announced ICC and James Beard Foundation’s selection to build the USA Pavilion at the 2015 World’s Fair (EXPO) in Milan.

Founder and CEO Dorothy Cann Hamilton, Dean Jacques Torres, and grads Michael Chernow, Wylie Dufresne and Daisy Martinez talk 30 Years of ICC on CBS This Morning’s THE Dish.

To learn more about the courses at the International Culinary Center, fill out the form below and an Admission representative will contact you.

30 Years of ICC

What does it take to make a 21st century chef? Click here for our infographic to find out!

ICC Infographics FINAL

Alum Dan Barber Earns Three Stars in The New York Times

1994 culinary grad Dan Barber earns Three Stars in the New York Times.


Dan Barber’s (Culinary ’94) Blue Hill in NYC keeps its stars, from Michelin (one) and The New York Times (three)! Photo credit: Ben Russell for The New York Times

It turned out that he was born for the job. Patient, intense, curious, enthusiastic, articulate, Mr. Barber has become a dirt poet and kitchen philosopher whose time outside with the pigs and the beans has had a deep, lasting effect on the way he cooks. Today no other chef has the information he keeps in his head (how to make pure carbon out of a cow’s femur) or the vegetables he puts in his ovens (sparrow-size squash).

See the entire review here: Restaurant Review: Blue Hill in Greenwich Village
Learn more about our Farm to Table program designed by Chef Dan Barber.

Vanity Fair: ‘Out to Lunch with André Soltner’

ICC Dean André Soltner schools Vanity Fair on the art of omelets.

International Culinary Center Dean of Classic Studies André Soltner, America’s first celebrity chef, gives Vanity Fair a lesson in making the perfect omelet.

“The shape of a cigar, you see?” he said. (He still has a marked Gallic accent despite his many years in the U.S.) “Beautiful! And no wrinkles. Smooth. Inside baveuse—soft, but not runny. You don’t have to taste it. Just by the look you know it’s good. If you like it a little brown, spread a little butter on top and put it under a hot broiler—but only for a second.”

Why is cooking an omelet his supreme test of a chef? “Because it takes only two minutes. You watch the technique—but technique without heart is no use. It’s fast and it’s very simple. If a chef can’t do it, forget him.”

He began the lesson, and two minutes later he had effortlessly made the perfect omelet. (You can see him doing it on YouTube.) “Now take off your jacket,” he said, “and you make one.”

CLICK HERE to read the full article in Vanity Fair.


ICC CEO talks Future of Food in TIME Magazine

Founder & CEO Dorothy Cann Hamilton predicts how our plates will change.

International Culinary Center Founder and CEO Dorothy Cann Hamilton featured in a TIME Magazine article on “The Future of Food; Experts Predict How Our Plates Will Change.”

Culinary Institute CEO and Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton

My prediction for a game change in the way we eat food is not from the perspective of a science. It is not even from the perspective of a chef. It is from the perspective of diversity in our culture–and our wallet. We already see that food prices are being affected by weather, disease and geopolitical issues. Many commodities once taken for granted and free are now precious (think water in California). What will be the largest shift in the way Americans eat? They will forego expensive proteins, fresh and highly transported (pricey) produce, and will rethink how they take in calories. Hopefully with education, they will be nutritious calories. Where a prime rib might have been the ultimate American Sunday dinner, tomorrow we are probably looking at steak fajitas (3 ounces per person) with rice and beans. You know what? That’s a better diet for us and for our planet. I call that progress.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

Become a chef of the 21st century. Learn more about our Professional Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table program in New York and California.

ICC Alums Featured in Muine Magazine Korea

International Culinary Center is featured in Muine Magazine Korea for our distinguished Culinary Arts alumni, Wylie Dufresne (1993) and Dan Barber (1994), as well as our Professional Culinary Arts plus Farm to Table program.


See below for the translation:

Professional Culinary Arts+Farm To Table
The ICC (International Culinary Center) developed a Farm To Table course. ICC graduate Dan Barber and his restaurant Blue Hill and the Stone Barns center got together. Through the course you learn traditional culinary skills and how ingredients grow and are farmed as well as what is the best conditions for the best flavour of the ingredients. Highlight is the last part which features a week at Stone Barns. You use local, fresh ingredients to cook, learn about soil health and vegetable farming, humane animal husbandry and whole animal cooking to form a memorable week which ends with a menu created by the students. The ICC has 30 years of tradition and students from approximately 80 countries attend. Koreans are the highest proportion of the overseas students. Each class is limited to 12 students and students acquire experience from working at the Michelin recommended restaurant L’Ecole located in New York’s SoHo. This course can be taken in spring and autumn.

Dan Barber:
This summer’s publication ‘The Third Plate’ includes one chef’s cooking philosophy and the entirety of American food culture. The writer is the developer of the ground breaking course that is offered at New York’s ICC(International Culinary Center) called “Farm-To-Table”, Dan Barber. Dan is a graduate of the ICC (’94). After growing into a talented chef he has gone back to give to the ICC which opened up the culinary world for him.”


Wylie Dufresne
To use new technology you need to have the basic cooking skills, which is why it is still relevant for aspiring chefs to go to cooking school, he said. What he remembers most from his ICC culinary school days is that he learned the most necessary cooking skills in the intensive program. This is the foundation of his work and that is how creativity is born.