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.

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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.

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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. www.internationalculinarycenter.com

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.”

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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.

Kitchen À La Anna

A fantastic feature on graduate Anna Dickson of International Culinary Center California in Madison Magazine.

On a humid summer night, I station myself near the kitchen at Merchant and watch Anna Dickson work. It’s still early in the evening, when a lot of folks in the restaurant business tend to tense up in anticipation of the rush. But executive chef Dickson is pure calm, trim in her short-sleeved black chef’s coat and glasses, her red hair pulled back in a neat ponytail. She keeps the counter before her spotless, periodically removing a speck of fresh parsley and re-folding her towel each time. As the cooks complete plates of French fries, burgers and mussels, each one must go through Dickson. She looks each plate over, wiping away a stray dab of sauce and sometimes conferring with a cook, who takes it back for a correction. Only when she is satisfied is the plate released to the waiting server.

Plus, a mention of fellow ICC graduate Anna Leasure, now our enrollment coordinator in CA:

“Most culinary students will go the standard chef route: work in restaurants and work their way up from line cook to sous chef to chef de cuisine to executive chef,” says Joanna Leasure, who was one of Dickson’s classmates at the French Culinary Institute in San Jose, now called the International Culinary Center. Leasure’s currently ICC’s enrollment coordinator. “Anna did it really fast. I haven’t seen many people going [in] two years from graduation to executive chef.”

We are so proud! To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Former Trader Quits Playboy Club to Open Own Restaurant

A feature on 2004 Culinary Arts graduate Judy Joo in Bloomberg!

To say that she has had a varied career is an understatement. Joo, 39, a Columbia engineering graduate, interned at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. She spent more than four years with Morgan Stanley in New York and San Francisco before studying at the French Culinary Institute in New York.

She then moved to London and got a job as a pastry chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Television beckoned and she appeared on ‘‘Iron Chef’’ before being named executive chef when the Playboy Club returned to London in 2011. The Korean-American is now set to open a restaurant in London’s Soho in December.

To read the full article, click here: Former Trader Quits Playboy Club to Open Own Restaurant
Photo: Ricahrd Vines/Bloomberg

From Investment Banking to Pastry Arts

2014 Professional Pastry Arts student on changing careers.


By Mark Franczyk
International Culinary Center Student
Professional Pastry Arts
http://www.outsideofthebreadbox.com/

I took a seat in one of the conference room chairs facing a display case of ocean themed sugar sculptures. How quickly would those fish melt in actual water, I wondered idly as the admissions representative closed the door and started to make her way across the room.

It was time for me to make my move.

“So let me ask you a crazy question,” I blurted.

The admissions representative, sifting through her folder of brochures, paused expectantly. Obviously my attempt at a natural transition in the conversation had failed. In fact, it must have been so unnatural that she looked genuinely scared by what I might be about to ask. After all, who was I but some random stranger who had stumbled in off the streets of SoHo asking to speak with Admissions? Some story about being a former Investment Banker… interested in the Professional Pastry Arts program. It certainly wasn’t a first, so why would anyone have been suspicious. Although crazy people can be articulate and clean cut too.

But what I was about to ask had been the true reason for visiting the International Culinary Center that afternoon. That’s not to say I hadn’t enjoyed the one-on-one tour of the kitchens, the lesson-by-lesson walkthrough of the syllabus and the presentation of the students’ chocolate projects. They were are critical pieces in convincing me that not only was I ready to enroll in Culinary School, but I had decided on ICC.

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She still stood there… waiting… blinking… perhaps calculating if it would be better to scream for help or to make a dive for the door.

“I know you have a new class starting on the 15th,” I began. “I assume it’s closed at this point?” My voice lifted awkwardly with the question, my attempt to convey my true meaning – was there space for me?

“I suppose it’s possible to enroll right up until the start date,” she said with what could only be described as giddy relief. “Given the application process, students typically enroll at least a month before. We need to cover…”

“But you’re saying it’s possible? If everything can be processed in time, you’re saying it’s possible.”

“Up until that morning… yes, it’s possible.”

So I had until the 15th. It was the 13th.

But this had not been some spur-of-the-moment decision. It was the foregone conclusion to hours upon hours of internal debate and months of covert diligence into various culinary schools and programs.

An hour later, arms full of sundry forms related to the application process, I stepped out onto the SoHo sidewalk at 462 Broadway. Facebook status update: “I think I just enrolled in Culinary School.”

When I emerged from the subway just minutes later there were 83 “Likes”. One comment appeared repeatedly: “About time!”

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Six months earlier I had done something that still feels more like the plot from a mediocre feel-good-movie and not a scene from my life.

After 10 years of grinding it out in Finance, I had finally ended my career as an Investment Banker. It had taken me five attempts to officially quit (some people insist the number is higher). With each attempt, I had received convincing counter-proposals promising changes to my job designed to make “sticking it out” more palatable. They were well-intentioned proposals from (mostly) sincerely motivated people. But after a decade of 100-hour workweeks, few seemed to understand the extent to which my motivations had changed.

Globally recognized firm name… oversized paycheck by almost anyone’s standards… the ability to say things at cocktail parties like, “My week? Oh, it was fine… I worked on the largest equity deal in U.S. history for the U.S. Treasury… yes, we raised $21 billion… or was it $22 billion? I forget exactly. But how are the kids?”

It had all started to leave me cold.

Yes, the work had been stimulating… at least at first. As a 21-year-old fresh out of college, a job in Investment Banking had met all of the requirements, which, at the time, had defined success. And over the course of that decade, I consistently worked with amazingly talented people. But motivations change. Definitions of success change. And any spark of true personal interest… that “thrill of the deal”… had long since faded.

One Monday, somewhere between my fourth and final attempt to quit, I had a bit of an epiphany while sorting through my morning email.

For every note on IPOs, merger deal alerts or upcoming due diligence sessions, I had at least one email that read something like “Next Thursday night… group of 5… out of towners… thinking Korean food, but no seafood… something on the East Side… thoughts?”

Or perhaps, “Just heard about this thing called a Cronut… thought of you… we must go!!!”

Maybe it was the constant state of sleep deprivation that had caused me to miss something so blatantly obvious, but if I was spending every free moment thinking about or talking about food, then why was I not working in food? Cooking… baking… food science… food writing… restaurant management… from where I sat, 28 floors above Park Avenue, they all sounded infinitely more attractive.

The truth was, the culinary world seemed so impossibly distant from Banking, and I didn’t see how I could move from point A to point B. When I finally quit (the fifth time), it became clear that many people had similar doubts.

“So you’re going to leave banking… but what will you do next? Cooking? I know you… in two weeks you are going to totally freak out and have no idea what to do with yourself. You know it. You just don’t want to say it! You can’t sit still. No matter what you do, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. You might as well start wearing socks on your hands, tissue boxes for shoes and start talking to plants. I’m sorry… I don’t want to sound harsh. I’m just thinking about you. And you know that nothing else will pay this well. Nothing. And I’m sure you’ve heard about chefs’ hours. I just hate the idea of you working so hard for so little money.”

My counter was simple.

“Do you like your job?”

“It’s pays wells, and…” they’d always begin.

“That’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking, do you like your job?”

They would just look at me in silence, unable to respond. I had made my point.

And yet, in my last few days with the firm, there were more and more people who emerged, eager to reveal to me their shared sentiments in whispered chats over coffee.

“I am so jealous. I have been thinking about leaving for years too.” They would lean in closer, as if the other Starbucks patrons were there to record our conversation and report back to big brother, latte cups fitted with hidden microphones. “I’m just not there yet. Good luck. You’ll do awesome. Augh, I’m so jealous. I need to get out of here too!”

My start at ICC could not have gone better. I awoke that first morning to a Facebook post by Jacques Pepin, one of the school’s deans.

“Today is Julia’s [Child] birthday. I think of her often, and miss her. Let’s all raise a glass to her today.”

Well, if starting culinary school on Julia Child’s birthday was not a good omen, I don’t know what is!

Over the course of the first few weeks, I would leave class around 11pm feeling physically exhausted, arms loaded to a full evening’s work of pastry, but more emotionally energized than I had in years. Doubts about having made the right decision… regrets for having left something stable for something totally unchartered… I was genuinely surprised how I felt neither.

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Three weeks into the Pastry Arts Program, ICC held one of its regular career fairs: a veritable “Who’s Who” from the culinary world and an unparalleled opportunity to meet with top potential employers. Although I was still a culinary school neophyte, I was eager to try my luck at an internship while still in class – take on a little real world experience to round out my classroom hours.

Speaking with prospective employers meant updating a long dormant resume. The night before the career fair, I sat at my computer, staring down the document that chronicled my 10 years in Finance. It was a crowded page detailing a litany of deals and transactions. The font size had been reduced each year to accommodate what had become a meaningless and illegible mess.

And then I hit delete, reducing everything to a single bullet point somewhere near the bottom… Investment Banker, 2004-2014.

The page looked relieved with the potential of things to come.

To learn more about the class Mark is taking, fill out the form below and an Admission representative will contact you.