ICC’s Founder: How to feed 9 billion people by 2050

This year as a culinary leader and educator, I have had the opportunity to hear from astronauts who, in space, saw the depleted water tables of California and listen to front-line workers from Save the Children tell of massive starvation around the world due to climate change, natural disaster and war. It shook me to the core of my casually held armchair opinions. The stories were riveting and makes feeding the populations that are food insecure so immediate and tangible. No longer can I just eat a meal; I am conscious of the moral obligations in what I eat and how we should cultivate that meal.

Read the full interview with Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO of the International Culinary Center.

From Infantry To The Kitchen: A Grunt Turned Chef Talks Transition

When he got out of the Marine Corps, Tom Jones found a second career in cooking.

Chef Tom Jones didn’t grow up wanting to study culinary arts. In fact, he hadn’t learned much about cooking at all prior to enrolling at New York’s International Culinary Center in 1998.

Jones was a service member twice over — first joining the Army as an infantryman in 1983 and then re-enlisting in the Marines before retiring to become a world-class pastry chef and culinary instructor.

Read more on Task&Purpose.


International Culinary Center’s Career Fast-Track Culinary and Pastry Programs Available to Service Members & Their Families

(New York, NY – October TK, 2015) – International Culinary Center (ICC), the global leader in culinary and wine education, introduces the newly expanded ICC Military Scholarship for veterans, active military members, and their spouses and children. Prospective students can enroll in the Professional Culinary Arts or Professional Pastry Arts programs at the school’s New York City or Silicon Valley, California, campus.

The scholarship allows students who are eligible for the maximum in federal grants and 100% Post 9/11 benefits to attend the program with no out-of-pocket expenses.

“Culinary school requires discipline, the ability to take direction and teamwork toward a common goal—the backbone of any efficient kitchen team. All of these qualities are instilled in the military,” explains Erik Murnighan, President of ICC’s New York City school. “We are grateful for the sacrifices our service members and their families make, and delighted to offer veterans, active military and their families the opportunity to attend a world-class school, completing a professional program and entering the job market in as little as six months.”

Military student attendance at the school has been steadily increasing the past year; these students are able to gain an extensive culinary education in 6-9 months through ICC’s fast-track, hands-on approach. The result: real-world skills to maximize their preparation for a culinary career.

Tom Jones, Chef-Instructor of the Pastry Arts program at ICC, served several years in the Army and Marine Corps before returning to the U.S. and becoming an instructor at the school. “The military and culinary fields both require teamwork, attention to detail and commitment to the organization,” says Jones, pointing out the word “service” is used in both military and culinary circles. “The military is a great place to learn skills like teamwork, responsibility and life experiences, and those are assets for working in a kitchen.”

For more information on the ICC Military Scholarships on the New York campus: click here.

For more information on the ICC Military Scholarships on the California campus: click here.

Grad Meets Grill

Photo via FoodNetwork.com

ICC alumna Angie Mar is the new “Chopped Grill Masters” grand champion!

She found her competitive voice during the tournament and let her food do the talking for her, cooking by relying on her gut despite at times hearing comments from the judges that would have discouraged less confident chefs. Certain basket ingredients almost threw her for a loop, like the rattlesnake in the appetizer round and the kokoretsi in the entree round, but she didn’t let that dictate the way things would turn out. Going into the dessert round alongside Stan, she was more determined than ever to show off her control of flavor in her final dish. And in the end she earned the title of Grand Champion, leaving with the $50,000 prize money and knowing that her plates got her to the finish line.

Read Angie’s interview on the FoodNetwork Blog.

More than 50 ICC alumni have competed on Chopped over the years

ICC graduates come well-prepared for the challenges presented by Food Network’s Chopped kitchen. Chopped is a cooking competition show where four chefs have seconds to plan and 30 minutes to cook an amazing course with the basket of mystery ingredients given to them moments before the clock starts ticking! Course by course, the chefs will be “chopped” from the competition. Chopped is a game of passion, expertise and skill — and in the end, only one chef will survive the Chopping Block.

Participating ICC graduates included Antonia Lofaso, Chris Nirschel, Kat Ploszaj, Andre Marrero, Elisabeth Weinberg, Helen Park, Hugh Mangum, Jason Khaytin, Palak Patel, Rachel Willen, Ruth Cimaroli, Vandy Vanderwarker, Kyle Bernstein, Zoe Feigenbaum, and many more.

Watch the latest episodes at FoodNetwork.com

Photo via Food Fix Kitchen
Photo via ChefPalakPatel.com

The Wall Street Journal: The Lost Art of the Salad

The position I’ve come around to, as maker and eater, is closer to that of Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO of New York City’s International Culinary Center. “The perfect salad,” she insisted, “is green, correctly washed and served at an ever-so-slightly chilled temperature with a blush of oil and salt!” Right now, when the hot sun and char of the grill beg for a refreshing, crisp counterpoint, I crave the “really simple green salads” with their lemon vinaigrettes that chef Nancy Silverton described to me after a recent trip to Israel. Whole mint leaves and mustard flowers, shaved radishes and Persian cucumbers: These are the subtle adornments that heighten our appreciation for something so exquisitely minimalist.

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Dorothy Cann Hamilton Talks About the World Expo

Ms. Hamilton, 65, is the president of the USA Pavilion at the 2015 World Expo, in Milan through Oct. 31. The theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” and she is running a 35,000-square-foot pavilion that puts American food culture in the spotlight. Following are excerpts from a conversation with Ms. Hamilton.

Q. This year is the first time in the history of world’s fairs that the theme is food. Why do you think the topic is so important now?

A. The Expo organizers have posed the question of how we will feed nine billion people in 2050. If we continue to eat and farm the way we do, there will not be enough food to feed the planet by then. The event will see the brightest-thinking people from over 140 countries addressing this problem.


Read the full NY Times article here.

Italian Experience: A Labor of Love

By Lauren Fuschillo, ICC Italian Culinary Arts student.
(Read Part 1 here)

The sky was a bright blue and the sun was shining. My espresso-hot and my cigarette-lit. I sat there and, in my head, ran through what I imagined my first day to be like. It involved a lot of nerves, some sweat and plenty of note taking. But as I entered the castle (yes, it is an actual castle – read about that later in another post) I was whisked away into what is now my reality.

We reviewed all the routine procedures, met the faculty and chefs, were fitted for uniforms, etc. We toured the classrooms, demo rooms and kitchens – all beautiful and grand! In the middle of it all there’s an adorable little cafe serving up delicious espresso for the students and faculty all day long. Pinch me?

However, I was still nervous as I approached the classroom door where my classmates and I would become better acquainted with our new chef instructors as they did a demonstration.

Chef Magada and Chef Ruffini decided to change up the program. They felt that rather than do a demo, it was best we just keep it casual; have a little “chat” as Chef Ruffini put it.

We were asked to introduce ourselves and share the thing we were most excited to learn. I guess it was a trigger. The anxiety of any shortcomings, self doubt or flubs from New York started to rise in my chest like they did the night before while I read that manual. Any of the insecurities I had in the kitchen formed into a golf ball that was now stuck at the bottom of my throat. My turn was coming up and I’d have to introduce myself to the chefs and tell them what excites me most about furthering my education. Was it perfecting my knife skills; working on my satisfactory-at-best taillage? Maybe I should mention that from time to time I have trouble following recipes because I’d rather eyeball measurements? That golf ball wasn’t moving and I was two moments away from having to share what I needed to work on most.

ICC Italian course Alma

Then there was a moment of clarity. Screw it, I’m here to be a sponge! I should not have self doubt but only self confidence. I made it here thus far, and on my own accord.

I’m paraphrasing but it went something like this “I could say I want to focus on technique but that’s a lie. I want to learn it all. I want to soak up everything that you’re here to offer us.” That’s how I feel. Why focus on one area? Why limit myself? Why not perfect it all? At least that’s the plan.

ICC Italian program

Italian Cuisine is best described the way our chefs described it that day. It is a labor of love. It’s not about measuring grams or meticulously dicing a carrot. Sure, the technique is expected and should be there. However, the cuisine is about passion and it’s centered around the feelings that go behind every ingredient carefully chosen for every recipe that creates that perfect bite – every time.

It’s not about how fast you are or that you can just get through the recipe without missing some organized step… The Italian chefs didn’t really seem to view that as success. Success was crafting a beautiful emulsification with your fresh garganelli and accompanying it with a smile. It is about putting thought to action and appreciating each and everything you’re doing; paying attention to the little details that bring forth happiness. They said we should “have fun” and “love” as we’re working behind our creations, as it transfers into our dishes and THAT is success.

International Culinary Center Italian program

All I could think was “Oh my god, I am home.” I am not fast. Rather than use proper measurements – I use the “eyeball, taste and then add” approach. I should probably be more meticulous about technique and I should always follow what I learned for Serve Safe. But, heck, I’ve got passion. I already do this with love. That’s how I’ve always cooked.

In NY I would sometimes try to alter my cooking style and force myself to strictly follow the recipe. But that’s not me. Any time I did that my dish fell short and its taste was flat. It was when I was having fun, cooking from my heart… or when I was appreciating the ingredients for the dish I was preparing that it showcased my skill and talent at best.

So, yes. If that is how these chefs think, cook and expect us to cook then I am “home”. Finally, I can cook the way I enjoy to cook, with love.

But that’s all I can share for now because I still have to work on my satisfactory-at-best taillage.


Bobby Flay to be first chef with star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Bobby Flay, television personality, serial restaurateur and cookbook author will be the first chef to have his celebrity recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Flay’s first cooking job, at 17 years old, was in the kitchen of Joe Allen’s. The Theater District restaurant’s namesake owner was sufficiently impressed with Flay to support his career by covering his tuition to the French Culinary Institute, now the International Culinary Center.

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