Silicon Valley tech company chefs face off in reality show-style cook-off

Executives from Yahoo, Google, LinkedIn, Samsung, Oracle, and Brocade faced off in a high-stakes competition to see which company was truly the best. Not who had the best apps, or whose teams wrote the best code, or who had the best home page, but who had the best … food.

The competition, a partnership between ICC and BITE Silicon Valley, took place at ICC’s Campbell, CA campus.


Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal

See more photos at the Silicon Valley Business Journal slideshow.
To learn more about the event, read this article on Yahoo Food.

ICC Grads Top James Beard Award Winners

Known as the Oscars of the food world, the James Beard Foundation Awards celebrate America’s top talent in all facets of the culinary industry. This year, we’re proud to say that many ICC alumni took home top honors in the most coveted categories:


Outstanding Pastry Chef: Christina Tosi, Momofuku MilkBar, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant: Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY (Dan Barber, Executive Chef/Co-Founder)

Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America: Wylie Dufresne, Chef and Restaurateur

Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America: Maricel Presilla, Chef, Restaurateur and Cookbook Author

Best New Restaurant: Bâtard, NYC (Jason Jacobeit, Beverage Program Director)

Book Awards: Writing and Literature: The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, Dan Barber

Journalism Awards: Food and Culture: Rebecca Flint Marx, San Francisco Magazine

Book Awards: Beverage: Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail, Dave Arnold (ICC’s founding Director of Culinary Technology)

We salute the winners and all of our graduates who are working hard and blazing their own trail around the world.

Recipes from 2014 ICC Cookie Games

The Cookie Games at the International Culinary Center featured in Dec14/Jan15 Dessert Professional:

Congratulations to the winners of The Cookie Games student competition held on November 21, 2014 at the International Culinary Center in NYC! The event was hosted by Jansen Chang (Director of ICC Pastry Operations), and Jacques Torres (ICC Dean of Pastry & Baking Arts) served as head judge.

ICC Cookie Games 2014
Coconut Daun Pandan ICC
Vegan Earl Grey Biscotti ICC
Italy in a Bite cookie ICC ICC

A Feast of Architectural Styles for Expo Milano 2015

“It’s really a kind of identity parade.” – James Biber, architect of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 to the New York Times

MILAN — James Biber can see Russia from his roof. Mr. Biber, the architect of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, the world’s fair that is racing to meet its opening date on Friday, also has a good view of Kuwait next door and Iran across the street.

But with its 33-yard roof canopy jutting out like a knife,Russia’s national pavilion commands particular attention. This is no small coup when you’re among dozens of buildings lined up in aesthetic disjunction, like words pulled from a hat by a Dadaist poet.

Beside the nearly milelong road that is the spine of the fairgrounds, the British pavilion hunkers behind a massive aluminum-and-steel sculpture inspired by a beehive. Next to it sits Hungary’s pavilion, a ribbed structure alluding to Noah’s ark, but also reminiscent of Pinocchio’s whale. To the north, the Palazzo Italia can be seen with its wrapping of spidery threads of white concrete, a patented material that is said to remove impurities from the air. With more than 80 buildings being constructed for the fair, it was getting a workout.

To read the full article at the New York Times, CLICK HERE.

Metro Goes Behind-the-Scenes at ICC’s California Campus

Chef Jeanne and Chef Marc from ICC’s California campus were featured on the front page of Metro, Silicon Valley’s weekly newspaper. Metro went behind-the-scenes at ICC California for an inside look at student life and (literally) got a mouthful of everything we have to offer!

See the full article here!

For more information about the courses featured in this article at International Culinary Center (New York and California campuses), please visit our Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts and Intensive Sommelier Training course pages now!


ICC grads Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone win Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Chef” for New York!

food and wine

Restaurant: Contra

Location: New York City

Why They’re Amazing: Because the two young chefs are showing New York City something new, modern and understated: a nightly five-course tasting menu that varies depending on their mood and foregoes an excess of salt, sugar or spice in favor of showing off their greenmarket ingredients.

Background: von Hauske: Noma (Copenhagen), Attica (Melbourne); Stone: Isa (Brooklyn), Rino (Paris)

Quintessential Dish: Lightly smoked swordfish with horseradish cream sauce, fresh peas and fennel

Dessert for Dinner: For staff meals, von Hauske likes to serve dessert. “I don’t like keeping things in the freezer for too long, so every Saturday night, I’ll take every single leftover from the week and will turn it into a Sunday Staff Sundae. Recently we had a toasted buckwheat mousse with yogurt sorbet and grains covered in chocolate and caramel and a custard with pistachios. We mixed it all together and made this humongous delicious thing.”


Congratulations also to ICC Graduate Nominees

Hooni Kim – New York

Jonathan Wu – New York

Thomas Chen – New York

Kevin Pemoulié – New York

Tim Maslow – New England

Annie Pettry – Southeast

The Rise of the Asian-American Sommelier

International Culinary Center’s Intensive Sommelier Training program featured in an NBC News article on “The Rise of the Asian-American Sommelier.”

One of the ICC’s goals is to teach future sommeliers…the art and science of “deductive tasting” – objectively analyzing and describing wine based on sight, smell and taste. During the course, which is spread out over 10 or 17 weeks, students attend class three or five times a week, for four hours each day. Together, they get to apply deductive tasting to some 300 wines from major wine-producing regions throughout the world.

Read the full article on

Learn more about Intensive Sommelier Training at ICC, the only school to have 11 Master Sommeliers on faculty.

Keith Kouris ’98 Top 10 Artisan Bread Bakers in North America

Blue Duck Bakery Cafe‘s co-owner Keith Kouris (1998 Art of International Bread Baking graduate) has been named one of the top 10 artisan bread bakers in North America by Dessert Professional magazine.

Kouris and his wife Nancy founded Blue Duck Bakery in 1999 in Southampton. Since then, Blue Duck Bakery Cafe has expanded to full-line locations Southold, Riverhead and Greenport. Their artisan breads are produced at their Southold location and are delivered fresh daily to restaurants and grocers from Montauk to New Jersey. Whole Foods sells a line of Blue Duck rye breads.

CLICK HERE to read the full article in the Riverhead Local.

Professional Pastry Arts Unit Two: The Reaping

Professional Pastry Arts student C.C. McCandless on pies, tarts and the importance of timing.

After a rousingly successful whirlwind of a first week in the Professional Pastry Arts program, I entered Unit Two with equal amounts of excitement and trepidation. On one hand, I was thrilled that we would be expanding our skill set so quickly, delving into the crucial and delicious world of tarts and pies. The syllabus indicated that we would learn a multitude of different doughs, fillings and presentations. This sounded excellent.

Except, as it turned out, pie doughs were my nemesis.


Back home, once I had committed to ICC last fall, I used that upcoming holiday season as my own personal training grounds. Thanksgiving and Christmas provided ample opportunity to test out any and every manner of desserts on more-than-willing family members. I’m happy to report that most of my attempts were successful to one degree or another. The one glaring exception, however, was the broad category of homemade doughs.

I just couldn’t get them right.

I tried. Truly, I did. Different recipes. Different techniques. Different baking methods. However, each and every final product included something that I viewed as unacceptable. Don’t get me wrong…they tasted good. But my crusts were suboptimal. Sometimes they would shrink, retreating down the sides of the pan like a frightened turtle back into his shell. Or my pie top wouldn’t seal exactly right with its bottom partner, looking ragged around the edge. My attempt at a lattice top for an apple pie was a ham-fisted mess that looked like the work of a serial killer. Dirty Harry said that a man’s got to know his limitations. In this case, mine were crystal clear: I was unable to make a perfect tart or pie dough.


That’s just what we learned to do in Unit Two. It turns out that all I was missing were perfectly proportioned dough recipes taught to me by a master of the craft. At ICC, I received both in short order. There was literally no time to worry about whether I would screw up my doughs yet again; no opportunity to mentally linger over whether this might just be some fatal flaw in my own baking DNA. We were taught how to make pate brisee, pate sucre, pate sablee, and more, and the important differences between each.

A new unit meant a new partner, and we drew random numbers from a bowl to determine the new pairings. For a week that I might be anxious about, it was all-too-fitting when I drew a classmate that I had my eye on since day one. She had an uncanny air of professionalism and confidence, and I just knew from the first moments of our initial class that she would be a force in the kitchen. My instincts were spot on, as I peripherally watched her turn out one gorgeous product after another during unit one, all while working diligently and maintaining a sparkling clean station. Did I mention that she already has her own amazing food blog? Well, she does, and I had no doubt that she was a future food star in the making. For recipes I had every possibility to muck up, I couldn’t ask for a better teammate to work beside.


I carried myself well enough during unit one that she seemed excited about our pairing, too. And once again, a classmate and I fell immediately into a seamless rhythm. This was especially important for this unit, because I learned that making doughs had to become automatic; almost robotic. The routine, I found out, was the inherently incorrect part of my process. Make the dough. Don’t overwork it. Chill it. Roll it out. Chill it again. Trim it in your tart ring. Chill it again. None of these steps were optional, and the unit was cleverly designed to ingrain this process immediately. Repeating it daily beside someone that knew her stuff helped it become second nature for me. Literally within a couple of days, I was able to look back at my amateurish problems at home with a smile.

My doughs were now really good, but more importantly, they came out that way automatically. There was no worrying or concern anymore. They always turned out right. It was so freeing and soothing that it’s almost mind-boggling, thinking back to what a thorn in my side they used to be. And the fillings! Lovely, flambeed fruits; rich, stirred custards; luscious, chocolate ganache…we cranked out an incredible array of mouth-watering treats in room 204 that week.


Our lead instructor, Chef Jürgen, did not make a big deal of the minutiae of the daily schedule. He did, however, write it out on the giant white board at the head of the class each morning, with the expectation that we would follow it to the minute. Every moment from our arrival to the concluding clean up of the kitchen before our departure was accounted for in bright, dry erase marker. The rare occasions we lagged were inevitably met with a booming Austrian voice imploring us, “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!”

Each day, we had homework that included preparing recipes for the following morning. On one particular afternoon near the end of the level, we were also assigned something completely new. It looked innocuous enough, as it was essentially a blank sheet of paper. Chef Jürgen informed us that not only were we to prepare tomorrow’s recipes, but that we each had to craft our own version of the daily schedule. His smile gleamed as he assigned us this deceptively tricky task. “And tomorrow, we will have a Reaping like “The Hunger Games,’” he said, with a sinister tinge in his voice. “One of you will be chosen to read your schedule to the class.”


I realize that it’s kind of ridiculous that I’ve approached this entire experience like a classic hero’s journey. I don’t think Joseph Campbell had lemon meringue pie or tart Alsacienne in mind when he crafted his theories about myth and storytelling. But it has been my approach, to the best of my ability, to live this culinary adventure to the fullest. Thus, Chef Jürgen’s throwing-down of the gauntlet left me with only one possible reply. I had to make Katniss Everdeen proud.

“I volunteer as tribute!” I blurted out from my station, which happened to be right beside the chef’s marble that week.

“Yeah?” he said, giving me a sideways glance as his sly smile grew wider.

“Sure,” I said, realizing that my arrogant mouth and desire to say something cool were at least a couple of steps ahead of my brain. But I couldn’t back down. I returned home and began to assess all of the steps that needed to be compiled for the necessary schedule. I stared down the prospect of coordinating a couple of complex tarts, a new pie dough and two different compotes for fillings, and I immediately realized that I took the precision of our razor-sharp daily schedules completely for granted.

I did the best that I could. I accounted for time needed to roll out doughs, to chill them and to make the requisite accompaniments. I scheduled the brief but integral intervals when the chefs would demonstrate new techniques. I accounted for our lunch break and even left some time at the end of the schedule for review. I was confident that, while my itinerary might not have been perfect, it was one that would work.


The next morning I arrived early, as I always do, and Chef Jürgen quickly double-checked the validity of my bold offer to volunteer. I had no intention of shying away from the task at hand or asking him to proof my work. He took the quickest of glances at my itinerary and instructed me to write it out on the board. I thought that had to be a good sign. I did so, wondering if there was some crucial error that he intentionally left in my plan, just so he could point it out to the class.

“Looks good,’ he said, analyzing my handiwork as I finished up. “Very nice job.”

Whew. We ended up using my itinerary exactly as written that day, and it worked out perfectly. That was an excellent lesson, reminding us that each day at ICC we are learning things that we might not even be consciously aware of. It wasn’t exactly a life-threatening challenge, like surviving a day in the arena from “The Hunger Games,” but I still felt heroic about it.


Learn more about Professional Pastry Arts