bugible

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.

JOURNEY THROUGH THE WORLD OF ENTOMOPHAGY

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. 

Who Will Tread the ‘Bread Carpet’ This Fall? The Bread Oscars are Back in NYC & You Can Enter!

After a stunning debut in the fall, the Tiptree World Bread Awards return to New York City for 2019, to celebrate the very best American bread bakers and the International Culinary Center is proud to return as the Educational Partner for the Awards. For only the second time in the United States, bread bakers in America will have the opportunity to enter their breads to compete and stake their claim alongside some of the best breads in the world.

David ShalamIn 2018, the Awards’ very first year, two ICC alumni received awards for their excellent submissions in the categories of baguettes and bagels. Clémence Danko, Founder of Choc O Pain French Bakery in Jersey City, and a 2010 graduate of the Art of International Bread Baking Program, brought home the American Bakers Association Baguette Award for her Baguette Traditionelle. David Shalam, 2011 graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts program and Founder/Head Baker of Heritage Bakers in Glen Cove, New York, took home the Bagel Award for his signature Heritage Bagel.

Inspired by the UK Awards, the top annual competition for professional bakers in the United Kingdom, the USA Awards took off like a rocket – loaves were received from all round the country on the Judging Day in Dumbo, Brooklyn last October.

This year, ICC’s very own Chef Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry Operations, will again bring his expertise and knowledge to the judging panel which features a line-up of New York’s food aristocracy, including legendary Brooklyn baker and James Beard Foundation Award nominee Zachary Golper of Bien Cuit, Dana Cowin, renowned food editor, New York’s top foodie instagrammer Alexa Matthews, of EatingNYC, Claudia Sanchez, Editor, Edible Queens, Scott Goodfellow, Joint Managing Director, Tiptree and David and Tracey Zabar of Zabars.

breadChef Jansen, who worked in restaurants for nearly 15 years, knows the importance of integrating a dedicated bread program into your restaurant. As one of the first bites a diner will experience, he worked for years to cultivate the bread programs in restaurants, and eventually carried this experience to overseeing the Art of International Bread Baking program at ICC which trains the next generation of bread bakers.

When asked about his top tips for award winning hopefuls, Chef Jansen remarked that, “presentation [is key]! There are lots of great tasting products out there, but many bakers forget the first impact of the visual. It’s how we first consume. Make sure to consider the final look of the product by making it look attractive and distinct – it’s a competition and every bit counts.”  Read more of Chef Jansen’s top judging tips on the World Bread Awards blog here!

Celemence DankoFor the second year in a row, ICC is calling all bread bakers in our community—especially ICC alumni—to enter their exciting, and delicious, work for the 2019 Awards which includes 14 categories, from sourdough to baguettes, gluten-free, whole wheat and more. Judging Day will take place on Tuesday October 29, 2019 where a top panel of 40 judges will taste their way through all the entries. This year, the entry fee also includes a ticket to the fabulous Awards evening at Landmark on the Park on Wednesday October 30, 2019 to mingle with VIPs of the press, baking and foodie world.

Why enter? In addition to the $1000 cash prize for the Overall Winner of the awards, it’s important to raise awareness of the craft. Chef Jansen shared, “most people enjoy bread without considering the dedication and commitment to the art of bread making. Championing your great work by entering helps build a better build bread community and understanding of your talent.”

Submit your entry for the Tiptree World Bread Awards, supported by American Bakers Association, before Monday, September 30th, 2019! Click here for more information on the entry rules.

About the Event Partners:

Tiptree is headline sponsor of the World Bread Awards USA. The first Tiptree preserves were made in 1885 and Tiptree jams and preserves are now sold across the world, many of them made with fruit still grown on their farms in Essex www.tiptree.com

Tiptree has always had strong links with the USA. Scott Goodfellow, Wilkin & Sons Joint Managing Director commented, “C. J. Wilkin, the son of our founder, toured several states back in the 1890s, to learn about fruit growing and jam making. New York City has a global reputation for excellent food, so it makes the perfect spot for the overseas Tiptree World Bread Awards. We are very much looking forward to discovering the world of artisan bread that is available across the USA.”

ICC In The News: Highlights from April 2019

ICC In The News provides monthly highlights from articles published around the world that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Stories of our 15,000+ alumni network and their successes are continuously popping up across various prestigious publications. Below, we have brought together some of our favorites from April 2019, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

jacques pepin
WASHINGTON POST
Jacques Pépin: Eggs are on the outs again. To me, they’ll always be perfect.

Dean Jacques Pépin grew up in a time where resources were scarce—because of this, and throughout his 70 year career, he’s always appreciated and loved eggs. Read his beautiful tribute to the simple, yet elegant, ingredient in the Washington Post here.

Over the last few decades, our Dean of Pastry Arts, Chef Emily Luchetti helped to define what great pastry in America means. In this episode of the new Pastry Arts Magazine podcast, hear from the expert on the process of writing multiple books, where she draws inspiration for new dishes & more!

At the end of March, 20 high school students cooked their hearts out in our kitchens for the CCAP Competition for Scholarships. CCAP is an organization that has helped impact 15,000+ students annually since 1990 through their culinary programs. Learn more about them and watch a recap of the competition on NY1 here.

Nowadays, almost everyone knows what Buzzfeed’s Tasty is, but do you really know who’s behind the camera? Two of the shows stars, Alexis deBoschnek and Rie McClenny, were trained at ICC and now use their culinary talents daily in the Buzzfeed test kitchens. Read about their stories in LA Weekly’s article.

The popular NYC gastro-bar Existing Conditions didn’t just open out of thin air–ICC Dean and owner of the bar Dave Arnold put in years of hard work to perfect his talents. Read more about his unusual techniques in Wine Enthusiast here.

Nicole Centeno
FORBES
One Mom’s Rollercoaster Startup Journey Through Life’s Struggles To Success

The idea for Splendid Spoon was born when Nicole Centeno, ICC alumna and founder of Splendid Spoon, came up with the idea for her company on the quest to know what she was eating. It wasn’t an easy road, but now Centeno and her team bring in over $1 million a month in revenue. Read about how she did it in Forbes here.

The judging for the world’s most important olive oil competition is set to begin May 5 at the International Culinary Center in New York. Interested in attending or learning more? Check out The Olive Oil Time’s article on the 7th Annual NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition here.

Fabian Von Hauske
VILCEK
Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts

Congratulations to Professional Culinary and Pastry Arts graduate Fabián von Hauske Valtierra of Contra, Wildair NYC & Una Pizza Napoletana! He was awarded the The Vilcek Foundation award for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts. Read about his inspiring story here or watch his video here.

Jacques Torres—ICC Dean of Pastry Arts and judge on Netflix’s Nailed It!—sat down with Inc. to share his story as one of the world’s foremost chocolatiers. Learn how he turned an abandoned factory in Brooklyn into his chocolate empire!

Daniel Gritzer learned the secrets to Soufflé from our Dean, Jacques Pépin. Read what he learned from the master in Serious Eats here.

Congrats to ’04 Professional Pastry Arts grad Melissa Weller! She’s joining the team at High St NYC as the newest partner. Check out her creations like a buttermilk-iced cinnamon-cardamom roll and a black-sesame kouign-amann. Read more in her Grub Street feature.

Ben Mims, Professional Culinary Arts ’08, is one of The LA Times brand new, in house chefs and cooking columnists. Check out the brand new food section of The LA Times for recipes, dining coverage & more!

Looking for sweet some career advice from a pro? Look no further than ICC Guest Master Pastry Chef, Ron Ben-Israel! Listen to him on Pastry Arts Magazine’s podcast and get inspired for your future career here.

zoe kanan
EATER
The Eater Young Guns Class of ’19

Congratulations to 2010 Professional Pastry Arts graduate Zoë Kanan for being awarded one of Eater’s Young Guns of 2019! She is the Head Baker AND Pastry Chef of Freehand New York’s restaurant Simon & The Whale, and was chosen for this award out of 500+ nominees for shaping the future of dining in America. Read more about her and the award in Eater here.

Brett Suzuki, ICC grad, grew up in Chicago before moving to Tokyo and NYC. All of these experiences helped to influence his tacos at the newly opened Arigato Market in Chicago. Check it out here in the Chicago Tribune.

Culinary graduate & Thai-born former restaurateur Chutatip Suntaranon has been cooking for her Queen Village neighbors for years. My-Le Vuong, a Vietnamese-born veteran restaurant manager moved in across the street from Suntaranon years ago. After years of friendship, they decided to open Kalaya, a homey, 30-seat BYOB. Check it out in Philly online here.

ICC Alumna Stephanie “Chefanie” Nass, partnered with Tod’s! Read about the exciting partnership and collection in Coveteur here.

stone barns
WASHINGTON POST
This New York restaurant sets the standard for American fine dining

ICC Alumnus & famed chef Dan Barber is no stranger to anyone in the culinary industry. Read this article in the Washington Post about how his restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, sets the standard for fine-dining in America.

How do you save family recipes when your grandmother never writes them down? Anna Francese Gass, ICC Professional Culinary Arts alumna, tackles this culinary conundrum in her new cookbook, Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women. Listen to her on Cherry Bombe’s podcast, and come meet her on May 30th at ICC.

Ed McFarland, Professional Culinary Arts grad, opened Ed’s Lobster Bar in 2007. The most popular items from his SoHo menu will find their way to his brand new Sag Harbor location. In addition to fish plates and raw bar bites, diners can expect classic lobster rolls in two sizes, as well as Mr. McFarland’s famous lobster meatballs and New England clam chowder. Check out his new location profiled in 27 East here.

Genevieve Yam Kopman

My Favorite Books: An Interview with Alumna Genevieve Yam Kopman

“If I can’t read it or eat it, I’m not interested”

Meet Genevieve Yam Kopman. Culinary Arts ‘17 Graduate. Pastry Chef de Partie at Per Se.

Yam and Pepin

A culinary book helped to change Genevieve Yam Kopman’s life—so it’s not surprising that she logged some significant time in the library while she was studying at ICC. “I love books, especially culinary ones,” she says now. ”If I wasn’t here, I was at [the bookstore] Kitchen Arts and Letters.”

Before culinary school, she was working as a data associate in Toronto, at a startup called Zomato. But she found working with Excel all day “soul-sucking.” That’s when the former restaurant stagiaire started reading Dan Barber’s The Third Plate—and figured out what she really wanted to do with her life. “Someone referred to food as my ‘side hustle’” she says now. “I didn’t want it to be a side hustle, I wanted it to be my career.” In November 2016, Yam enrolled in ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program + Farm-to-Table extension, hoping that her newest life dream—working at Blue Hill at Stone Barns with Chef Dan Barber—would work out.

And it did: after her externship at Blue Hill at Stone Barns was complete, she was hired at the restaurant full time! Though her training at ICC was in culinary, she ended up transitioning to pastry, both because of her interest in it and because the pastry department was short-staffed. She learned a lot of pastry techniques during the whirlwind two years she spent at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and “loved every minute of it.” In February, she moved on to become a pastry chef de partie at Per Se.

Unsurprisingly, she admits that her style of cooking and the way she uses ingredients has a strong farm-to-table slant, influenced by the time she spent working for Chef Dan Barber. “It’s definitely seasonal and very much plant and ingredient driven. I like to keep things simple. As for desserts, I really enjoy desserts with fruit. I love sweets but don’t like desserts that are too sweet. Desserts and baked goods should never just taste like sugar—they should always have a flavor of their own.”

This spring, we challenged Genevieve to come up with the five books that influenced her most during culinary school—and which she felt would be most useful to ICC students pursuing their passion in the kitchen. Here are her top choices:

1. The Third Plate by Dan Barber

the third plateThis book really changed the way I thought about food, cooking, and agriculture. It’s insightful and makes you think critically about the way food is grown/raised, prepared, and served. It made me feel hopeful about the future of food. I can’t even begin to sum it up in a few sentences! After I read it, I wanted to share it with everyone I knew. 

2. On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

on food and cookingThis book continues to answer so many of my questions. How can we make something delicious if we don’t know anything about our ingredients? It looks at the history of milk, eggs, meat, fruits, vegetables, spices, grains, nuts, bread, sauces, sugars, alcohol, and food additives, and discusses nutrition and the principles of cooking. Along the same vein, I highly recommend Kitchen Mysteries by Hervé This…

3. The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Elix Katz

the art of fermentationI am endlessly fascinated by fermentation and preservation. Some people find fermentation very intimidating but Katz breaks it down really well and you will want to ferment everything when you’re through with it.

4. Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

vegetable literacyKnow your vegetables! Vegetable Literacy is so helpful for identifying different plant species and families. 

5. The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer

the art of french pastryI didn’t go to school for pastry, so this book was very helpful and instructive for traditional French pastry techniques. A lot of what I know was learned on the job, but most of it also came from taking the time to learn when I wasn’t at work. It’s very straightforward and the recipes are great— I think it’s one of the best pastry books out there.

There are so many other books I’d like to include (including The Last Course [by Claudia Fleming]) but I think these are… very essential, the ones that have really influenced the way I think about food.
baklava

Cookbook Conversation With Alumna Anna Gass & HarperCollins

On May 30th, join us for a discussion with Cristina Garces, Editor at HarperCollins Publishers, in conversation with ICC Alumna Anna Francese Gass, author of newly released cookbook Heirloom Kitchen. Gain insight into what it takes to write a cookbook, as well as what publishers are looking for and the working dynamics between an author and publisher. Learn about food styling, writing and editing recipes, and even tasting (and testing) the recipes. Plus, taste one of the final recipes in her book, “Church Festival” Spanakopita, and ask the questions you need to get your cookbook published!

Copies of Anna’s new book, Heirloom Kitchen, will be available for purchase. Anna will also be signing books after the event.

HOW DO I WRITE A COOKBOOK? GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED.

Thursday, May 30th | 3:30-5:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater
MEET THE AUTHOR: ANNA GASS

Anna Francese Gass grew up in a small town on the Rhode Island shore before moving to New York City for university and an exciting new life. After a stint in the corporate world, she decided—in order to be truly happy—she needed to spend her time in the kitchen, instead of an office cubicle.

She quit her fast-paced sales job and, in 2011, enrolled in the Professional Culinary Arts program at the French Culinary Institute, now The International Culinary Center, in Lower Manhattan to follow her dream of cooking. Soon thereafter, she found her niche in test kitchens, and has worked for Whole Foods, Mad Hungry, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Food52.

After assisting on numerous successful cookbooks, she decided to write her own, Heirloom Kitchen. For this cookbook, she traveled around the country cooking with Mothers and Grandmothers, and her hope is that by transcribing these cherished recipes, they will continue to be shared and loved for generations to come.

mimi chen

ICC In The News: Highlights from March 2019

ICC In The News provides monthly highlights from articles published around the world that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Stories of our 15,000+ alumni network and their successes are continuously popping up across various prestigious publications. Below, we have brought together some of our favorites from March 2019, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

rural kitchen
ESQUIRE
Best Filipino Restaurants in Metro Manila

Finding the best Filipino restaurant in Metro Manila is a difficult task, so Esquire put together a list of their favorite restaurants, including our graduate, Justin Sarabia’s The Rural Kitchen. This tiny 30-seater restaurant in Makati features decades-old recipes and the province’s stellar natural produce. Read more about his restaurant, The Rural Kitchen, here.

Executive Chef Michael Williams, ICC Professional Pastry Arts graduate, is a talented chef whose expertise shines through in his desserts. All desserts, including ice cream and sorbet, are made fresh on-site in a dedicated pastry kitchen. Read more about his restaurant Winston in Mount Kisco, NY.

Bird Rock Coffee in Carlsbad, CA was founded by ICC graduates Justin Gaspar and Sean Le. Here, they serve breakfast burritos, croissants, salads and more. Read more about their San Diego coffee shop in Eater here.

Gigi Pascual, who studied Professional Pastry Arts at ICC, launched Dough & Arrow last year, a cookie and coffee shop in Costa Mesa, CA. Check out her shop & learn more about her desserts here.

mimi chen
PLATE ONLINE
What It’s Like to Be a Commis at the Bocuse d’Or

Our Professional Culinary Arts graduate Mimi Chen served as the Commis for Team USA in the Bocuse d’Or this past January. Read about her experience and what it was like to train for a year for the most famous culinary competition in the world.

mermoma
FORTUNE
Review: Meroma Is the Best Restaurant in Mexico City You Haven’t Heard of Yet

Chef’s Cusic and Bernal met while attending ICC and bounced around cooking in Manhattan (Del Posto, Café Boulud), London (L’Atelier Joel Robuchon), Rome, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. After they got married in 2013 and decided to open a place of their own in Mexico City. Now, it’s one of the best new restaurants in the city. Read about it here.

New owner of PJ Murphy’s Bakery in Minnesota, Chef Francois Kiemde, sat down with Twin Cities to tell his story of becoming a baker. Read about the ICC graduate here.

ICC alumna Melissa Weller is a master baker whose work has received critical acclaim. In 2013, she created a sensation by selling her hand-rolled bagels at the outdoor Smorgasburg market in Brooklyn, which led to her partnership with the Major Food Group to create and open the bagel-centric restaurant Sadelle’s. Get her famous pumpernickel bagel recipe in Bake Mag here.

Vegan chef & ICC alumnus Matthew Kenney is set to open two restaurants in Baltimore. Kenney has been named one of “America’s Best New Chefs” by Food & Wine Magazine, has received two rising star chef nominations from the James Beard Foundation, and authored 13 books. Learn more about his newest restaurants here.

chef al
TODAY
After Overcoming Opioid Addiction, Chef Finds Solace Back in the Kitchen

Chef Ashish Alfred of Duck Duck Goose Baltimore, George’s Chophouse & Duck Duck Goose Bethesda, shared his inspirational story on the Today Show & TODAY Food. A 2011 graduate of our Professional Culinary Arts program, his restaurants feature the French techniques learned during his time as at student at FCI, now ICC! Learn how to create his Steak Au Poivre, a classic French dish, here.

jacques pepin
VARIETY
Chef Jacques Pépin to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Daytime Emmys

Congratulations to our Dean Jacques Pépin on his Daytime Emmys lifetime achievement award! He is the first culinary professional to be recognized for this award, and it is well deserved—since the 1980s, he has inspired millions on television and beyond to cook at home or become chefs, including our very own students at ICC. Read more about this achievement here.

Dave Arnold, ICC’s Associate Dean of Culinary Technology, is visiting Houston to host a cocktail takeover at UB Preserv as part of the inaugural Southern Smoke Spring event series, raising funds for the Southern Smoke Foundation. The co-owner of Existing Conditions in New York City,  Arnold also invents kitchen devices, hosts the podcast Cooking Issues, and curates the Museum of Food and Drink, too. Read more about his upcoming event here.

Jacques Torres, ICC Dean of Pastry, created a masterful chocolate showpiece with ICC alumna & host of Eater’s Sugar Coated series, Rebecca D’Angelis. Watch how he creates magical chocolate showpieces from start to finish! Want to learn more from Mr. Chocolate himself? Join our demonstration with him on April 17th to learn the art behind chocolate showpieces from the master, in person.

This month, we celebrated the Official Good France Day on March 21st in partnership with the French Consulate of NY’s Good France Festival. In this segment from TV 5 Monde, watch Chef Serge Devesa teach his signature bouillabaisse dish in the kitchens of ICC.

pastry plus
PASTRY ARTS MAGAZINE
Pastryland Bake Sale at International Culinary Center

Missed the Pastryland Bake Sale earlier this month? Our media partner for Pastry Plus, Pastry Arts Magazine, has the scoop on what you missed, including 19 one-of-a-kind desserts, a gold egg cream and an 8 foot piped icing wall! Read about the chefs who created the desserts & more at the successful charity bake sale!

career fair

2019 Spring Career Fair

All chefs get their start somewhere. This spring, meet your future employer and amp up your networking skills! ICC’s Career Fairs, held twice a year, allow current students & alumni to meet some of the most well-known restaurants and restaurant groups in NYC, coming specifically to ICC to meet YOU. From fine dining to fast casual, catering, bakeries and more, there is something for everyone and every career path!

Tuesday, March 19th | 3:00pm-4:30pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St | New York, NY 10013
*Open to ICC Students & Alumni ONLY*
Email jobs@culinarycenter.com with inquiries

Below is the full list of employers, but be sure to visit the ICC Community page at my.internationalculinary.com for more information and for any updates to the employer list.

Acquolina Catering
B&B Hospitality/Del Posto
Blue Bird
Blue Hill
Breads Bakery
Celestine
Choc O Pain French Bakery and Café
Convene
Crafted Hospitality
Dinex Group
Eataly
Great Performances
High Street on Hudson
Hillstone Restaurant Group
Hire Society
James Beard Foundation
JP Morgan
Loring Place
Made Nice
Major Food Group
Restaurant Marc Forgione/American Cut Steakhouse
Martha & Marley Spoon
Matterhorn Group
Mercer Kitchen
Noho Hospitality/The Dutch
Padoca Bakery
Park Ave Winter
Patina
Quality Branded
Soho House
Starr Restaurants
The Culinistas
Vice Media
Harris plating

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Time In Pastry School At ICC

By: Harris Inskeep, Professional Pastry Arts ’19

My name is Harris Inskeep and I am a recent graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts Program at ICC. Before I joined the pastry program at ICC, I was a kindergarten teacher in New York. Although I loved my job, I was starting to feel like there was something else out there for me and that there was no better time than now to explore my passion for baking. Until I had started the program, baking had just been something I did for fun at home. I would make birthday cakes for friends or whip up cookies whenever I had the chance. Really, I was just an amateur baker that had learned what I knew from watching my mom and aunt in the kitchen.

Leaving my fulfilling job was not easy to do, but I knew that if I didn’t take this chance now, when would I? So in August of 2018, instead of setting up my classroom for 30 little ones to come into, I was setting up my mise en place in the pastry kitchens at ICC and beginning what would soon become the most rewarding chance on life I’d taken yet!

About to start the Professional Pastry Arts Program at ICC? Here are 4 things I wish I’d known when I was starting the program.

The six months that I spent in the kitchens at ICC for the Professional Pastry Arts program were some of the most fun, educational, and invigorating months of my life. From the very first day I walked into the building to my last, I learned so many essential skills from my various chef instructors and classmates; and although the amount of new techniques, habits and experiences through my time in school were invaluable, there are a few things I wish I had known before I started to make my time even more impactful. ICC prides itself on offering students a fully comprehensive educational journey. It is a school that graduates true professionals and prepares its students to be successful wherever they go after school. Not only does ICC accomplish this by offering a 600-hour jam-packed hands-on curriculum as well as extremely talented and experienced chef instructors it goes above and beyond by offering a number of out-of-kitchen  opportunities.

If you’re ready to begin your pastry education at ICC, my first piece of advice is this: Don’t miss any opportunity to observe a demo, attend a field trip, get extra practice in a workshop, or volunteer. Next, make sure you take it upon yourself to practice at home, if possible, You may be there to learn all about the world of pastry or how to decorate the most beautiful cake, but don’t underestimate the power of getting to know all of the amazing chef instructors throughout the building. Finally, when given the chance to flex your creativity, incorporate something you struggled with— you’ll be grateful later!

1. Don’t Miss Out

When I started at ICC, I attended the demonstrations that related to pastry, but I didn’t always participate in the culinary demos and  was far too nervous to volunteer. This was my first mistake. How many times in your life will you get the chance to sit in the same room as some of the most celebrated and innovative chefs from all around the world, hear about their journey, ask them questions and get insight into their lives? Attending demos is an incredible way to learn about the diverse paths within the food industry.rankly, you can learn more about what to expect when you start working by attending demos and asking questions than by just attending class.

Harris volunteeringIn addition, ICC is always looking for volunteers to help out when chefs come to visit the school. Instead of having your first time working under a professional chef be day 1 on the job, take advantage of your status as a student and give it a try! You don’t need to know how to do everything before you volunteer. Just come prepared to try your best, use what you know, and ask questions when you need help. Volunteering will not only boost your confidence, it will also give you a glimpse into what it will feel like to work for a chef. What better time to learn than when you’re in school!

2. Practice at Home

Because the 600-hour curriculum is filled with all the fundamental skills & techniques a professional needs to know,, you’ll only get a chance to make things a few times  before moving on to the next lesson. For this reason, it’s so worth it to take these recipes home and test them out in a new environment. Every chef will tell you it takes hundreds of times doing the same thing to even begin to master it. The school exposes you to so many classic and modern techniques but it’s worth it to take it upon yourself to practice things you want to master at home. You want to make a genoise that doesn’t come out thin or dense? Practice your folding at home! You want your buttercream to be smooth and clean? Mask a cake in your tiny New York apartment! Your macarons didn’t have feet when you baked them in class? Try again in your oven! At the very least, your friends, family and or roommates will be grateful.

The best part of trying these recipes at home isn’t even that you’ll be a genoise master the next day. Rather, it’s that you’ll very well take it out of the oven and realize something completely new went wrong this time. This is the magic! Trying recipes at home without a chef instructor demonstrating for you first is how you’ll identify the real questions. By attempting to make things on my own, I became a more curious student and was really able to take advantage of the talent and experience in front of me each day by preparing questions for my chef instructors.

3. Get To Know As Many Chefs As You Can

harris w instructorsSpeaking of questions, hopefully you’ll have tons of them! Maybe you’re having friends over for dinner and you want to make a juicy chicken. Or, your family needs advice on how to finally make a turkey for Thanksgiving that isn’t dry. Don’t forget that you’re in a building with so many different kinds of chefs! Get to know the chefs in culinary, bread or the cake programs. You never know where your passions will take you while at ICC, but by getting to know chefs that may not be your instructors, you will inevitably build a larger network and learn more than you might have signed up for.

4. Do What You Struggle With

Harris platingIn the first few levels of the Professional Pastry Arts program, much of what you will do is right from the textbooks.However, as you accumulate more skill and learn advanced techniques, you will have opportunities to show off your individual talents through recipe development and showpiece work. It’s tempting to want to produce something flawless and keep it safe by doing something you feel comfortable with. I suggest pushing yourself to try something you might not be as good at. Tempering chocolate isn’t your strong suit? Don’t skip out on it this is your chance to practice with the help of a professional chef as your teacher! Incorporate tempered chocolate into your dessert for restaurant day! This is especially true for the skills that are more difficult to practice at home.

Interested in the Professional Pastry Arts program? You owe it to yourself to visit the school that has been home to icons and thought leaders like Jacques Torres, Ron Ben-Israel, Christina Tosi and many more! Click here to schedule a tour to see our kitchens in action, meet with chef-instructors, career services, financial aid, and speak with our admissions team about your personal career goals.

Chef Al

Alumni Spotlight: Chef Ashish Alfred, Culinary ’09

Chef Al at graduationAshish Alfred, chef/owner of the Alfred Restaurant Group, is THE rising star on the Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD-food scene—earning acclaim and rave reviews at his three restaurants: Duck Duck Goose Bethesda, George’s Chophouse in Bethesda, and Duck Duck Goose Baltimore.

 

Duck Duck Goose in Bethesda was recently named one of the top ten “Favorite New Restaurants” by Bethesda Magazine and “Best Restaurant in Maryland” by Southern Living Magazine. In a glowing review, The Washington Post says about Duck Duck Goose, “the delights are in the details,” adding the restaurant is “a solid neighborhood attraction whose appeal lies in the amalgam of many fine points.” In addition, Alfred’s recently opened Duck Duck Goose in Baltimore, was  proclaimed a “fabulous new Fells Point brasserie” by Baltimore Magazine and has also been selected for the Best of Baltimore issue.

 

Chef Al, as he’s often called, is just off of a command performance at the prestigious James Beard House, where he prepared a multi-course dinner for a sold-out audience. The exclusive invitation to host a Beard House dinner meant a return to New York City, where Chef Al began his culinary journey. He was classically trained at the French Culinary Institute, now the International Culinary Center, in Manhattan and honed his skills in some of Manhattan’s best kitchens.

 

Al’s technique is grounded by his classical French discipline, but he isn’t afraid to go beyond tradition, take risks and experiment with his offerings. He delivers contemporary dining concepts that are rooted in soulful cooking.

 

With his quick wit and easy banter, Chef Al is a popular guest with the media, whether he’s sharing a cooking demo and insights on local TV, or battling it out as a contender on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped.

What got you into the culinary field? Did you always know you wanted to attend culinary school and why did you choose ICC specifically?

ICC DeansI tried out the traditional college education route, but I quickly realized it wasn’t a good fit for me. I’m not one to sit still for hours on end in a classroom. I wanted to find something where I could be active, busy and productive in my own way— culinary school was the answer for me. From day one, it just felt right. The first day when I put on a uniform and showed up to class, I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

As far as why I chose ICC specifically, it really had to do with the faculty. Take, for example, the founding Deans of ICC— Jacques Pépin, Jacques Torres, Alain Sailhac, and André Soltner. They are basically the godfathers of French cooking. If I were going to play on a football team, I’d want to join the Patriots. It’s a similar sentiment. From the chef instructors, the people who built ICC, to the alumni that have graduated and gone on to do really incredible things, I think all of their resumes speak for themselves.

What was your fondest memory of attending culinary school?

My fondest memory was really the day to day experience of traveling to and from the school. ICC is an amazing school in the middle of Soho, Manhattan. You walk off of Broadway, go up to the locker room, get changed, head into class, and when you leave you’re dumped back onto the streets of Manhattan. It was incredible.

How do you think your classical French training has influenced you in the kitchen?

I own predominantly French restaurants, so my French training has been extremely useful. Even with my restaurant George’s Chophouse, which offers a more American concept, the basics are rooted in French cuisine. Take the mac and cheese at George’s, for example. I learned to make a roux in culinary school and that’s how we make mac and cheese in the Chophouse.

What led you to open your first restaurant?

I really just wanted to run my own show, have my own team and a restaurant of my own.

How do you view your role as chef/owner of three restaurants?

First and foremost, I consider myself a teacher. Every day, I come into my restaurants wanting to inspire my staff to do well, both in front of house and back of house, and encourage them to want to do better than they did yesterday. My role is much like a team captain keeping my players motivated, working toward the same common goal and doing so the right way, without taking shortcuts.

What is it like managing your time between the three restaurants in different locations?

I schedule my time based on the needs of each restaurant. For example, if I have fifty reservations on the books at my restaurant Duck Duck Goose in Baltimore, and I know I have a fully staffed kitchen and front of house, plus managers are there, chances are they don’t really need me there that night. However, say George’s Chophouse in Bethesda has the same number of reservations, but I’m down a line cook, a dishwasher called in sick that morning, and one of my managers isn’t feeling so hot, I’ll choose to spend my time there instead.

What have you learned from owning such successful restaurants, specifically Duck Duck Goose?duck duck goose

I’ve learned there’s nothing more important than building up the team of people you choose to work for you. No matter how good you are, you cannot work 365 days per year, 7 days per week. And when you’re not there, the way your team feels about you will show in the product they serve when you’re not around.

 

 

You recently cooked a 5 course dinner at the James Beard House that bridged your love of French Cuisine and added a modern twist. What was it like to cook at the James Beard House? Did you ever think that you’d end up there?

I remember showing up to orientation at culinary school where they told us we might be able to volunteer at the James Beard House to help some of the notable chefs that go through there. I definitely never thought I’d end up serving dinner at the James Beard House. Cooking that dinner was a very intense and exhilarating experience. As a chef, I’ve cooked a lot of ‘make or break’ meals, for example the opening night of a restaurant. But as soon as I got a call from the James Beard House, I realized every other meal I’ve ever cooked did not matter at all, and I’m going to be cooking on hallowed ground. It was very, very intense, but also incredible. I am very thankful for the opportunity and experience.

What is the best part about opening a new restaurant?

Opening a restaurant is essentially the culmination of to-do lists that are thousands and thousands of items long. The best part is the sense of relief once opening night has arrived. The checkered flag drops and you know you’ve checked off every item off of every list and now it’s show time.

What advice would you give to young Al on his first day of culinary school?

I would tell myself to keep my head down and just work on being a phenomenal cook. A lot of people go to culinary school thinking they’re going to become a world-changing chef. But I think priority one should be to master being a great cook first. Learn how to run a good station and how to do the small things right first. If you focus on being a good cook and have a shred of talent or a sliver of creativity, I believe becoming a great chef will follow after that.

What is your favorite dish to cook for yourself at home?

Roast chicken, mashed potatoes and something green.

Marco Pierre WhiteWhat or who inspires you the most?

I am very inspired by Marco Pierre White. He’s the kind of chef that I think that other chefs should aspire to be, just considering the amount of passion he brings to the table. He embodies the idea that the chef is just another cook.

 

 

Who were you inspired by while in culinary school at ICC?

When I attended ICC, there were two instructors there by the name of Jeff Butler and Pascal Béric (ICC note: they’re still teaching here today!). I had the good fortune of learning from them through a lot of my time there. The intensity and precision with which they work is incredible. Even today, if I cut a fish, I’m doing it the way Chef Jeff showed me. When I make sausage, I’m using Chef Pascal’s techniques. Those two instructors are what being a chef and cook is all about.

Check out Chef Al’s restaurants and follow him on social media:

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mame sow

ICC In The News: Highlights from February 2019

ICC In The News provides monthly highlights from articles published around the world that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Stories of our 15,000+ alumni network and their successes are continuously popping up across various prestigious publications. Below, we have brought together some of our favorites from February 2019, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

mame sow
HAUTE LIVING
One Thousand Museum Residences Gives A Sneak-Peek To Gourmet Culinary Offerings At The Sky Lounge

One Thousand Museum Residences is one of Miami’s most historic, architecturally significant and most luxurious developments in all of Miami. The launch of this project is highly-anticipated and comes with many amazing amenties– including The Sky Lounge, where our alumna Mame Sow is the project’s Director of Culinary. Read more in Haute Living here.

Even though National Chocolate Lovers Month is behind us, we like to celebrate with our Dean of Pastry, AKA Mr. Chocolate, all year long. Check out Jacques Torres on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert making his limited edition chocolate violin!

In the kitchen of his 50-seat restaurant, Technique, Westwood resident and ICC alumnus Ross Goldflam is applying the all-important French cooking techniques he learned while studying at ICC. The casual restaurant offers classic French food with an American twist. Check it out here.

Zoe Kanan, Pastry Plus speaker, ICC alumna and head baker at Simon & the Whale, was one of the 22 ICC graduates that received semifinalist nominations for the 2019 James Beard Awards. Congratulations Zoe on your Outstanding Pastry Chef nomination! Read more about her outstanding achievements here.

wine glasses
Slate
These Wine Glasses Are Pure Sophistication at a Bargain Price

Beautiful wine glasses don’t have to be expensive! Slate sat down with our Dean of Wine Studies, Scott Carney, MS and ICC Intensive Sommelier Training graduate Michele Thomas, as well as other wine experts, to learn which wine glasses are the best. Read their recommendations here.

winco brush
NY Mag
How to Clean Wooden Cutting Boards, According to Experts

Whether you’re julienning carrots or breaking down a full chicken, if you cook regularly, your kitchen arsenal probably includes a few good knives and cutting boards. If you’re at all serious about cooking you’ve probably learned that wooden boards are fantastic, but more difficult to clean. Read Chef Hervé Malivert’s recommendations for how to clean a wooden cutting board in NY Mag.

Margaret Eby, recent graduate of our Culinary Techniques program, gave insight into what she learned in the 100-hour program that changed the way she cooked! Read about her journey here.

Chris Morocco is a senior food editor at Bon Appétit where he works in the Test Kitchen developing recipes, dreaming up food content, and figuring out what the next big thing in food is. He regularly appears in the brand’s video content, including Bon Appétit’s new show “Making Perfect.” Read more about him here.

Want to learn more about our Dean of Pastry Jacques Torres? Check out his favorite things in this article about him from Barron’s!

Hyacinth, a new Italian restaurant in St. Paul, is one of the hottest reservations in town. Chef/owner and ICC alumnus Rikki Giambruno dishes in this interview on how he got his start, food philosophy, love for Italian food and what’s ahead. Read the interview here in Twin Cities.

slice of cake
EATER
A.M. INTEL

Have you bought your tickets for Pastryland yet? Read more about our charity bake sale in Eater, and be sure to get your tickets before next Saturday, March 9th!

Richard Hale
Miami New Times
Cancer, Diabetes, and Glaucoma Can’t Stop Restaurateur Richard Hales

Read the unbelievable story of ICC alumnus and restaurateur Chef Richard Hales. He has faced the unimaginable circumstances of overcoming brain cancer, glaucoma, and thyroid cancer, all while battling diabetes and dominating the Miami food scene with his multiple restaurants. Read his story here.

Fresh off of Atomix’s semifinalist nomination for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation, Jhonel Faelnar, Intensive Sommelier Training alumnus and Wine Director of Atomix sat down with Wine & Spirits to share his recommendations for what to drink with Korean food. Read his wine pairing recommendations here.

Congratulations to ICC alumnus Whang Suh, the owner and pastry chef at Hen & Heifer in Guilford, CT! He is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category for the 2019 James Beard Awards. Read more about him in the Hartford Courant here.

Model, Chef, and ICC alumna Paige Jimenez recently graduated from our Professional Culinary Arts program in 2018. Read about her love of the culinary arts and her advice here in Ocean Drive.

Read Food and Wine’s article featuring Stacey Kwon, Culinary ’13, President of H Mart, an asian supermarket chain, started by her father in Queens in 1982. Learn more about H Mart’s expansions and what you should buy when you take a trip to one of their stores!

other half brewing
EATER
IPA Hitmaker Other Half Brewing Is Joining Williamsburg’s Domino Development

Co-founder of Other Half Brewing and ICC alumnus Matt Monahan is expanding his popular brewery into the new Williamsburg Domino Development and opening a new Rochester location later in the year. Read about the expansions here in Eater and check out the brewery with a cult following!