Celebrating 40 Years of Food Writing

Celebrating 40 Years of Food Writing: A Conversation with Mark Bittman

Thursday, February 27th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor, NYC
General Admission: $15

Discount for Students & Alumni
(Email events@culinarycenter.com for verification to receive code)

One of the country’s most widely-admired food writers, Mark Bittman—best-selling cookbook author, journalist and TV personality—has been writing about food since 1980. Although he was never formally trained as a chef, his vast knowledge of the food world, combined with his friendly attitude towards cooking, has made him a household name for more than four decades! As the author of 30 acclaimed books, including the timeless How to Cook Everything series, he continues to educate and foster future minds of the food world at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

This February, join us to celebrate Mark Bittman’s 40 years of food writing in a lively conversation with Bittman and Yewande Komolafe—cook, food stylist, writer and spokesperson behind the dinner series, “My Immigrant Food Is…”. Together, they’ll discuss perseverance in the food industry—whether in cooking or in food writing—and how success does not come overnight. Sharing their personal, and professional experiences, we’ll explore their different paths to success and how they’ve built careers outside the kitchen. Both Bittman’s and Komolafe’s work is inspired by making cultural connections through food. They’ll address how students, chefs and professionals in the food industry can make an impact in the world—sustainability, food waste and more—as they discuss how the choices that chef’s make, matter. We’ll also hear about what goes into writing a classic cookbook, like How to Cook Everything, and Bittman’s revision process for the newest edition. Learn the secrets of an award-winning cookbook author and glean insight into one of the greatest food writers of our time!

The evening wouldn’t be complete without questions from our audience! To facilitate a smooth conversation, we ask that attendees submit their questions in advance when purchasing tickets through eventbrite, or by emailing events@culinarycenter.comQuestions from the audience will be taken in advance ONLY.

Mark Bittman
Mark Bittman
Food Writer and Cookbook Author

Mark Bittman is the author of 20 acclaimed books, including the How to Cook Everything series, the award-winning Food Matters, and The New York Times number-one bestseller, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00.

For more than two decades his popular and compelling stories appeared in the Times, where he was ultimately the lead food writer for the Sunday Magazine and became the country’s first food-focused Op-Ed columnist for a major news publication. Bittman has starred in four television series, including Showtime’s Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously. He has written for nearly every major newspaper in the United States and many magazines, and has spoken at dozens of universities and conferences; his 2007 TED talk has more than a million views. He was a distinguished fellow at the University of California (Berkeley) and a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists; he is a member of the faculty of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and is also the editor-in-chief of Heated. Throughout his career Bittman has strived for the same goal: to make the food, in all its aspects, understandable.

Yewande K
Yewande Komolafe
Writer, Recipe Developer and Food Stylist

Yewande Komolafe is a writer, recipe developer and food stylist originally from Lagos, Nigeria. Her background in food has been informed by everything from  – her grandmother’s, mother’s, and aunties’ kitchens, to restaurant kitchens across the United States. Yewande develops recipes that lend taste and texture to her experience as an immigrant in the United States. She has worked closely with chefs and restaurateurs on cookbooks, written and tested recipes for several food publications, and hosts a regular dinner series centered on food, immigration and adaptation. Her recipes and writing have appeared in the New York Times, Whetstone, Food And Wine, Munchies, Saveur, among others. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter and many jars of spices.

Business Bites Strategies

Business Bites: Strategies for Purchasing and Operations

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Food Business Fundamentals program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.



Monday, February 10th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor

Ordered too much of an ingredient with a short shelf life? Have equipment that needs repairs, or to be replaced all together? Purchasing decisions can be some of the most challenging to make when operating a food business, especially in the early days. The right decisions can increase profits, but making the wrong one can be costly! Whether you’re building a new menu with cost efficiency in mind, or navigating the bid process for food, equipment and service vendors, having processes in place to manage these challenges is important to the success of your business.

So, what does it take to streamline your food business operations and perfect your purchasing?

In our next Business Bites event, our panel of experts will discuss strategies that help food businesses streamline their operations—from establishing systems to maximize profits, to coordinating food & equipment purchasing, managing maintenance costs and more. Learn how to find trusted suppliers and purveyors who provide high-quality ingredients, as well as tips to improve inventory organization and optimize food freshness. From menu costing and buying local to service contracts, wait staff education and more, we’ll discuss strategies to improve your operations and prevent costly mistakes. You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Food Business Fundamentals program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!


Tracy Wilson – General Management Consultant, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge & Central Park; ICC Food Business Fundamentals Instructor

A graduate of Western Kentucky University and New York University, Tracy began her restaurant career as an opening member of three-star Gramercy Tavern. She was promoted within Union Square Hospitality Group several times including as General Manager of Tabla Restaurant, and later as General Manager of the multi-unit Art Food Cafes within the Museum of Modern Art.

After 20 years within the Union Square Hospitality Group family, Tracy went on to work as the Director of Operations for Claus Meyers’ Great Northern Food Hall within Grand Central Station, before becoming the General Manager of The Brooklyn Barge. Throughout her career, she has managed multi-million dollar operations with hundreds of employees. In 2009, she joined the International Culinary Center’s Food Business Fundamentals program as a guest lecturer. In 2015, Tracy began consulting for restaurants and businesses to develop key growth areas, including 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, 1 Hotel Central Park, and Bar 65 at the Rainbow Room.


bradford thompson
Bradford Thompson
Owner, Bellyfull Consulting, Inc; ICC Food Business Fundamentals Instructor

Thompson’s culinary career has taken him from coast-to-coast, learning from some of the country’s most notable chefs, including Vincent Gueritault, Alessandro Stratta and Daniel Boulud. He later became executive chef of Mary Elaine’s at the Phoenecian. During his time there, the restaurant earned many awards, including the coveted Mobil 5 star award, AAA 5 Diamond, and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator. Thompson himself was voted one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in 2004 and won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef South West” in 2006.

In 2008, Thompson returned to NYC to become executive chef at Lever House in Midtown. He’s since founded Bellyfull Consulting, which offers private dining, menu consulting, staff training, and culinary productions. He and his wife also started Jules Gourmet Foods, LLC, a company that specializes in Jamaican sauces and seasonings. Thompson is currently executive consulting chef for Miss Lily’s Favourite Cakes, an unparalleled Jamaican restaurant in Greenwich Village. Thompson and his cuisine have been featured in several publications, including Food & Wine, Gourmet, Art Culinaire, The New York Times, and The Jamaica Observer. He’s also received network coverage on Fine Living Network, CBS Early Show, The Today Show, and Food Network.

daniel soloway
Daniel Soloway
Founder & President, Kitchen Options

Dan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an Honors degree in Biomedical and Nutritional Anthropology. Upon graduation, he began a career in finance as a Proprietary Options Trader on the American Stock Exchange. Five years later he turned in his pen for a chef’s knife and enrolled at the International Culinary Center.

A 20-year veteran in the restaurant industry, Dan’s focus on purchasing and operations began in the kitchen under Chef Michel Nischan and John Mooney at the W Hotel. During his time at Drew Nieporent’s Tribeca Grill, Dan went from dining room manager to the Director of Purchasing. Following his four years at the Myriad Restaurant Group, Dan joined Chef Thomas Keller to open Per Se as Purchasing Manager, later opening Bouchon Bakery. Eventually, Dan ventured into consulting and founded his company Kitchen Options. His clients include The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Sullivan St. Bakery, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Union Square Hospitality Group. Today, he continues to consult for hospitality clients interested in reducing costs, creating efficiencies or bettering their operating procedures.

james murphy
James Murphy
Director of Operations, Procurement & Facilities, Union Square Events

James Murphy is the Director of Operations, Procurement & Facilities for Union Square Events, where he heads a department responsible for developing and implementing best practices in regards to purchasing, sourcing the highest quality products and fostering strong vendor relationships. In addition to his role at Union Square Events, James provides company-wide procurement related support throughout Union Square Hospitality Group.

James graduated from Florida State University where he studied Political Science and Philosophy. In pursuit of more experience and education, James moved to New York in 2008 and began studying nutrition and culinary arts as well as staging at various restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn. After working in a variety culinary managements roles, James accepted an offer with Union Square Events as Purchasing Manager in 2011. After four years, James was promoted to his current role as Director of Purchasing and Compliance. When not at work, James enjoys reading, running, cooking and spending time with his family.

business bites

Business Bites: Cultivating & Retaining Top Talent

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Food Business Fundamentals program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.


Harnessing HR Tools to Build Your Workforce

Thursday, November 7th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Building and maintaining a healthy team is vital to the success of your business. Whether you run a kitchen, own a bakery or are looking to open a restaurant, it’s important to learn the key steps to managing and motivating your staff to success. It all starts with great leadership which encourages quality work and staff retention. But with labor laws continuing to change and minimum wage increasing, business owners are being forced to adapt their staffing models to account for these necessary protections for their employees.

So how can businesses, small & large, retain employees and build successful teams?

Join us for an informative discussion with experts in Human Resources & Restaurant Group operations on the importance of selection and hiring, training and retraining, and lastly, engagement and retention. Our panelists will share tools for retaining your staff, providing 401k & insurance incentives and more. We’ll talk about the impact of increased minimum wage on restaurant operations and new no-tip restaurant models. Plus, we’ll discuss how new technology, like apps for kitchen workers, could change the hiring landscape. You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Food Business Fundamentals program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!


Alek Marfisi
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Food Business Fundamentals Instructor

Alek Marfisi is a native New Yorker with a passion for building things and helping people. After working advising small businesses for five years, Alek launched Upwind Strategies in 2015 with the mission of providing deeper and more relatable services to small businesses: the anti-business-school services firm. He previously worked with the NYS Small Business Development Center where he dove into the exciting intricacies of making entrepreneurial projects a reality. Since then, Alek has logged more than 11,000 hours working with small businesses and has been recognized as one of the top drivers of economic development in the country.


Jackie McMann-Oliveri,
Jackie McMann-Oliveri, PHR
Director, Talent & Culture
Bold Food – Gato NYC – Shark Las Vegas – Bobby’s Burger Palace

Director of Talent and Culture at Bobby Flay Restaurants accustomed to hiring, training, supporting and retaining World Class Talent in the Wonderful World of Hospitality! 20 plus years in HR, a lifetime in Restaurants …Passions include leadership and talent management with a belief that as leaders we should always be selecting and hiring amazing people, giving them the support, tools and opportunities to succeed and partnering on accountability for all.

Most recently served as HR Director for The Meatball Shop and is a founding member of HR Professionals in Hospitality, a lecturer at The International Culinary Center Food Business Fundamentals program and lives and breathes an open-door policy. She does what she loves and loves what she does. Loves to garden and cook and spend time with family, friends and Chihuahuas named Latte & Mocha!

chef oron franco
Oron Franco
Director of Culinary Operations
Westville Resturant Group

Chef and entrepreneur, Oron Franco, combines his passion for food and business with over a decade of building and leading companies in hospitality, food service and FoodTech.

He graduated with honors from International Culinary Center and build his career in NYC working with renowned chefs like Michael Anthony and establishments Gramercy Tavern, JP Morgan Chase Fina Dining and several more.

He currently holds a roll as the Director of Culinary Operations at Westville and is the co-founder of Prime 6 – Premium Sustainable Charcoal.

He founded “Impact on a Plate” initiative, an organization with a mission to promote sustainability and positive change in the food and hospitality industry.

He lives in New York with his wife and two children.

food business fundamentals

Tips To Grow Your Beverage Program

This month, our Business Bites Resources—brought to you by ICC’s Food Business Fundamentals program—provides tips for food businesses looking to bolster their drink menu.

the panelists from the eventAt the beginning of November, members from the culinary community gathered for a panel to discuss the importance of having a beverage program in your restaurant that gets customers back to the bar.  The four panelists were experienced members of the culinary and beverage industry, including Jason Hedges, Bar Director of Gotham Bar & Grill and Partner of BarIQ; Noah Rothbaum, Editor of Half Full from The Daily Beast; Nora Favelukes, President of QW Wine Experts; and Vanessa Da Silva, Sommelier at Ninety Acres.

In the discussion, they shared their tips for creating and managing a successful beverage program, as well as how to turn your drinks into dollars. We’ve gathered some of their tips for success below!

Specialty Cocktails Drive Sales

Our panelists all agreed that specialty cocktails can drive sales and bring in new customers, while increasing margins for the business. Not only are cocktails experiencing a renaissance among bar scenes, but they can also be a fun and visual “Instagram-able” feature on your menu, increasing brand awareness. One tip that we learned from our experts—using fresh juice not only makes a cocktail more delicious, but is surprisingly a way to save money as it can be cheaper than buying expensive pre-made mixes.

Invest in Ice

For most guests, their first experience in a restaurant is ordering a cocktail, so why not take your cocktail to the next level? Ice is a daily requirement in all restaurants, and a universal ingredient in bar drinks. Despite its importance, ice can often be overlooked. Many bar programs are turning to ice blocks, specialty cubes and more to provide a better appearance and experience for their customers. In the end, the cocktails look better, but can also taste better as ice that is higher in quality won’t dilute a cocktail with water as fast.

Bar Software

Bar software can make or break a restaurant in today’s world. According to San Pellegrino, 100% of US restaurants on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list are using a software called BinWise. In addition to these restaurants, Jason Hedges and Vanessa Da Silva, both panelists that work in the restaurant industry, also use BinWise to manage their restaurants inventory and more. There are many other options on the market, so the key is to find a software that works for your business. In the end, bar software programs can increase time saved during inventories, help to gain insights into what products are being poured the most, create a database to have information readily available, and help to recapture lost money.


The BUSINESS BITES, brought to you by the Food Business Fundamentals program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels, networking events and resources designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry.

Dave Arnold Returns to ICC as Associate Dean of Culinary Technology

The International Culinary Center (ICC), a global leader in culinary and wine education, is proud to introduce Dave Arnold as the Associate Dean of Culinary Technology. After teaching at ICC from 2005 to 2011, the famed culinary innovator launches new courses, “Liquid Intelligence” and “Cooking Issues.”

On November 15th, “Liquid Intelligence,” the one-day, lecture style course delves into inventive spirits and cocktail technology. Paralleling the structure of Arnold’s book, Liquid Intelligence, the 6-hour session will explain the theory of classic cocktail technique, balance and recipe development. Arnold will build upon the fundamentals of traditional cocktails to teach new, every day bar techniques, as well as incorporate more demanding and specialized techniques. Students will learn the advancements in cocktail technology and why, when, and how to use these new techniques. Specific skills include shaking techniques, how stirring works, ice production, milk-washing techniques, and more. The course will be $495. To apply: CLICK HERE

On December 5th, Arnold will also teach “Cooking Issues,” a 4-hour lecture based off of his acclaimed podcast on Heritage Radio Network. The class will demystify the latest in innovative techniques and equipment and students will gain an understanding of commonly used modern culinary technology, such as sous vide machines, liquid nitrogen and more. The courses will be available as one-day classes to both the general public and to students.


“One of my favorite things to do is teach people how to apply new techniques, technologies, and ingredients in a practical way,” says Arnold. “I’m excited to return to the ICC and pick up where I left off teaching culinary technology.”

About Dave Arnold: After teaching at ICC from 2005 to 2011, Dave Arnold opened Booker and Dax, a bar devoted to cutting-edge cocktail techniques and launched Booker and Dax Equipment, designing equipment for chefs and home cooks. Arnold is the author of the James Beard and IACP award-winning book Liquid Intelligence, host of the weekly podcast “Cooking Issues” on Heritage Radio Network, and founder of The Museum of Food and Drink.

Library Notes // Wine 101

By Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

Visitors to the ICC Library sometimes mistakenly think it’s nothing but cookbooks. On the contrary, we have a very wide range of books and DVDs available on almost every subject in the culinary world. This of course, includes everything our Sommelier students may need throughout their course. If you’re not quite ready to commit to the full course but would like to dip your toe in the world of wine, here are a few highlights from our collection to get you started.

Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack provides a thorough overview of everything you need to know about wine, from fundamentals to styles to regions. Best of all, the content is incredibly visual. Wine Folly is full of great charts in bright colors; it’s a fun reader friendly guide without sacrificing the content. Pick this up if you are brand new and need an engaging starting point.

If you, like me, are more of a literary type, Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch is the pick for you! Lynch is a wine buyer who vividly recalls his travels through France painting colorful portraits of the producers and other assorted characters he met along the way. I participated in a wine book club and all of the Somm alumnus agreed it would have been incredibly helpful to read during the French portion of the class. How rare, to find a engaging and laugh out loud funny memoir that is also informative and educational. This is for the avid reader who wants to learn more about French wines.

Wine Grape: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties may very well be the most beautiful book in our collection. This hefty reference guide from Ecco includes gorgeous, lushly illustrated botanical drawings. Each variety is covered in detail, from color to origins to varieties commonly mistaken for the grape in question. I would recommend this for the amateur sommelier ready to take their education to the next level. Of course the Sommelier program here is not just about wine. The experienced Somm must also be well versed in beer, sake and spirits. Here are a couple selections of the many books we have available on the other beverages.


While we hear a lot about food and wine pairings, it is rare to hear about how to pair beer with food. In Tasting Beer, author and beer enthusiast Randy Mosher covers the subject with the same care and detail so often afforded to wine. This book has a little bit of everything, history, tasting notes and pairing ideas all with colorful illustrations. If you are clueless about beer, but would like to know more, this book is for you.

There are many students who come by the library toward the end of the program who blind test wine with the best of them, yet are clueless when it comes to cocktails. We have an excellent selection of books on spirits, from histories to bartending guides. The Cocktail Lab by Tony Conigliaro stands out because it is more than just a collection of recipes; it details the science, art and history of a wide range of cocktails. Conigliaro covers the classics of course, but he also details his various cocktail “experiments” from perfumed drinks to sous vide cocktails.

There you have it, for the Sommalier in the stacks. Stop by the ICC Library to check out these and many more beverage books. To keep up with whats new in the library, follow us on Twitter and Instagram via @IntlCulLibrary or follow ICC directly at @ICCedu.