Off the Vine: Careers in Wine

How to Jump-start Your Career in Wine

OFF THE VINE, brought to you by the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC, is a series of tastings, discussion panels and networking events designed to support wine professionals in the beverage industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

The wine and beverage industry is dynamic & diverse, and offers many opportunities to build an exciting career—with options that suit different backgrounds, personalities and lifestyles. For those who are seriously considering a career in the wine industry, the possibilities are endless.

This month, we gathered for a dynamic panel discussion with Slim Mello, Head Sommelier at the Mandarin Oriental; Michele Thomas, Assistant Manager and Buyer at Greene Grape Wine & Spirits; Patricia Alazraki, Brand Manager for Monsieur Touton; and Cristina Coari, Wine Education and Press Manager for Vias Imports.

Together, we explored topics like career paths, hiring practices, qualities that employers seek and the paths that each panelist took to get to where they are today. Below, learn what our panelists said about translating skill sets, building your network, hiring practices, and salary expectations!

How can my skills translate to the wine industry?

wineWhen people consider changing careers to enter the wine industry, they are often worried that their skills won’t translate to wine. It’s intimidating to think about starting a new career at any point in your life, but if you share a passion for wine, you’ll fit right in to this new industry.

Your resume doesn’t always have to be perfectly polished—many of your previous work experiences can be translated into the skills needed to pursue the wine career of your dreams. So what are some of the skill sets that you can utilize in your future wine career?

For starters, a desire to learn, listen and study are all very helpful. Pursuing your wine education requires a dedication to study. Even as a professional, you’ll find it important to continue to learn about new wines, taste new producers, etc. Previous front of house or service experience is a plus, as well as any sales background. Being a people person and feeling comfortable speaking with others is very important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—being able to read a room and help identify what someone wants is not a small task. Make sure you can talk about your previous experiences and apply them to what you want to do in the future. Use your qualifications as leverage and know that all experience is good experience!

How do I build my network?

Building your network is key in any industry, especially within the tight-knit community of wine. If you want to be a part of this community, you have to put yourself in the position to meet people. Attend a tasting event. Frequent industry meet-ups. Reach out to a professional contact on social media. Making a connection, even through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can introduce you to new people who can become great resources in this business.

Panelist Patricia Alazraki, ICC alumna and Brand Manager of Monsieur Touton, found her current job through a friend’s social media post on Facebook. After reaching out to a mutual friend and asking to get coffee to learn from her expertise, her new contact ended up offering her a job. Never be afraid to reach out to someone already working in the industry or at a company you want to work for—more often than not, they are more than willing to help in any way that they can.

Speaking of social media, use your channels to build your own wine presence. Demonstrate your knowledge of wine by posting tasting notes and using popular wine hashtags. You never know who might reach out to you!

What do hiring managers look for when interviewing?

wine pouredAlthough a resume is important in any interview, all of our panelists—who are hiring managers themselves—agreed that two of the most important skills you can bring to your interview are not actually on your resume. Passion and people skills are integral to how you sell yourself in any interview. By bringing your passion for wine to the forefront of your interview, you’ll show that you’re able to connect with customers and consumers.

Interactions that you have in your interview are a good indicator for how you will interact with your customers. You have to be able to carry a conversation and learn about someone’s interests so that you can recommend the right wine to them and have them coming back for more.

What can I expect for my salary?

Like any industry, salaries in wine vary greatly. According to our panelists, who all have years of combined experience, you can expect to start at around $15-$20 while working in retail. Then, anywhere from $25,000-$50,000 is a great ballpark when you begin in a restaurant, not including what you’ll make in tips! From there, Head Sommeliers can make $70,000+ with experience, higher level certifications and percentages of monthly sales or tips. Brand Ambassadors can make anywhere in the $60,000-$90,000 range and added sales commission can increase salary.

Want to learn more about how ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you pursue your wine career? Check out our next Off the Vine panel in April!

wine being poured

A Brief History of Israeli Wine-Making

Arie HochbergThis month, Arie Hochberg of Israeli Wine Direct stopped by to share his knowledge of Israeli wine. With a passion to broaden people’s understanding of wines from Israel, Arie guided an audience of wine professionals, enthusiasts, and educators through a tasting of six wines from his portfolio of boutique winemakers and vineyards in Israel, including both Kosher and non-kosher wines.

Consider exploring this an Israeli wine for your next bottle of vino and read below to hear what we learned about the vast history of wine-making in Israel!

Biblical Times

corksIsraeli’s wine history dates back centuries and continues to evolve today. Produced in the Middle East for over 5,000 years, wine is even mentioned in the bible—Noah is attributed as the man who discovered the wine making process. When King David reigned around 3000 BCE—the same David depicted in Michelangelo’s infamous sculpture in Florence, Italy—he was said to have an extensive wine cellar where he employed a man to select his wines for his meals (could this be the first sommelier?).

Around 600 CE, wine was prohibited and most of the vineyards were uprooted across Israel. During this time, only wines made in Monasteries and Jewish communities for sacramental purposes were allowed. Shortly after this, wine-making was resurrected, only to be toppled again by the Ottoman empire which spanned an astonishing 400 years, from 1517-1917, in Israel .

In 1848, after hundreds of years of lost history, the first recorded winery was opened by Yitzhak Shor. Used only for religion purposes, it wasn’t until 1882 when French born Baron Edmond James de Rothschild laid the foundation for today’s modern wine industry in Israel.

The Turning Point

wineThe Rothschild family, known best as the family behind famed Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux, France, can also be credited with many of the advancements in wine-making seen in Israel. Not only did they invest in an Israeli vineyard, but they also commissioned a study on the land of Israel to understand how to make quality wine in the country. This was the turning point for the cultivation of the wine industry in Israel.

Following Rothschild, wine-making in Israel took off. The Carmel Wine Company was founded in 1895 to sell the wines of Rishon LeZion and Zichron Ya’akov, both famous for their wines, further establishing modern day wines of Israel.

Modern Times

winesAfter many tumultuous years in the 1900’s where wine-making in Israel halted, it was finally revamped in the 1970s. This remains the turning point that many reference as when modern wine-making techniques were brought to Israel. Finally, wine was being made and consumed for enjoyment, rather than just religious purposes. For the first time since Rothschild in 1882, Israel’s climate and soil was studied again to better understand the terroir and create great wine reflective of the region.

Today, there are over 250 boutique and 70 commercial wineries thanks to the boom of wine-making in the 1990’s spanning 13,585 acres of vineyards. 60,000 tons of grapes are harvested each year, of which 11,400 tons are Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

While only 65 million bottles of wine are produced per year—comparatively, Germany’s 252,000 acres of vineyards produce 1.3 billion bottles—Israel is definitely among one of the up and coming countries producing wines of note today!

Further Reading and Sources:

“Château Lafite Rothschild | Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite).” Domaines Barons De Rothschild Lafite Chteaux Et Vignobles De Bordeaux, 2016, www.lafite.com/en/chateau-lafite-rothschild/.

Garret, Dylan. “Decoding Israeli Wine.” Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 20 Nov. 2015, www.winemag.com/2011/07/25/decoding-israeli-wine/.

Hochberg, Arie. “Wines of Israel Lecture.”  21 Feb. 2019, New York, International Culinary Center.

Menenberg, Aaron. “Thirteen Israeli Wines That Will Change Your Worldview.” The Tower, 2018, www.thetower.org/article/thirteen-israeli-wines-that-will-change-your-worldview/.

Montefiore, Adam. “Rothchild’s Kosher Commitment.” Israeli Wines Pride of Israel, 2017, winesisrael.com/en/4788/rothschilds-kosher-commitment/.

good france

Goût de France Festival 2019

Good France is bringing the taste of Provence to New York City!

Taste. Talk. Enjoy.

At the International Culinary Center, we love any excuse to celebrate French food and wine—we were founded as the French Culinary Institute after all! So this year, we’re excited to participate in the Goût de France festivities as they expand Official Good France Day, March 21st, into a 4-day festival celebrating la cuisine Provençale all around New York.

Culinary festival Goût de France/Good France returns in 2019 with a movable feast: “Provence x New York”. From March 20-23, New Yorkers will be able to experience the taste of Provence with a spotlight on the region’s best chefs and its iconic specialties. You’ll be surprised by Marseille’s wealth of influences, from cuisine to products like lavender, basil, olive oil, sea salt and wine!

ICC is proud to host the educational series of the Goût de France festival on Thursday, March 21st (the Official Good France Day worldwide) with a full day of hands-on classes, workshops and a celebratory reception. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about Provencale Cuisine directly from the best French chefs at the International Culinary Center.

Throughout the day, attendees will learn about the emblematic ingredients of Provence—without which there is no provençal cuisine—as well as how their use can go well beyond your imagination!

Check out the full list of events below and click here to get up to 50% off your tickets using code ICC to join us on March 21st!

March 21 Goût de France Events at ICC

Hands-on Cooking Class

Don’t Mess with the Bouillabaisse
10:00am to 12:00pm
General Admission – $85
International Culinary Center – 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor

  • Chef Serge Devesa
    (Loews Regency New York Hotel – Le Marseillais, NYC – Maître cuisinier de France)

Learn to make the perfect bouillabaisse, an iconic dish of the south of France, from Chef Serge Devesa, Executive Chef of Le Marsellais at the Loews Regency New York Hotel. In this 2-hour hands-on class, you’ll learn the techniques and skills to recreate this classic seafood stew at home, and leave your friends and family wanting more!

Provence in Three Tastes—Chef Demonstrations & Tastings

Panisse with Aioli Sauces and Tapenade
1:30pm to 3:00pm
General Admission – $15 (normally $30)
International Culinary Center – 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Amphitheater

  • Chef Hervé Malivert
    International Culinary Center’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology – Maître Cuisinier de France

Chef Hervé Malivert, ICC’s Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, will demonstrate a classic dish from the south of France that’s the perfect aperitif to your meal—Panisse served with Aioli sauces and Tapenade. You’ll learn to make Panisse, fried chickpea fritters, as well as how to emulsify your own garlic aioli the traditional way, using a mortar and pestle. Plus, with spring just around the corner, Chef Hervé will show you how to introduce Mediterranean flavors to brighten up the dish with your own olive tapenade.

Pistou Soup and Saint-Victor’s Navettes
3:30pm to 5:00pm
General Admission – $15 (normally $30)
International Culinary Center – 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Amphitheater

  • Chef Olivier Reginensi
    Corporate Executive Chef of Maison Kayser, NYC – Maître Cuisinier de France

Chef Olivier Reginensi of Maison Kayser in New York City is cooking up a traditional soup from Provence—Pistou! A delicious spring vegetable soup with onion, garlic, tomato, pasta and pesto, it’s perfect for the rainy days of April & May. Need something to go with your soup? Chef Olivier will also be baking up Saint-Victor’s Navettes, or mini sweet baguettes, to be dipped into the soup.

Ratatouille and Chichi-Fregi
5:30pm to 7:00pm
General Admission – $15 (normally $30)
International Culinary Center – 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Amphitheater

  • Chef Florian Hugo
    Chef, Author and Restaurateur

Chef Florian Hugo of Maison Hugo in New York City will demonstrate to the audience how to create one of the most beloved dishes of French Provençal cuisine—Ratatouille! You’ll learn the knife skills required to master this classic dish utilizing techniques inherit to the south of France. And if you’ve ever wondered how the infamous Beignet was introduced to New Orleans, look no further than the traditional Chichi-Fregi of Provence. Chef Florian will also demonstrate how to make Chichi-Fregi, mini donuts commonly found in France, and you’ll walk away being able to impress your friends & family with stellar knowledge of French classics.

Cocktail Reception

La Marseillaise
7:30pm to 9:30pm
General Admission – $20 (normally $35)
International Culinary Center – Entrance at 28 Crosby Street, 5th floor

  • Chef Jean-Louis Dumonet
  • Chef, Maître cuisinier de France, President of the American & Canadian Chapter
  • Chef Jean-Louis Gerin
  • Chef, President Academie culinaire de France-US Delegation
  • Chef Sébastien Baud
    Maître Cuisinier de France – Académie Culinaire de France – Chef of the Consulate General of France

Join us for a celebratory cocktail reception featuring the best of Provençale Cuisine including passed canapés by Chef Jean-Louis Dumonet, President of the Maître Cuisiner de France; Chef Jean-Louis Gerin, President of the Académie culinaire de France; Chef Sébastien Baud, Chef of the Consulate General of France; and glasses of Rosé provided by Château D’esclans.

thai cuisine

A Taste of Thailand

Thai Cuisine, well known for its spiciness, is really better characterized by its complex balancing of five distinct flavors—sour, sweet, salty, bitter, spicy—and is the secret to mastering Thai food. Though the ingredients of Southeast Asian cuisine, like fish sauce, may be unfamiliar to some, most are readily on hand and can be used to create exciting flavor profiles. Thai cuisine is vast and varied, heavily influenced by regional ingredients, food traditions and the cultures of surrounding countries. For instance, the food of Southern Thailand tends to be very spicy and incorporates a lot of seafood. In other regions, dishes are served with different types of rice—Central Thailand leans toward jasmine rice while sticky rice is a staple of Northeastern Thailand. So, to really capture the dynamic intricacies of Thai cooking, the International Culinary Center and the National Research Council of Thailand have joined forces to bring the Thai Cuisine to Global Market project to New York!

This March, ICC is hosting a 3-day series of hands-on classes, workshops and demonstrations promoting authentic Thai cuisine to the world. Through this exchange, the project seeks to strengthen the knowledge of Thai cuisine—from ingredients and techniques to regional recipes and cooking processes—and promote authentic Thai dishes to culinary students + instructors, professional chefs and foodies in the US. Join ICC and two celebrated Chefs from Suan Dusit University in Thailand as we journey to Southeast Asia, without ever leaving NYC! They’ll teach us about the complexities of Thai cuisine, and show us how to create, and balance, these flavors in our own kitchens. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the experts—check out the three days of events below!

A Taste of Thailand—Chef Demonstration of Authentic Thai Cuisine

Wednesday, March 27
3:30-5:30pm
ICC Amphitheater

We’re excited to welcome celebrated chefs from the Suan Dusit University in Thailand—Chef Jareuk Sriaroon & Chef Songpol Vithanwattana—accompanied by ICC Alumna, Chanchana Siripanwattana, for an afternoon highlighting the complex flavors of authentic Thai cuisine. Join us for a demonstration to unlock the secrets of Thai Cooking—from working with ingredients found in Southeast Asian countries, to the art of balancing sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy flavors. They’ll share the differences and similarities in different regional dishes of Thailand and explain how local Thai cuisine has adapted influences from surrounding Asian countries into their food. Bringing their expertise to New York for the first time, they’ll demonstrate four traditional Thai dishes—Mee Grob (herb crispy vermicelli), Red Curry with Roasted Duck, Gaeng Som Goong (sour soup with shrimp) and Sago Pudding with Longan & Sweet Corn. Plus, attendees will have the opportunity to taste each of the four dishes and learn how to make these popular Thai dishes in their own kitchens!

Open to ICC Students, Alumni and Staff—no RSVP required. For volunteer opportunities, please contact Natalia Pozzi at npozzi@culinarycenter.com.

Limited seating available to the general public—please RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com to attend.

Private Hands-On Class for ICC Chef Instructors & Alumni

Tuesday, March 26
3:30-5:30pm
201 Kitchen

In this 2-hour hands-on professional development workshop, ICC Chef Instructors & Alumni will have the opportunity to learn the techniques behind two authentic Thai dishes—Gratong Thong (minced chicken in crispy golden cups) and Kanom Jeen Namya (rice noodles with yellow crab curry). Through this workshop, you’ll gain an understanding of how Thai cuisine is influenced by the dishes of other Asian countries and learn firsthand how to balance Southeast Asian flavors in your kitchen.

Note: Please bring your knives & chef coat for the class.

Private Hands-On Class for Current ICC Students

Thursday, March 28
3:30-5:30pm
201 Kitchen

In this 2-hour hands-on cooking class, current ICC students will have the opportunity to experience firsthand how their culinary education can be applied to cuisines from around the world. Chef Instructors from the Suan Dusit University in Thailand will lead the class in cooking two classic Thai favorites—Pad Thai (Thai stir-fried noodles) and Spicy Beef Salad—from start to finish! You’ll learn the techniques behind authentic Thai cuisine and understand how to use ingredients commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking.

Note: Please bring your knives & come in uniform for the class.

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

Songpol “Park” Vithanwattana

Chef ParkChef Songpol “Park” Vithanwattana received his Bachelor’s degree in Kitchen & Restaurant Management from Dusit Thani College in Bangkok, Thailand before pursuing his MBA in Modern Entrepreneurship from Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok and an MBA in Hospitality Industries from HTMi, Tourism Management Institute in Switzerland.

Chef Vithanwattana’s kitchen experience spans from working as a Commis at the Hotel Sofitel Silom and Centara Grand Bangkok in Thailand before becoming Thai Chef at Ah-hua Restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland. After returning from Switzerland, he became an instructor in Culinary Technology and Service at Suan Dusit University in Thailand. Here, he contributes to the development, planning, and implementation of teaching the next generations of chefs.

Throughout his years, Chef Vithanwattana has won various awards throughout the world. In 2011, he was awarded a gold medal in the Battle of the Chef, 13th Penang International Salon Gastronomique for the meat/ poultry category and awarded the silver medal in the Chef Competition 2016, Taiwan International Food Festival TCAC Culinary Challenge.

Jareuk Sriaroon

chef jareukChef Jareuk Sriaroon began his culinary education in 1999, receiving his certificate in Food Production Operation from Dusit Thani College in Bangkok, Thaliand. He then went on to study hospitality marketing and wine in the Netherlands, as well as hotel management in England.

After his studies, he went on to work in kitchens throughout Bangkok, cooking French cuisine and refining his talents. After his time working in kitchens, he embraced his passion for education to become an instructor at Silpakorn University International College. Then, he became executive producer and host of the documentary Namprik, which celebrated Thai cuisine. Now, he’s continuing his instructor path at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University/ International Culinary School.

During his time cooking, Chef Sriaroon was awarded the title of Official Thai Chef for Thai Food Promotion from the Ruckblick Inoga and the Royal Thai Consulate of Mumbai. He also is a World Chefs Approved Judge by the World Association of Chefs Societies, on the Board of Directors for the Thailand Culinary Academy, and has been a judge in 10+ culinary competitions throughout Thailand and the world.

Off the Vine: Careers in Wine

Off The Vine: Careers in Wine

OFF THE VINE, brought to you by the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC, is a series of tastings, discussion panels and networking events designed to support wine professionals in the beverage industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

RESTAURANT SERVICE? DISTRIBUTION? MEDIA? WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU.

Thursday, February 28th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Find out where you fit in the wine industry during a panel discussion with industry professionals at ICC!

The wine and beverage industry is dynamic & diverse, and offers many opportunities to build an exciting career—with options that suit different backgrounds, personalities and lifestyles. For those who are seriously considering a career in the wine industry, the possibilities are endless.

Elizabeth Smith, the Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, will moderate a panel of professionals representing the diverse avenues available to wine career seekers including distribution, restaurants, media and more. Together, we’ll explore topics such as career paths to explore, hiring practices, qualities that employers seek and the paths that each panelist took to get to where they are today. Come with your questions—there will be an open Q&A with the panelists following the discussion! Plus you’ll have the opportunity to network and learn more about how ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you pursue your wine career.

Light refreshments will be provided.

MODERATOR

Elizabeth Smith, Certified Sommelier, ICC Wine Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Smith is the Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, where she assists in running the Intensive Sommelier Training program and coordinates the Court of Master Sommeliers AmericasTM Introductory and Certified Exams.  She also teaches ICC’s introductory wine classes, and organizes extracurricular wine lectures and tastings.

Elizabeth began her career at Food & Wine magazine, and spent 8 years in various sales, marketing, and business insights roles at F&W and American Express.  In 2016 she decided to take her love of wine to the next level, graduating ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program, followed by a happy year at Astor Wines and Spirits.  Elizabeth is a CMS Certified Sommelier and is currently pursuing her WSET Diploma in Wine.

She is a passionate lover of wine and food, and documents her culinary adventures on Instagram @in_vino_glorias.

PANELISTS

slim
Slim Mello, Certified Sommelier
Head Sommelier at The Mandarin Oriental | ICC Alumnus

Slim started his hospitality career at ICC (International Culinary Center) in New York with the Intensive Sommelier Training program under the instruction of Master Sommelier, Scott Carney.  In the same year, he was granted the Walter Clore Scholarship at the Court of Master Sommeliers certified examination for achieving the highest score in NYC.

In 2016,  Slim began his work at Mandarin Oriental NYC with the Internship program under the mentorship of the Master Sommelier Laura Williamson. In 2017 proceeding the internship he became the Sommelier at Asiate Restaurant of the Mandarin Oriental.

During this exciting learning process, Slim was able to expand  his knowledge at the WSET level 3 course. As well as becoming a certified Sherry Wine Specialist with the House of Lustau in 2018.

Currently, Slim resides at Mandarin Oriental as the Head Sommelier taking on new challenges that will allow him to achieve the next level on his educational journey.

michelle
Michele Thomas, Certified Sommelier
Assistant Manager and Buyer, Greene Grape Wine & Spirits, Writer & Educator | ICC Alumna

Michele Thomas is the assistant manager and buyer for Greene Grape Wine & Spirits, located in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene, neighborhood, and a writer, editor, and educator with deep roots in food, wine, and publishing. A certified sommelier (IST ’15) and former executive editor for curriculum at the International Culinary Center, she is co-author of Culinary Careers for Dummies (Wiley), and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Edible Brooklyn, and Activist Philanthropist. She has also consulted for several food and hospitality companies, including Garnish Global Studio and Gumbo Bros, and documents her varying adventures in food, wine and culture on Instagram as @Bedstuysomm.

Patricia
Patricia Alazraki
Brand Manager, Monsieur Touton | ICC Alumna

Patricia was born in Uruguay and lived a life outside the wine world until her late 20s.

She initially pursued a career in Psychology and Culinary Arts and learned from working at her family’s food import business about sales, distribution and marketing. It wasn’t until 2016 that she decided to make a career change and move towards wine.

She is an alumni of the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC. Later on she took on an apprenticeship at Wine and Spirits Magazine, and moved to Bordeaux where she pursued a Master in Wine and Spirits Management. In Bordeaux she worked in wine tourism and education for visitors from around the world. She recently moved back to Brooklyn, NY and took on the position as US Brand Ambassador for a selective group of Bordeaux wine makers. You might find her waking around Prospect Park every morning with her yellow lab, her second passion after wine.

Cristina
Cristina Coari
Wine Education and Press Manager, Vias Imports

Cristina Coari is a native Italian from Gorizia in Northeast Italy. She joined the Vias Imports Marketing Team in 2014, and today she is especially involved in wine education projects and media/public relations.

Cristina received Master Sommelier status from AIS, the Italian Sommelier Association, in collaboration with ALMA, La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana. Prior to that, she worked in communications at Marco Felluga winery in Italy and was an intern at Domaine Select Wine Estates in New York.

Chocolate

Celebrate Chocolate Month at ICC!

chocolateIt’s no secret that here at ICC, we love chocolate. From our Dean of Pastry Arts Jacques Torres—affectionately known as “Mr. Chocolate”—to teaching our Professional Pastry Arts students how to temper chocolate for hand-painted bon bons & showpieces, chocolate runs in our veins. What better way to celebrate National Chocolate Lovers month than with four different opportunities—panel discussions, tastings, demonstrations and one-day classes—highlighting the intricacies of chocolate and it’s various applications—from sweet to savory!

We’ll begin the month with a tasting from a country known for some of the best chocolate in the world— Ecuador! On February 6th, The Ecuadorian Trade Commission travels to ICC to discuss the similarities in agriculture, production and roasting of two of the countries exports—coffee and cacao beans—through a tasting of different varieties of coffee and chocolate.

A few short days later, home cooks and foodies alike can spend their Saturday learning to create their own delicious bonbons in our hands-on one-day recreational class, Chocolate Treats & Truffles! The following week, we’re gathering a panel of some of NYC’s best single origin producers for Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources to discuss how to source ethical ingredients, understand fair trade practices, navigate customs & importing laws and more.

Lastly, we’ll finish the month with the savory side of chocolate. ICC alumnus, Danny Mena—Chef/Owner of La Loncheria in Brooklyn and one of NYC’s top Mexican chefs—will lead a demonstration on authentic Mexican Mole. He’ll explain how different regions of Mexico prepare their own versions of Mole, and demonstrate how to make two versions: Rojo & Verde. Plus, attendees will have a chance to taste the Mole as well!

Check out the event details below to see how you can join us this February! Plus, don’t forget to purchase your ICC Cooking Pass and save $100 on a one-day recreational class for two if you plan to join us with a friend for our Chocolate Treats & Truffles class (limited time offer, available for purchase through Valentine’s Day).

Ecuadorian Chocolate and Coffee Tasting

Wednesday, February 6th
3:30pm-5:00pm

Cacao beans

Coffee and chocolate carry many similarities, aside from their stronghold on worldwide consumption. Both products are prominent exports of the single origin movement and share commonalities in fruit, agriculture, harvesting, production and roasting. Join us to learn from a country with some of the best cacao and coffee: Ecuador! The Ecuadorian Trade Commission will discuss sourcing from small producers and demonstrate how to work with single origin beans of coffee and chocolate from Ecuador. Attendees will also have the opportunity to taste through different varieties of coffee and chocolate, and discuss pairing the two products. Find more information here.

This demonstration is open to ICC students and alumni, with a select number of seats available for the general public. No RSVP required for ICC students and alumni.

For general public seating, please RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com with your full name, email and event of interest.

REC: Chocolate Treats and Truffles

Saturday, February 9th
3:30pm-7:30pm | $195

bonbons

In this one-day recreational class, you’ll learn the art of tempering chocolate, and use that knowledge to create an array of treats! With an introduction to the skills used by top chocolatiers and our best recipes to take home, you will be ready to make and enjoy your own chocolate treats whenever the occasion—or craving—calls. Learn more about this hands-on class here.

Click here to Apply Now!

Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources

Wednesday, February 13th
6:30pm-8:00pm

rishi tea

With consumers moving towards ethical buying habits, higher standards for quality and equality are vital in day-to-day business operations. In Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources, you’ll hear from a panel of experts running some of NYC’s best single origin businesses—from chocolate and spice importers to coffee and tea—on how they operate profitable food businesses without compromising on quality or fair trade practices. Join us to discuss what it’s like to source from around the world, the laws and agricultural regulations with regard to importing products, fair trade best practices and the key players within a supply chain. They’ll share their tips for working with farmers, navigating customs laws and building a network of trusted producers. Plus, 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! Click here to learn more.

This event is open to the general public, as well as ICC students & alumni.

RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com with your full name, email and event of interest.

Authentic Mexican Mole Demonstration with Chef Danny Mena

Wednesday, February 27th
3:30pm-5:00pm

Mole

Intense with flavor and a labor of love, Mole can be prepared with dozens of ingredients—chocolate being one of them—in a variety of styles that can take hours to develop the depth of flavor desired! During this demonstration, Chef Danny Mena—ICC alumnus and Chef/Owner of La Loncheria in Brooklyn—will share his expertise in creating an authentic Mexican Mole. You’ll learn how different regions of Mexico prepare their own versions of Mole and have the chance to taste it for yourself—Chef Danny will be demonstrating two types of Mole, a Rojo & Verde. From chiles and garlic, to dark chocolate or no chocolate at all, you’ll be surprised just how many applications Mole can have in your cooking. Click here for more information.

This demonstration is open to ICC students and alumni, with a select number of seats available for the general public. No RSVP required for ICC students and alumni.

For general public seating, please RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com with your full name, email and event of interest.
Carnegie Hall Commencement Ceremony 2017

ICC Annual Commencement Ceremony 2017

On Sunday, April 23, the International Culinary Center®  celebrated graduates throughout the past year at our annual commencement ceremony, held at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  Jacques Pépin, our Dean of Special Programs, offered the keynote address with wise words for graduates on how to stay humble and work hard throughout their culinary careers.

In addition to the hundreds of Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Cake Techniques, Bread Baking and Sommelier graduates, the school also recognized this year’s selected Oustanding Alumni winners. Chef Julian Medina, the chef/owner of Toloache, Tacuba, Coppelia, Yerba Buena and La Chula received the award for Excellence in Culinary Arts. Susanna Yoon, head chocolatier and founder of Stick With Me Sweets received this year’s Excellence in Pastry Arts award. Rhonda Crosson, the head baker for MeyersUSA received the award for Excellence in Bread. Hugh Mangum, a graduate of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program (2001) received the award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship as the chef/owner of Mighty Quinn’s – having multiple locations of the New York style BBQ establishment across the globe. Last but certainly not least, ICC celebrated Jhonel Faelnar as this year’s Outstanding Sommelier. As the Sommelier for The NoMad Hotel, Jhonel is the only ICC graduate to receive the distinction of being an Advanced Sommelier and is currently studying for the Master Sommelier exam.

We wish nothing but continuous success to all graduates and alumni and look forward to seeing you “Love What You Do” throughout your careers.

Food For Thought: Recapping The Culinary Conversation Among Women

Written by: Sylvanie Tweed
Professional Pastry Arts Student

A loud roar echoed throughout the International Culinary Center’s Amphitheater as women from all walks of the culinary and hospitality industries converged on the evening of March 29th for­­ Food for Thought: A Culinary Conversation among Women. And with that roar, a strong female presence was felt. Food for Thought; a collaboration between ICC and Journee, brought together a diverse panel of women chef’s and industry insiders to discuss relevant issues affecting women in the Food Industry today.

photosbyarielle-67The evening commenced with a vibrant meet-and-greet session complete with delicate hors d’oeuvres and provided an excellent opportunity for students and guests present to network with fellow industry professionals. The amphitheater filled within minutes and the sustained buzz of excitement gently carried the ladies (and three very supportive gentlemen) to their seats as they settled in for what proved to be a heated, intense, and informative panel discussion.

Our moderator, Dana Cowin formerly of Food and Wine, lead the charge as the seven featured women discussed how to help women go further in our industry and have their voices heard and their stories told. The popular topics of financial management, confidence building and dealing with failure and mistakes all got their fair share of input, interspersed with lively banter and a few laughs all around. This segued into a question and answer segment where the heated question came from an ICC chef via the way of maternal leave in the Food Industry and its effect on women. Should women feel forced to choose between having a family and having a career? This was certainly #foodforthought!

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Connect with Sylvanie Tweed on Instagram via @CakeShoppeCo, www.facebook.com/cakeshoppeco or www.cakeshoppeboutique.com


Food for Thought: A Culinary Conversation Among Women [Event]

Women of the culinary world unite! The inaugural Food for Thought series at the International Culinary Center kicks off with an event to celebrate the diversity of women in the industry, while tackling important topics through a guided discussion tackling key issues such as family & work balance, equal pay, breaking the ‘boys club’ and much more.

A Culinary Conversation Among Women will strive to set words into actions, with the discussion moderated by Founder of Speaking Broadly and former Editor in Chief at Food & Wine, Dana Cowin in association with the International Culinary Center. Through this event, the International Culinary Center & Journee aim to inspire and influence policy, support community engagement, and positively impact all women working in culinary and hospitality careers.


PANELISTS INCLUDE:

  • REBECCA DEANGELIS (Executive Pastry Chef at Babbo NYC)
  • MELISSA RODRIGUEZ (Executive Chef at Del Posto)
  • GABRIELLE HAMILTON (Chef/Owner of Prune, Author of Blood, Bones & Butter)
  • ANITA LO (Chef/Owner of Annisa) 
  • ALLISON KAVE (Co-Founder of Butter & Scotch)
  • JACKIE MCMANN-OLIVERI (Director, Human Resources of Bold Food | Bobby’s Burger Palaces)
  • CHEF CANDY ARGONDIZZA (Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts at ICC)

We invite you to join us, participate in the discussion and have your voice heard by the NYC community! Light food and wine will be served throughout the event to foster community building & networking opportunities. Purchase your tickets here: https://yourjournee.com/event/iccjournee/

DATE:  Wednesday, March 29, 2017

TIME: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Discussion Begins at 6:30pm

LOCATION:
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway
New York, NY 10013


ABOUT THE PANEL:

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Melissa Rodriguez (Executive Chef at Del Posto) Melissa J. Rodriguez succeeds Mark Ladner as Executive Chef of Del Posto. Melissa is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts in 1999. After graduation, Melissa spent time cooking with Elaine Bell Catering and at Oceana under Chef Cornelius Gallagher. In 2006, Melissa joined the team at Daniel Boulud’s Restaurant Daniel, where she was promoted to sous chef. After five years at Daniel, she joined the team at Del Posto in 2011 and was promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2015. She lives in Jersey City with her husband, Garrett.

 


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Rebecca DeAngelis (Executive Pastry Chef at Babbo NYC) A New Hampshire native, Rebecca DeAngelis started her pastry training at the age of 15 at Jacques Fine European Pastries in Suncook, NH. Soon after high school, DeAngelis entered the prestigious Société Culinaire Philanthropique’s 137th Salon Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France competition and became the youngest person ever awarded 1st Prize for Pastry. That accomplishment awarded her a full scholarship to The French Culinary Institute in New York City where DeAngelis honed her skills in classic French pastry techniques. DeAngelis’s skill and determination won the attention of Gina DePalma at Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca. DeAngelis trained under DePalma for five years before taking the helm of the Babbo pastry kitchen. When DePalma left Babbo in 2013, DeAngelis assumed the role of Executive Pastry Chef where she leads one of the most respected and decorated pastry departments in the nation. In October 2016, DeAngelis worked with Mario Batali to prepare the last state dinner during the Obama administration, honoring Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.


ChefCandyChef Candy Argondizza (Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts at ICC) ICC’s head of culinary and pastry Chef Candy Argondizza leads a staff of 50 chefs and oversees curriculum changes for the professional and amateur programs, keeping pace (and ahead of) an ever-changing industry. Chef Candy brought considerable experience with her when she joined ICC’s faculty in 2000 as a chef-instructor, having cooked professionally since 1979. Tapping her natural talent and determination to succeed in New York City, she landed a sous chef position at Remi, followed by several executive chef positions and invitations to cook at the James Beard House. Her strong interpersonal skills and depth of knowledge led to her quickly rising up the ranks at ICC to a leadership position at the school. Chef Candy’s most trusted resource as a chef and educator is Jacques Pepin’s La Technique, the book she most returns to and always recommends. As an accomplished tri-athlete, she also believes that a balanced lifestyle is the key to success, a wisdom she hopes to impart to her team and to ICC’s students. Her accomplishments as a teacher and administrator were recognized by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) when she received the coveted “Educator of the Year” award in 2012.


Annisa Restaurant - New York, NY

Anita Lo (Owner and Chef at Annisa)  As the chef/owner of Annisa in New York City, Anita Lo is one of the most respected chefs in the country, earning numerous accolades for her inventive Contemporary American cuisine that reflects her multicultural upbringing and classic French training. Lo, a first generation Chinese-American, grew up with her family in Birmingham, Michigan and earned a degree in French language at Columbia University. While studying at Reid Hall—Columbia’s French language institute in Paris, she fell in love with the food culture and vowed to return. Back in the U.S., Lo accepted her first kitchen job as garde-manger at Bouley, but after a year, decided to move back to Paris and enroll in Ecole Ritz-Escoffier, a revered culinary institution. After receiving her degree, graduating first in her class with honors, she returned to New York, working her way through all the stations at David Waltuck’s Chanterelle. In 2000, Lo opened Annisa (whose name means ”women” in Arabic), an intimate, upscale restaurant in Greenwich Village serving Contemporary American cuisine. Lo was named one of ten “Best New Chefs in America” in 2001 by Food & Wine and proclaimed “Best New Restaurant Chef” by the Village Voice. In 2014, Annisa received the prestigious three star rating by The New York Times.


gabrielle-hamiltonGabrielle Hamilton (Chef / Owner of Prune, Author of Blood, Bones & Butter) Gabrielle Hamilton is an American chef and author. She is the chef/owner of Prune, a restaurant in New York City, and the author of Blood, Bones, and Butter, a memoir.Hamilton said her way of eating and cooking was heavily influenced by her French mother, saying she didn’t waste food and the family often foraged for fresh ingredients from their garden and from the forests and fields surrounding their house. Hamilton received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Following a career in catering, Hamilton opened the restaurant, Prune, in New York City’s East Village in 1999. Having no formal experience in restaurants, nor culinary school education, her 30-seat restaurant garnered widespread acclaimed admiration from diners, critics and other chefs including Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain. Prune earned a spot in the Bib Gourmand section of the Michelin’s 2014 New York guide. Hamilton was featured in the fourth season of the PBS show The Mind of a Chef as well as the first season of The Taste on ABC as a guest judge.


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Allison Kave (Co-Founder of Butter & Scotch) Allison Kave is the co-founder of Butter & Scotch, a bakery & cocktail bar in Crown Heights, Brooklyn known for creative riffs on classic American desserts and craft cocktails. She is the author of First Prize Pies, the coauthor of Butter & Scotch: Recipes from Brooklyn’s Favorite Bar & Bakery, and the coauthor of the recurring “Drunk Bakers” column in Bake from Scratch magazine. Her work and recipes have been featured in a wide range of publications and media, including The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, The Food Network, and Cooking Channel, and she has taught pie workshops at the James Beard House, the International Culinary Center, and in private homes throughout NYC. Her passions are baking, booze, feminism, and puppies (not necessarily in that order).


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Jackie McMann-Oliveri (Director of Human Resources / Bold Food, Bobby’s Burger Palaces)  Jackie McMann-Oliveri recently joined the Bold Food and Bobby’s Burger Palace family as Director of Human Resources with a focus on people and culture for all Bobby Flay branded restaurants. With over 15 years of HR experience mostly in Hospitality, a strong FOH and Operations upbringing and a genuine love of food and service, she knows this next part of her journey will be amazing. She has a BS in Business, Management and Economics and Advanced Graduate certificate in HR and is a certified PHR. Her passions are leadership and talent management and she strongly believes that as leaders in this wonderful world of hospitality, we should always be selecting and hiring amazing people, giving them the support, tools and opportunities to succeed and partnering on accountability for all. She most recently served as HR Director for The Meatball Shop for around three years (will forever be a baller) and had fun opening and staffing Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center (still feels like home) over a decade ago. She is a founding member and Steering Committee member of HR Professionals in Hospitality, a lecturer at The International Culinary Center and lives and breathes an open-door policy for all her circle. Jackie has also been an active volunteer event lead for Food Bank of NY / No Kid Hungry serving NYCWFF events wearing many hats to give back to the city she loves while benefiting hungry children and being around the industry she loves for the past five or so years.


ABOUT OUR MODERATOR:

18magsub-blog427Dana Cowin ( Founder of Speaking Broadly / Ex-Editor in Chief of Food & Wine) Dana Cowin, best known for her two decades as the Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine, is a tastemaker, talent scout, author, lecturer and radio show host. During her tenure at the award-winning magazine (1995-2016), she oversaw every editorial aspect of the brand from print to web to books to social media. She expanded and introduced several honor programs to highlight emerging talent including the magazine’s annual Best New Chefs award and Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink. After Food & Wine, Cowin joined the ground-breaking restaurant group Chefs Club to continue her role as a scout, selecting chefs from around the world to be featured on their curated menus. Cowin has moved on to become host of “Speaking Broadly” on Heritage Radio Network, interviewing extraordinary women in the food industry about their greatest challenges and triumphs.  A sought-after speaker, Cowin has been a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” a presenter at TedXManhattan, a lecturer at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival and multiple food festivals and other events.  A noted author, Cowin in 2014 published “Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes,” which garnered a spot on many “Best of Fall” lists. Cowin serves on the Board of Directors of City Harvest, a hunger-relief organization, and Hot Bread Kitchen, a work force development group. For her many contributions to the culinary world, Cowin was inducted in to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Drink.  If you’re not afraid of mouth-watering images of food, follow her @fwscout on Instagram and Twitter.

 

[Recap] Jason Licker Returns to ICC to Launch First Cookbook

On Thursday, February 23, international Pastry Chef and alum Jason Licker returned to his Alma mater for a special event to launch the United States release of his first-ever cookbook, Lickerland.  Having lived abroad exploring various parts of Asia for the last decade, the culture definitely has influenced Jason’s flavor profile and approach to pastry arts. Encompassing dozens of Asian-accented desserts, the unique cookbook also includes pages that help consumers decipher the different taste experiences (including sweet, salty, sour, etc.) of each recipe.

During the 90-minute event, attendees learned more about Chef Licker through a fun-spirited Q&A with his former Pastry Chef-Instructor, Jurgen David. Additionally, everyone in the audience experienced a tasting from the cookbook. Chef Jason Licker took us through the step-by-step process of creating his White Chocolate-Junmai Sake Cream dessert with a toffee crumble. Utilizing techniques he learned in his Professional Pastry Arts many years ago, it’s easy to identify how his culinary school education has played a major influence throughout his career.

Attending the ICC was critical because in any profession, you need to crawl before you walk. With the hands-on schooling experience, I built a firm foundation of pastry knowledge.  There is nothing like learning during a hands-on job, but if you have a great education, you have an advantage. I think I would have discovered my passion for Asian cuisines no matter what because I just love food and discovering other cultures. With the culinary education I had though, it made it easier to apply those experiences abroad and translate that into my style of pastry.

 

Following the event that included students, faculty, family, friends and press, we asked Jason Licker about how it felt returning to his culinary school after all these years.

 It was an incredible moment of overwhelming joy to launch my first cookbook at where I first learned the foundation of pastry. It was a feeling of coming home.  Having (Pastry Chef) Jurgen David, a teacher of mine, now question me about my book was a full circle feeling. I was once a student in the audience, and now, I was demonstrating how to make one of my signature desserts. The team at the ICC made this special moment memorable.”

Watch highlights from the event below!

To purchase your copy of Lickerland, visit www.jasonlicker.com