deans with julia child

ICC Alumna, Chef Angie Mar Hosts Icon Series Dinners Honoring ICC Deans & Julia Child

angie mar
Don Stahl/WWD

Angie Mar, ICC alumna and Chef/Owner of The Beatrice Inn in the West Village, has looked up to culinary giants like André SoltnerJacques Pépin, Jacques Torres, and Alain Sailhac since they roamed the halls of the International Culinary Center during her time at culinary school.

Now, to honor the ICC Founding Deans and another culinary hero, Julia Child—a dear friend of ICC’s late founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton, Chef Mar is hosting the Icons Series of dinners at The Beatrice Inn.  Each month from March through June, Chef Mar and her talented kitchen team—many of whom are also ICC graduates—will celebrate those who paved the way and changed the way we eat, cook and view dining in America. Chef Mar, whose own cooking is steeped in French tradition, utilizes her formal culinary education to pay homage to these legendary French chefs who have inspired and mentored generations of ICC graduates over the past half-century.

“Growing up, I would watch Jacques Pépin and Julia Child on television and cook from their books. They very much inspired the food of my childhood. Then, moving to New York as a young cook, I looked to the food of André Soltner, Alain Sailhac and Jacques Torres for inspiration,” shared Chef Mar. “Now, as chef and restaurateur, I find myself in the position to mentor others, the next generation of future chefs and industry professionals. I have reflected on this greatly, and I strongly believe that in order to successfully set our next generation on the right track, it is imperative that they, and all of us for that matter, fully understand, appreciate and pay homage to those that came before us.”

Chef Mar added, “Chefs Saihlac, Pépin, Soltner and Torres are truly the “OG’s” of our industry. They immigrated to New York City, made something of themselves during a time when French cuisine was not common, and laid the foundation for us to be able to do what we do today.” As with many ICC graduates, Chef Mar is determined to continue the impactful legacy of these chefs, and their iconic restaurants, by sharing a curated menu of food from each chef’s respective cookbooks. For some diners, this may be the first time exposed to some of their signature dishes like the champvallon, a meat and potato dish made famous by Chef Sailhac at Le Cirque, or the sea urchins in Champagne jelly from Chef Soltner’s famed Lutèce. Guests will also be treated to an opportunity to meet these culinary legends as all living Chefs (Sailhac, Torres, Pépin & Soltner) will attend their respective Icon Series dinners as guests of honor while the Julia Child Icon Series dinner will be hosted in conjunction with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

Reserved seating tickets for each dinner of the Icon Series will be available for $185 plus tax & gratuity. Wine and spirits will be offered à la carte. Reserved seating tickets may be purchased on their website, by email at beatrice@thebeatriceinn.com or by phone at 212.675.2808. Make sure to mark your calendars for the dinners below!

Icons Dinner Series: Alain Sailhac & Jacques Torres

alain sailhac
jacques torres

Beatrice Inn | March 31, 2020

Purchase Tickets

General Admission | $185

Icons Dinner Series: Jacques Pépin

Jacques Pepin

Beatrice Inn | April 28, 2020

Purchase Tickets

General Admission | $185

Icons Dinner Series: André Soltner

andre soltner

Beatrice Inn | May 20, 2020

Purchase Tickets

General Admission | $185

Icons Dinner Series: Julia Child

julia child

Beatrice Inn | June 16, 2020

Purchase Tickets

General Admission | $185

About Angie Mar

Chef Angie Mar has spent the bulk of her life finding new ways to fall in love with food. A native of Seattle, Washington, Chef Mar comes from a family of food lovers and restaurateurs – her aunt was the celebrated Ruby Chow, who pioneered Chinese cuisine in Seattle – and these deep-rooted ties gifted Mar an innate love for bringing people together around a dining table.

Mar had the privilege of training in some of New York City’s most renowned kitchens, including honing her skills at whole animal butchery and open fire techniques at Andrew Tarlow’s lauded Brooklyn restaurants Reynard, Diner, and Marlow & Sons. She went on to work at The Spotted Pig, where she learned an unparalleled dedication to perfection and a love of simplicity.

In October 2013, Mar took the helm of the kitchen in the West Village’s storied Beatrice Inn. Best known for her love of working with whole animals, live fire, and dry aging techniques, she quickly revamped the menu and developed her signature style.

In 2016, Mar bought the Beatrice Inn and made it her own, with a fresh perspective and new energy that transformed the restaurant into one of the one of the most coveted reservations in the city. Under Mar’s guidance, the Beatrice Inn is now known for its meat-forward menu and show-stopping presentations; her signature dry aging techniques are widely regarded as some of the most unique and innovative in the country; her Duck Flambé has graced the cover of Food & Wine; her Prime Rib was showcased in Bon Appetit; and her hospitality attracts visitors from around the world.

In 2016, Pete Wells awarded the Beatrice Inn two laudatory stars for The New York Times, calling it “one of the most celebratory restaurants in the city” and “a place to go when you want to celebrate your life as an animal.” Mar was named “Chef of the Year 2016” by Thrillist and was chosen as one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs for 2017”. She has been featured in numerous publications and outlets, including Esquire, Late Night With Seth Meyers, The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, People Magazine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many more. Her first book, “Butcher and Beast” (Clarkson Potter) will be published in Autumn 2019.

A lover of all things luxury and meat, Chef Mar lives in New York City.

farm to table class

Weeks 9 and 10 of Culinary School: We Are Family!

Chloe Zale
Written By: Chloe Zale

Chloe Zale is currently a student in ICC’s Culinary Arts + Farm to Table program. She has been chronicling her culinary school experience in depth on her blog Chloe Cooks, sharing her favorite cooking tips and hilarious anecdotes along the way. The following post is about Chloe’s 10 days spent on family meal, which is the production cooking module of Level 3. 

A native New Yorker, Chloe is an opera singer, entrepreneur, and former strategy consultant who is now turning her lifelong passion for food into a career in the kitchen and as a food writer. She graduated from Yale magna cum laude with a degree in Cognitive Science, writing her senior thesis on the psychology and neuroscience of food craving. While in college, she worked as an events intern for the Yale Sustainable Food Program, with responsibilities like making pizza for student volunteers on the Yale Farm and executing special dinners for visiting guests such as Rene Redzepi. She also spent a summer as an intern at Murray’s Cheese learning about affinage, retail and wholesale, and assisted in cheese education classes for the public. After graduating, she worked at the Boston Consulting Group as a strategy consultant, and then left to start her own consulting business for food and beverage and health and wellness companies. Starting in March, Chloe will be doing her externship at the three Michelin star restaurant Per Se. 

Follow Chloe on Instagram @chloezale for real time updates on her culinary adventures in school and beyond. 

Just when I thought we were back to normal, my culinary school world was flipped on its head.

I was flying high after graduating Level 2 with a 98% on my final practical exam, and I was feeling confident about my skills. I had finally shifted into the “I got this” mentality. Then family meal happened.

Family meal is a 10-day rite of passage that involves cooking lunch daily for all 200 of the students and staff on ICC’s campus, with twelve students making incredible quantities of at least 10 different dishes, including their accompanying sauces, dressings, and garnishes. The goal, in addition to feeding everyone, is to teach students about high volume cooking, in case we were to ever cater an event, and to introduce us to the volume of food prep needed to run a restaurant. In short, it’s the real deal, with big recipes, big flavors, and big pressure. Long gone were the leisurely (in retrospect) days of our previous levels, when we had been making a plate or two at a time. It wasn’t a catastrophe if you were a few minutes late presenting your dish to your instructors, as long as you could endure some minor public shaming. But when you’re serving lunch to actual people, who are actually hungry, and actually waiting in line, glaring at you as they wonder when their food will be served, a late and/or poorly executed dish is unacceptable. On Day 1, Chef said to us, “If you ask me whether I want it done well or if I want it done on time, the answer is ‘Yes’” — Point taken.

A few spreads from family meal below.

family meal
family meal
family meal

So to say that there’s a learning curve is an understatement. First, you need to immediately memorize a completely new kitchen that’s triple the size of the ones you’ve worked in so far, with different equipment from what you’re used to. Think: giant steam kettles for making stock, a dedicated deep fryer, three types of ovens stacked higher than your head, mega stand mixers, and unfamiliar contraptions like “tilt skillets” that you suddenly need to operate. It kind of feels like you went to sleep and woke up on the set of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, but with a Super Mario-esque set of obstacles that could burn, slice, or crush you at every turn.

Even moving the ingredients from one place to another requires different skills: imagine schlepping a deep pan almost as wide as your arm span filled with raw pork from one end of our huge kitchen to the other —it’s your weight lifting and cardio for the day! And that’s not to mention the regular shitshow that ensues when you enter any new kitchen and have no idea where basic things like pots, pans, bowls and cutting boards live. It’s a zoo.

the kitchen
Our kitchen
Me at the deep fryer
Me at the deep fryer
On the left, a very cool machine called a combi oven which can both bake and steam your food, since you can control its humidity levels. On the right is our smoker,
On the left, a very cool machine called a combi oven which can both bake and steam your food, since you can control its humidity levels. On the right is our smoker.
Here are a few of our many convection ovens, which circulate hot air around food, thereby cooking it faster and more evenly. Beyond that a tilt skillet which can fry, saute, and braise food among other things.
Here are a few of our many convection ovens, which circulate hot air around food, thereby cooking it faster and more evenly. Beyond that a tilt skillet which can fry, saute, and braise food among other things.
Here, steam kettles used to make stock, which are almost as tall as I am. Tall boy in my class for scale.
Here, steam kettles used to make stock, which are almost as tall as I am. Tall boy in my class for scale.

The homework changes, too. Rather than studying recipes or techniques, you put together a “prep sheet” which is just what it sounds like: a sheet of paper you write out to make sure you are prepared to execute all parts of your assigned recipe properly and on time. It’s basically a play-by-play of what needs to happen, when, and by whom, from the minute you arrive and start chopping up the ingredients to the final moments of arranging your platters for service. Like the previous levels, you’re paired up with another person to execute your dishes, but what’s different is that in family meal, you switch off roles: one person is the “chef de partie” — team lead — and one person is the “commis” — line cook. The chef de partie is the one who creates the prep sheet for that day and then runs through it with Chef, making sure to ask any questions and request demonstrations of techniques if needed. Then, he or she directs the team to get it all done. At the end of the day, the full group comes together, and each chef de partie shares some learnings from the day, including what went well with his/her group’s dish and what could have gone better.

Here’s an example of a prep sheet that I made when Melissa and I were on Tex Mex salad. Of course, I used PowerPoint because you can take the girl out of consulting, but you can’t take the consultant out of the girl.
Here’s an example of a prep sheet that I made when Melissa and I were on Tex Mex salad. Of course, I used PowerPoint because you can take the girl out of consulting, but you can’t take the consultant out of the girl.
A prep sheet for a day when I was on my own. Do you think I had enough questions for Chef?
A prep sheet for a day when I was on my own. Do you think I had enough questions for Chef?

In the afternoon after lunch has been served and you’ve cleaned everything up, you do as much prep as possible for the next day so that you can hit the ground running in the morning. This means quartering 40 chickens, julienning 10 pounds of carrots, and the like.

A welcome shift in family meal, and probably my favorite part of it, is that you get a break from cooking classic French cuisine and venture into new culinary territory, with dishes that range from familiar to exotic. Don’t get me wrong: I love me some duck a l’orange. But I also love samosas, southern fried chicken, eggs Florentine, loaded mashed potatoes, and saffron arancini, all of which I had the opportunity to make during family meal. And those were just some of the dishes I personally worked on — the rest of the class was cooking up a storm too! Variety is the spice of life…literally, in this case.

So, for ten days, our creativity flowed as we were encouraged to make every recipe our own. We’d get some guidance from our instructor on the type of recipe that we were supposed to make to next day and the ingredients we’d have access to (e.g., “an Italian white bean dip” or “an apple dessert”), but it was up to us to bring it to life. We could pull inspiration from basically any source, including cookbooks, family recipes, blogs, apps and our own imagination. We’d then scale that recipe up by 10-20x and cook it with our teams, using our prep sheets of course.

The last development that family meal brought was a new sense of closeness among my classmates and even our instructors, who started calling me “Chlo” (clearly we were all getting very comfortable together). When you’re in the weeds of your dish and not even close to done, and service is approaching in 30 minutes, you learn who will rally around you and who you can fall back on in times of need. As someone who thrives on community and connection to others, I felt a lot of joy in this process.

So that’s all to say that while family meal was a tough transition, I loved it and would 100% do it again!

Read on for some of the standout dishes that I made for family meal…

mashed potatoes
Loaded mashed potatoes, with cheddar, chives, and sour cream

This was the first dish I made, which was a great balance of being quite simple and majorly mouthwatering. The end product was 40 pounds (you read that right) of mashed potatoes, enhanced with cheddar cheese and scallions and enriched with the do-no-wrong dairy trifecta of butter, cream, and sour cream.

We started by putting chopped, unpeeled potatoes in two pots the size of car tires, submerging them in water and bringing it all to a boil, then reducing it to a simmer until they cooked through. It took about an hour because there was so much to heat up in each giant pot! This gave us time to prep the rest of the ingredients – grating the cheese, chopping the scallions, etc. Once the potatoes were cooked, we drained them, threw in some chunks of butter and ran them through a food mill (which caught all the skins and made them easy to remove), and put the mashed mixture back in the pot. At this point, we mixed in the cream, cheese, scallions and sour cream and adjusted the consistency and seasoning before plating them and garnishing them with the same ingredients.

The most challenging part of the dish was avoiding the many ways you could hurt yourself or others in the process of making it. You try carrying two insanely heavy pots of near-boiling water and potatoes to a nearby sink and pouring them into oversized colanders without dropping the pot, burning your face off from the steam (fact: steam is hotter than boiling water), or maiming some unfortunate soul in your path. It’s not a walk in the park. The second most challenging part was coming to terms with the amount of sour cream we used. We’re talking multiple industrial-sized tubs. Sorry not sorry.

Various sandwiches utilizing homemade charcuterie leftovers

I find my best creative output comes from times when I need to work within constraints, and this day was no exception. The other half of our class had just finished their charcuterie module, and there was an enormous excess of cured and smoked meats, condiments and breads that they had made. We were about to go on winter break, and most of this stuff wasn’t going to hold up well during the two weeks off. So we were tasked with making an inventory of what was left and then putting as much of it as possible to use by making sandwiches. My goal in coming up with this menu was to have a lot of contrasts to keep them interesting (and delicious) – this is what we ended up with:

Cured pork butt and pork bologna with jalapeño red pepper jam and pickles on brioche: A lot of people don’t eat pork, so we decided to keep our pork products to one sandwich, but to go big. So we went double pork and then cut that fat with the acidic pickles and the spicy jam.

Cured venison and whipped chicken liver pâté with broccoli rabe pesto, balsamic onions and crunchy lettuce on focaccia: Venison is super lean, so we countered it with generous slathering of whipped chicken liver pâté for richness. The broccoli rabe pesto added a zesty punch, and the onions and lettuce brought the crunch.

Pastrami on rye with yellow mustard, garlic aioli, pickled red cabbage and cheddar: Somewhere between a regular pastrami sandwich and a reuben – this one went quickly!

Duck bologna with dijonnaise, lettuce and tomato on a croissant: The duck bologna was actually quite light, so we treated it like a classic turkey sandwich for those looking for something a bit simpler.

sandwiches
hot honey chicken
Hot honey fried chicken

This chicken was super moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside – the optimal combination. We brined it in overnight in salt, water and honey, and then the next day locked in that moisture with a coating of flour, then a dip in buttermilk, and then another coating of flour. Frying it at 300 degrees allowed the chicken to cook through without browning the crust too much, and then we did a second fry before service to warm them up and give them that extra crunch. A drizzle of jalapeño honey and we were golden — literally!

I wasn’t super involved with actual cooking of this dish, but I did lend a hand to the team in charge by taking the temperature of each piece as it came out of the fryer to make sure it was safe to eat. It was a lot of pieces!

Southwestern salad…

…With cumin scented black beans, smoky grilled corn, pickled red onion, yellow pepper, tomato, cucumber, spicy watercress and crunchy roasted butternut squash seeds with garlicky jalapeño cilantro lime crema. Oh boy, that’s a mouthful! So was this salad. It had a lot going on, in a really good way. Our instructions the night before were to “make some sort of southwestern salad – you’ll have corn and black beans. Go look up the flavors and see what you come back with tomorrow.” So I did my research and learned that cumin, cilantro, lime, and jalapeño are some of the hallmarks of Tex Mex cuisine. And thus this salad was born.

I thought we had some cashews lying around so I was going to use those to make cashew cream for a dairy-free crema, but we didn’t have enough, so we ended up going with (of course) sour cream. More authentic that way, anyway. However, I was able to utilize some pickled red onions that I found in the fridge which were a great addition to this salad! A general rule of thumb for family meal was to use up what we already had versus making very similar things anew, so the crema ended up on the salad bar for a couple days afterwards as well.

salad
samosas
Potato, pea and pomegranate samosas

These were a labor of love – we did our prep the old school way, including making the dough from scratch, extracting the seeds from our pomegranates by cutting them open and smacking a wooden spatula against the rind (which we affectionately called the “spank method”), and toasting the cumin for the filling. It was worth it to be able to achieve the intensity of flavors we were after.

Four of us then set up an assembly line and painstakingly rolled out each piece of dough until it was almost transparent, stuffed it with the filling, sealed it empanada-style and fried each samosa until perfectly crisp. It was a little touch and go, with the assembly line continuing well into service, but we got it done!

Fermentation With the Flavor Maker of Hudson Valley

As a young chef, Jori Jayne Emde was taken aback by how much food waste was produced in the restaurants she worked in. At the time, she felt it wasn’t her place to say anything, but this was the initial inspiration for her decades long journey of whole utilization and fermentation.

After over a decade of collecting and translating historical culinary manuscripts, Jori has largely taught herself all about the inner workings of “controlled rot” and sells her creations at Lady Jayne’s Alchemy. Today, Jori is known for her fermentation and herbal alchemies that focus on terroir and wild fermentations—basically, how each fermentation changes depending on the environment that it’s created and fermented in.

In 2013, Jori helped to co-found Fish & Game—the widely acclaimed and award-winning restaurant—alongside her husband Chef Zak Pelaccio, ’98 alumnus of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program. At the Hudson Valley restaurant, Jori is responsible for making all of the vinegar used at Fish & Game out of spent wine from previous services and unused samples left by importers. She is also responsible for the restaurant’s impressive larder of other acetic and lacto ferments & preserves, both sweet and savory.

This past November, Jori held a workshop for our Professional Culinary Arts + Farm-to-Table program, where students learned all about how to ferment using different ingredients. After the workshop, students brought home mason jars filled with their soon-to-be vinegars and were inspired by how they could use these in their daily family meal preparations—where they would soon be cooking for hundreds of their fellow classmates, as well as ICC students and staff.

vinegar

Chef Ben Grebel, Culinary Chef-Instructor & Farm-to-Table Coordinator, participated in the workshop with his students and was inspired by the symbiotic fermentations of vinegar. He helped the students to create three vinegars to use throughout Level 3 of the program, when the students prepare daily family meal for lunch service. In addition to the red wine and white wine vinegars created, they’ve also made a malted beer vinegar which Chef Ben is especially excited to use in a fish and chips dish.

Below, check out all of the images from the workshop, as well as a few of the vinegars that the Farm-to-Table students are fermenting now!

food

3 Things to Know About Farmed Seafood

On April 3rd, 2019, The Global Salmon Initiative and The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership helped ICC kick off our whole month of event programming dedicated to promoting sustainability in food, farming and business practices to better understand your foodprint. 

The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership initiative established by leading farmed salmon CEOs from around the world who share a vision of providing a healthy and sustainable source of protein to feed a growing population, while minimizing their environmental footprint, and continuing to improve their social contribution. Similarly, The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) aims to create differentiation in global seafood markets so that consumers can easily find and choose shrimp products produced to the highest environmental and social standards. This month, Jose Antonio Camposano of SSP and Avrim Lazar of GSI gave insightful presentations on how the farmed shrimp and salmon sectors are making sustainability a key attribute in delivering high quality products which benefit our oceans.

For instance, did you know that Ecuador is one of the best countries in the world to get farmed shrimp from? Their use of the “extensive farming” method means that less shrimp occupy their growing ponds than other countries. In Ecuador, you can find some of the world’s leading experts on seafood farming—they have extremely strict zoning policies and regulations against farming in or near natural habitats. Their vertical integration of farming companies, paired with their high level of uniform product are just some of the reasons why the quality of shrimp from Ecuador is almost unparalleled.

chef ned and chef gabriellaTo bring the conversation together and demonstrate how sustainable seafood can be used properly, the two organizations were joined by Chef Ned Bell—long-time sustainable seafood ambassador and Ocean Wise Executive Chef based at the Vancouver Aquarium—as well as Chef Gabriela Cepeda—the owner of La Central Deli Shop in Guayaquil and former Head Chef of the Presidential House in Ecuador for 4 years.

These two companies are founded on the principle that sustainability matters. Unfortunately, in farmed seafood, that isn’t always the case. There are many misconceptions that all farmed seafood is bad—that it’s raised in diseased-riddle habitats, the end ingredient is loaded with toxins and less nutritional value—the list could go on. In reality, there are pros and cons to almost every industry in the world, but educating yourself on organizations that are minimizing their environmental impact and changing the industry as we know it is key.

Below, find three facts that will illuminate your understanding of farmed seafood, and see why it’s vital for the health and wellness of our planet, and all of its inhabitants.

9 Billion People by 2050

shrimpYou read that right. The world’s population will reach 9 billion by 2050. As of April 2019, it’s estimated that the current world population is at 7.7 billion, so the 9 billion mark could be reached sooner than we think.

You may be asking yourself, why does this matter?

Global seafood consumption has more than doubled in the past 50 years, which has put real stress on the sustainability of fishing. According to a study from 2011, global demand for seafood that we eat (and not just use for other purposes) is 143.8 million tonnes per year, and the overall consumption footprint, which also includes other uses of seafood, is 154 million tonnes. To preserve our Earth, ocean & species, finding new food sources, and how we cultivate them, is imperative.

Protein Demand Will Double By 2050

Millions and millions of tonnes of seafood is consumed each year worldwide. As diets change, populations grow and resources are stressed, there will be less room for protein produced on land. By 2050, double the amount of protein will be consumed worldwide, which is another reason why sustainable aquaculture will play an important role in feeding the Earth’s population.

50% of Seafood is Farmed

country of origin labelingIn order to protect and support wild caught seafood—and also to meet the demand of consumption worldwide—over 50% of seafood is now farmed. This has its pros and cons. While it protects wild seafood from becoming over fished, many of the countries where seafood is farmed don’t have strict regulations like the US, resulting in negative effects on the environment. Knowing where your seafood comes from and asking if it was raised in a sustainable way can help to counteract this.

To check where the seafood originated, you can look at the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), which is required on all seafood sold in the US. Frozen seafood will have two labels: one to specify where the product was packaged and one that indicates where the seafood was caught or farmed. Be aware that it may seem like the seafood is from the US, but the label may be saying that it was packaged in the US.

Farmed seafood is not bad—in fact, it is helping to save many species from over fishing and is creating new ways to feed our growing population. But, it is important to keep in mind that not all farmed seafood is created equal. Finding companies like GSI and SSP who fight for properly farmed seafood regulations and practices is how this industry will grow into the next food movement that will change the world.

Additional Resources

“Farmed Seafood.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org/industries/farmed-seafood.

“Homepage.” Global Salmon Initiative, globalsalmoninitiative.org/en/.

“SSP – Sustainable Shrimp Partnership.” SSP, www.sustainableshrimppartnership.org/.

staff, Science X. “How Much Fish Do We Consume? First Global Seafood Consumption Footprint Published.” Phys.org, Phys.org, 28 Sept. 2018, phys.org/news/2018-09-fish-consume-global-seafood-consumption.html.

riverpark demo

A Restaurant That’s Doing it Right: Riverpark

On April 10th, 2019, Executive Chef Andrew Smith and Farm Manager Jonathan Sumner of Riverpark helped ICC kick off our month of programming dedicated to promoting sustainability in food, farming and business practices to better understand our foodprint. In the past, our Professional Culinary Arts program with Farm-To-Table extension has visited Riverpark as a part of the program’s dedicated field trips for a personal tour of the farm with Chef Andrew and Farm Manager Jonathan. This time the farm was brought to ICC!

FARMING NEXT TO A FREEWAY

Riverpark is arguably one of the most unique restaurants in New York City. Situated in the middle of a concrete office plaza with East River views, it’s hard to understand what a feat it is to grow ingredients worthy of a fine-dining restaurant next to the 10 mile freeway that is the FDR. Somehow, they still manage to create a dynamic environment for ingredients to flourish year-round and produce new, seasonal menus daily.

The restaurant is in it’s 9th year—8th season for the farm—and is still producing over 100 varieties of vegetables in milk crates each year. Yes, actual milk crates. This mobile method allows Farm Manager Jonathan to rotate the crops to account for unstable wind, sun exposure & more, while a drip irrigation system that was created specifically for the milk crates helps to water the plants without flooding them and depleting them of their nutrients.

With growing conditions as difficult as this, it makes sense that Riverpark’s menu focuses on using whole ingredients and featuring their farm-grown produce at the center of the plate. Sustainability runs through the DNA of the restaurant—so it’s no surprise that their demonstration dove into what it means to use an ingredient in it’s entirety and think about the different ways a single product can be used.

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

Looking at plants & animals as a whole and respecting the ingredient is something that is ingrained into Chef Andrew. When Farm Manager Jonathan provides him with fresh vegetables from their “backyard,” or a delivery of farm-raised lamb arrives to the kitchen, it makes sense to use the whole spring onion from root to stem or every part of the lamb saddle. Chef Andrew stresses that often, the parts of the ingredients that are thrown out have the most flavor. Over $165 billion dollars in food waste is thrown out each year, when in reality, a lot of this waste could be re-purposed in kitchens, composted or used to feed those who are going hungry.

While it may be intimidating to break down a lamb saddle (the whole loin of a lamb)—and maybe not the most practical for everyday home cooking—you are able to get much more product by breaking down the animal yourself and it’s extremely doable when learned correctly. Furthermore, different parts of the animal can be re-purposed for various dishes or even frozen to be used in the future.

In addition to the popular “snout to tail” movement, it’s also important to emphasize “root to stem” cooking. As Chef Andrew broke down a whole lamb saddle for the audience, he prepared side dishes featuring produce from the farm to accompany the meat. While chopping the spring onions for garnish, Chef also utilized the roots of the spring onion for a fried crispy topping, and also shared that you can dehydrate the tops to create an onion powder.

As the world becomes more populated and resources are depleted, it is important to think of new ways to feed hungry diners around the world. As chefs, it is even more vital to respect the ingredient that you’re given and work with it to use as much of it as you can. Today, the relationship between farm-to-table is expanding, and restaurants like Riverpark give us hope for these models to thrive in urban communities.

Library Notes: Local Roots + Local Farms [February 2017]

Written by Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

In this edition of library notes, we will highlight some selections from Local Roots Founder and Friend of the Library, Wen-Jay Ying. Do you know about Local Roots NYC? It is a CSA or community supported agriculture connecting New Yorkers with fresh produce and other goodies from local farms. We have a pick up location right here at ICC! When Wen-Jay isn’t trekking up to farms, maintaining the super fun social profiles or producing her radio show, Food Stripped Naked she sometimes does her admin work right out of the ICC library! If you want to bring a #soiltocity perspective into your own kitchen, check out her recommended reading list below, all available for circulation here in the library.

photosbyarielle-100
The Food Lab by J.Kenji Lopez-Alt

Last year’s James Beard Award Winner, this book covers just about anything and everything in the culinary world. With essential techniques, ingredient advice and tasty, very well tested recipes it could easily be your only cookbook. It also makes an excellent starter for new homecooks but still has the science and test kitchen detail to intrigue seasoned chefs. Wen-Jay particularly loves that he explains both how and why various food preparations work.

The Food Substitutions Bible by David Joachim

This guide contains simple substitutions for any ingredient, equiptment or technique you may be missing from Atemoya to a zester. This book is important to Wen-Jay because sometimes trying to cook with only local ingredients can make recipes feel confining, but learning the substitutions can give you more flexibility in the kitchen and empower you to be a versatile chef with your Local Roots NYC produce.  “Cooking does not need high-end appliances or an infinite supply of spices or specific vegetable varieties. Let your taste buds and this book guide you to be more flexible in the kitchen, “ said Wen-Jay.

The Frugal Colonial Housewife by Susannah Carter

This book is also one of my favorites and a fun glimpse into the past through food. It was the first truly American cookbook published in the colonies, back when everyone was trying to recreate British style cooking. Carter introduced local ingredients which new arrivals from England weren’t familiar with such as pumpkin and corn. Something unique you will notice is that the style of writing recipes was very different. They offer vague ingredient description (something green, a piece of meat) as it was difficult to produce specific items. The instruction is also much less detailed than we expect today, most women learned everything from their families and never needed written instruction on technique. Says Wen-Jay, “Love that Sara introduced me to this cookbook when interviewing her on my radio show! People used to cook with stripped down recipes because everyone had basic culinary skills and “farm to table” was the only way to cook.”

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone
“LOCAL ROOTS NYC LOVES SUSTAINABLE COOKING! We recently hosted a cooking club because 85% of food waste happens on the consumer end between home chefs, restaurants, etc.” said Wen-Jay. If you find yourself in that very predicament, pick up the Kitchen Ecosystem. Bone explains sustainable meal planning and various ways to use every ingredient. For each item listed, she details how to prepare it fresh, how to preserve it and how to use scraps then lists several recipes for each incarnation. Organized by ingredient, The Kitchen Ecosystem covers produce, fish and meat with enough variations to suit every palate.

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Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

For a guide on successfully providing excellent hospitality and to understand the success of Meyers ventures, check out Setting the Table. He lays out his philosophy of “enlightened hospitality” or connecting deeply with customers through small details, creating a nurturing work culture and building community. Says Wen-Jay, “At Local Roots NYC, we believe that constantly reimagining our food system is necessary for its longevity. We’ve reimagined the traditional CSA model and continue to mature and mo It brings us joy to show appreciation to our customers and have built meaningful relationships with our customers and producers with some practices mentioned in this book.”
The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry

Wen-Jay considers this seminal text her bible and tries to read some every morning. This book was the inspiration for much of the Local Roots value system. Barry considers good farming to be a cultural development and a spiritual discipline. Says Wen-Jay, “He emphasizes the importance of regional systems, making decisions not based on short term needs but long term commitments, and makes parallels between the health of farms with the vitality in life.”

How did you like our guest contributor? Who else would you like to see a reading list from, contact Sara the Librarian with your suggestions squiroz@culinarycenter.com and follow the library on Instagram for more @IntlCulLibrary

Local Roots NYC + The Farm-to-Table Experience

Here at the International Culinary Center, we offer the Farm-to-Table extension to our Culinary program. If you are interested in local foods, farming and sustainability, this could be a great option for you. To be a Farm-to-Table chef, one must first be an excellent chef. Everyone we work with emphasizes this, the primary objective is to build the skills and techniques necessary for success in a professional kitchen. With Farm-to-Table, in addition to these essential classes, we offer a series of enrichment activities throughout your time at ICC. While they take a slightly different form each session as the local food movement grows and evolves, they always include field trips, lectures and events with fascinating innovators in the field.

We recently had one such talk from Wen-Jay Ying, founder of Local Roots CSA. What is Local Roots? Local Roots has re-imaging the traditional CSA model to fit the needs of everyday New Yorkers and created a new food system within the city. The ordering process is very simple and available online. Pickups are at various bars, cafes and workplaces throughout the city (Including ICC! Stop by the library if you would like to join!) and most importantly, the company is driven by core values and focused on community building.

During her talk, Wen-Jay invited our Farm-to-Table group to spend some time reflecting upon what each of them holds as a core value system and we then spent time discussing it afterward. This is a useful exercise for any chef who is just starting out. Wen-Jay shared the Local Roots value statement and guided our group through developing their own.  We reflected on questions such as What is your value system as a chef? and What solution do you offer to our food system or dining culture? The answers were as diverse as our group, some focused on education of children, some on health and others on bringing joy and creativity through dining. “Write these down, and keep them with you,” said Wen-Jay, “Because once you are out in industry, it’s so easy to have a hard day where you feel like giving up but you have to remember your motivation and why you started.”

This is excellent advice, perhaps even the key to longevity in the kitchen and a sustainable career. Local Roots pick up is available at ICC every Tuesday afternoon. You can sign up in the library or check here for more info: http://localrootsnyc.org/

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Professional Culinary Arts + Farm-To-Table

ICC’s Culinary Arts + Farm-To-Table program does more than give our students a competitive edge in the marketplace—it provides firsthand insight to this powerful movement and builds on your chef training. By exploring how food is grown, raised, packaged and distributed, you’ll gain a better understanding of how quality ingredients make it to the kitchen and be better able to make informed choices for your own dishes. ICC’s Farm-To-Table program will forever change the way you think about the link between food production and the way we eat.

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Take Your Learning Outside the Classroom

Whether you attend our New York or California campus, your farm-to-table learning will extend beyond the classroom to include field trips to local farms, markets, and more. You’ll get your hands in the dirt, learning about local farming and sustainable agriculture from experts on the front lines of the industry.

In New York: Participate in the Farm-Powered Kitchen Program

Students at our New York campus will have the unique opportunity to participate in our seven-day Farm-Powered Kitchen program. Designed by Dan Barber (ICC grad and James Beard Outstanding Chef), Blue Hill, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, the Farm-Powered Kitchen program builds on the foundational knowledge gained in the classroom by exposing students to all aspects of the farm.

In California: Come Face-to-Face with Farming

One of the early leaders in the farm-to-table movement, California supplies almost half of the country’s fruits and vegetables—making it the perfect place for passionate students to come face-to-face with farming like never before. Located near Salinas Valley, one of The Golden State’s most productive agricultural regions, ICC’s one-of-a-kind program gives students incredible access to large-scale commercial operations, artisan farms, ranches, dairies and markets. With dynamic field trips and opportunities to pick the brains of farm workers, ranchers, policymakers and other experts, the Culinary Arts + Farm-To-Table program prepares students to become the next leaders in the sustainable culinary field.

Advance Your Culinary Career at ICC

If you’re interested in farm-to-table cuisine or want to expand your culinary knowledge to gain a competitive edge, enroll in the Culinary Arts + Farm-To-Table program at our New York or California campus, or complete the form on this page to get more information.