anthony contrino

How To Make It In The World Of Food Styling With Alumnus Anthony Contrino

Anthony ContrinoAnthony Contrino has always had a passion for food, so when the time was right, he enrolled in the International Culinary Center’s Professional Pastry Arts program. 10 years later, he’s an Emmy-nominated culinary producer, food stylist and chef. He’s collaborated with clients like Wendy’s, Lavazza Coffee, and even Ancestry.com, and has worked on TV shows on The Food Network, USA Network and The Today Show.

We spoke with Anthony to learn what led him to become a food stylist for The Today Show, what it’s like to work on live TV and his advice for aspiring food professionals. Check out our interview below and be sure to watch a few of his segments on The Today Show!


Why did you decide to attend culinary school?

I always knew that I wanted to go to school, I just never knew when the right time was. Finally, the right opportunity came along, and I knew that I would learn a lot more than what you would learn just in a kitchen. One of the best parts about going to school was the networking and connections that I gained since then. I still talk to my classmates all the time! I went the pastry track because I’ve always loved dessert, and I’m kind of a picky eater, so I wanted to make dishes that I really enjoyed. Luckily, pastry is very technical, so the skills that I learned definitely apply to savory cooking too.

 

What led you to follow the path of food styling?

I always knew that I wanted to write a cookbook, that was my ultimate goal. There was a posting to assist a well known pastry chef on his second cookbook on the ICC job menu and I was at a good time in my life to take this opportunity. I was literally doing this job just to understand the behind the scenes of working on a cookbook. Within a few months, people were calling me to work on their cookbooks and do other food styling jobs without any real experience in the field. It happened by accident, but all of a sudden I was working for Food Network, then the Today Show too. This is one of those sectors of the industry where you really have to put yourself out there and make the right connections.

 

Do you have any tips for people looking to break into the world of food styling?

Definitely check out the ICC job menu! There are food styling assistant jobs that pop up, so it’s always great to take those opportunities. When you’re first starting, you should understand basic knife skills and the process of cooking food. This helps to explain how we prepare a dish and what we need to do to fake it. Ask questions, don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to reach out. Even if you don’t have the exact experience, it never hurts to ask and reach out to people. Just be willing to learn and have the basics skills—this is one of those jobs that you have to be mentored in, so find the right person that’s willing to teach you.

Get Anthony’s Cooking Secrets in this Today Food Segment

What is it like working on live TV segments?

I prefer live TV, believe it or not! It sounds like it would be more stressful, but there are specifics to what you’re supposed to be doing. When you’re styling for live TV, you know exactly when they need the food styled and when you’ll need to get it done by. There aren’t many jobs that you can say they’ll need a turkey and mashed potatoes prepped for 8:53 AM. If you’re organized and ready to go, 95% of the time it’s a breeze.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring food professionals?

At the end of the day, the world of food styling is a lot of fun. We all get into food because we love it, so find what makes you happy and go for it. There’s so many different sub genres of food, so it’s just finding what keeps you passionate about food.

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Life as a Food Stylist on the Today Show

world bread awards

Two ICC Alumni Win at the 2019 World Bread Awards!

The Tiptree World Bread Awards came to New York for the second time to celebrate the very best in American bread bakers. Now in their seventh year since their founding in England, the Awards are the top annual competition for professional bakers in the United Kingdom.

The Awards include 13 categories, from sourdough to baguettes and bagels. The bakers in this year’s competition were judged by 36 industry professionals from around the country, including ICC’s very own Director of Pastry, Chef Jansen Chan and ICC alumni Melissa Weller (Highstreet on Hudson) and Rhonda Crosson (Meyers USA).

ICC graduate David Shalam, center, receiving his award
ICC graduate David Shalam, center, receiving his award

ICC is proud to recognize two alumni who took home awards this year in the categories of bagels, focaccia and the TipTree Showstopper. Clémence Danko’s bakery, Choc O Pain French Bakery in Jersey City, brought home the focaccia award for their focaccia baguette. Clémence is a 2010 graduate of ICC’s Art of International Bread Baking program and hires many ICC graduates to work at her bakery. David Shalam, 2011 graduate of ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program and Founder/Head Baker of Heritage Bakers in Glen Cove, NY, took home the Bagel Award for his everything bagel, as well as the award for the TipTree Showstopper! For this award, he submitted his signature popovers and incorporated TipTree’s Little Scarlet strawberry jam into the recipe.

Congratulations to all of the evenings winners! Check out the full list of awards here.

About The Art of International Bread Baking Program:

Our Art of International Bread Baking program was created 20+ years ago to create the future bakers of tomorrow. In this program, students learn 85+ breads and learn the art of bread baking. In eight weeks, you’ll travel the world through bread baking in our pristine New York City kitchens. Develop a fundamental understanding of the science, ingredients and techniques you need to master artisanal hand-crafted breads. Learn more here.

About the Event Partners:

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

The Food is GREAT campaign is a government initiative to support UK food and drink exports and to increase positive public perception and demand of UK food and drink around the world. www.great.gov.uk

The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has represented the interests of bakers before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and international regulatory authorities. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, cookies, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products for America’s families. ABA works to grow and enhance the industry through public policy advocacy, education and networking. ABA brings together industry leaders to share ideas, develop industry solutions and network with industry colleagues.  Follow ABA with #AmericanBakers www.americanbakers.org

Photographs by Henry Kenyon

CELEBRATE NEW YORK BREAD WEEK AT ICC THIS OCTOBER

We’re gearing up for the ‘Bread Carpet’ this Fall! After their debut competition in 2018, the Tiptree World Bread Awards returns to New York City this October for the second annual competition—inviting professional bread bakers to stake their claim alongside some of the best breads in the world. ICC is proud to return as the Educational Partner for the Awards and we’re excited to share that Chef Jansen Chan (ICC Director of Pastry Operations) and ICC Graduates Melissa Weller (Highstreet on Hudson), Rhonda Crosson (Meyers USA) and Zoë Kanan (Simon & The Whale and Studio) will be bringing their expertise to the judging panel.

NY Bread Week 2019

In honor of their return to New York City, the organizers of the Tiptree World Bread Awards USA, in partnership with Edible Queens, are delighted to announce the first-ever New York Bread Week (Thursday October 24 – Wednesday October 30, 2019) to celebrate all things bread. With the Awards at the heart of it – Judging Day is on Tuesday October 29 and Awards Evening on Wednesday October 30 at Landmark on the Park, Central Park West – the week of events and activities is set to feature some of the best breads available in NYC. From bread and Tiptree jam-tastings at the world-famous Zabars to specials at bakeries & cookbook shops and bread baking classes at ICC, there will be no shortage of bread-related fun to enjoy!

Check out how you can join in the festivities at ICC below. Be sure to follow us @iccedu and #I♥NewYorkBreadWeek for bread baking tips from our dedicated Bread-Instructor, Chef Johnson Yu and his Art of International Bread Baking class!

bread week photo
Bread Appreciation Day at ICC: NY Bread Week Kick-Off!
October 24, 2019 | Thursday, 3:15-4:15pm

Open to ICC Students & Staff and by Invite Only

To kick-off New York Bread Week, we’re hosting a Bread Appreciation Day to thank our Art of International Bread Baking students and their instructor, Chef Johnson, for all that they do to provide delicious breads for the school each day! Throughout the day, we’ll be sharing a behind-the-scenes look at our dedicated bread kitchen, as well as baking, proofing and fermenting tips to achieve the perfect crust and crumb on our Instagram @iccedu. Then in the afternoon, we invite all ICC students, staff and guests to “break bread” together in the 2nd floor Amphitheater! Come and enjoy the freshly-baked loaves from the Bread class paired with a selection of jams provided by Tiptree and tea provided by Rishi Tea. Plus, you’ll be able to take a loaf, baguette or roll home with you!

ICC’s Artisanal Bread Baking Course
October 21-25, 2019 | Mon-Fri, 5pm-11pm
Price: $1,575
Register Here

Get ready to channel your inner bread baker during New York Bread Week 2019! This inspiring class—taught by the same instructors who teach our professional program—will train you in the proper mixing, kneading and professional bread baking techniques to make breads from around the world. In this 5-day course, you’ll gain the techniques to properly mix, ferment, fold, shape, score, finish and bake a variety of breads and viennoiseries including baguettes, brioche, challah, croissants, traditional loaf breads and more! Even if you have no prior experience making bread, you’ll discover the joy of baking and unleash its mysteries, while learning techniques for a spectrum of tastes and textures. Plus, students will receive a special gift from Tiptree, sponsor of the World Bread Awards USA. Click here to learn more.

chef pablo

Pop Up Dinner with Chef Pablo Ranea

Every year, after celebrating the end of the harvest season in their native Mendoza, Chef & Sommelier Pablo Ranea and Architect Alejandro Cohen pack their bags full of spices, unique ingredients and the spirit of adventure in search of inspiring experiences and challenges.

Together, they bring their unique take on food pairings and gastronomy to cities around the world. Whether the dinner event is held in a private garden or a culinary school, their carefully designed menus showcase Latin America’s best cooking techniques and recipes paired with exquisite wines.

This one-of-a kind experience is the result of Pablo’s well-tested recipes gathered through his extensive travels in cities and countries including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Finland, France, Denmark, Dominican Republic and Peru.

Friends gather around a table with a common desire to enjoy a memorable experience of aromas, tastes and textures of Argentinian and Latin American cooking, wines and history. Pablo and Alejandro arrive with a traveling kitchen of gastronomic marvels and the unique Argentinian wines not found in America.  Prepare for an adventure of the senses.

GET A TASTE OF ARGENTINA IN NYC

Pop Up Dinner with Pablo Ranea
Friday, June 28th | 7:30pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby Street
On Friday, June 28th, Chef Pablo & Alejandro return to New York City to present a six course dinner paired with 10 premium Argentinian wines at the International Culinary Center in SoHo. This will be the first time one of their pop up dinners will be open to the public.

PLATED DISHFor this dinner, Chef Pablo will prepare some of his iconic dishes such as Octopus chicharron with green chimichurri, as well as butternut squash, truffle and shrimp raviolis. He will also bring exotic flavors such as Lucuma artisan ice cream with Argentinian dulce de leche to the table.

During the dinner, Pablo—who is also a Sommelier—will introduce specially paired wines like Susana Balbo Brioso white blend (the number one white blend of Argentina); Malbecs from the best districts of Mendoza like Gauchezco Oro Appellation Gualtallary; Tinto Negro Limestone Block and Andillian by Lacoste de Los Andes.

In addition, LOS BUENDIA—a marvelous Bolero band from Mendoza—will fly to NYC to perform during the event.

They invite you to book an unforgettable experience. Attendance is by reservation and pre-payment only. Tickets are $195 and can be purchased here. For reservation questions, please email chefpabloranea@gmail.com for more details.

Please note, this is a dinner format (not a class) and seating will be communal like a big Italian family.

Guests with allergies or dietary restrictions will need to provide notice at least 10 days in advance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Event Partners:

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

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

Two ICC Alumni Win at the World Bread Awards

For the first time, the Tiptree World Bread Awards with Food is GREAT came to New York to celebrate the very best in American bread bakers. Now in their sixth year since starting in England, the Awards are the top annual competition for professional bakers in the United Kingdom.

The Awards include 13 categories, from sourdough to baguettes and bagels. The bakers in this year’s inaugural US competition were judged by 36 industry professionals from around the country, including ICC’s very own Director of Pastry, Chef Jansen Chan.

ICC is proud to recognize two alumni who took home awards this year in the categories of baguettes and bagels. Clémence Danko, Founder of Choc O Pain French Bakery in Jersey City, and a 2010 graduate of the Art of International Bread Baking Program, brought home the American Bakers Association Baguette Award for her Baguette Traditionelle. David Shalam, 2011 graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts program and Founder/Head Baker of Heritage Bakers in Glen Cove, New York, took home the Bagel Award for his signature Heritage Bagel.

Congratulations to all of the evenings winners! Check out the full list of awards here.

David ShalamCelemence Danko

About The Art of International Bread Baking Program:

Our Art of International Bread Baking program was created 20+ years ago to create the future bakers of tomorrow. In this program, students learn 85+ breads and learn the art of bread baking. In eight weeks, you’ll travel the world through bread baking in our pristine New York City kitchens. Develop a fundamental understanding of the science, ingredients and techniques you need to master artisanal hand-crafted breads. Learn more here.

About the Event Partners:

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

The Food is GREAT campaign is a government initiative to support UK food and drink exports and to increase positive public perception and demand of UK food and drink around the world. www.great.gov.uk

The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has represented the interests of bakers before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and international regulatory authorities. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, cookies, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products for America’s families. ABA works to grow and enhance the industry through public policy advocacy, education and networking. ABA brings together industry leaders to share ideas, develop industry solutions and network with industry colleagues.  Follow ABA with #AmericanBakers www.americanbakers.org

Incubators for Entrepreneurs

This month, our Business Bites Resources—brought to you by ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship (CE) program—provides tips for food businesses looking for shared kitchen spaces in the wake of the sudden closing of Pilotworks earlier this month. Out of nowhere, 175 small businesses were displaced “after failing to raise the necessary capital to continue operations.”

Specialty food businesses are becoming more prevalent than ever before in today’s fast-paced retail sales market. In 2014, in the US alone, specialty food businesses were worth over $85 billion dollars. This billion dollar industry didn’t just appear out of nowhere—it came from hardworking, determined individuals who had a dream and a concept that they’ve developed into a viable food business, as many of our students have done through the CE program.

More often than not, these food business concepts started in shared kitchens and incubators around the country. Shared kitchens are the lifeline for small business entrepreneurs looking to turn their idea into a working business. They offer a commercialized kitchen space that follows federal food safety laws where innovators can create their products in a safe environment. Incubators on the other hand also help to develop the packaging, marketing, and selling of products, while still offering the shared kitchen component. Often, these incubators and shared kitchens are much more economical for small businesses that aren’t making enough money to rent out a whole commercial kitchen themselves.

Each incubator also tends to work a little differently. Our partner, Hot Bread Kitchen, allows new businesses on a rolling basis. Many incubators start new businesses in a group and only allow applicants a few times a year. The differences extend from there, including capital offered, applicants accepted, and training programs.

These incubators offer support and allow businesses to grow and flourish, which is why it was devastating to learn that Pilotworks abruptly closed their doors to 175 small businesses.

Our Culinary Entrepreneurship graduate and owner of Brutus Bakeshop, Lani Halliday, was one of the small businesses affected by the Pilotworks shut down. Halliday and her business partner, Woldy Reyes of food service company Woldy Kusina, were in the midst of planning Dominga, a cafe opening in 2019, when they were told about the news of the closing via an email. Lani, recipient of the Stacy’s Scholarship for Female Culinary Leaders, attended ICC’s program this fall on a full-tuition scholarship to formalize the business plan for Dominga.

Lani told us that “we aren’t sure what happened as it was so sudden and unexpected, but we are just trying to stay positive and use this as fire to launch Dominga.” She also shared that “it’s been beautiful to see the community coming together in such a short amount of time.” In an effort to reconcile all that they lost in the Pilotworks closing, our Culinary Entrepreneurship instructor, Alek Marfisi, started a GoFund Me to support Lani. Check out the fundraiser for Dominga here.

In support of the food business community at large, our Culinary Entrepreneurship program compiled a list of commercial kitchens, shared kitchen spaces and incubators in the NYC & Tri-State area that are available for businesses.

Shared Kitchens

Manhattan

Hot Bread Kitchen
1590 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10029
Phone: 212-369-3331
Email: Incubator@hotbreadkitchen.org
Website: www.hotbreadkitchen.org

City Cookhouse
1325 Fifth Avenue @ 111th Street
Manhattan, NY 10026
Phone: 646-580-1325
Email: info@citycookhouse.com
Website: http://www.citycookhouse.com

Brooklyn

Hana Kitchens
34 35th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11232
Phone: 718-369-7594
Website: http://www.hanakitchens.com

NYC Commercial Kitchens
Phone: 516-698-7087
Email: info@nyccommercialkitchen.com
Website: www.nyccommercialkitchen.com

Bronx

NYC Commercial Kitchens
Phone: 516-698-7087
Email: info@nyccommercialkitchen.com
Website: www.nyccommercialkitchen.com

Queens

Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen
36-46 37th Street
Long Island City NY 11101-1606
Phone: 212 452 1866
Email: MiKitchen1866@aol.com
Website: www.MiKitchenEsSuKitchen.com

BAO Food and Drink Organic Food Incubator
23-23 Borden Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 718-391-0009
Website: www.organicfoodincubator.com
Contact: Pete Herman

NYC Commercial Kitchens
Phone: 516-698-7087
Email: info@nyccommercialkitchen.com
Website: www.nyccommercialkitchen.com

Tiny Drumstick
48-18 Van Dam Street,
Long Island City NY. 11101
Phone: 718.392.9092
Email: info@tinydrumsticks.com
Website: http://www.tinydrumsticks.com

Entrepreneur Space
36-46 37th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
718-392-0025
Website: http://www.entrepreneurspace-qedc.com

Industry City
https://industrycity.com

New Jersey

Saveur Creole
131 Grove Street
Montclair, NJ 07042
Phone: 973-687-5612;
Contact: Magalye M.

Jersey Girl Cafe – Madeline’s Table
Hamilton, NJ
Phone: 908-421-6434
Contact: Chef Kathy

Bella Casa
2 Acme Street
Belleville, NJ 07109
Phone: 973-985-1224
Contact: Peter Norton

Cherry Street Kitchen
1040 Pennsylvania Ave.
Trenton, NJ 08638
Phone: 609-695-5800
Contact: John

Hesperides Kitchens
150 Florence Avenue
Hawthorne, NJ 07506
Contacts:
Albert (845) 216-1696
Lisa ( 845)216-1282

Jesse’s Cafe & Catering
139 Brighton Ave.
Long Branch, NJ 07740
Phone: 732-229-6999
Contact: Jesse Novak

Puccini Foods
1 Morris St,
Paterson, NJ
(973) 796-7677
Contact: Anthony Salvator

NY - Outside NYC Area

Battenkill Kitchen
PO Box 784
58 E Broadway
Salem, NY 12865
President: Will Lennon
Phone: 518-854-3032
Website: http://www.battenkillkitchen.org

Cook & Bake Center
360 C Mount Pleasant Av
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Phone: 914-698-3663
E-mail: info@cookandbakecenter.com
Website: www.cookandbakecenter.com

Hometown Foods, LLC
362 Eichybush Rd
Kinderhook, NY 12106
Owner: Anna Dawson
Phone: 518-758-7342
Website: www.hometownfoods.net

ABOUT BUSINESS BITES

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