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.

Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources

Business Bites: Unearthing Your Sources

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

SOURCING AND IMPORTING FOR YOUR FOOD BUSINESS

Wednesday, February 13th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

For restaurants and food business owners, sourcing quality ingredients and importing products unique to your brand play an important role in setting you apart from your competitors. Your patrons become loyal customers for the quality you retain—and your prices can reflect that. Today, the expansion of global trade and ease of digital communication allows for access to exotic, hard-to-find ingredients from around the world, making it possible to introduce products direct from their origin.

But, what do you really know about your sources and where your products come from?

With consumers moving towards ethical buying habits, higher standards for quality and equality are vital in day-to-day business operations. In our latest installment of our Business Bites series, Unearthing Your Sources, you’ll hear from a panel of experts running some of NYC’s best single origin businesses about 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 Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

MODERATOR

Alek Marfisi
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Entrepreneurship Instructor

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

PANELISTS

Ethan Frisch
Ethan Frisch, Co-Founder of Burlap and Barrel

Ethan Frisch is a chef, activist and the cofounder of Burlap & Barrel, the first comprehensive single origin spice company in the US.  A former line cook and pastry chef in New York and London, he was also the co-founder and Executive Chef of Guerrilla Ice Cream, a nonprofit politically-inspired ice cream cart. As a humanitarian aid worker, he worked with NGOs including the Aga Khan Foundation in Afghanistan and Doctors Without Borders on the Syrian/Jordanian border.

He has been an adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York and an instructor with the Experiment in International Living’s Leadership Institute. He is honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Bond Street Theatre (www.bondst.org), which uses theater to teach conflict resolution and resilience in areas of instability around the world, and on the Advisory Boards of the student-led racial literacy and justice organization Princeton CHOOSE (www.princetonchoose.org) and the Fragments Theater, a youth theater company in Palestine. He is also on the Organizing Committee of the Queens International Night Market.

He holds a dual Bachelors Degree in Conflict Studies and Education and Social Change from the City University of New York, and a Masters Degree in Violence, Conflict and Development from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Stephen Thomas, Rishi Tea
Stephen Thomas, Market Manager- NYC Metro of Rishi Tea

Stephen Thomas began his hospitality career as a certified sommelier working for one of the largest wine collectors in the world. This passion led him into the world of cocktails, where his science and engineering background opened the doors to some of the top restaurants in New York. He joined Rishi tea just about 2 years ago where he was able to bring it all together under the core values of the company; Importer, selector, maker.

William Mullan
William Mullan, Brand Manager of Raaka Chocolate

William Mullan is Brand Manager for Raaka Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He is fascinated by the intersections of food, culture, and commerce; how food shapes our lives and how we shape our lives with food. After five years at Raaka, he is still not sick of chocolate and considers this to be a good thing.

Rob T.
Rob Terenzi, Co-Founder and CEO of Vega Coffee

Rob Terenzi is a co-founder and CEO of Vega Coffee, a company whose mission is to radically transform the coffee supply chain. Before starting Vega, Rob lived in Nicaragua for about 5 years working with small women-owned coffee cooperatives on improving access to markets and making great Nicaraguan coffee available domestically He also attended law school at Fordham Law and earned a masters degree in International Economics, before working as a start-up and venture finance attorney in Silicon Valley for WSGR for a bit over three years.

Tips to Make 2019 a Financial Success

2019: A Successful Year for Your Food Business

As 2018 comes to an end, food entrepreneurs get a chance to sit down and look over their financial performance for the year.  The food business is fickle; some operators seem to have it so easy and others seem to always be struggling.  If you’d like to do better in the new year, here are 3 ways you can make your business more efficient and ultimately enable you to take home more money.

What’s Your Gross Margin?
Your gross margin is the most important ratio to know about your company. It’s the percent of sales left over after you account for what your product cost you.  If you sell $10 six packs of soda and your product costs you $4, your gross margin is 60%.  On your company’s profit and loss statement, find your gross profit and divide it by your total revenue to get your gross margin.  Here are a few things to think about once you know your margin:

  • Do I operate a high gross margin or low gross margin business?
    High margin businesses (those with gross margins over 50%) benefit the most from a sales push, or working on your pricing and food costing. Low margin businesses (those with gross margins under 50%) benefit the most from finding ways to make the business more efficient by lowering overhead costs like kitchen utilities and employee overtime.
  • How does my gross margin compare to other companies in my sector?
    Once you have your gross margin you can use it to make an apples-to-apples comparison to your competitors’, or industry’s gross margin. Is it above average?  If so, make sure you keep giving your customers a meaningful reason to pay more for what you’re offering. Is it below average? Then maybe you need to consider changing your pricing and quantity structure.

Track Your Refunds and Discounts.
No other businesses face as many refunds and discounts as food businesses do.  Whether it a restaurant comp’ing a meal after a service error or free samples being given away to promote a new food product at a grocery store, discounts and refunds can seriously affect your business’ ability to make a suitable profit.   At the same time, they’re a fact of life for this industry.  The solution is to benchmark, track, and set goals for your refunds and discount.  Many bookkeepers just lump discounts and refunds into your sales figure.  Encourage them to separate these costs out into discrete figures that offset your total revenue.

Work With an Expert to Optimize Your Labor.
Foodservice labor is complicated, and the rules are changing all the time.  It’s never OK to cut your staff and overburden your team just to save a dime, but there are many ways in which your scheduling, overtime, and calculation of base wages net of credit card fees can add small costs to your payroll every week that translate into big expenses each year.  A good payroll processing technology that’s specialized for the foodservice industry is good, but in this case we recommend that you talk to an expert: preferably someone who runs human resources for other food companies.  Here are a few labor costs to think about:

  • Do your customers tip your employees via credit card? If so, make sure you are deducting credit card fees from the amount of tips you pay out to your employees.
  • What is the tradeoff between adding a shift and working your current staff overtime? Comparing these two scenarios might make a big difference in your total annual payroll costs.

Title

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.

Tips To Grow Your Beverage Program

This month, our Business Bites Resources—brought to you by ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship (CE) program—provides tips for food businesses looking to bolster their drink menu.

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

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

Specialty Cocktails Drive Sales

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

Invest in Ice

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

Bar Software

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

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.

Business Bites raise the bar with your beverage program

Business Bites: Raise the Bar with Your Beverage Program

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

BUSINESS BITES: RAISE THE BAR WITH YOUR BEVERAGE PROGRAM

DEVELOP AND MANAGE YOUR WINE, BEER & SPIRITS

Thursday, November 1st | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Turning your beverage program into a profitable venture for your business takes a lot of hard work, but with the right knowledge and dedication, it can be the key to your restaurant, bar or food business’ success and longevity. From preventing over pouring to curating the best cocktail, beer and wine lists for your audience, learn how to navigate some of the common mistakes that many restaurants make, and understand the impact that your beverage program can have on your profitability.

So what do you need to know to turn your drinks to dollars?

Join us for an informative discussion with experts in the beverage industry—including wine directors, beverage consultants, bar owners, and distributors—to help make your beverage program more liquid. Our panel of experts will share tips and tools for getting started, how to grow and manage your beverage menu, finding the right solutions for your restaurant or bar, and more. You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

MODERATOR

Alek Marfisi, Upwind Strategies
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Entrepreneurship Instructor

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

PANELISTS

jason hedges
Jason Hedges, Bar Director of Gotham Bar & Grill and Partner of BarIQ

Jason Hedges is a New York based wine and spirits professional and the Bar Director at Gotham Bar and Grill. His consultancy, Bar IQ, helps new and existing bar and restaurant concepts achieve ultimate quality and profitability. Jason is a judge of both wine and spirits for The Ultimate Beverage Challenge and also sits on the tasting panel for Wine and Spirits Magazine. Jason has developed award winning beverage programs for multiple Michelin rated restaurants in NYC. He is passionate about creating quality.

Jason is a Court of Master Sommelier’s Certified Sommelier, and has also successfully completed the Beverage Alcohol Resource’s intensive course and is certified with distinction.

noah
Noah Rothbaum, Editor of Half Full from The Daily Beast

Noah Rothbaum is the editor of The Daily Beast’s Half Full section. He also hosts the podcast Life Behind Bars with legendary cocktail historian David Wondrich.

In addition, Rothbaum is the author of the book The Art of American Whiskey: A Visual History of the Nation’s Most Storied Spirit, through 100 Iconic Labels and the associate editor of the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. Rothbaum’s first book, The Business of Spirits: How Savvy Marketers, Innovative Distillers, and Entrepreneurs Changed How We Drink, was published in 2007.

According to Chicago magazine’s chief dining critic, Jeff Ruby, “Rothbaum knows drinking like Newton knew gravity, but he’s not all high and mighty about it, creating laws and whatnot.” And The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog called him “one of the smartest tipplers (and writers on spirits) we know.”

He is the former editor-in-chief of Liquor.com, and has contributed to the Wall Street JournalNew York TimesO MagazineDetailsMen’s JournalMen’s FitnessFood & WineGastronomica, and more.

Nora Favelukes
Nora Z. Favelukes, President of QW Wine Experts

Leading Expert on Imported Wines to the United States, Influencer, Spokesperson, Presenter and Moderator.

Wine expert with years of international experience; equipped with rare understanding of the inner workings and complexities of the U.S., South American and European wine industries. A skilled spokesperson, moderator, negotiator and a natural diplomat.

Ms. Favelukes entered the wine trade in her native Argentina in 1984. Her early professional credits include the post of Export Director at Bodegas Navarro Correas, Argentina. In 1988, she moved to the United States to work as East Coast Sales Manager for Vinos Argentinos. In 2000, she became National Sales Manager for Billington Imports – where she was responsible for the introduction of Bodegas Catena. And, from 1995 through 2001 she was Director of Fine Wines for Palm Bay Imports.

Today, Ms. Favelukes is President of QW Wine Experts, a consulting firm she launched in 1995, which is dedicated to the nationwide public relations, marketing and sales of imported fine wines to the United States market.

Professional credits:
•Past-President of the Wine Council of Argentina in the United States
•Guest lecturer on South American Wines
•The Foreign Service Institute in Washington DC
•The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University
•New York City College of Technology on South American and Iberian Peninsula

urce’s intensive course and is certified with distinction.

IMG_20180825_151954_551
Vanessa Da Silva, Sommelier at Ninety Acres

Vanessa Da Silva grew up in rural Maine. While studying abroad in Florence, Italy, she took a recreational wine class and became enamored with wine.  After graduating from the University of Maine with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & International Business, Vanessa pursued a career in marketing but soon realized her budding interest in wine was more than a hobby. Vanessa completed the Intensive Sommelier Training Course at the International Culinary Center in January of 2013 and simultaneously passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory and Certified exams.

After several years working as a Sommelier in Manhattan restaurants, Vanessa returned to the ICC where she took on the role of the Wine Coordinator, working on the educational side of wine. In 2017, Vanessa decided to return to the restaurant industry and took on a role at Ninety Acres – a farm-to-table restaurant in Pepack, New Jersey. Vanessa is currently honing her Sommelier skills as she prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Examination.

Chef Marc creating a tart

Taste of Alsace Recipes

On July 25th, we continued the celebration of #FCIFlashback month with a demonstration to highlight the culture and cuisine of Alsace, France through with ICC’s Senior Director of Culinary & Pastry Arts, Chef Marc Bauer. Defined by its rich and vibrant traditions, Alsace is a region known for its cooking, where Alsatian chefs have been particularly ingenious in their ability to use day-to-day ingredients when creating culinary masterpieces!

Below are the recipes that Chef Marc shared with us through his demonstration. He even shared with us his secret ingredient for his blueberry tart…polenta! Happy cooking!

Choucroute de Poisson, Beurre Rouge
Sauerkraut with Salmon and Beurre Rouge (yields 4 people)
Ingredients:

For the Sauerkraut:

  • 1 tbsp duck fat (optional) you can use any fat of your choice
  • 100g onions (ciseler)
  • 350g bacon cut in ½ inch slabs
  • 1 clove (press into the slab)
  • 1 kg sauerkraut (rinse 3 times in cold water and drain)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 15 ea.  Juniper berries
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 250ml Riesling (Alsatian wine) or a dry white wine

For the Beurre Rouge:

  • 1 shallot (ciseler)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 branch of thyme
  • 10 peppercorns whole
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • 150 red wine
  • 30 ml H. cream
  • 250g. Butter cut in cubes

For the Final Presentation:

  • 4 pieces of 180 to 220g salmon filet, skin on
  • 8 ea. pommes chateau cooked  in water until a knife can pierce it. Hold.
  • 4 leaves of blanched savoy cabbage.
  • 8 ea. Fresh bay leaves
Steps:

Procedure for the Sauerkraut:

  • In a sauce pan melt the duck fat
  • Add the onions and sweat for 5 minutes.
  • Under medium heat, place the slab on top, add the sauerkraut (drained), the garlic bay leaves, juniper berries, cumin, and white wine.
  • Bring to a simmer on top of the stove, and cook for about 1 hour in the oven at 325F (check towards the end to make sure there is enough moisture or it will burn).
  • Keep warm.

Procedure for the Beurre Rouge:

  • In a sauce pan reduce to 9/10th: the vinegar, red wine, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorn, shallot
  • Add the cream and emulsify
  • Whisk in the butter a few cubes at a time to make the emulsion.
  • Add until the right balance of acidity and richness is achieved.
  • Season and strain.
  • Keep warm.

To Finish:

  • Dry the skin side of the salmon, season both side with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Under medium heat In a fry pan add 2 Tbsp of duck fat,
  • Once the oil reaches 350F, add the salmon, skin side down.
  • Lower the temperature and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes until the skin becomes golden brown.
  • Flip and cook another 30 seconds.
  • Hold on a wire rack for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Drain, reheat the sauerkraut
  • Remove the bay leaves and garlic
  • Remove the bacon skin, dice into ½ cm cubes
  • Mix gently into the sauerkraut.
  • Place on a mold, on a plate
  • Add about 3 Tbsp of beurre rouge
  • Remove the mold
  • Add the salmon, (reheated)potatoes, and (blanched ) cabbage chiffonade.
  • Finish with fresh bay leaf garnish.
Tarte aux Myrtilles:
Blueberry Tart (yields 6 people.)
Ingredients:

For the tart dough:

  • 250g cake flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 125 g butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 90 ml water

For the custard:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 Tbsp of pastry cream powder
  • 150 g of sugar or honey
  • 400 ml of crème fraiche
  • 1 pinch of salt.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For assembling the tart:

  • 2 Tbsp of polenta or cream of wheat
  • 1 quart of blueberries (washed, sort out the spoiled ones and dried)

For the Garnish: Crème Chantilly

  • 300 ml crème fraiche
  • 80 g sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Alcool of gewurtztraminer 1 Tbsp.

Procedure for the Tart Dough:

  • In a food processor add the flour, butter, salt.
  • Pulse until the flour and butter look and feel like sand.
  • Add the cold water
  • Pulse to homogenize
  • Press the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a round disk about 1 inch thick
  • Store in the refrigerator until needed.

Procedure for the Custard:

  • Add the eggs, pastry cream powder, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl
  • Whisk for about 15 seconds.
  • Add the crème fraiche

Procedure for the Crème Chantilly:

  • Hold in the refrigerator
  • Place in a pipping bag with a star tip
  • Whisk with a balloon whisk: the cream, sugar, vanilla and marc de gewurtztraminer.
  • To Assemble the Tart;
  • Roll out the pate brisee with a rolling pin to the side of a tart
  • Place into the buttered tart shell
  • Remove excess dough
  • Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Add the blueberries
  • Sprinkle with the polenta or cream of wheat
  • Pour in the custard
  • Place in a pre heated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes
  • Finish for about 40 minutes at 350 F.
  • When the custard is set and the dough is golden brown
  • Remove from the oven let cool down for about 10 minutes and remove from the mold.
  • Let cool down on a wire rack to dry out the tart crust.
Old photo of Jacques Torres, Andre Soltner, Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, and Alain Sailhac in the Bread Kitchen at ICC

Flashback to FCI this July with French Demos, Tastings & More

In celebration of Bastille Day this July, we’re looking back at our days as The French Culinary InstituteTM with a whole month of programming dedicated to honoring French cuisine and culture, as well as our founding as FCITM. Join us for three events this July that celebrate everything we love about French culinary techniques, as well as French food & wine favorites that never go out of style!

Observe the masterful Chef Jacques Pépin, Dean of Special Programs, in his La Techniques demonstration to learn the fundamental knife skills every good cook must know. Learn the art of pairing through a tasting of French wines and cheeses carefully selected by Dean of Wine Studies and Master Sommelier, Scott Carney, with cheeses provided by Paris Gourmet. Or, travel to the region of Alsace with a demonstration and tasting of traditional and modern techniques for three Alsatian summer dishes and desserts from Chef Marc Bauer’s hometown. Check out the event details below & RSVP to attend!

Plus, we’ll be showing you how the International Culinary Center is still The French Culinary InstituteTM throughout the month of July on our social channels! Follow us all month long as we unlock the FCI vault with photos, stories, recipes and never-before-seen archives of our history. Test your knowledge with Tuesday Trivia on our Instagram stories and see how much you know about the history of FCI/ICC. Tune in every Friday on Instagram for Ask the Chefs as we hear from our FCI/ICC Chef-Instructors about their favorite French dishes, FCI memories and more! Watch us live on Facebook on July 12th at 12pm EST for 20 questions with Chef Jurgen David who has been an FCI/ICC Pastry Chef-Instructor for 20 years.

If you’re an FCI grad, Chef Instructor, or frequently dined at L’ Ecole, we want to hear from you! Share your favorite FCI memories with us using #FCIflashback and tagging @iccedu on Instagram and Twitter. Your photos may end up in our #ThrowbackThursday posts with other photos from our archives.

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JULY DEMOS & TASTINGS

Chef Jacques Pepin
La Technique with Chef Jacques Pépin
Wednesday, July 11 | 3:30-5pm
ICC Amphitheater

Join us for an exclusive demonstration with ICC’s Dean of Special Programs, Chef Jacques Pépin, as he shares the fundamental techniques to improve your knife skills.

white wine & rose wine in glasses
Bastille Day Wine & Cheese Tasting
Thursday, July 19 | 3:30-5pm
ICC 5th floor

ICC’s Dean of Wine Studies and Master Sommelier, Scott Carney takes us through a carefully curated pairing of French wine & cheeses, provided by Paris Gourmet, to highlight the principles behind each pairing success.

Chef Marc Bauer plating
A TASTE OF ALSACE WITH CHEF MARC BAUER
Wednesday, July 25 | 3:30-5pm
ICC Amphitheater

Defined by its rich and vibrant traditions, Alsace is a region known for its cooking, where Alsatian chefs have been particularly ingenious in their ability to use day-to-day ingredients when creating culinary masterpieces! Get a taste through this demonstration of three Alsatian summer dishes & desserts inspired by Chef Marc’s childhood.

Business Bites: Launching Your Food Product, spoon and light bulb

Tips to Getting Your Food Product on Shelves

Written by: Judson Kniffen, ICC’s Associate Director of Education

On June 21st, ICC’s New York campus held the latest installment of the BUSINESS BITES SERIES. This discussion, which focused on launching your food product, featured four panelists who have successfully taken food products from stove to store as entrepreneurs and food business owners, as well as grocery buyers and brand consultants.

So what do you actually need to know to take your idea from stove to store? Check out the secrets from our entrepreneurs below.

Write a Business Plan. It doesn’t need to be perfect and you don’t even need to stick to it as your business evolves, but having a written business plan forces you to focus on your financials, and sets benchmarks to which you can measure your success. The Brooklyn Public Library has a competition that has helped some of our food entrepreneurs gain financial and marketing skills and focused their business, and ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program is designed to help you build your business plan.

Packaging is Key. Your product needs to stand out from the competition – but not be so different that it’s unrecognizable. The packaging needs to sell itself. Go to a store and look at similar products on the shelf. How can yours be unique but also share the same shelf space?  What shapes and colors will make it stand out? There are lots of stock packaging options that can be customized, which is an easy and affordable way to get started.

Get Feedback (And Listen to it!). Ask friends, coworkers, and strangers what they think of your product. They might see something you’ve overlooked or taste something you don’t. Have demos at shops and talk to your customers. The more face time you have with the public, the more successful your business will be. If someone gives you a valuable piece of advice, listen to it and ask yourself how you can incorporate it into your business.

The Department of Agriculture is Your Friend. Trying to find regulatory information on your food product? Looking for classes in food safety? Call the Department of Agriculture and speak to someone on the phone about your specific product and questions. The people who work at the DOA are knowledgeable and can be very helpful when you are looking for a quick answer. Get certified in food safety education. Their knowledge and resources are vast and are at your disposal.

Get Started Now! If the big picture is too daunting, making small, incremental steps will ultimately lead to many accomplishments. ­­

Surround Yourself with Other Culinary Entrepreneurs. Listen to podcasts on your subject. The community momentum will help you keep going.

Be resilient! You’re going to hear a lot of “NOs” at every stage of your business, but it is important to persevere and remember why you started in the first place.

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

vinho verde tasting at icc

A Taste of Vinho Verde with Eric Entrikin, MS

Written by: Madison Cope, Intensive Sommelier Training Student

Map of Portugal indicating the Vinho Verde regionWhen most of us think of Portuguese wine, we think of the sweet, lush, and intense fortified wine called Port. But the world of Portuguese wine is so much more versatile and refreshing, as Eric Entrikin, Master Sommelier, explained at a lecture and tasting of Vinho Verde hosted at ICC’s California campus on May 22nd.

The region’s name, Vinho Verde, translating to “Green Wine,” truly captures the character of this region’s wines – light, crisp, and fresh like Portugal’s green and verdant countryside. Located in the northwestern corner of the country, Vinho Verde experiences a cool and rainy climate that is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Home to complex valley systems and varying elevations, Vinho Verde boasts numerous microclimates that divide the appellation into nine sub-regions. And the predominantly granite soils lend a beautiful level of stony minerality to the finished wines.

 

 

Students smelling and tasting wine at the Vinho Verde tasting eventWhat makes Vinho Verde truly stand out, however, is the distinct qualities of the region’s grapes. Portugal is home to thousands of indigenous varieties (rivaled only by Italy in sheer number), and many of them are highlighted and celebrated in Vinho Verde’s wines. From Trajudura to Loureiro, these varieties are not on most of our tables – but they should be! At this guided tasting event, Eric Entrikin introduced us to some of these distinctive and alluring wines, and the common threads were evident – searing acidity, a light body, low alcohol, vibrant and fruity. These were truly palate-cleansing wines that left our mouths ready for the next bite!

Fun Fact: Eric Entrikin MS used a wine from Vinho Verde to swish with before taking the blind tasting portion of his master sommelier examination because of its high acid and unparalleled ability to cleanse the palate!

While many traditional Vinho Verde wines are blends of multiple white varieties, some single varietal Alvarinho and Loureiro do exist. Eric further explained the unique notes of each distinct variety. Bottles of White Wines from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal

  • Loureiro: Highly floral. Rose and freesia combine with ripe lemon citrus and tropical fruits. Juicy and refreshing with bright minerality.
  • Alvarinho (aka Albariño): The most intensely aromatic and floral of the common indigenous varieties. Orange peel, peach, toasted almond. Also the richest of Vinho Verde’s whites.
  • Avesso: Notes of orange and peach, toasted almond, citrus, apple, and pineapple. A slightly waxy texture is balanced by high acidity.
  • Azal: Green apple, lemon, lime with sharp acidity.
  • Arinto: Rich and flavorful. Citrus, apple, pear. One of the region’s highest quality grapes.
  • Trajadura: Delicate with notes of stone and tree fruit. This variety is the least acidic of the Vinho Verde varieties.

While Vinho Verde wines are not particularly complex, their simplicity yet firm structure make them highly drinkable and perfect “food wines.” So what do they drink well with? Eric suggests pairing Vinho Verde whites with salads, white fish, chicken, anything with citrus, or simply as an aperitif! For Vinho Verde reds, he suggests roasted and grilled meats and lamb. And for Rose, Eric recommends pairing with charcuterie, shell fish, and even Asian cuisine.

For those who love Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, these wines are similar in profile and a great divergence from what you usually drink. What’s more, you will find high-quality Vinho Verde at very low prices, making them a great value and perfect for picnics during the spring and summer months. But don’t let these wines age, Eric warns, they are best drunk in their youth!

So with Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, go and pick up yourself a recent vintage from Vinho Verde that you (and your wallet) won’t mind sharing at your next summer barbeque. Saúde!

Business Bites: Launching Your Food Product, spoon and light bulb

Business Bites: Launching Your Food Product

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

BUSINESS BITES: LAUNCHING YOUR FOOD PRODUCT

FROM STOVE TO STORE AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

Thursday, June 21st | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Turning an idea for a food or beverage product into reality is a dream for many, but it takes more than a delicious product and eye-catching packaging to bring your product to the shelves. From testing your concept and researching competitors, to manufacturing, packaging and distribution, entrepreneurs face many unique challenges in today’s competitive food product space.

So what do you need to know to take your idea from stove to store?

Join us for an informative discussion with experts in entrepreneurship, branding, financing and retail to help get your food product off the ground. Our panel of business owners, brand consultants, and specialty buyers will share tips and tricks about where to start; branding, design & packaging; shared commercial kitchens & co-packers; sales & distribution strategies; and what everyone wants to know – what buyers are looking for! You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

Plus, learn more about the Stacy’s Scholarship for Female Culinary Leaders, a full-tuition scholarship to ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program for women who have plans to open a culinary business!

MODERATOR

Alek Marfisi, Upwind Strategies
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Entrepreneurship Instructor

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

PANELISTS

Liz Alpern, Owner of The Gefilteria, Business Bites panelist
Liz Alpern – Owner, The Gefilteria

Liz Alpern is the owner of The Gefilteria and co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto. She is on the faculty of ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program and is a consultant for national non-profit, Fair Food Network.

Follow Liz: Instagram @lizalpern @queersoupnight
Follow The Gefilteria: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @gefilteria

Jill Frechtman, Brand Consultant, Business Bites Panelist
Jill Frechtman – Brand Consultant

Jill Frechtman is an entrepreneur with a passion for building inspired, authentic, and impactful brands. Jill’s unique approach to branding incorporates her 16+ years of experience as a designer, specialty food entrepreneur, and a creative strategy and brand marketing consultant. She is the founder of chocolate pretzel company, Fretzels by Jill, and is a consultant for a number of other entrepreneurs and businesses, in a variety of industries, developing, designing, and growing their brands.

Laura Heifetz, Grocery Buyer, Greene Grape, Business Bites Panelist
Laura Heifetz – Grocery Buyer, The Greene Grape

Laura Heifetz is a native New Yorker with a love of all things edible. She attended the Natural Gourmet Institute and worked as a personal chef, before discovering her passion for cheese and specialty foods. Having worked behind some of NYC’s most famous cheese counters for 5 years, she took over as Grocery Buyer in 2014 at the Greene Grape, where she keeps the shelves stocked with some of the world’s best foods. She regularly works with local small batch producers to help develop their products from concept to shelf.

Follow Laura: Instagram @cheflaura126 | Twitter @curdbird
Follow The Greene Grape: Facebook @thegreenegrape | Instagram & Twitter @greenegrape

April Wachtel, Owner of Swig + Swallow, Business Bites Panelist
April Wachtel – Founder/CEO, Swig + Swallow

April Wachtel is a passionate educator, an experienced mixologist, a cocktail and spirits instructor, and founder of Swig + Swallow, the cocktail mixer company. She is a 22 year veteran in the beverage and hospitality industry, working in every role from busser to bartender to beverage director, to brand ambassador to beverage consultant. April has appeared on The Today Show, and Fox & Friends, as well as The Pitch Podcast, The Travel Bite, Tech Bites, The Main Course, Sharp & Hot, and more.

Follow April: Instagram @aprilwachtel
Follow Swig + Swallow: Facebook & Instagram @swigandswallow | Twitter: @swig_swallow