Chef Jacques Torres Sugar

3 Tips For Working With Sugar from Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres and his Sugar ShowpieceDean of Pastry Arts, Chef Jacques Torres stopped by ICC’s New York campus this month to show our students how to work with sugar. Working with sugar is no simple task—it takes years of practice, skill and patience. Watching Chef Torres work with sugar is like watching Picasso paint; it is awe-inspiring, and he makes manipulating and shaping the difficult medium look easy.

For this demo, “Mr. Chocolate” decided to work with something a little different than chocolate—sugar! He created a showpiece featuring a shimmering sugar swan and a lifelike sugar rose. Throughout the hour and a half demo, he shared his insider tips to working with sugar after many years of experience. Below, we highlight some of our favorite tips from him to help you pull and pour sugar like the pros!

1. Sugar Becomes Shiny Through the Process of Satiné

Through the process of pulling the sugar, air is incorporated. As you continue to work with it, a sheen appears. But, be careful not to pull it too much, or else it will become dull!

Chef Jacques Torres Satinizing sugarChef Jacques Torres Satinizing sugar

2. Silicone Molds Will Mold Sugar, but...

…dough will work too! The fat in the dough makes it so the sugar and the dough will never stick together. The temperature difference of the two help to mold the sugar into the desired shape. This is what pastry chefs used before silicone molds were invented!

Chef Jacques Torres pouring sugar

3. Be Sure to Move your Sugar

When your pulled sugar is under a heat lamp, be sure to move it around every so often. This will ensure it keeps the right temperature. Because the heat is on the top of the sugar, it is important to continually flip the sugar so the temperature stays consistent.

Chef Jacques Torres moving his sugar under the heat lamp

If you’re inspired to learn how to make a sugar showpiece like Jacques Torres, check out ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program where 60 hours of instruction are dedicated to sugar-focused décor, including showpieces like this!

Angela Rito and her husband, Scott Tacinelli of Don Angie

ICC In The News: Highlights from May 2018

We’re bringing back a favored monthly feature! ICC In The News provides monthly highlights from articles published around the world that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Stories of our 15,000+ alumni network and their successes are continuously popping up across various prestigious publications. Below, we have aggregated some of our favorites from May 2018, aimed to keep you connected with our community and inspire readers to #LoveWhatYouDo in the kitchen and beyond.

ICC alumni Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von HauskeTHE ROBB REPORT | THE BEST YOUNG CHEFS IN AMERICA

In the publication’s list of 7 best young chefs in America, ICC alumni Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske, Chef/Owners of NYC restaurants Wildair, Contra and the newly opened Una Pizza Napoletana make the cut.

In Other News:

  • ICC Alumni Cat Yeh, the chief culinary officer of Nomz, an Asian soup delivery service, is interviewed by New York Magazine’s The Cut for their ‘In Her Shoes’ column which chronicles what real women wear when they need to get things done! Read more on The Cut.
  • ICC alumnus Ashish Alfred, established Duck Duck Goose in 2016 in Bethesda, Maryland. With overwhelming success, the chef will be opening a second location next month in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore. Read more in Baltimore Magazine.
  • MoBu Fusion Café in Boca Raton will be getting a brand new executive chef, FCI graduate Chef Monique Buchbinder. Chef Monique arrives at the outdoor eatery after a tenure at NoBu Miami. Read more in Boca Newspaper.
David ChangWORLD INSIDER | MEET THE TOP 100 BUSINESS VISIONARIES CREATING VALUE FOR THE WORLD

David Chang, graduate of FCI (now ICC’s) Culinary Arts program, is listed as #68 on the list of top 100 business visionaries for his culinary empire and restaurant group Momofuku. David finds himself in good company with other visionaries like Tim Cook (Apple CEO) and Reed Hastings (Founder/CEO of Netflix) making the list.

In Other News:

  • A new smoked barbeque restaurant, The Burnt End, will be coming to downtown Modesto, California from ICC alumni Heather Love. Read More on the Mod Bee.
  • Chef Matthew Kenney, FCI Alum and celebrity chef, will be opening his first vegan / plant-based restaurant in Edmonton, Canada called ‘Kanu’. Read More on Live Kindly.
  • Learn about FCI alumni Christine Carr, owner and chef of Boulder’s Tip Top Savory Pies in Boulder, CO who typically serves 200 pies a day. Read More in Boulder Weekly.
  • FCI Alumni (1995) Aadore Sayani, started Sleight of Hand in 1998. Sayani now bakes 36-plus varieties of brownies, and the company delivers across the country. It’s also available on websites such as Place of Origin and Food Memories. Read More in The Hindu.
OLIVE OIL TIMES | 31 COMPLETE SOMMELIER CERTIFICATION IN NEW YORK

After our latest Olive Oil Sommelier Certification course, 31 new individuals ranging from professionals in the olive oil industry to enthusiasts have completed this session and received their certification. Students traveled from Greece, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Australia, Turkey and Taiwan for the course.

In Other News:

  • The article highlights ICC alumni Judy Joo as she gave an inspiring speech at her other alma matter, Columbia University, during the School of Engineering and Applied Science‘s Class Day. Read More in the Columbia Spectator.
  • Check out a chef spotlight on FCI alumni Ruby Felix, who is the executive chef of Talde in Jersey City. Read More in Jersey City Upfront.
  • Seven Fifty Daily shares how Michael Maller, beverage director for Matt Kelly’s five Durham restaurants, crafted the spanish wine list for tapas bar, Mateo. Maller is a graduate of FCI and worked on the lines at Per Se and Craft before finding his calling as a sommelier at Gramercy Tavern. Read more.
  • ‘Coco9 Cafe’ in Clifton, Karachi, founded by FCI Grad, Pinky Perwani, opens to rave reviews. Pinky studied in both Professional Pastry Arts & Art of International Bread Baking programs. Read More on The News (International).
Chef Cesare Casella at the Taste of Italy eventL’ITALO AMERICANO | A TASTE OF ITALY: TEACHING ITALIAN CULTURE, CUISINE AND WINE TO A NEW GENERATION OF CHEFS

L’Italo American chronicles ICC CA’s A Taste of Italy event held at Airbnb Headquarter’s in San Francisco was a delicious success celebrating Italian cuisine & culture with demonstrations by Dean of Italian Studies, Cesare Casella and more.

In Other News:

  • Congratulations to Dave Arnold, ICC’s Associate Dean of Culinary Technology, who is set to open New York’s most anticipated bar in years—Existing Conditions—with business partner Don Lee. Read More on Punch Drink.
  • Emily Fleischaker, graduate of ICC’s Culinary program and former food editor at BuzzFeed and founder of KitchenFly, has joined NYT Cooking as enterprise strategy editor. Read More in The New York Times.
  • Oluwajare Fola-Bolumole, graduate of ICC is an engineer turned chocolatier who returned to Nigeria to star his new business TheChocBoy Brand. His chocolate candies and bars are made purely from raw materials sourced in Nigeria. Read More on the Tribune Online NG.
THE NEW YORK TIMES | RED-SAUCE ITALIAN COOKING FINDS A FUTURE AT DON ANGIEDon Angie restaurant pasta from alumni Scott Tacinelli

ICC alumnus Chef Scott Tacinelli and his wife Chef Angela Rito’s new restaurant in the West Village, Don Angie, receives a 2 star review by Pete Wells of The New York Times! He says the husband and wife team has a “few tricks up their sleeves” but “the result is food that is creative in a more consistently and successful way.”

In Other News:

  • Another ICC grad catching the palate of New York Times critic, Pete Wells, is Zoe Kanan, Head Baker of the Freehand Hotel’s Studio and Simon & The Whale. Zoe’s signature Black Bread, Sourdough Croissant and Chocolate Morning Bun also caught the attention of Vogue this month.
  • FCI graduate Kurt Schewe opens Koku, a new restaurant in Seattle, WA, with a menu that highlights Kokumi, the ‘Sixth Taste’. Read More on Eater Seattle.
  • Food Network Star Finalist and ICC alumna, Palak Patel, talks style both in and out of the kitchen, and her decision to attend the French Culinary Institute (now ICC). Read More on Food Network.
  • FCI grad, Chef Jared Alden Hucks, returns to Atlanta to open a new open kitchen concept restaurant, The Alden, in Chamblee. Read More on Atlanta Restaurant Scene.

Jacques Torres Sugar Demo, Through the Eyes of a Culinary Student

Written by Olivia Hamilton
Culinary Student, Level 1

ICC had a sweet treat yesterday with Chef Jacques Torres, also known as Mr. Chocolate and the Dean of Pastry Arts at ICC. He is multi-talented in the world of desserts but one of most impressive disciplines he practices (in my opinion) is his work with sugar. As a current Level 1 student in the Culinary Arts program, it’s exciting to see how the other half (pastry) lives.

Sugar is hard to work with no matter who you are, or how long you’ve been working with sugar. It will burn you if you aren’t careful, along with breaking or falling apart just when you thought you had it finished. Even with these obstacles, Chef Jacques Torres made his sugar sculpture demonstration seem like a walk in the park while keeping us laughing. Whether he was using molds or manually pulling the sugar, we, the audience, were on the edge of our seats the whole time knowing how delicate sugar can be.

While filling the molds with the hot liquid sugars, Torres explained that it is best to use glucose with poured sugar. Whereas pulling sugar is more successful mixed with vinegar because it stays pliable for longer, but is also more delicate to work with. The molds were to be used to create the base structures for the sugar masterpiece that was unfolding in front of our eyes.

The Dean then showed us how to properly mix the color into pulling sugars which reminded me very much of an omelet. Clear pulling sugar is placed on a Silpat then drops of red, blue, and green food coloring is added about 3 inches apart only using the bottom half of the sugar. Chef then used a cake tester to spread a bit of the food coloring within each section. Then came the folding; he folded the sugar over in half like you would with an omelet before presenting it. Then Chef separated it into 3 sections (by color) and began to knead the sugar almost how you would with bread dough.

Torres shared with us that no matter how many years he has worked with sugar, he always seems to have the red food coloring dye his hands. While working with the super hot sugar, he also explained how your reflexes may not always help you. When you burn your finger, your first instinct is to put it in your mouth but then you burn your finger and your mouth. The best thing to do when you have sugar burning you is to wipe it off in a towel/apron or place your finger in cold water. Also sometimes you’re too late to realize that you have burned your hands and may end up with blisters that can last up to 10 days.

With all that potential of getting burned, the Dean still prefers to work without gloves, since that is the way he started doing it almost 40 years ago. Also when he started working with sugar, gloves were hard to come by and could only be purchased at a medical store. Though sweat can affect the sugar, Torres noted that his hands no longer sweat, or perhaps he sweats sugar?
Once the sugar was the right temperature to pull, Chef started to place celery sized pieces of each colored sugar next to each other. He then started to pull and stretch the sugar with a pastry students help. The sugar was pulled so far it seemed as if it was as long as the student was tall. He then used this long, skinny, multi-colored ribbon to create a bow that looked like it belonged on a birthday present.

Next, Torres showed us how to make a beautifully blossomed rose for the display piece. He started with an oval type of shape about the size of my thumb. After, he would create each petal by pulling a bit of sugar from the colored sugar patty increasing in size with each petal. He said the trick with making a good rose is, “the less you touch it, the better it is”. Another important part of making beautifully pulled sugar is that if it is too warm when you pull it, it won’t be shiny.

The master of sugar then showed us how to make a bird with a cute bonnet upon its head. The body was about the size of a hummingbird and a knife was used to help define its neck. Similar to the rose, he created the bird’s wings by pulling it piece by piece laying 5 on top of each other in a fan style. He then “glued it” by using the torch to melt the wing slightly enough that the melted sugar would help it stick to the body. He then repeated this for the other wing and did the same technique to place on the beak.

Watching Chef assemble this piece was like seeing someone play Jenga with puzzle pieces. Each piece of sugar, whether it was the stand, backdrop, or the delicate ornaments (like the bow, bird, and flower), had to be placed ever so carefully. It would be so easy for this whole creation to be destroyed in a split second, but Dean and Chef Jacques Torres is a master for a reason.

 

ICC In The News: Highlights from March 2017

Welcome to a new monthly feature! ICC In The News will provide monthly highlights from articles published that feature alumni, deans, faculty and more within the ICC community. Alumni successes are always popping up across various publications and this will be our new way to aggregate content with the purpose of congratulating those highlighted and inspiring students [and potential students] to continue to follow their passion and love what they do throughout their career.


THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS [51-100 LIST]
  • On the newly released 2017 list, ICC California Dean David Kinch lands at #90 for his Manresa restaurant, while alumni David Chang’s Momofuku Ko in New York City’s Bowery neighborhood makes the list at #58. Click here for the full list.

51-100-2017-listinpics-header


PASTE MAGAZINE | LIFE LESSONS FROM 10 FEMALE TV CHEFS

Paste shares some valuable lessons for life beyond the kitchen from female TV chefs such as Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Lidia Bastianich and ICC Associate Director of Alumni Affairs, Chef Daisy Martinez. Click here for the full story.

daisy-martinez


TASTING TABLE | NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: 15 RISING CHEFS TO WATCH RIGHT NOW

ICC alumni Rawlston Williams makes the list for the unbeatable flavors of the Caribbean he brings to the menu at The Food Sermon in Brooklyn, New York. Later this year, Williams will also take his unique cooking style to the second restaurant in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard. Click here to view the full list

rawlston


EDIBLE MANHATTAN | HOW DO YOU PREPARE A SPRING MENU IN THE WINTER?

Edible Manhattan talks to ICC alumni Franco Barrio, chef at the West Village restaurant, Bespoke Kitchen, in regard to creating a vibrant and fresh menu for spring in the dead of winter. Along with details Barrio’s rich culinary résumé, click here to learn tips on how to create seasonal menus.

image1


NBC NEWS | MUSEUM OF CHOCOLATE COMING TO NYC 

This month, Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres, opened a brand new chocolate museum in the heart of New York City. ‘Choco-Story’ has received press from various publications including NBC News, Eater, Time Out New York, Insider Food, Refinery29 and more. To read the NBC News article and purchase your museum tickets, click here.

Chocolate Museum


TELEGRAM | CELEBRITY CHEF GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN TO HOLD CULINARY CONVERSATION AT HANOVER THEATRE

When asked about the biggest influences in his life, celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian mentions ICC’s Dean Emeritus proclaiming, Chef Alain Sailhac for his tremendous knowledge of culinary techniques and cuisines — he taught me most everything I know.”  Click here to read the full article.

Geoffrey Zakarian


BETHESDA MAGAZINE | SOUTHERN LIVING NAMES BETHESDA RESTAURANT ‘BEST IN MARYLAND’ 

Alumni and restaurateur Ashish Alfred opened Maryland restaurant Duck Duck Goose less than one year ago. The chef-owner of the contemporary French bistro was surprised to learn that his venue received the distinction of “Best in Maryland” by Southern Living Magazine. Click here for the more details, including Alfred’s reaction.

Duck Duck Goose Maryland


OLIVE OIL TIMES – SOMMELIER WASTE NO TIME SHARING THEIR KNOWLEDGE

Graduates of ICC’s Olive Oil Program are already applying their expertise across networks and around the world. Click here to read the Olive Oil Times’ catch up with the new Oleologists.

wilma

Chocolate Demo with Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres 2/1/2017

To kick off the month of February, Dean of Pastry Arts Jacques Torres prepared the ICC community for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Sharing words of wisdom on chocolate trends, the business side of Valentine’s Day and advice on how the famous Jacques Torres Chocolate locations handle one of the busiest seasons of the year.

Watch the full Facebook Live video, here. 

Want the ability to use the techniques shown here by Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres? Click Here to learn more about ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program.

View the full gallery, here: 

Learn From the Culinary Masters of Technique – ICC

The International Culinary Center’s dedication to cultivating talent in its students begins with the passion and commitment of its renowned faculty and staff. Among those on the ICC Team driving student success is a long list of esteemed culinary professionals serving as deans and master chefs.

Meet Deans Jacques Pépin and Jacques Torres

At the heart of ICC’s culinary instruction is a curriculum carefully designed by world-renowned deans and taught by a core of accomplished chefs hailing from all corners of the culinary world. Among the other famous names filling these roles as deans are Jacques Pépin and Jacques Torres.

Jacques Pépin: Dean of Special Programs

Jacques Pépin began his culinary career at the famous Le Pavilion restaurant when he came to New York by way of Paris, France, where he had received his training at Plaza Athénée under Lucien Diat. In the years before joining the ICC staff in 1988, Pépin served as the personal chef to French head of state, Charles de Gaulle, and earned a master’s degree in French literature at Columbia, all while honing his own culinary technique.

Pépin’s culinary prowess and charm have also made him a superstar of culinary television. He launched his series The Complete Pépin in 1997 and went on to receive a daytime Emmy award for Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, a series he hosted alongside Julia Child. He has since been a guest judge on Top Chef and has aired several other of his own cooking series.

A living legend among culinary professionals and foodies, Pépin has received countless accolades, including the Chevalier de L’Ordre du Mérite Agricole, Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, several James Beard Foundation awards — including the Lifetime Achievement Award — and an induction into the foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame.

Known for his humorous and vibrant demonstrations, Pépin not only assisted in creating the curriculum for ICC students, but has long supported the culinary school’s focus on helping students find success by building technique from the ground up as the firm foundation of any cuisine.

“Before you can express your talent, you have to learn basic technique. You have to become first a craftsman.” – Jacques Pépin

Over the years, Pépin has released dozens of cookbooks, with his newest, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, released this year and accompanied by a television series, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul, airing nationwide this fall.

With decades of unparalleled culinary experience, Pépin’s zest for cooking is as unyielding and as deeply personal as ever. In a recent piece he wrote featured in the New York Times, “Jacques Pépin’s Food Memories,” Pépin conjures a philosophy of food that is magical, familial and sentimental:

“For most people, the dishes that matter are the dishes that have been cooked with love. …Those dishes remain much more embedded in our taste memory than the recipes and dishes of great restaurants, even for a professional cook like me.”

Jacques Torres: Dean of Pastry Arts

Master pastry chef Jacques Torres  started his journey into the pastry world at age 15 as an apprentice. In addition to being named Pastry Chef of the Year by both the James Beard Foundation and Chefs of America, Torres is the youngest title winner of the esteemed Meilleur Ouvier de France. After joining the ICC faculty in 1993, Torres helped design the curriculum for ICC’s Pastry Arts program, becoming the dean of the program in 1996.

ICC Dean of Pastry Arts Jacques Torres

He starred in the Food Network series Chocolate with Jacques Torres, and he has been featured on countless other television programs, including as a judge on Cake Boss: Next Great Baker.

Beyond his role at the culinary school, Torres has earned a name for himself — he is often referred to as “Mr. Chocolate,” a name he shares with the website for his well-loved chocolatier that operates many locations throughout New York City as well as a state-of-the-art factory.

Featured in countless articles by publications including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, the French-native was recently dubbed “Brooklyn’s Wonka” by Newsday. In the article, Torres explains his philosophy on dessert and on life: “You have to play big if you want to make it big,” he said.

Torres often shares his expertise with ICC students during hands-on demonstrations, evidence of which can be seen on his Instagram, and he remains an important part of passing on his real-world expertise to ICC culinary students.

“Making chocolate is a way of life, not a profession.” – Jacques Torres

Learning Technique Helps Gives You Confidence

Fundamentals are the cornerstone of the ICC experience. By learning classical techniques from our chef-instructors and some of the greatest culinary minds in the world, students gain the foundational skills needed to begin a journey to any place on the culinary map.

“We just concentrate on the cooking itself. That’s why we can do in six months what other people take two years to do.” – Jacques Pépin