Hot Bread Kitchen: Culinary Training Program at ICC

Hot Bread Kitchen and the International Culinary Center are proud to announce our partnership to increase economic opportunity through culinary career education for under-employed women in New York City.

Since 2017, the International Culinary Center has opened it’s doors—and kitchens—to our friends at Hot Bread Kitchen, providing them with the kitchen space and resources to grow their culinary training program, doubling the number of low-income and immigrant women graduating from the program and entering the food industry. As the new home of Hot Bread Kitchen’s culinary training program, ICC is excited to be a part of bringing culinary education to under-employed women, and create opportunities for the program to grow and thrive in New York City. Learn more about our partnership with Hot Bread Kitchen and see some of the highlights from our first graduation ceremony, celebrating the women who completed the program at ICC this past year!

About Hot Bread Kitchen

Hot Bread Kitchen is a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to create economic opportunity through careers in food. The organization delivers this mission through two main programs: HBK Incubates, a culinary incubator program which offers licensed commercial kitchen space and tailored technical assistance to small food businesses, and a culinary training program that trains low-income and immigrant women for good jobs in the food industry. 100% of graduates are placed in fair-wage food jobs in NYC. To support this mission, Hot Bread operates a commercial bakery in East Harlem and sells breads inspired by the women trained.

Woman Breadwinner Bread


In 2017, Hot Bread launched a three year growth strategy to quadruple the number of women graduated into full time jobs with benefits in NYC. The success of this strategy relies on deep partnerships with community organizations, employment partners, donors, and culinary industry experts and leaders like the International Culinary Center.

Watch to Learn More About HBK's Culinary Training Program

Our Partnership

The Women at ICCHot Bread Kitchen’s flagship culinary training program for women seeking economic mobility has found a home at the International Culinary Center, a global leader in professional culinary, pastry and wine education. With this partnership, both organizations commit to working together to positively impact underserved communities through culinary education and careers in food in New York City.

“Our culinary hiring partners rely on best-in-class professional readiness and rigorous training that ensures that our graduates stay and grow in their kitchens. It is only fitting that a world class institution like the International Culinary Center providing the professionalism of its training kitchens and unparalleled network of its community will generate lasting impact for more minority and immigrant women to grow in quality jobs across the industry”
-Shaolee Sen, Hot Bread Kitchen’s Executive Director

The International Culinary Center and Hot Bread Kitchen are powerful educators in the hospitality industry. 84% of graduates from Hot Bread Kitchen’s training program stay in their jobs for over one year, reducing employee turnover in an increasingly tight market. More than 100 women trained by Hot Bread Kitchen have graduated to culinary careers and created greater economic opportunity for themselves and their families—and because we’ve joined forces through this important partnership, even more women will benefit from education that can provide them with the economic security they seek. Hot Bread Kitchen is excited to learn from and collaborate with one of the most respected culinary schools and networking epicenters in the industry.

“ICC has been a leader in culinary, pastry and wine education for more than 34 years. Through our partnership with Hot Bread Kitchen, we are able to expand our mission to train the next generation of culinary leaders and provide the resources for unemployed women to receive a culinary education that will build the skills, confidence, and connections to succeed in the industry. We’re honored to play a part in the path to their success.”
-Erik Murnighan, President of the International Culinary Center

Christina with graduatesKaren







Hot Bread Kitchen and the International Culinary Center have long been connected—Hot Bread Kitchen’s Training Program Director, Karen Bornarth, was the Lead Bread Instructor for the International Culinary Center’s Art of International Bread Baking program for six years, and Hot Bread Kitchen board member Christina Tosi is a 2004 graduate of the Professional Pastry Arts program. Many of Hot Bread Kitchen’s graduates work with chefs, restaurateurs, and industry leaders who are graduates from the International Culinary Center, further demonstrating the organizations’ alignment and synergies.

2018 Graduation

ICC was honored to host Hot Bread Kitchen’s 2018 graduation, celebrating the hardworking women who trained at ICC during the past year. Check out some of the highlights from the ceremony below including guest speakers Christina Tosi, Chef/Owner of Milk Bar, and Ben Leventhal, Co-Founder of and Resy.

A collage of food entrepreneur

CALLING ALL CHEFS – Citi Urbanspace Challenge

Citi and Urbanspace announced the launch of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge, a program designed to connect local chefs to New York City communities and offer small businesses the chance to operate a booth at Urbanspace’s Fall 2018 pop-up markets and for one winner to have a booth at Urbanspace’s market located at 570 Lexington Ave.


Do you have what it takes? ICC believes you do!

Thursday, July 12th – Monday July 23rd (Noon, EST)

Geared towards emerging culinary entrepreneurs, the Citi Urbanspace Challenge is a creative challenge whose aim is to help discover the culinary entrepreneurs of tomorrow and provide them a platform to connect with the New York market scene. If you’re an alumni of the Culinary, Pastry, Cake, Bread, Sommelier or Food Business Fundamentals programs with a creative, fast-casual restaurant concept, submit your ideas from now to July 23rd at noon EST for the chance to test your concept an an Urbanspace market!

Three finalists of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge will be placed in a rent free booth at Urbanspace pop-up markets: Mad. Sq. Eats, Garment District, and Broadway Bites during the Fall 2018 season.


From the three finalists, the overall winner of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge will be awarded a full customized, branded booth in the prime Urbanspace at 570 Lex location for three months beginning in January 2019! Winners will be determined based on a public vote hosted on Urbanspace’s website through the fall 2018 pop-up markets and a panel of expert judges, including restauranteurs and culinary influencers & experts.


Alumni Spotlight: Julian Medina, Class of 1999

Julian Medina, chef-owner of Toloache, Toloache 82, Toloache Thompson, both Yerba Buena and Yerba Buena Perry, Coppelia, and Tacuba Mexican Cantina locations in Astoria and Hell’s Kitchen, has been creating refined Latin cuisine for over twenty years.

Raised in Mexico City, Julian’s inspiration was the authentic home cooking of his father and grandfather. Training professionally in Mexico City, Julian was brought to New York City by Chef Richard Sandoval; later Julian was appointed as Chef de Cuisine of Sandoval’s Maya, which earned two stars from the New York Times under Julian’s leadership. Maintaining his position at Maya, Julian enrolled in the French Culinary Institute, graduating with recognition in 1999. Soon after, Julian became Executive Chef of SushiSamba, a New York City Japanese-South American restaurant, and helped to open SushiSamba 7 and South Beach’s SushiSamba Dromo.

In 2003, Julian was appointed Corporate Chef of Sandoval’s Mexican restaurants. Julian’s direction garnered Sandoval’s Pampono two stars from the New York Times. In 2004, Julian became the Executive Chef of Zocalo located in NYC’s Upper East Side.
chef-julian-medinaIn August 2007, Julian opened the theater-district gem, Toloache Mexican Bistro, the success of this first venture catalyzed the opening of seven more restaurants in nine years. He expanded the Toloache brand to include an ever popular Upper East Side Toloache 82 in 2012 and Toloache Thompson in 2013. Exploring all reaches of pan Latin cuisine, Julian opened the first Yerba Buena bistro in 2008 in the Lower East Side, and Yerba Buena Perry, West Village, in 2009. Both restaurants have been highly recognized. In 2011, Julian presented the concept of a 24/7 Cuban diner to New York City with the whimsical Coppelia, offering both day and late night foodies authentic Latin fare and dessert favorites. Most recently, the chef has returned to his Mexican roots with the ceviche, taco and fruit vessel cockteles boasting cantina, Tacuba, its two locations are Astoria and Hell’s Kitchen.

Chef Julian has been featured in many publications, including the Men’s Journal, The New Yorker and The New York Times. In 2010 Sam Sifton, famed New York Times food critic, gave Toloache one star along with an applauding review. In March 2011 Julian made his debut on Iron Chef America: Mexican Chocolate Battle, other television appearances include the Today Show, CBS “The Dish”, Beat Bobby Flay (guest judge), NY1, and Telemundo. His Mexican Hanukkah and Mexican Passover menus have become a delighted New York tradition and receive continual praise each year. Chef Julian continues to open new restaurants throughout New York City. He resides in Manhattan’s Upper East Side with his wife and daughter.

What ingredient is central to your cooking?
I love to cook with chiles as each kind is unique and their personality can be noted throughout the dish contributing to a beautiful flavor complexity.

How do you describe your food?
I believe my food is bold and full of flavor, one bite and you know all about my cooking. Presentation is also important to me so my dishes tend to be very colorful.

What would you do if you weren’t a chef? 
I would have pursued becoming an architect.

What’s on your cooking bucket list?  
Fugu (Blowfish), exploring flavor potentials of the Chilhuacle chile, publishing my own cookbook.

How do you find calm in your kitchen?
When the stress heats up in the kitchen I turn to finding fun to take the edge off, always by laughing and joking with my fellow chefs.

What cookbook is most important to you?
The Art of Peruvian Cuisine, by Tony Custer and The Lutece Cookbook, by Andre Soltner & Seymour Britchky.

Who inspires you?
Chef Daniel Boulud

What do you like to eat and drink on your night off? 
A Mezcal Negroni, a fusion cocktail with mezcal, vermouth rosso and Campari with orange peel garnish, and a good plate of tacos.

When did you realize that you loved food?
I was 15-years old and still in Mexico, and I cooked my first dish which was tamarind pork. I was hooked.

If you could stage at any restaurant in the world, where would you go and why?
Copenhagen or Spain to showcase Mexican cuisine.