stephanie nass

From Culinary School to Lifestyle Brand, How Chefanie Built Her Business

You may be wondering, “what can I do with my Professional Culinary or Pastry Arts education after I graduate?” From working in esteemed kitchens around the world in any number of global cuisines, to building their own businesses and brands, our alumni work in every facet of the food industry.

Take 2015 graduate of our Professional Culinary Arts program, Stephanie Nass. Chefanie, as she’s better known to her 70,000+ Instagram followers, is a culinary influencer, dessert innovator and creative caterer with a culinary lifestyle brand that’s growing!

Before graduating from ICC, Chefanie began hosting private dinner parties through Victory Club, a social dining club for young professionals to connect over the culinary and visual arts. If that wasn’t enough, in 2016, Stephanie launched Chefanie Sheets, an innovative dessert “accessory” that can elevate any store bought or homemade dessert. These eye-catching designs have been featured on The Today Show, Refinery 29 and even in O Magazine.

Today, she’s continued to further expand her brand with Chefanie.com, a one-stop shop for tableware, accessories, recipes, and even advice for hosting the perfect parties. With her brand set to become the next Martha Stewart, we sat down with our grad to learn more about why she chose to go to culinary school, growing her business and so much more. Read below for the full interview!

Where were you born & raised? Was cooking and food something you were exposed to at a young age?

I grew up in Westchester, New York! At home, love came in the form of food, and as a child, bliss was hanging in the kitchen, watching my mother cook, tasting every single thing she made.

Why did you choose to go to culinary school?      

I wanted to go to culinary school for so many reasons! To learn formal techniques, to meet peers as passionate about the culinary arts, and for the professional credibility that comes with having a culinary degree.

When did you decide to start your brand? How did you initially start Victory Club and what did it morph into?
I began hosting art-inspired suppers in my first NY apartment in 2014. Those meals turned into Victory Club, which is now a roving dining club that brings young professionals together over the culinary and visual arts in arts spaces. Chefanie grew out of Victory Club, and is now a culinary lifestyle brand that encompasses products, services, and media.

What has it been like to work with major brands like Ann Taylor and Uniqlo? How have you secured those brand deals?
It has been a tremendous honor to work with all of my clients. By making interesting things and sharing them on social media, I have been able to form relationships with brands that have endured for several years.

You graduated from ICC’s Culinary Arts program, but you’re well known for your cakes and cookies. How did you decide to expand?
I earned my degree in Professional Culinary Arts and always cooked savory; however when I launched Chefanie Sheets — edible sheets in decorative patterns for cakes, cookies, and donuts — I began getting more orders for patterned treats than anything else. Chefanie offers seated dinners, passed hors d’oeuvres, and creative grazing tables, as well as customized treats.

chef nass with her products

How have you grown your audience over the years?
Day to day, I strive to create interesting work, capture that work in photographs and videos, and share them online. As much as possible, I engage with my audience and other influencers to create conversation.

Do you have a piece of advice for a student wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Work from your heart — and work hard!

What’s next for Chefanie? Any fun projects coming up that you can share?
We’ll be launching new products on October 30! Every single item was inspired by the festive season and conceived to spark cheer. (Subscribe to our newsletter to see everything the moment it launches!) Other than that, we’ll be blogging our best entertaining and cooking ideas, and hopefully those will become a book in 2020!

sarah welch

On the Nose-To-Tail Movement with Sarah Welch of Marrow

chef sarah welchJust this year, Chef Sarah Welch’s restaurant, Marrow, was nominated for a James Beard Award and named one of Eater’s 16 Best New Restaurants in America. Her restaurant, where she is the Executive Chef and Partner, is arguably one of the hottest restaurants of 2019—not just in Detroit, but in America. So, who is the 2010 graduate of our Professional Culinary Arts program?

She was raised between Jamaica and Michigan in a family that surrounded themselves with culture, cooking, and eating. After earning a degree from MSU in Restaurant Management, Sarah left Michigan to pursue her culinary studies at ICC, where she graduated at the top of her class. While most of her training comes from notable Michigan chef Brian Polcyn, she grew a loyal following during her tenure as Executive Chef of Republic Tavern, an extremely seasonal, award-winning, nose-to-tail restaurant in Detroit. Today, Sarah is the Executive Chef and Partner at restaurant-butcher shop hybrid Marrow, where she explores seasonal ingredients through a world lens.

Marrow is a farm-focused restaurant and whole animal butcher shop, working with local farms and purveyors that embrace sustainable, humane, and ethical practices. With the desire to be known as the neighborhood spot where customers feel at home, their mission is to “…connect local producers to local communities with a focus on constant evolution through education.”

To contribute to the Detroit community, they support local charities, mentor culinary students, and work with local businesses to better connect people to the food they eat. We sat down with Sarah to discuss life after culinary school, why the nose-to-tail movement is so important, and how supporting local can give back to a community. Check out our interview below!

Where were you born & raised? Was cooking and food something you were exposed to at a young age?

I grew up splitting my time between Ann Arbor, where my family lived, and Boughton, Jamaica in the West Indies where my father was building a resort. We grew up with Jamaican children who, unlike the American children we were friends with, could cook for themselves as early as 8. I was fascinated with their ability to grill fish over open fires or make dumplings from just flour and water. Those are certainly foundational memories for me, but my family, as a whole, is very food focused. Eating Foie Gras for Christmas wasn’t unusual, so I’m sure that played a part in my interest in food too.

Why did you choose to go to ICC? Was there a reason that you decided to attend culinary school first instead of jumping into the restaurant industry?

I had always wanted to go to culinary school, but my father insisted that I go to business school first. He figured I’d have a change of heart because he knew that it was a hard career that doesn’t always pay well. But, I’m stubborn, so after graduating from Michigan State University with my business degree I made good on my word and enrolled in culinary school.

I chose to go to culinary school, instead of going straight into the industry, because I knew that there was a lot that I didn’t know. I didn’t want to be operating at a disadvantage. I knew culinary school wouldn’t provide me with everything that I needed to know, but that it would give me a foundation of knowledge and a greater chance at success when I did join the work force.

I chose ICC because I only needed hands on knowledge—not a four year degree. While working in Lansing, Michigan area kitchens before choosing a school, I had asked around about reputable places to go. One of my chefs at the time insisted I check out ICC. I went on a tour and immediately felt like the type of education that ICC was providing, with intense hands-on training and real life experience cooking classic food, was the kind of education I was looking for. Also, I really liked that there was a work requirement to the education. My externship at the Spotted Pig was hugely influential to my career trajectory. Not to mention, the school has an incredible network of alumni and chefs, and I knew that was a huge part of the industry and your success in it.

Do you still use any knowledge that you learned at ICC in your day-to-day?

I don’t often find myself relating the skills I have to what I learned in school versus what I learned in kitchens after school, but I know that the knowledge I gained in school allowed me the experiences in my career. There are certainly techniques, finer points of cooking, which I have that those without a culinary education do not have—I’m also aware that they have a working knowledge of the industry that I do not yet have. Regardless, I am certain I use the knowledge I gained in many ways.

What made you interested in the nose-to-tail movement?

My externship at ICC led me to staging at The Spotted Pig which opened my eyes to offal cookery. I decided to leave NYC to work for Brian Polcyn, the co-author of Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing and Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing. Working for him, I learned how to fabricate and manipulate most animals. I also learned the importance of full utilization and its impact on not just the planet, but the bottom line of a business. Its been a cornerstone of my cooking, both from an ethical and a pragmatic stance, ever since.

Why is exploring local ingredients and educating your customers about their food so important to you?

I think people are far too removed from the food chain. I feel responsible for ensuring that people who dine with us understand where their food comes from and what it took to get the food to them so that they understand the pricing. By educating people about the food they eat, they are more empowered to make better food choices. An educated customer base, one that understands the implications behind the food that they eat, has the capacity to drastically improve the food network as a whole. And so we work slowly to bring food consumption and cultivation back to a local economy— to wean off commodity food purchasing and return to seasonal, local eating. We know food that spends less time travelling isn’t just better tasting, but that it’s less harmful to the planet.

Alumni Spotlight: Chantale Doinel, Culinary Arts Class of 2016

As native of Normandy, France, Chantale Doinel grew up with a love of French cuisine and an appreciation for seasonality. For the last 35 years, she has been working as an esthetician and owner of a skin care salon. However, it was her passion for food and cooking that inspired her return to school to embark on a new career. Chantale graduated from the International Culinary Center’s Silicon Valley campus in 2016 with a diploma in Professional Culinary Arts. Today, she is working as a successful private chef based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We sat down with her to discuss how she switched gears professionally for a life dedicated to the culinary arts.

Thrive to improve, do not complain, and practice.”


What makes the culinary industry appealing to you?

Chantale: Whether it’s a dinner for two, a picnic in the woods, a banquet on a beach or a well-prepared sandwich on a hike, I find great satisfaction in procuring balanced and memorable meals for other people.

When did you know you wanted to work in the food industry?

Chantale: About 12 years ago, when my friends asked me to share my knowledge of regional French cuisine, I started giving them cooking lessons. I realized then that I wanted to learn more about the industry as a whole so that I could better transmit knowledge to my peers. As I am constantly eager to learn, I sought a certification to validate my qualification as a cook.

What were your greatest challenges at school and how were you able to overcome them?

Chantale:  Speed, timing and organization were challenging concepts for me, not to mention the fact that, as I went to school at night, I was working full-time during the day. I tried to overcome these obstacles by being prepared for each class, mindfully studying the  material and practicing knife skills at home.

What inspires your style of cooking?

Chantale: My mother taught me everything about traditional French family cooking. Growing up, our refrigerator was always empty as I was raised to do the shopping on a daily basis and get inspiration according to the season.  As we were a large family, my brothers and I were assigned tasks in the kitchen; from an early age we were roasting, braising, grilling, and making pastries. We often ate specialties from the Normandy region and the Loire Valley and but also exotic dishes from the places we traveled to with my father when he was in the army such as Morocco and Germany.

 

Follow Chantale’s culinary creations on Instagram via @chantalescuisine

Recipe: Saint Patrick’s Day Corned Beef by Chef Jeff Butler

Ahead of today’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, ICC’s Lead Chef-Instructor and resident charcuterie master Jeff Butler teaches us how to create our own corned beef and cabbage dish. The multi-day process will leave you with satisfying results to impress your family and friends on St. Paddy’s day and beyond.  You won’t need the luck of the Irish to complete this recipe, although I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt! Watch the video of the full process below, and view the step-by-step procedure.


Ingredients by Step

Step 1

3 kilo of water

60 Grams pickling spice mix

12 cloves of garlic

15 gram black peppercorns whole

Step 2

288 grams Kosher Salt

12 grams Instacure #1 or DQ #1 curing salt

60 grams granulated sugar

1 Beef Brisket 12-14 lb (5-6 kilo)

Step 3

200 Ml White wine vinegar

1 bottle lager beer

5 Bay leaves

10 grams pickling spices

5 grams black peppercorns

5 cloves garlic peeled

6 Boiler Onions, peeled and left whole

6 Carrots, peeled and left whole

6 stalks celery left whole

1 Green cabbage cut into 8 wedges

10-12 red bliss potatoes


Procedure 

Step 1

Bring water to a boil and remove from flame and put in the pickling spice, garlic and black pepper corns and allow infusing off flame for 1 hour, then strain and reserve leftover spices for step 2.

Chill the infused water down to below 40 degrees.

Step 2

Weigh the water; you will need to have exactly 3 kilo of water in total.  If you have lost water due to evaporation then supplement the difference with cold tap water.

Thoroughly mix in kosher salt, Instacure #1 and sugar into the 3 kilo of water to create the brine.

Pump the brine into the brisket spacing apart injections in a pattern with approximately 1 inch spacing.

Submerge the meat in a plastic container with the remaining brine and add the reserved spices and garlic from step 1.

Let meat sit 3-5 days in the brine.  Flip the meat daily in the brine so that it gets evenly cured.

Step 3

Remove the meat from the brine, wipe off spices and discard brine.

Put brisket in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring up to a simmer.

Make a cheese cloth sachet (spice bag) of bay leaves, pickling spice, garlic, and black peppercorn.

When the water begins to simmer, skim off the foam that floats to the top. Then add the beer, vinegar and the sachet to the poaching liquid.

Gently simmer the meat for 1 hour. Check tenderness of the meat, if it slides easily off of your meat fork it is done. Check tenderness of meat every 15 minutes

Add the carrots, celery and onions to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour

Check the tenderness of the meat if it is tender then remove the brisket, cooked carrots, celery and onions from the broth and allow to rest covered.

While the meat is resting add the cabbage and potatoes to liquid in the pot.  Cook until tender. Remove and discard the sachet.

Slice the brisket across the grain and warm in some of the broth. Cut the carrots, onions, and celery into servable chunks and warm in the broth.

Serve the warmed cooked corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and vegetables with good mustard and prepared horse radish.

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Rodrigo Schweitzer, Class of 2011

For our first ICC Alumni Spotlight of 2017, we caught up with Professional Culinary Arts alum chef Rodrigo Schweitzer. Explaining why he felt attending the International Culinary Center in New York was the right choice to pursue his culinary dreams, the Brazil based chef elaborates on ICC’s full immersion program. Learning the fundamental techniques and skills for success in only 6 months, an international student such as Rodrigo has the potential to save thousands of dollars in living expenses and tuition when making their culinary school decision.

The main reason why I chose ICC was because of the full immersion program. So, in my research, I knew that a student here could graduate in 6 months but being taught what they teach in other schools in 2 years. They taught me to be a prepared cook.”

Following up on life after culinary school graduation, Schweizer earned his spot as the winner of Hell’s Kitchen Brasil (Season 3), taking home the 100,000 gold bar prize. Becoming known as the ‘Fit Chef’ while on the show for sharing his weight loss story, Chef Schweitzer helps individuals reach their goals of losing weight through healthy eating habits. With the momentum of the Hell’s Kitchen win still strong, he shares plans to open an elevated pizzeria in Brazil with ‘nontraditional’ toppings.

Watch the full interview to learn about the chef’s new endeavor and more!

 

Click HERE for more information about how you can #LoveWhatYouDo at ICC as an international student.

The Importance of Charcuterie: A Step-by-Step Process

The International Culinary Center lead chef-instructors are here to make sure you’re fully prepared for your home festivities. No matter which holiday your family celebrates, there’s never a wrong time to cook a ham from scratch.

Charcuterie is a major portion of the Professional Culinary Arts program within Level 3. Cured meats are a staple in the culinary world, no matter where you are in the world and the International Culinary Center’s program truly prepares you for every and any meat-based dish you may desire.

Lead Chef-Instructor Jeff Butler, explains the importance of acquiring a professional education regarding proper techniques and execution of charcuterie.

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Charcuterie is important because it differs greatly from regular cooking. It requires discipline, great attention to detail and patience. A dash extra of salt or the lack of an ingredient can result in an inedible product. In regular cooking, we can play with the seasoning and adjust until the moment we put it on the plate. In charcuterie, you might not know the results of a recipe until months later after the item has aged. Good charcuterie skills allow for the almost complete use of a pig from head to tail. It puts the chef in touch with ancient skills that go back thousands of years, history on a plate. You can’t learn it in a day and we put a lot of effort into the curriculum to give the student a strong foundation of charcuterie skills. Plus, you get to make hotdogs – and I love hotdogs.”

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Ingredients

  • 1- hind leg of pork with all bones removed except for the shank, approximately 10-12 lbs. 4.5-5.4 Kilo
  • 5 Liter cold water
  • 480 Grams of Kosher Salt
  • 20 Grams of Pink Curing Salt #1
  • 150 Grams of Honey
  • 5 Grams Brine Phosphate (optional)
  • Activa Meat Glue (optional)

Equipment Needed 

  1. 5 gallon Bucket
  2. Brining needle
  3. Ham netting
  4. Hog rings
  5. Hog ring pliers
  6. Immersion circulator
  7. Hand immersion blender
  8. Powdered sugar shaker

Step by Step Process: 

Step 1: Mix the water, salt, sugar, pink cure #1 and phosphate with the hand blender for approximately 2 minutes, until no solids are visible.

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Step 1.

Step 2: Using the brine needle, gently pump the meat. Keep the meat in a large tub so as to not lose any leaking brine. Pump the brine in a grid pattern with a 1 inch spread. Do not try to poke needle through skin. Do try to pump around the shank. When finished pumping, submerge meat in remaining brine  and the brine that has leaked off during pumping in the bucket.

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Step 2
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Step 2

Step 3: Let sit in refrigeration for 3 days. And then resume with the brine in the bucket and repeat step 2. This ensures that your meat is completely saturated with brine and the curing is complete.

Step 4: Let sit for 2 days. And remove from brine. Discard leftover brine. Pat meat dry with paper towel.

Step 5: Using Activa, in the powdered sugar shaker. Liberally dust the interior of the ham. This will keep the ham from having holes in the finished slices.

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Step 5

Step 6: Tie the Ham into the Ham netting.

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Step 7: Twist the Ham inside the netting to tighten it upon itself and  hog ring pliers to clamp the netting closed and to hold the tension. Use an extra hog ring to ensure it stays closed. Let the Ham sit in the refrigerator over night to set the Activa. You can also use butchers twine to truss the Ham, but take great care to keep it tight and trim loose ends to make sure they will not be caught in the immersion circulator.

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Step 8: Set up the immersion circulator and set it to 145 F or 63 C. Submerge the ham in the water bath and cook for 14 hours. You can vacuum seal the Ham prior but you do not have to. The water bath will be discarded when finished.

Step 9: Remove Ham from the circulator.  Take off netting , score the skin with a cross hatched pattern, be careful to not go into the flesh.

Step 10: Put ham in a roasting pan fitted with a rack.  Begin to bake at 250 F.  bake for 2 hours.

Step 11: Remove from oven and turn the temperature up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with the convection fan turned on if possible.

Step 12: Brush ham with vegetable oil and place in the 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven after fully preheated.

Step 13: When the ham is beautifully browned remove it from oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes and serve with the sauce of your choice.

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Step 14: ENJOY! 

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To learn more about the various levels of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts program and reserve your spot during our January 30 start date, CLICK HERE.

Alumni Authors: Justin Chapple, PCA ’09

Written by Daisy Martinez

After graduating from ICC, Justin worked under Chef Alain Allegretti at Allegretti in New York City, getting his feet wet in a professional kitchen. Justin joined the Food & Wine magazine team in 2010 as an Assistant Event Coordinator for the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen; he rose up the ranks to Senior Test Kitchen Editor and in-house foodie-geek featuring his video series, “Mad Genius Tips”, which he has organized into an accompanying new book of the same name. When he is not busy testing hundreds of recipes for Food & Wine–the magazine, digital projects and their branded cookbooks–he has tested and developed dishes for other publications and appears regularly on many morning news shows, highlighting recipes and those “oh so kooky” shortcuts and kitchen hacks.

 

Student Life: The Importance of Mise en Place

Written by AJ Fusco
Professional Culinary Arts Student

I would like to start off by introducing myself and giving you a little background on myself.  I am a career firefighter in Westchester County and also attend ICC in the Professional Culinary Arts program.  My passion for cooking is just as strong the one I have for firefighting, which is what led me to the decision to become a “career adder.”  I have always had a second job while being a firefighter, and decided I would like to pursue something I truly loved.  Now, I have the best of both worlds!

One of the first things we learn at ICC is “Mise en Place”, or “to put in place”.  The emphasis my Chef Instructors put on this concept could not be greater, but rightfully so.  We all know the kitchen can be a volatile environment filled heat, smoke and the ever present danger of fire and injury.  And now that I think about it, the kitchen is very similar to being in a fire!  The intense adrenaline rush of service parallels those same feelings I get when operating on the fire-ground.  And just like cooking in a kitchen, being prepared as a firefighter is vital to a successful operation.  This is when I started to connect the dots between having your mise en place in both the kitchen and the firehouse.  

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We train in the firehouse to make sure we are prepared for whatever emergency may come our way.  The fire trucks are set up in a way so that equipment is organized together and easily accessible at any moment’s notice, just like having your ingredients and tools ready to go for a busy dinner service.  But before I started ICC, I admittedly was a messy cook in the firehouse.  Having all my ingredients ready to use was just not on my mind, which certainly didn’t help the situation of not knowing if an alarm would come in while getting dinner ready for a group of hungry firefighters.  That all changed when I learned about this thing called “Mise en Place”.  Suddenly, my meals not only tasted better but I was able to cook more efficiently in the unpredictable firehouse kitchen.  Countless times I have been prepping for a meal, when suddenly an alarm comes in and everything has to stop.  The oven and burners get shut off, and we are out the door, unsure of when we will be back to finish cooking the meal.  But having everything ready to go when we return to the firehouse has prevented plenty of take-out which is always a plus. So to say “Mise en Place” has changed me for the better as a cook would be a severe understatement!

A Tale of Two Waffles

Once upon a time, there were two waffles… One originated in Brussels while the other one was born in Liege. And they lived happy ever after! Come on now, this is no fairy tale! Well at least not THAT type of fairy tale. As you may (or may not) know Belgium produces quite an array of products enjoyed worldwide. This small country, roughly the size of Maryland, is famous for its chocolate, its beers, its delicate pastries, its cuisine, its casinos, its world famous racetrack at Spa Francorchamps, the Ardennes and Bastogne (where 4 star General Patton engaged in the battle of the Bulge)… the list goes on and on. But, nothing else quite compares to its unique one-of-a-kind “gaufre” – or as we know it here in the United States – the Belgian waffle.

Belgians are surely proud of their waffles. Pancakes are considered everyday food (for breakfast or as a snack), but waffles are a serious business; they are much more special. I remember looking forward to this one waffle shop as a child, where I would stop for a “gaufre Liégeoise” on my way home from elementary school. Around 4 o’clock, when school ended, the smell of sweet, lightly caramelized sugar would filled the air.  There was no way I would pass on the opportunity to savor such a delight. Even though I stopped almost everyday at the same time, the merchant always asked if I wanted it hot, warm or lukewarm. Warm it was, for me at least. Nothing can, or will, ever compare to that soothing feeling of comfort.  To this day, whenever I have a chance to travel home, I make it a point to visit this unique waffle shop. Although faces and surroundings have changed a bit, the waffle shop and the quality of the product remain the same.

In Belgium, the waffle iron is almost as beloved as the waffle itself. From its original heavy cast iron form to the most sophisticated electric version, pretty much every Belgian household owns a waffle iron of some kind. Some waffle irons are passed on from generation to generation. Mind you, this item is a must on every bride-to-be’s gift registry.  In several museums, and even in some homes, a magnificent collection of waffle irons can be found. Some made of beautifully forged silver or copper that date as far back as the 13th century. Many are fashioned with elaborate patterned grids and produce the most beautiful waffles. Over the centuries, these delectable treats have inspired poets and tempted royalties alike – such as French King Francois, who adored his waffles prepared hot off a silver iron. However, waffles were never meant to be enjoyed by royalty, famous people or inspired personages alone – they are indeed for everyone!

There are hundreds of waffle recipes from all over Belgium, often passed from one generation to the next. Most of the waffles are made with yeast, creating lighter, crustier waffles than the waffles made with baking powder typically found here in the U.S. Belgian waffles first came to the U.S. when they were introduced during the 1960’s World’s fair. I find it hard to believe that despite the variety of easy-to-use and readily available electric waffle irons today, waffles in the U.S. remain mostly a breakfast food item. Try to offer waffles during your next party or family get together, as a meal! Serve them with an array of toppings – from fresh fruit, to ice ream, hot Belgian chocolate, crème chantilly, butter, syrup, Nutella or jam! I usually invite friends of family members to visit in the late afternoon and seduce them with the enticing smells of freshly brewed coffee, coco and baking waffles. No one (to date) has ever been able to resist this happy feast. Keep the waffle iron in sight or in the dining room and make it part of the fun. Your imagination and creativity are really the limit!

Please enjoy the following recipes. Both have been tested over time. Do not rush the process. “Take care of the recipe. Pay attention to all steps and details. The finished product will take care of you!”

Bon appétit,

Chef Alain V. De Coster CEC, CCA, BMCA

ICC Chef-Instructor, Professional Culinary Arts

Gaufre de Liège:

These waffles are little more time consuming to make but the end result is definitely worth the effort. Two separate batters are prepared and ultimately mixed together for a deliciously sweet and crunchy waffle. Please do not forget to preheat your waffle iron.

Batter 1:

  • 1 ¼ oz fresh cake yeast (or 2 ½ packages of dry yeast)
  • ¼ cup warm water (about 100° F)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup of milk, warmed to 100° F

Batter 2:

  • 9 tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of slat
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ pearl sugar (or ¾ cup crushed sugar cubes)

To proceed:

Prepare batter 1: In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with 1 tbsp of the flour and the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes or so. Sift the remaining flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, egg and milk. Using a wooden spoon mix well until smooth, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the batter has roughly doubled in volume.

Meanwhile prepare batter 2: in a medium size bowl mix the butter, flour, salt, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon (if using), granulate sugar and pearl sugar until a paste is obtained. Using your hands work batter 2 into batter 1 until well blended. Shape the obtained dough into roughly 10 even sized balls approximately 2 ½ to 3 oz each. Flatten each ball slightly until a disk type shape is obtained. Dust lightly with flour.

Bake in a medium hot waffle iron. Do not let the iron become too hot or the sugar will burn! Bake until waffles are golden brown but still lightly soft, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Serve the waffles lukewarm or cooled to room temperature on a rack. Sugar waffles will keep well for several days in an airtight container, if you manage to have any left over!

NB: Crushed sugar cubes can be substituted fro the sugar pearls. Using a rolling pin crush 1 cup of cubed sugar into small pieces, approximately the size of a sunflower seed. Don’t worry about making them the same size!

Gaufre de Bruxelles:

The following recipe is for a satisfying stack of waffles. It will make about 40 delicious waffles. For a smaller group, simply divide the recipe to yield what is needed. These waffles can be frozen when needed. Leftover waffles can be used as next day’s breakfast by simply reheating them in your waffle iron for a minute or so.

  • 2 oz fresh cake yeast or 4 packages active dry yeast
  • 6 cups of milk, warmed to 100° F
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
  • 12 tbsp margarine, melted and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar or 1 cup sugar + 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 large egg whites, beaten to soft peak

To proceed:

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of the lukewarm milk. In a large, deep mixing bowl (the dough will double or triple in volume), whisk the egg yolks with ½ cup of the remaining milk, the melted butter and margarine. Add the yeast mixture, sugar and the salt. Gradually add the flour to the batter by sifting it in. Alternate additions of flour with the remaining 4 ½ cups of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon after each addition. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Cover with a clean towel and transfer to a warm area. Let the batter rise for 1 hour or so. The batter, as noted, will double or even triple in volume pending the ambient temperature you let it rise at. While this process takes place, ample time should be on hand to warm the waffles iron to proper temperature, brew coffee, set the tables and get ready yourself for a great feast. Check the better from time to time as to not let it erupt over the bowl you placed it in. Should it be rising to fast, simply stir it once or twice. The easiest way to get the batter onto the waffle iron is to transfer it into a water pitcher and pour it directly onto the hot waffle iron. Look Mom, no mess! Serve the hot waffles at once, letting your guests decide which topping is best for them. Should you whish to refrigerate these delicate waffles, allow them to cool before storing.