gramercy tavern field trip

What A Professional Pastry Arts Student Learned at Gramercy Tavern

During the course of the Professional Pastry Arts program, students have the opportunity to participate in industry field trips to restaurants, bakeries and more where they meet working pastry chefs, ask questions and see the skills + techniques they’ve learned in action.

Chefs at participating patisseries walk students through the kitchen for a behind-the-scenes look at their operations—from ingredient preparation to plating and service. Attending one of these field trips not only provides great networking opportunities, but also allows students to experience professional kitchens first-hand. Some of our recent pastry field trips have included OceanaRon Ben-Israel CakesDominique Ansel Kitchen, and ICC Dean Jacques Torres’ chocolate factory Jacques Torres Chocolate.

Recently, a group of Professional Pastry Arts students embarked on a journey to Gramercy Tavern to experience the iconic NYC restaurant with Pastry Chef, Miro Uskokovic. For 6 years, Chef Uskokovic has been at the pastry helm of the Michelin-starred kitchen and has been leading his 20 person team to success. Throughout the tour, Chef Uskokovic gave the insider’s scoop to the restaurant—like how on any given day they serve hundreds of desserts to guests with a sweet tooth, and make all of the varying 12-13 different breads that the restaurant serves.

Chef Uskokovic and Gramercy Tavern as a whole, famously, do not use refined sugars or corn syrup in any of the desserts or dishes created on the menu. Instead, they use ingredients like non-GMO and organic white, brown, powdered, coconut, and maple sugars. Seeing this first hand in the kitchens is an invaluable experience and something that is not soon forgotten.

So we sat down with current Professional Pastry Arts student, Kathleen Feeney, to find out what she and her classmates learned on their adventure to Gramercy Tavern. Below, read what she took away from the once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Kathleen is a current Professional Pastry Arts student and enjoys the challenge of learning so many new skills.  She has found pastry school enriching and is excited to continue to learn so many techniques and recipes under the guidance of her chef instructors. In her free time, Kathleen loves to play many instruments, travel and enjoy her Irish culture through dance, art and lots of bread making.

Delivering Freshness With Organization

To deliver a fresh and flavorful menu, being highly organized is necessary. Each staff member has a clearly defined role, work station, and tools which includes ingredients and recipes. Gramercy Tavern has dedicated prep stations for each aspect of the menu including pasta making, butchery, chocolate making, pastry, breads and more.

A Team Effort

It takes many hands and a team effort to operate a great restaurant. Many kitchen staff work closely together to ensure successful plating in a timely manner. But outside the kitchen, key staff are responsible for delivering a stellar dining experience to customers. This includes an in-house floral arrangement team who create beautiful fresh displays throughout the restaurant, a marketing & events team and even a forager who goes to Maine in search of the freshest berries.

Flexibility Will Help You Learn

The staff rotate in the kitchen so that they each learn different functions to ensure proper coverage—some members even do 2-3 stations a week! This keeps new ideas flowing freely and education at a high-level. The supervisor will always put together a production list for the day, so even if you’re new at the station, you know what needs to get done. The menu is also always being refreshed to include the best produce of that season, which carries through the message of flexibility in the kitchen.

To learn more about our Professional Pastry Arts program and see the next available start dates, click here.

Gramercy Tavern by the Numbers: 300 desserts a night, 200 full time staff, 17 pastry chefs, 25th Anniversary, 1 iconic biscuit!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Event Partners:

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

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

panel

Sharing the Slice: Finding Balance

On Sunday, March 24th, 2019 the International Culinary Center hosted a jam-packed day of discussions and networking for pastry professionals at the second Pastry Plus Conference. Pastry Plus provides a unique opportunity to connect the innovative minds of pastry professionals to meet and discuss the changing landscape of the industry. As a community, pastry chefs, sous chefs, line cooks, bakers and pastry business owners address the evolving workplace, learn about industry innovations and expand the sphere of the modern pastry chef.

panelThe theme of this year’s conference, Sharing the Slice, focused on how the industry must consider the way in which we connect and share information. Cooking has always been a shared experience. As Emily Luchetti—Chief Pastry Officer of Big Night Restaurant Group & ICC Dean of Pastry—shared in her conference address, pastries and desserts are innately created to be shared at the end of a meal. The morning forum, presented by our partner Callebaut®, brought to light how chefs share ideas and communicate in today’s changing landscape of modern technology. The panel discussion moderated by Mitchell Davis, Chief Strategy Officer of The James Beard Foundation, featured Zoe Kanan (Head Baker of Simon & The Whale and The Studio), Rose Levy Beranbaum (Cookbook Author) and Ron Ben-Israel (Owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes). Everything from the future of cookbooks to the risks and rewards of increased connection through social media were discussed.

zoe kananPastry Plus also provides an opportunity for current ICC students to volunteer for the day’s events—sit in on panels, individual classes and meet their future colleagues in the industry. Current ICC Professional Pastry Arts student, Samantha Daily was one of 15 volunteers that attended the conference. Samantha began the day greeting guests; little did she know VIP guests and speakers would also be entering with attendees. She shared that this was her “first indication of just how much this conference drew professionals from the pastry industry together.” From industry legends like Elizabeth Falkner and Claudia Flemming, to rising pastry talents like Zoe Kanan and Eunji Lee, Samantha remarked that “everyone was treated equally”. “Everyone walked in the same door, had the same breakfast, and attended the same conference,” said Samantha. We asked Samantha to share some of her biggest takeaways from the panel and opening forum to hear from the next generation of pastry professionals. Read below to hear about her experience at Pastry Plus!

Social Media Promotes The Sharing of Ideas

rose levy barenbaumRose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Cake Bible, spoke about how cookbooks once sparked a change in the industry by pushing people to share what they know. Before cookbooks were widely popularized, chefs guarded their techniques and recipes as secrets. Cookbooks built the foundation of communication among professionals and home cooks alike.

Today, social media and the internet have completely changed the landscape. For better or worse, chefs are almost expected to share what they know. The positive is that often by sharing their ideas through posts on their social channels, they allow budding chefs to grow through their knowledge and connect with other colleagues around the world.

Ron Ben-Israel shared the story of how he met Rose years ago. At the time, there was no direct message on social media to contact someone you admired. Instead, Ron wrote to the publisher of Rose’s cookbook with words of admiration for her work. The letter made its way to Rose and she ended up meeting with Ron because he took the time to write to her. Nowadays, Ron commented that this has changed within the industry because of social media, and it’s not always positive. Instead of decorum and professionalism, people often message him on Instagram asking for his recipes. As someone who values teaching others, he would be willing to share helpful tips, but there is an air of expectation with this communication that does not promote growth in the industry. What is his suggestion to rising chefs? Strive to build relationships with chefs and learn from them in a different setting.

Giving Credit is Important

The panelists all agreed—giving credit where credit is due is essential to protecting other chef’s brands, hard work and promoting your own reputation. Many chefs post their creations and share their recipes, but it can be off putting when many people, other chefs included, use their ideas without recognizing who they took inspiration from. Innovation is something we strive for in our industry, so to discover a new way of doing something just to have it stolen by another can be disheartening. Giving credit shows integrity and respect, and in turn, builds your reputation within the tight-knit pastry community.

On the Topic of Following Others…

emily luchettiIn Emily Luchetti’s opening speech, she shared that “you won’t find your own style by following what everyone else is doing.” This speaks volumes about what is happening on social media today. It is too easy to see what others are doing and repeat their post. So, how can you be innovative without simply following what is trendy? Ron and Rose agreed with panelist Zoe Kanan when she spoke of trusting her instincts to follow those you admire. Use social media and cookbooks as a source of inspiration, but listen to “the mixing bowl in your mind” to create your own style and become who you’re meant to be as a pastry chef.

Trends vs. Innovation

Trends only last so long. Maybe a week, or a month, but they are fleeting and soon replaced by the next trend. Innovation is progression and evolution. It is something we should be striving for as a pastry community. Innovation is what will further the industry as a whole, ensuring that classic and modern pastry techniques are carried into the future. Innovation lasts—trends change.

About Samantha Daily

samantha daily and christina tosiSamantha Daily is a current student in the Professional Pastry Program here at ICC! She grew up cooking and baking with her mom and sister and has always had a passion for it. She was in school studying equine science and management when she got the amazing opportunity to compete on MasterChef season 9, going on to place 4th in the competition and was blessed with an amazing scholarship from Gordon Ramsay. While in school, she is getting the most out of her experience by attending almost all of the demonstrations & events and working part time at fellow ICC alumna Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar.

Two ICC Alumni Win at the World Bread Awards

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

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

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

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

David ShalamCelemence Danko

About The Art of International Bread Baking Program:

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

About the Event Partners:

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

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

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

Photo Gallery: Highlights from The NY Cake Show 2017 at Pier 36

The International Culinary Center hosted a demonstration stage at The NY Cake Show 2017 throughout June 10th and 11th at Pier 36. The stage featured 45-minute lessons with ICC Pastry Chef-Instructors including the school’s Director of Pastry Operations, Chef Jansen Chan, Senior Coordinator (Pastry), Chef Jurgen David, and Chef Michael Zebrowski, Chef-Instructor and ICC Alumni. Additional ICC alumni on the roster included Justine MacNeil, Executive Pastry Chef of Del Posto, Chef Pietro Aletto, Executive Pastry Chef at Boutrous, and various other established pastry professionals.

As a returning Education Partner of the New York Cake Show, we were excited to be part of one of the country’s premier cake competition. We were especially proud to feature our outstanding alumni chefs and pastry chef-instructors throughout the weekend at our very own demonstration theater. Amazing pastries, such as rhubarb pie, baklava sticky buns, and gluten-free chocolate cakes, were on the menu – a very exciting weekend for all our attendees! I was especially proud of our The Cookie Games V winners showcasing how to make their Browned Butter Masala Chai cookies.” – Chef Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry Operations at ICC.

 

Inside ICC: Creating Chocolate Truffles with Chef-Instructor Michael Zebrowski

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by creating your own chocolate truffles —and a heart-shaped box made of chocolate. Watch below as Pastry Chef-Instructor Michael Zebrowski shares some of the techniques learned within ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program.


Ingredients Needed:

  • 454 grams (1 lb) Heavy Cream
  • 70 grams (2.5 oz) Invert Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 680 grams (1 lb 8 oz) Chocolate (58-64%)
  • 227 grams (8 oz) Butter (softened)
  • 114 grams (4 oz) Liqueur
  • *Use a good quality liqueur like Cognac, Armagnac, Grand Marnier or dark rum.

Procedure for Chocolate Truffles: 

  • In a saucepan, bring the cream, sugar and salt to a boil
    Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate. Allow to stand for one minute, then emulsify, from the center out, until smooth
  • Stir in the softened butter and emulsify until homogeneous.
  • Gradually pour in the liqueur, stirring continuously to maintain an emulsion.
  • Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and allow to set up at room temperature.
  • Pipe the ganache into rounds that are as spherical as possible.
  • Roll the ganache into spheres by hand and chill again. At this point, the rolls may be refrigerated for several days before being finished.
  • Allow the spheres to temper from the refrigerator before coating twice in tempered chocolate.
  • After the second coating, roll the truffles in sifted cocoa powder before the chocolate sets. Once set, sift the excess cocoa powder off the finished truffles.

 

Create a chocolate heart-shaped box using techniques from Chef Michael! Learn more about ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program, click here. 

 

PASTRY CHEF JASON LICKER REVEALS ‘LICKERLAND’ COOKBOOK + LAUNCH EVENT

lickerland-cover
French Culinary Institute  graduate and professional Pastry Chef, Jason Licker has announced the US release of his first-ever cookbook. Celebrating 56 Asian-accented desserts, each recipe is the embodiment of Jason’s journey throughout some of Asia’s most captivating culinary capitals. Lickerland collects Pastry Chef Licker’s most cherished recipes from his magical career, seamlessly balancing Asian ingredients with classic French pastry techniques and presented beautifully with images by award-winning photographer, Jason Michael Lang.

After spending the last 12 years traveling and cooking throughout Asia, Jason is heading back stateside to make the International Culinary Center the first stop on his American Lickerland tour. Currently available throughout Asia and Europe via www.JasonLicker.com, Jason will be commemorating the United States release at his alma mater, the International Culinary Center on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 3:30pm-5pm ET.

You need to experience the bitter to realize how sweet things can be. This statement isn’t just about understanding your palate; it’s also about perseverance when faced with uncertainty. I never planned on becoming a chef. In fact, I had no idea what I was going to do. I may have always had a love affair with food, but it took a tragedy for me to realize it was actually my true calling. This book is about the memories I cherish that shaped who I am today. It’s about discovering flavors of the world in a journey that changed my life. I hope, in some small measure, it can help change yours. At the very least, you should be well-fed along the way.” Jason Licker, Pastry Chef

Limited signed copies will be available February 11th on www.JasonLicker.com or purchase on www.Amazon.com after February 23rd. A limited amount of signed copies will also be available at the event for purchase.

About the International Culinary Center®:

Founded by the late Dorothy Cann Hamilton as The French Culinary Institute in 1984, the International Culinary Center (ICC) is a global expert in professional culinary and wine education, with programs in New York and California, and graduates from more than 85 countries. The renowned six-month Total Immersion program has produced such talents as Bobby Flay, David Chang, Dan Barber, Christina Tosi and 15,000 more under the guidance of deans including Jacques Pepin and Jacques Torres. Awarded the coveted “School of Excellence” by accrediting commission ACCSC for its career education, ICC provides students with the credentials, confidence and connections to chart a successful career anywhere in the world.

About Jason Licker:

Before taking his passion for pastry into a global experience, Jason Licker received his diploma in Professional Pastry Arts through the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center®) in 1999. While in culinary school, Jason earned his first internship at Union Square Café in New York City and following graduation, earned a pastry cook position at the world renowned Jean-Georges Restaurant. Moving on to his first Pastry Chef position at Metrazur for Charlie Palmer at the age of 23, Jason elevated his craft yet again with a promotion to Executive Pastry Chef for The Shore Club in Miami Beach. Overseeing all food and beverage outlets including Nobu Miami Beach, Jason fueled his new found affinity for Asian cuisine. Holding positions as Executive Pastry Chef at the Peninsula New York, The Westin Bund in Shanghai, The Venetian Macau Hotel and Resort among others, the winner of Iron Chef Thailand (Dessert) is now making his way back stateside for the release of his inaugural pastry cookbook, Lickerland.

To RSVP for the event, email MTarigan@CulinaryCenter.com with subject Lickerland.

For all press inquiries, please email ASamartano@CulinaryCenter.com

 

Inside ICC: Creating Heart Sablée Cookies with Chef Jurgen David

In a brand new video, we get you geared up for Valentine’s Day 2017 with Senior Coordinator of Pastry Arts, Chef Jurgen David. Watch as Chef Jurgen elevates an average vanilla sablée cookie recipe into a festive edible arrangement sweet enough for your sweetheart. Follow his recipe below and watch along!

Want to learn from Chef Jurgen David? Click Here to learn more about our Professional Pastry Arts program in New York City.


Recipe: Vanilla Sablée Dough

Yield: 615 g

  • Ingredients:
    270 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 225 g butter, room temperature
  • 100 g sugar
  • 20 g egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure: For the Vanilla Sablée Dough

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Slowly, add the egg and then milk. Mix to combine, making sure to scrape between additions.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the bowl all at once, then mix on low speed until just combined.
  4. Wrap dough well in plastic wrap and chill before rolling.
  5. The dough can be stored for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Carroll, Pastry Arts Class of 2012 [California]

In a new alumni spotlight feature, Professional Pastry Arts graduate Melissa Carroll talks to ICC on life after graduating from ICC California’s Professional Pastry Arts program in 2012. Following her California graduation, Melissa traveled the globe before landing in the pastry kitchen of the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas.

To me, ‘Love What You Do’ is an incredibly important phrase that everyone should tell themselves. If you’re not enjoying your career, you’re not enjoying your life. We all have to work to provide a life for ourselves. What’s the point in working a job your hate when you could be doing something you love? ”

– Melissa Carroll


ICC: Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day responsibilities working for the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas. 

Melissa: I am a pastry kitchen supervisor at the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas. My job entails everything I used to do as a pastry cook plus helping with ordering, inventory, and writing prep sheets for our pastry team of about 12 people. Because I work night shifts, I’m responsible for both plating desserts on the line and pastry production. Within the hotel, there are two restaurants, one event space, one ice cream truck, and one bakeshop/coffee shop that we produce for. 


ICC: How did you first get involved with the hotel? melissa-carroll-7

Melissa: Before moving to Austin about a year and a half ago, I applied for the job from Illinois and later had a phone interview with my Chef, Amanda Rockman. Once I arrived, we met for a formal interview and I was offered the position as a pastry cook.  


ICC: What inspired you to enroll in culinary school? Were there certain steps/ thoughts that lead you to the decision?

Melissa: I’ve loved cooking since I was about 12 years old. I always found myself watching cooking shows and enjoyed making dinner for my family every night. Going to culinary school was always something I knew I’d enjoy.


ICC: How and when did you know you wanted to work in the food industry? What about it was appealing to you?

Melissa: In high school, I had dreams of opening my own cafe one day. One of my favorite parts of cooking is being able to cook for other people. Seeing the look on someone’s face when they’re enjoying your food is very rewarding. After high school, I attended art school for a semester. I then took the following semester off to save up for culinary school. I later went back to art school while working in kitchens to finish up my Associates in Fine Arts.


ICC: What were your greatest challenges at school? And how were you able to overcome them?

Melissa: Some of my greatest challenges in culinary school were remembering all of the different types of creams and exact temperatures to cook certain things to. It’s something I still struggle remembering but flash cards were definitely my friends when test time came around.


ICC: If someone were hesitant about pursuing a culinary education, what you say to encourage them?

Melissa: If someone is interested in pursuing an education in the culinary industry I would suggest them to stàge at a restaurant they admire first. Restaurant life isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something that they feel they’d enjoy after stàging for a day or two, I’d say it’s worth it. Being able to cook for people and using your creativity with food as your medium is very fulfilling.


ICC: What is your fondest memory of culinary school? 

One of my favorite assignments at the ICC was coming up with my own seasonal dessert menu for a fictional restaurant concept. My chef instructors then picked two items from the menu and we had to present them. They chose the Gooey Butter Cake with a cranberry orange compote and cinnamon chantilly and a deconstructed “Fig Newton” with fig thyme jam, spiced shortbread, goat cheese anglaise, port wine reduction, and a candied thyme sprig. My favorite event that I was able to attend thanks to the ICC was a dessert tasting and tour at Farallon with Chef Emily Luchetti.

Inside ICC Holiday Hacks: Homemade Sprinkles

Watch our final Inside ICC #HolidayHacks video for 2016 featuring Director of Pastry Operations Jansen Chan demonstrating how to create homemade sprinkles in your own kitchen! Use them as a garnish or mix-in your favorite cookie, muffin, or cake recipes for a colorful pop. Full recipe below. 

 


Ingredients:

400 grams confectioners’ sugar, plus additional as needed

7 grams dried egg whites

Pinch of kosher salt

50 g. water

Food colorings, as desired


Procedure:

  1. In five different bowls, place about 2 g. of food colors of your choice, separately. Ideally, bright and contrasting colors will be best.
  2. In a sixth bowl, mix together the sugar, dried egg whites and salt.
  3. Add water and mix to create a stiff dough. If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water. If the dough is too wet, add a sprinkling of additional confectioners’ sugar.
  4. Divide the dough into six portions.
  5. Place each portion into the five bowls, reserving the sixth portion to keep white.
  6. Lightly roll the white dough into a ½” log and place on a lightly greased, parchment paper.
  7. Using gloves, working from the lightest color to the darkest colors, knead each mixture until it is fully homogenous. If the dough is too wet, add a sprinkling of additional confectioners’ sugar.
  8. Before moving on the next color, roll the dough into a ½” log and place adjacent to the initial white dough log.
  9. Repeat until all dough portions are mixed and placed the third log next to the second log and the fourth, fifth and sixth logs direction on top of the first three logs.
  10. Remove gloves and roll the parchment paper to compress the six logs to create one larger log.
  11. Unwrap from parchment paper and allow to dry 2-3 days at room temperature, unwrapped.
  12. Rotate the log after the first 24 hrs, to allow all sides to dry.
  13. Grate the dry log against a cheese grater and spread on another parchment paper to dry for a few hours as individual pieces.
  14. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, until needed.