4 Ways To Minimize Your Food Waste This Thanksgiving

Creating a beautiful Thanksgiving table that’s both tasty and environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be difficult. We spoke with Chef Ben Grebel, ICC Chef-Instructor of 6 years and one of our Professional Culinary Arts + Farm-to-Table program coordinators to learn how he eliminates food waste and makes his Thanksgiving table more sustainable.

Below, get his tips for using all of your scraps, fats and bones to create a delicious meal while minimizing food waste!

Break Down Your Turkey

Breaking down your turkey should be the first step in creating your Thanksgiving meal. Chef Ben recommends removing the turkey breasts and legs from the carcass and setting these aside. Then, break down the actual carcass and roast the bones in the oven—if the turkey neck is inside of the turkey, this can be roasted as well.

By roasting the carcass, you will be bringing out layers of flavor and using this to create a stock. This will make it so that you won’t have to make a separate stock or a demi-glaze from the store, saving you time and money.

Save Your Scraps

When you’re prepping vegetables for your stuffing or side dishes, save any scraps that you produce. These scraps can be sautéed and used in the next waste saving tip!

Make a Stock

Use the sautéed vegetable scraps to add flavor to your stock! Add the roasted turkey carcass and vegetables, in addition to thyme, bay leaf and black pepper to a stock pot with water on your stove. The offal from the turkey can also be added to the pot, which will give your stock a more mineral flavor.

Reserve The Fat

On the day of Thanksgiving, season and roast the turkey breasts and legs. While the stock and turkey are cooking, skim any residual fat from both and use this to incorporate into any other recipes that need additional flavor—the fat is particularly perfect for stuffing!

By using these methods to reduce your waste, you can get the most out of the ingredients that you’re using, save money, and positively impact the environment, all while infusing more flavor into your food. Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving breads

3 Easy Breads For Your Thanksgiving Table

ICC’s Associate Director of Pastry, Chef Jürgen David loves Thanksgiving, but he didn’t grow up with the food and family fueled holiday. Hailing from the land of Apfelstrudel and Sachertorte, Thanksgiving was a culture shock to Chef Jürgen when he came to America in 1996 from Austria. Now, 23 years after coming to America and joining ICC, he loves Thanksgiving and regards it as one of his favorite holidays because he gets to spend time with family and friends.

As he was developing these Thanksgiving bread recipes, he thought about ingredients that he incorporates around his holiday table. Years ago, he told one of his family members that he wanted corn on the cob for the table, but was swiftly reminded that corn isn’t in season during November. So, to appease the Thanksgiving masses, he created this recipe for a Jalapeño & Bacon Corn Bread! He also created the Pumpkin Pecan Crumb Cake to combine two of everyone’s favorite holiday pies—Pumpkin and Pecan Pie—and Cranberry Scones made with orange and cranberry to highlight fall fruit flavors.

Check out the three recipes below and remember, these breads can be made ahead to alleviate some stress in prepping for one of the biggest foodie holidays of the year!


Yield: Two (9 x 5 x 2½ in) loaves

225 g granulated sugar

335 g all-purpose flour

85 g cornmeal

20 g baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 eggs

280 g milk

150 g vegetable oil

2 fresh jalapeños, diced

100 g browned bacon, cubed

100 g frozen corn kernels


  1. Butter and flour the pans and set aside.
  2. Mix the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together. Add the jalapeños, browned bacon and frozen corn kernels to the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients and stir just to combine; mixing as little as possible to avoid working up the gluten.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  5. Bake the bread at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Unmold onto a cooling rack.

Special Instructions:

  • To make a savory corn bread, fresh corn kernels, red bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, or sauteed bacon can be added for a savory loaf.
  • The batter can be refrigerated for several days.
  • Baked corn bread can be stored, tightly wrapped, for a week in the refrigerator or frozen for longer storage.
  • The oil gives this bread a long shelf life.


Yield: One (9 in) cake

For the Crumb Topping

50 g butter

130 g pecans, chopped

110 g brown sugar

65 g all-purpose flour

2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cake

330 g all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

150 g butter, melted

150 g granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

110 g sour cream

110 g pumpkin puree

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger


For the Crumb Topping

  1. Butter and flour a 9-in cake pan.
  2. Prepare the crumb topping by cutting the butter into the other ingredients until large crumbs form. Set aside until needed.

For the Cake

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and salt.
  2. Mix together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, sour cream and pumpkin puree.
  3. Combine the two mixtures; do not overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, top with the crumb mixture, and bake the coffee cake in a 325°F oven for 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. The cake may be dusted lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

Special Instructions

  • The pecans should be coarsely chopped.
  • The crumbs may be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
  • Do not combine the wet and dry mixtures until ready to bake. Chemical leaveners, such as baking soda, react immediately when exposed to an acid such as sour cream. If the batter is not baked immediately after mixing, the leavener will be spent and the cake will be dense.


Yield: 8-12 scones

For the Scones

325 g bread flour

20 g baking powder

45 g granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

110 g butter, cut in small cubes, chilled

100 g dried cranberries

grated zest of 1 orange

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

100-140 mL heavy cream



  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the cold, cubed butter into the dry ingredients until it is the size of dried lentils. If the butter is cut up too much, the scones will not be as flaky.
  3. Add the dried fruit to the flour mixture.
  4. Put the whole egg and egg yolk in a measuring cup and add enough cream to measure 200 milliliters. Lightly beat the egg and egg yolk with the cream and add it to the dough.
  5. Add the egg/liquid mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms, but do not overwork the dough—it should be soft and just come together.
  6. Pat or roll out the dough until approximately ¾ inch thick.
  7. Cut the scones into the desired shape and place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush the scones with additional cream.
  8. Bake the scones at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottoms and around the edges.

Special Instructions

  • The scones may be cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter, or into squares or wedges.
  • The dried cranberries should be soft. If dry, plump them before using by soaking in water. Drain before use.
  • The scraps of dough can be reused once but will lose some of their delicate texture.
  • The scones may be brushed with egg wash or heavy cream and sprinkled with sugar for color and flavor.
  • Baked scones should be served the day they are made.
apple and pumpkin pie

Thanksgiving Tips From The Pros At ICC

This Thanksgiving, whether you plan to be the executive chef in your kitchen, or assume the role of sous chef, you’ll likely spend an average of 7 hours cooking your Thanksgiving meal! So how do the approximately 96% of American families that gather for Thanksgiving get through the daunting task of preparing this family feast? With advice from the professionals of course!

This year, our ICC Chef-Instructors shared their knowledge on everything from turkey safety tips and how to save your thanksgiving meal, to pro tips on how to make your own pumpkin spice blend and homemade sprinkles. We were challenged to create the world’s fastest pumpkin pie recipe—spoiler alert: it’s actually crust-less! We even celebrated our roots as The French Culinary Institute and shared recommendations on the perfect French Classic cocktails, appetizers, side dishes and more to accompany your traditional Thanksgiving Turkey.

So, in case you’re behind on your Thanksgiving meal prep, or need a little inspiration before you begin cooking tomorrow, check out some of these tips from ICC Chefs Hervé Malivert, Marc Bauer, Jansen ChanJürgen David and ICC Dean Alain Sailhac.

Do's & Don'ts of Holiday Dinner Safety

Chef Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Arts & Technology shares his Turkey Safety Tips, from how to thaw your turkey to the proper internal temperature of your cooked turkey. And, if you insist on deep frying your turkey, Chef Hervé also shares his recommendations to keep you and your loved one’s safe. Click here to watch the video feature on CBS New York.

How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Blend

In need of a fall pantry staple? Chef Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry, shows you how to make this DIY pumpkin spice blend to add fall flavor to any dish, whether it’s on your Friendsgiving table, or throughout the winter season! Click here to see the Chowhound video.

8 Ideas for a French Thanksgiving

While it’s hard to think of a more American tradition than Thanksgiving, it’s actually quite easy to add a little French flavor to your dinner. Chef Alain, Chef Hervé, and Chef Marc give their recommendations for their favorite French classics that pair perfectly with turkey! Click here to read the feature in France-Amérique Magazine.

The World's Easiest (Crust-less) Pumpkin Pie!

Don’t have time to make a pie crust this year? No problem! Chef Jansen Chan’s pumpkin pie hack lets you make one from scratch in less than 30 minutes. Click here to see how in this Chowhound video.

How To Make Homemade Sugar Sprinkles

Love decorating with sprinkles but tired of the same old rainbow colors? Now you can make your own sugar sprinkles at home, in any color and shade you please! Chef Jansen Chan shows two great baking decorating techniques in one, how to make royal icing and how to turn that royal icing into your own homemade sprinkles. We went with fall colors, but you can easily adapt this for any time of year! Click here to see how in this Chowhound video.

Quick Fixes for Thanksgiving Dinner Slip-Ups

Chef Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, and Chef Jürgen David, Associate Director of Pastry Arts explain how to save your Thanksgiving feast from the most common kitchen mistakes like dry turkey, lumpy mashed potatoes, and more! Click here to watch more on CBS New York.

The Food Network Magazine Cooking School Experience

Written by Kait Freeberg
ICC Food Writing Student

This past weekend, I had one of the most incredible experiences of my professional career.

My dream of one day becoming a food writer has led to cooking recipes that come to me by way of cookbook or recommendation, and then writing about the experience in my notebook for practice. Over the last few years, I have grown a fondness and drawn inspiration from Maile Carpenter, editor-in-chief of Food Network Magazine. As an ICC graduate and someone who is constantly improving her writing career, she has become a figure I look up to in the culinary world.

So, when I discovered I had an opportunity to meet her, I jumped at the chance. Food Network was hosting its very first cooking school and created a foodnetworkmag1partnership with ICC to bring it together. There were two sessions being offered, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. After signing up for the afternoon class, I arrived 30 minutes early in hopes of being at the front of the line. However, there were many guests already lined up. Some had even purchased their tickets months ahead of time to guarantee themselves a space. After speaking to a number of these guests, I discovered that the majority were house moms who read Food Network Magazine in their downtime. Once I was allowed inside ICC, we received our itinerary and I was assigned in Group D. After the ICC hosted lunch, guests would go to their assigned classrooms. I would learn how to make pie dough and then move along to an “everything turkey” demonstration, ending with a hands-on appetizer creating experience. But for now, it was time to mingle with the others.I found myself a drink and took my time looking around the room at everyone who was attending.

There was a buzz of excitement in the air. Some participants were lining up to take photographs with Chopped Judge and restaurateur, Marc Murphy. Others were piling their plates high with sandwiches, sides and cookies, and making their way to a space at the belly bars. And then, she caught my eye. Maile Carpenter was standing off to the side of the room, behind a very large November edition of Food Network Magazine. She was alone, scanning the
room and taking in the scene. Knowing this would be my one and only chance to speak to her, I immediately gathered up my courage and went straight over.

What followed was a conversation I won’t soon forget. Maile was so kind and took a genuine interest in what I had to say. She gave me some very useful career advice about pursuing my food writing dream, and even accepted my business card when I asked if we could email further. I am so happy that I pushed out of my comfort zone, took a risk and put myself out there. Now I have a great memory to share with my friends and hopefully one day, I could be working for Maile.

From the beginning, the event was very well organized. I learned how to make flaky, buttery pie dough, and taste a version of apple and pumpkin pies that the student helpers made. Our pastry foodnetworkmagazinecookingschool2016moqwtwltyikxchef, Lindsay Busanich, allowed us to take our creation home. Knowing my pie dough wouldn’t survive the flight back to California, I offered mine to David, a dad from Long Island whose children sent him to this event as a birthday gift. He was very thankful.

The turkey demonstration was by far the most informational and educational aspect of this day. I took so many notes that I ran out of paper! Chef John Cumming allowed the audience to ask questions, and he patiently answered them while showing us the best techniques to use on Thanksgiving Day. I am currently testing my newfound knowledge on a chicken, to get the brining method just right before the big turkey.

Our last course ended making appetizers with Chef Herve Malivert. He taught us how to create meatballs, cheesy potato skins and fresh hummus, which were all big crowd-pleasers. Our group was treated to a tequila cocktail, and we snacked on our tasty creations to end the afternoon.

foodnetworkmagazinecookingschool2016qywqjsiyoipxAfter our class concluded, we collected our items from the coat check and were handed gift bags from the Food Network staff. They were filled with items that would definitely come in handy for Thanksgiving day-aluminium foil, chicken stock, olive oil, kitchen utensils, coupons and more. At the end of it all, I am incredibly grateful that ICC sent me to this event. Not only for the people I was able to meet, but for the experience of being in the professional kitchens. It reignited a fire inside of me and now I can’t wait to eventually be a student at ICC. This was more than an awesome experience- it was a day that furthered my career and my dreams.




Connect with Kait on social media via @afreebirdlife or on LinkedIn via Kait Freeberg 

All photos provided by Getty Images 


Library Notes: Books to Elevate Your Thanksgiving

Whether you are cooking a full spread for your family, bringing a side dish to a casual “Friends-giving” or thankfully spending a rare day off alone at home the ICC Library has you covered for Thanksgiving. From start to finish we have books for whichever blank you need to fill in. Of course you wouldn’t dream of using anything but Grandma Myrtle’s Mashed Potatoes, but maybe your pie selection needs an upgrade.  Stop by to check out these and more.

Get the day started by whipping up a few of these amazing drinks from ICC Alum Maria Del Mar Sacasa in Winter Cocktails. Keep your drunk uncle happy and conversation flowing with Hot Mulled Wine (classic, or try a white version featuring pears,) Hot Buttered Rum or several variations on Spiced Cider.


There are many authoritative guides on start to finish Thanksgiving out there. The advantage being all you need is in one book, you don’t need a pile of various bookmarked cookbooks or hand scribbled recipes all over the place. Of these, my favorite is Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well by Sam Sifton. His work on the New York Times dining section ensured that this self proclaimed, “One man Thanksgiving help-line” has seen it all. This slim volume will not take over your workspace, yet it includes all the essential classics as well as modern twists and fun variations.

The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Emily Elsen & Melissa Elsen covers favorites from the eponymous Brooklyn pie and coffee shop divided by season. The Elsen sisters make it a priority to utilize seasonal produce, just like their grandmother did. In the Fall & Winter sections you will find many new options to jazz up your Thanksgiving table or wow your hostess. The Blushing Apple Pie combines beets with apples for a unique take or try the Brown Butter Pumpkin pie which has a subtle butterscotch note. For a non traditional approach, whip up a Buttered Rum Cream Pie or a Grapefruit Custard Pie.

When all is said and done and the dishes are washed the only question left is what to do with all that leftover turkey! This is where Culinary Birds by Chef John Ash comes in handy. This James Beard award winner covers all poultry but contains a sizable section on turkey with many unique recipes such as Turkey Tortilla Soup, Turkey Bolognese or Dan Dan Noodles (with turkey of course! ) When you have eaten your fill of leftover sandwiches, give Culinary Birds a try to shake things up a bit.

There you have it, Thanksgiving start to finish. Stop by the library for these and many more whether you need a wine pairing, a pie crust or turkey brine, we’ve got it all. For updates, follow us on Instagram @IntlCulLibrary