wine

Becoming An Advanced Sommelier: 6 ICC Alumni Who Have Done It!

What does it take to join the ranks of Advanced Sommeliers? Look no further than these 6 Intensive Sommelier Training graduates who have achieved this designation!

Here at ICC, our Intensive Sommelier Training program students learn how to taste and evaluate more than 300 bottles from around the world in just 10 or 17 weeks. Since ICC has the only program approved by the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas®, our students have the opportunity to take the Introductory and Certified Sommelier Examinations back-to-back, on-site at ICC upon successful completion of our program.

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in 1977 as the premier international examining body to encourage improved standards or beverage knowledge and service. There are four certification levels within the Court—Introductory Sommelier, Certified Sommelier, Advanced Sommelier and Master Sommelier. Since the first exam in 1969, only 262 professionals in the world have earned the title of Master Sommelier—14 of them teach in our Intensive Sommelier Training program here in Soho.

To become a Master Sommelier means to pass one of the most notoriously difficult examinations in the world—you may be familiar with this if you’ve seen the documentary “SOMM”. But, that doesn’t make the prior exams much easier. In fact, it is said that the Advanced Sommelier Examination is a significant “jump” from the Certified, meaning that the knowledge level required is much greater. It takes years of preparation, dedication and experience to even be considered for the Advanced Sommelier Course—the court requires a minimum of “two years of restaurant experience in a service/sales position and must be in the restaurant/hospitality or beverage industry” in addition to having passed the Certified Sommelier Examination one year prior. To be invited to sit for the Advanced Sommelier Examination, one must have a minimum of three years of experience and successfully completed the Advanced Sommelier Course. The examination itself is broken down into three parts, written theory, practical service and blind tasting. As the last exam before the prestigious Master Sommelier Examination, the stakes are pretty high!

It is an incredibly rigorous process to join the ranks of the Advanced and Master Sommeliers. Since the inception of our Intensive Sommelier Training program, at least 6 alumni have gone on to become Advanced Sommeliers—an incredible achievement and we’re honored to play a small role in the beginning of their journey. Below, learn what it took for these graduates to achieve their Advanced Sommelier designations, what a career in wine looks like, and who’s preparing for the Master Sommelier Examinations!

jhonel faelnar
Jhonel Faelnar | Wine Director & Sommelier | ATO Company (ATOBOY NYC & ATOMIX NYC)

Graduated in 2014 Passed The Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Exam in 2016

From Manila to Japan and finally NYC, Jhonel Faelner landed in the Big Apple to pursue his love of wine after a stint in fashion and being swept up by the wine culture in Japan. In 2013, Jhonel received scholarships from both the James Beard Foundation and the International Culinary Center to attend ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program. Upon completion of the program, he successfully passed the CMS Certified Sommelier Exams. After, he worked his way thru One Five Hospitality and the Make It Nice family at The Nomad before running the wine program at one of the country’s hottest restaurants, ATOMIX. In 2017 Jhonel was awarded ICC’s Outstanding Alumni Award for Outstanding Sommelier. Jhonel is an Advanced Sommelier studying for his Master Sommelier; he is a Wine & Spirits Best New Sommelier for 2018 and the Wine Director at ATO Company, overseeing the beverage program at both ATOBOY and ATOMIX in NYC.

aaron babcock
Aaron Babcock | Sommelier | Quince Restaurant

Graduated in 2012 Passed The Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Exam in 2015

Aaron developed a deep curiosity about wine while working at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in a small town just south of Pittsburgh, PA. Having had the honor of working throughout various restaurants on the property, he honed his skills in fine dining. With wine on the mind, Aaron enrolled at ICC in Campbell, CA in 2012 to complete the Intensive Sommelier Training program as well as the CMS Certified exam at the age of 21. From there he returned to Nemacolin for a year. Soon, Aaron was offered a job at Manresa, the 3 star Michelin restaurant by Chef David Kinch in Los Gatos, CA. There he worked as a Sommelier with Jim Rollston, MS. After passing the CMS Advanced Exam at the age of 24, he became the Sommelier at Quince in San Francisco. At Quince, Aaron has been able to help expand the wine program, as well as being able to be part of the transition from 2 to 3 Michelin stars. While remaining at Quince, Aaron continues to prepare for the Master Sommelier exam and occasionally teaches wine education classes in the Bay Area. Aaron is the 2018 recipient of ICC’s Outstanding Alumni Award for Outstanding Sommelier.

robert v
Robert Vardanian | Wine Director | Wally’s Fine Wine, Spirits & Gourmet Market

Graduated in 2013 | Passed The Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Exam in 2017

Robert Vardanian is a sommelier and the Wine Director at Wally’s Fine Wine, Spirits & Gourmet Market in California. His career in fine wine began as a sommelier at BOA Steak and Church & State. In 2013, Robert enrolled in ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program and went on to achieve his Certified Sommelier distinction with the Court of Master Sommeliers. After joining Wally’s in 2015, Robert worked his way up and became the Wine Director. In 2017, he became an Advanced Sommelier after years of hard work. Since then, Robert has been avidly working towards higher certifications while sharing his passion and experience with his guests.

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Rebecca Miller | Sommelier | La Toque

Graduated in 2011 | Passed Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Exam in 2017

Rebecca Miller is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds credentials as a Certified Specialist of Wine and French Wine Scholar. Rebecca is a sommelier in the Napa Valley at the Michelin starred La Toque working with a prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list. In 2011, Rebecca graduated from ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program, passing her Certified Sommelier exam immediately following. Before joining the team at La Toque Rebecca was on the opening staff of In Situ, an exhibition restaurant at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Rebecca worked with the wine lists of Prima, Verbena, LB Steak, and Alexander’s Steakhouse in the San Francisco Bay Area.

minjoo kim
Minjoo Kim | Head Sommelier | Les Clefs de Crystal

Graduated in 2013 | Passed The Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Exam in 2017

Minjoo Kim, Advanced Sommelier, began her foray into food and wine training to become a chef and received her Culinary Arts Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia. It was during her time as a culinary apprentice that she realized her passion for wine and sought to further her education at the International Culinary Center in New York, enrolling in the Intensive Sommelier Training program. In 2013, after passing the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory and Certified Sommelier Exams at ICC, she returned to Korea to begin her wine career. Over the years Minjoo has worked as both Manager and Chief Sommelier for Hannam Liquor, retail shop and wine bar, as well as a tasting educator for the International Food and Wine Society, and Judge of the Korea Sommelier Wine Awards and Korean Wine Fair. In 2017 she passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Sommelier Exam and in 2019 was named Korea’s Sommelier of the Year.

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Jerry Cox | Sommelier | Le Coucou

Graduated in 2014 | Passed The Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Exam in 2019

Jerry Cox is the newest ICC alum to be inducted into the elite group of Advanced Sommeliers. Jerry graduated from ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program in 2014. After passing the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory and Certified Sommelier Examinations, Jerry brought his new wine knowledge to the team at Colicchio and Sons. Today, Jerry is the Sommelier at Le Coucou. He successfully joined the ranks of Advanced Sommeliers in 2019.

Barrel of Sherry

Certified Sherry Wine Specialist Seminar Returns This November 2019

Lustau, maker of top quality Sherries, presents a brand new wine certification available to all wine students and professionals: the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist. Offered by Lucas Payà, Certified Sherry Educator and Lustau’s Brand Educator, this brief course offers Intermediate Level study material that has been reviewed and approved by the Regulatory Council of Jerez.

After many successful SOLD OUT workshops, ICC has partnered with Lustau again to host the certification seminar this November. Register today to reserve your seat!

Thursday, November 14
3:30pm-6:00pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby St, 5th Floor | New York, NY 10013

Cost: $35 per person

EVENT DETAILS

The program consists of a 2.5-hour class that includes:

    • Instruction on the history, geography, climate, viticulture, wine-making, and wine styles.  When studying the styles of sherry, students will learn about their differences, pairings, and best ways to serve.
    • A tasting of 6 wines, including all the basic styles (Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, and Dulce).
    • A 28-question test, graded after the course to award the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist recognition to those with a passing score of 20 or higher.

The Certificate of Achievement will be signed by both Lustau’s CEO and César Saldaña, Director of the Regulatory Council of Jerez. They will be numbered and a list of those that passed the course will be shared with the Regulatory Council.  A Certificate of Recognition will be issued to those that do not achieve the passing grade but only signed by Lustau.

Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

elevating hospitality through wine

Off The Vine: Elevating Hospitality Through Wine

OFF THE VINE, brought to you by the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC, is a series of discussion panels and networking events designed to support wine professionals in the beverage industry. Each event provides education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

How Sommeliers Have Become Ambassadors of Hospitality

Thursday, September 26th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

The importance of service is not an unfamiliar concept to the world of Sommeliers. In fact, organizations like the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas® have long been responsible for setting a global standard of excellence for beverage service within the hospitality industry. While standard service techniques and proper mise-en-place remain the same, the role of service in hospitality continues to evolve and Sommeliers are being asked to expand with it. As ambassadors of hospitality, Sommeliers must adapt to take service beyond the bottle to fit the needs of today’s customer.

So how can sommeliers stay relevant in this changing industry?

In our next Off the Vine panel, we’ll sit down with wine industry professionals Anna-Christina Cabrales (Certified Sommelier—General Manager & Wine Director of Morrell Wine Bar) and Jerry Cox (Advanced Sommelier—Sommelier at Le Coucou) to discuss how sommeliers can maximize their value in restaurants. We’ll explore the role of sommeliers as ambassadors of hospitality—both on and off the restaurant floor—and how it’s evolving with the use of social media. In addition, we’ll discuss how sommeliers are driving taste trends both in service, and as wine list curators, and the outcomes of such change—think the rise of natural wine or the stunted appearance of varietals like Pinot Grigio! Plus, they’ll share professional words of wisdom that every sommelier should know, such as the do’s and don’t(s) of service, balancing wine knowledge with guest experience, and how to provide customers with the information they can’t get from a Google search! Come with your questions—there will be an open Q&A with the panelists following the discussion, and the opportunity to network with other professionals.

Looking to break into the industry? You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about how ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you pursue your wine career.

Light refreshments will be provided.

MODERATOR

nikki palladino
Nikki Palladino, Certified Sommelier, ICC Wine Program Coordinator

Nikki Palladino joins her alma matter as ICC’s newest Wine Program Coordinator. Nikki began her career in publishing, earning a certificate in Books & Digital Magazine Media from NYU’s SPI Program.  Thereafter, she secured a Juris Doctorate from Villanova University School of Law – clerking for a judge and working for a legal consulting firm in Manhattan.

After traveling to Napa, however, she was drawn to the vine and decided to shift her career focus to hospitality. After graduating from ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training Program, Nikki joined B&B Hospitality Group, where she worked first as a Server at La Sirena and eventually as a Sommelier, at beloved neighborhood spot, Lupa. More recently, Nikki worked as Head Sommelier at the seafood staple Oceana, in Midtown.  While at Oceana, Nikki was featured in Food & Wine Magazine and was responsible for purchasing wines for the Italian portion of the List.

She is a member of Women of the Vine and is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas®.

PANELISTS

Anna Christina Cabrales
Anna-Christina Cabrales, Certified Sommelier
Beverage Director and General Manager of Morrell Wine Bar

Morrell Wine Bar Beverage Director and General Manager, Anna-Christina Cabrales brings a wealth of wine and culinary experience to her position. Growing up in a large family of chefs, Anna’s love of food and wine led her to the International Culinary Center where she received a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts and graduated from the first Intensive Sommelier Training program. Since joining Morrell in 2012, Anna-Christina has expanded the by-the-glass selection to, at one point, more than 150 wines. Her efforts have been recognized and awarded by The World of Fine Wine in 2014 naming Morrell Wine Bar’s glass list “Best by-the-glass Wine List” and the 2015 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for growing the bottle list well over 1,200 selections. Outside of work, she enjoys her time dining and enjoying wines from the regions of Champagne, Northern Rhone, Bandol and Burgundy.

Jerry Cox, Advanced Sommelier
Sommelier at Le Coucou

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Jerry graduated from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University with a degree in Marketing. After college, he spent a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina studying culinary arts at Gato Dumas Colegio de Gastronomía. In 2013, he moved to NYC where he began working at Colicchio & Sons. Jerry enrolled in ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program in the spring of 2014, passing the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas’ Introductory and Certified Sommelier Examinations upon completion of the program. After several months of travel in 2015, which included a stage at a B&B in the Loire Valley, Jerry returned to NYC in 2016. Shortly after, he began working as a Sommelier and opening member of the Le Coucou team. Since opening, the team has achieved such accolades as the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the U.S. and Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. Jerry passed the CMS Advanced Sommelier Examination in July of 2019.

wines of 2019

Vanessa Da Silva’s Top 10 Wines of 2019 (So Far!)

With 2019 more than half over, we asked Vanessa Da Silva, this year’s Outstanding Alumni Award winner for Outstanding Sommelier, to share her top 10 wines of the year (so far!) As the Sommelier at Ninety Acres Farm in New Jersey, she serves her guests wines that she truly loves from experiences and knowledge gained throughout her career.

After a recent trip to New Zealand as one of only 18 Sommeliers in the world to be invited to the New Zealand Wine Sommit, she was inspired to learn more about the amazing wines produced in the country. Below, you’ll find 4 delicious bottles from the up-and-coming wine country, plus wines like the “not always easy to like” Viognier and the “herbal and complex” Syrah!

Check out what she said were her favorite wines of the year, and be sure to pick up a bottle that’ll easily impress!

wines

2015 Millton Clos Samuel Viognier Gisborne, New Zealand

Viognier isn’t always the easiest variety to like. It’s often overly aromatic and can lack acidity making it feel heavy on the palate. This Viognier blew me away! It is intense and complex with layers of appealing aromatics and flavors, the bright acidity perfectly balances the residual sugar in this late-harvest wine.  Millton Vineyards is a unique & magical place—James Millton is an adamant believer in Biodynamics and the vineyards are as alive with life as the wine is. This wine was an absolute gem and I have no doubt that it will age for decades to come.

wine

2016 Lingua Franca The Plough Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon

Winemaker Thomas Savre at Lingua Franca makes wine of precision, care, and soul. They are compelling, complex and balanced— delicious now and yet still have so much potential to age. This Cuvee, the Plough, is made in homage to the vineyard workers, to the people who keep this winery moving.  If you haven’t tried these wines yet, you should!

wine

2017 Smockshop Spring Ephemeral Grenache Columbia Gorge, Oregon

Hiyu Wine Farm is an experience which will seep into you and engulf your senses and it is a must-visit for any Biodynamic wine lover. Hiyu goes beyond solely Biodynamics, and also incorporates practices of permaculture and animals living among the vines into their charming farm. This wine smells like where it is from more than any I’ve tasted this year. You can practically smell the spring herbs growing in the vineyard, the just ripe red fruit aromas smell as though growing wild in surrounding forest. The structure on the palate is refreshing and up lifting like the breeze across the vineyard as you look towards Mt. Hood. This is a wine that encompasses your senses and brings you to the farm it came from. I can’t help but smile every time I have the opportunity to serve it.

wine

2013 Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Central Otago, New Zealand

Rudi Bauer, winemaker at Quartz Reef, let this sparkling wine sit on the lees for over 4.5 years! This makes him both a bit of a madman and an absolute genius! Rudi is humble despite being one of the foremost winemakers in Central Otago— he is originally from Austria, having come to New Zealand over 30-years ago for what was supposed to be a 6-month stage. Rudi believes wholeheartedly in Biodynamics and the wines are full of passion, authenticity to where they’re coming from, and vibrantly delicious. This sparkling wine is 91% Chardonnay, 9% Pinot Noir from a vineyard in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago. This wine is mouthwatering with layers of citrus fruit, fresh brioche, and poached orchard fruits—not to be missed!

wine

2013 Element Syrah Finger Lakes, New York

Element winery makes a compelling case for cool climate varieties from the Finger Lakes. One of my favorite is this Syrah! It is savory, herbal, complex, and still showing incredible youth despite being nearly 6-years old. Element winery takes great care in making wines that are genuine to the Finger Lakes, take a minimalist (nothing added, nothing taken away) approach to winemaking, and allow their wine the time they need before being released. This 2013 is the current release of Element Syrah, it is stunning and still has a lot of life in it!

wine

2012 Te Mata Elston Chardonnay Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Te Mata estate was first planted in 1892! They are located at the heart of Hawke’s Bay GI, the Havelock Hills. Te Mata is part of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand and looks not only at their environmental impact, but also takes into account social and economic sustainability.  The Elston Chardonnay is all about balance and elegance, spending 10-months on its lees in barrel, Elston shows lovely richness while maintaining a strong backbone of freshness. I had the opportunity to taste several vintages while in New Zealand, and can say with confidence that it is delicious in its youth, and stunning as it ages.

wine

2009 Dry River Craighall Riesling Martinborough, New Zealand

Martinborough GI is a small winegrowing area renowned for its Pinot Noir in the Wairarapa GI on the North Island of New Zealand. Martinborough comes across as an agricultural valley, where there is a wonderful sense of camaraderie among winegrowers. Dry River has deep roots in the area and they farm in a way which is sustainable to their site, and seek to preserve rather than ‘enhance’ wine. This riesling comes from their Craighill vineyard and is layered with citrus blossom tones, citrus zest, juicy pit fruits, and undertones of savory earth tones. The Dry River rieslings are mouthwatering and refreshing in their youth, but really compelling with age.

wine

2015 The Boneline Iridium Canterbury, New Zealand

The Boneline is a small estate in Canterbury, New Zealand. The Boneline takes its name from the nearby K-T Boundary line and each label features a fossil found within the nearby Waipara river. The Boneline is a unique place where the Southern Alps provide a rain shadow and there is bountiful sunshine, warm dry westerly winds and cool southerly winds that provide for long glorious vintages. Biodiversity reigns here and vines grow among pigs and sheep, native scrub provides shelter for geckos and native birds. And the wine is just as stunning! The Boneline has just been made available in the US as of July 2019, and I cannot urge you enough to find & try some. This Iridium is a red blend of primarily Cabernet Franc with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It is a melody of deep dark fruit, savory spice, and herbal earth tones— it is alluring, delicious, and will linger on your mind!

wine

2015 Marc Delienne Abbaye Road Fleurie, Beaujolais

Marc Delienne works organically, and practices biodynamics on a small 12 acre estate in Fleurie, Beaujolais. He believes in minimal intervention and allows the wine to speak for itself. He uses goblet training, ambient yeast, whole cluster fermentation, no racking, no fining nor filtering, aging in foudre or concrete, and very little sulfur.  His wines are soulful, with deep complex flavors that linger in the palate, and a soft mouth-feel. They are everything that Gamay should be!

wine

2016 Syncline Mourvèdre Horse Heaven Hills, Washington

James and Poppie Mantone run Syncline Winery with their family along the Columbia river within the Columbia Gorge AVA. They believe in biodynamics to help their vineyard thrive and take care to observe the health of their soils, wines, and employees. They have sworn-off the manipulation of wines, a sentiment which I love! They focus on Rhône varietals, and the wine they produce is both soulful and satisfying. This Mourvèdre has high tones of juicy red berries, black pepper, cured meat, and petrichor. You don’t often see varietal Mourvèdre, but Syncline is making a very compelling case for it.

wine enthusiast

14 ICC Grads and Instructors Awarded Prestigious Honors from Wine Enthusiast

Wine Enthusiast Magazine is one of America’s foremost experts and voices on wine. With over 300 million magazines printed since 1988, to reaching millions across their social platforms, their knowledge and expertise is far reaching around the world.

Each year, Wine Enthusiast publishes a list of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants that honors “a selection of restaurants where wine is shared and celebrated, and where, the selection, food, service and atmosphere are all exceptional.” With knowledgeable experts bringing consumers information on the fascinating world of wine and spirits, this list speaks to the hard work and dedication that restaurant owners across America are bringing to the table.

We are proud to congratulate the six members of the ICC community who have been named on this prestigious list—from an Intensive Sommelier Training alumnus and instructors, to graduates of our Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts and Art of International Bread Baking programs, the versatility of the awardees speaks for itself.

If that’s not enough, check out these eight restaurants owned or operated by ICC alumni that were inducted into Wine Enthusiast’s Restaurant Hall of Fame. These standouts have appeared on their list of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants four or more times, and they’re still operating at the top of their game.

Congratulations to all for continuing to raise the standards of food and wine in America! We couldn’t be more proud. Below, check out the winners and their respective restaurants, then click on the links to view the full lists.

Angler, CA

Joshua Skenes, Founder, Professional Culinary Arts ‘01

Atomix, NY

Jhonel Faelnar, Advanced Sommelier, Wine Director & Sommelier, Intensive Sommelier Training ‘14

Gotham Bar and Grill, NY

Jason Hedges, Beverage Director, Culinary Entrepreneurship ’11

Lafayette, NY

Josh Nadel, MS, Beverage Director, Intensive Sommelier Training Program Instructor

Racines, NY

Pascaline Lepeltier, MS, Partner, Intensive Sommelier Training Program Instructor

Vetri Cucina, PA

Mark Vetri, Chef/Founder, Art of International Bread Baking ‘98

Click here to view the full list

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, NY

Dan Barber, Chef/Owner, Professional Culinary Arts ’94

Fish & Game, NY

Zak Pelaccio, Owner and Executive Chef, Professional Culinary Arts ‘98

Frasca Food and Wine, CO

Kelly Jeun, Co Executive Chef, Professional Culinary Arts ‘07

Gramercy Tavern, NY

Howard Kalachnikoff, Chef de Cuisine, Professional Culinary Arts ’04

L’Etoile, WI

Tory Miller, Chef/Owner, Professional Culinary Arts ’00

Manresa, CA

David Kinch, Executive Chef, Dean

Per Se, NY

Anna Bolz, Executive Pastry Chef, Professional Pastry Arts ’07

Quince, CA

Aaron Babcock, Advanced Sommelier, Intensive Sommelier Training Program ‘13

Click here to view the full list

world's 50 best

ICC Alumni Named To The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List!

On June 25th, in the late hours of the evening in Singapore—luckily the morning for us in NYC—the moment the culinary world had been waiting for had finally arrived: the release of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 sponsored by San Pellegrino.

While the list has seen many changes since its inception 18 years ago, it still arguably holds significant power in today’s foodie world. Take Chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, for example, who visited ICC for a demonstration last September. In 2013 and 2015, his restaurant took home 1st place, then received over 2 million reservation requests within 24 hours (Time). The impact that this list has on the culinary world is immense.

That’s why, we couldn’t be more excited to congratulate the three ICC alumni and their respective restaurants who have been named to this year’s World’s 50 Best list. It is truly one of the greatest honors in gastronomy! We would also like to extend our congratulations to 2019 Professional Culinary Arts graduate Matthew Boronat, who is a line cook at Cosme. After graduating just three months ago, he secured a job at the No. 23 restaurant in the world!

Over the years, ICC has had the pleasure of hosting many of the chefs and restaurants on the Worlds 50 Best Lists for demonstrations at the school. We’d like to send our congratulations to Chef Virgilio Martínez, Chef/Owner of No. 6 restaurant Central in Peru, Chef Rubens Salfer, Head Chef of Alex Atala’s No. 54 restaurant D.O.M in Brazil, Chef Manish Mehrotra, Chef/Owner of No. 60 restaurant Indian Accent in India, and Chef Ángel León, Chef/Owner of No. 94 restaurant Aponiente in Spain, .

Additionally, the publication also includes the top 51-100 restaurants. This year, in a surprise twist, the list was expanded to include restaurants 101-120 to celebrated sponsor San Pellegrino’s 120th anniversary!

Below, check out the alumni who were named to the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list for 2019!

No.2 Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark

Kevin Jeung, Chef of Research and Production, The Fermentation Lab, Professional Culinary Arts ’10

No. 28 Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY

Dan Barber, Chef/Owner, Professional Culinary Arts ’94

No. 47 Benu, San Francisco, CA

Lauren Reed, Pastry Chef de Partie, Professional Pastry Arts ’11

No. 70 Saison, San Francisco, CA

Joshua Skenes, Founder, Professional Culinary Arts ‘01

No. 76 Momofuku Ko, New York, NY

David Chang, Owner, Professional Culinary Arts ‘04

No. 115 Per Se, New York, NY

Anna Bolz, Pastry Chef, Professional Pastry Arts ‘07

No. 119 Atomix, New York, NY

Jhonel Faelnar, Advanced Sommelier, Wine Director & Sommelier, Intensive Sommelier Training ‘14

chef pablo

Pop Up Dinner with Chef Pablo Ranea

Every year, after celebrating the end of the harvest season in their native Mendoza, Chef & Sommelier Pablo Ranea and Architect Alejandro Cohen pack their bags full of spices, unique ingredients and the spirit of adventure in search of inspiring experiences and challenges.

Together, they bring their unique take on food pairings and gastronomy to cities around the world. Whether the dinner event is held in a private garden or a culinary school, their carefully designed menus showcase Latin America’s best cooking techniques and recipes paired with exquisite wines.

This one-of-a kind experience is the result of Pablo’s well-tested recipes gathered through his extensive travels in cities and countries including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Finland, France, Denmark, Dominican Republic and Peru.

Friends gather around a table with a common desire to enjoy a memorable experience of aromas, tastes and textures of Argentinian and Latin American cooking, wines and history. Pablo and Alejandro arrive with a traveling kitchen of gastronomic marvels and the unique Argentinian wines not found in America.  Prepare for an adventure of the senses.

GET A TASTE OF ARGENTINA IN NYC

Pop Up Dinner with Pablo Ranea
Friday, June 28th | 7:30pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby Street
On Friday, June 28th, Chef Pablo & Alejandro return to New York City to present a six course dinner paired with 10 premium Argentinian wines at the International Culinary Center in SoHo. This will be the first time one of their pop up dinners will be open to the public.

PLATED DISHFor this dinner, Chef Pablo will prepare some of his iconic dishes such as Octopus chicharron with green chimichurri, as well as butternut squash, truffle and shrimp raviolis. He will also bring exotic flavors such as Lucuma artisan ice cream with Argentinian dulce de leche to the table.

During the dinner, Pablo—who is also a Sommelier—will introduce specially paired wines like Susana Balbo Brioso white blend (the number one white blend of Argentina); Malbecs from the best districts of Mendoza like Gauchezco Oro Appellation Gualtallary; Tinto Negro Limestone Block and Andillian by Lacoste de Los Andes.

In addition, LOS BUENDIA—a marvelous Bolero band from Mendoza—will fly to NYC to perform during the event.

They invite you to book an unforgettable experience. Attendance is by reservation and pre-payment only. Tickets are $195 and can be purchased here. For reservation questions, please email chefpabloranea@gmail.com for more details.

Please note, this is a dinner format (not a class) and seating will be communal like a big Italian family.

Guests with allergies or dietary restrictions will need to provide notice at least 10 days in advance.

off the vine: uncorking today's trends in wine

Off The Vine: Uncorking Today’s Trends in Wine

OFF THE VINE, brought to you by the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC, is a series of tastings, discussion panels and networking events designed to support wine professionals in the beverage industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

DISCOVER THE EMERGING TRENDS CREATING A BUZZ IN WINE

Wednesday, May 8th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

The world of wine is constantly evolving!  While rich with history and often rooted in ancient tradition, wine is anything but static. This multi-billion dollar business continues to change, challenging established, and aspiring, wine professionals to stay on the cutting edge of today’s trends and rising regions.

Join us for a lively conversation exploring a range of emerging trends creating buzz in the wine industry today. Elizabeth Smith, Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, will be joined by two of NYC’s top sommelier talents—Master Sommelier Alexander La Pratt and Advanced Sommelier Theo Lieberman—to get their insight on what’s in vogue, what’s here to stay and what’s just a fad. We’ll talk about everything from the rise of sparkling, natural & orange wines and indigenous grapes, to the effects of climate change and changes in consumer behavior. Plus, hear predictions from experts at the forefront of the industry on the future of these trends and what’s to come! Come with your questions—there will be an open Q&A with the panelists following the discussion, and the opportunity to network with other professionals. Don’t miss this chance to discover how today’s hot topics are evolving and how you can utilize them to your advantage on the floor, in sales, and more.

Looking to break into the industry? You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about how ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program can help you pursue your wine career.

Light refreshments will be provided.

MODERATOR

Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith, Certified Sommelier, ICC Wine Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Smith is the Wine Program Coordinator at ICC, where she assists in running the Intensive Sommelier Training program and coordinates the Court of Master Sommeliers AmericasTM Introductory and Certified Exams.  She also teaches ICC’s introductory wine classes, and organizes extracurricular wine lectures and tastings.

Elizabeth began her career at Food & Wine magazine, and spent 8 years in various sales, marketing, and business insights roles at F&W and American Express.  In 2016 she decided to take her love of wine to the next level, graduating ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program, followed by a happy year at Astor Wines and Spirits.  Elizabeth is a CMS Certified Sommelier and is currently pursuing her WSET Diploma in Wine.

She is a passionate lover of wine and food, and documents her culinary adventures on Instagram @in_vino_glorias.

PANELISTS

Theo
Theo Lieberman, Advanced Sommelier
Head Sommelier, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

Theo Lieberman has worked in the New York City food and wine business for nearly a decade. Beginning in the cocktail industry, Theo worked alongside Sasha Petraske at Milk & Honey, and then went on to become the Head Bartender and General Manager. He then moved on to serve as Head Bartender at Eleven Madison Park.

While working in fine dining, he discovered a deep love of fine wine, which he has continued to pursue as the Head Sommelier of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. He has been named one of America’s “Best New Sommeliers” by Wine & Spirits Magazine as well as Zagat’s “30 under 30.” He is the Co-Founder of Thunder Mountain Consulting and is currently pursuing the Master Sommelier Diploma through the Court of Master Sommeliers.

alex lapratt
Alexander LaPratt, Master Sommelier
Beverage Director & Co-Owner at The Atrium, ICC Intensive Sommelier Training Instructor

While many sommeliers have paid their dues as waiters or captains, few have donned a chef’s jacket in a professional kitchen. Alexander LaPratt is an exception. No stranger to working with renowned chefs dedicated to the quality of their restaurants’ wine cellar and service, Alexander has held positions as Chef Sommelier for renowned Chef Jean-Georges; Sommelier for Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin; Head Sommelier at Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne; and the first ever Cellar Sommelier at Thomas Keller’s renowned French Laundry. In 2014, Alexander then went on to become the 217th person to ever pass the coveted Master Sommelier exam. Today, Alexander is co-owner and Beverage Director of Atrium DUMBO and Beasts & Bottles, and an adjunct instructor for the International Culinary Center’s Intensive Sommelier Training program.

Throughout his career, he’s received many accolades for his achievements including the title of “Best Sommelier in America” at the 2011 American Sommelier Association competition; 2nd overall in the 2011 Chaine des Rôtisseurs Best Young Sommelier National Finals; winner of the 2nd Annual StarChefs Somm Slam; Wine & Spirits Magazine “Best New Sommelier 2011”; and represented the United States of America in the 2013 Best Sommelier of the World Competition in Tokyo, Japan. Read Alex’s full bio here.

business bites

Business Bites: Reaping The Benefits of Going Green

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

THE ECONOMIC REWARDS OF MAKING YOUR FOOD BUSINESS SUSTAINABLE

Thursday, April 18th | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

63 million tons of food is wasted annually in the US—that’s equivalent to 180 Empire State Buildings—and the restaurant industry alone generates 11.4 million tons of food waste each year. There’s no denying that there remains great room for improvement to make food businesses and restaurants more sustainable. In addition to the environmental and social reasons, there are also many economic incentives for businesses to adopt sustainable practices. For instance, did you know that for every dollar invested in food-waste reduction, restaurants can realize about $8 in cost savings? Energy efficiency, composting, recycling, ingredient sourcing and packaging are all ways that food businesses can incorporate sustainable practices to improve their bottom line.

So what does it take to make your restaurant or food business sustainable through the front door and out the back?

In celebration of Earth Day this April, and part of our Understanding Your ‘Foodprint’ series, our latest installment of Business Bites, Reaping the Benefits of Going Green, will demonstrate how these ethical choices can help to reduce your bottom line. Hear from a panel of experts operating local restaurants with an emphasis on sustainability, as well as professionals working to bring solutions in food waste to consumers and food business owners a like. They’ll discuss NYC requirements for commercial organic waste, solutions for hauling food waste, composting, compostable packaging & products, sourcing ingredients, energy efficiency and more. Plus, you’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

MODERATOR

Alek Marfisi
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Entrepreneurship Instructor

Alek Marfisi is a native New Yorker with a passion for building things and helping people. After working advising small businesses for five years, Alek launched Upwind Strategies in 2015 with the mission of providing deeper and more relatable services to small businesses: the anti-business-school services firm. He previously worked with the NYS Small Business Development Center where he dove into the exciting intricacies of making entrepreneurial projects a reality. Since then, Alek has logged more than 11,000 hours working with small businesses and has been recognized as one of the top drivers of economic development in the country.

PANELISTS

christina mitchell grace
Christina Mitchell Grace, CEO of Food Print Group

Christina Grace is a leader in sustainable food systems planning and zero waste. She is CEO of Foodprint Group, a services business that helps food, hospitality and corporate office teams design for zero waste through better purchasing, recycling infrastructure and integrated training. She is co-author of the NYC Zero Waste Design Guidelines, and an advocate for sustainable food and waste policies. She has 15+ years experience as a food systems planner working from farm to compost. She is a trained cook based in Brooklyn where she’s raising two kids and a startup.

john opperman
John Oppermann, Executive Director of Earth Day Initiative

John Oppermann serves as Executive Director of Earth Day Initiative, an environmental non-profit with a variety of sustainability initiatives, including the Gotham Grazer sustainable food education program and a community solar program helping to bring rooftop solar facilities to New York City.  The Gotham Grazer program includes various sustainable food toolkits, including a mock negotiation placing participants in the roles of stakeholders trying to bring sustainable food solutions to a food desert.  He also serves as an Associate Real Estate Broker at Compass, specializing in green and healthy homes, and an adjunct professor at NYU with a course titled Marketing Green Homes, which looks at how a variety of green and healthy building features and standards (including LEED, Passive House, and WELL) resonate with home buyers.  John is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Harvard Law School.​

naama
Naama Tamir, Co-Founder of Lighthouse & Lighthouse Outpost

Naama Tamir born and raised in the city of Rehovot in Israel, she moved to NY in 2000 after her mandatory IDF service. She studied Philosophy and Psychology at Hunter college while moonlighting in the hospitality industry. Upon graduation it became clear that her passion lies in restaurants, sustainability and education. In 2011 along with her brother-partner Assaf Tamir, they opened Lighthouse in South Williamsburg, a sustainable and forward thinking restaurant. In August 2016 the opened a second location named Lighthouse Outpost in Soho.

Other commitments include : Producer of Umami Food and Art Festival, Chair of sustainability practises and green initiative at BaBar (bar & restaurant alliance), Co-founder NFL – No Free Lunch sustainability platform at the Institute of Public Knowledge, Collaborator in the reusable to go container project by sanitation department, Guest speaker : NYU, New School,  ICE – ‘Sustainability Plate by Plate’ Conscientious Capitalism’, Consultant & leader : Fair Kitchens initiative, Contributor : James Beard Foundation Impact Program

michael chernow
Michael Chernow, Co-Founder of The Meatball Shop & Founder of Seamore’s

Michael Chernow started working in restaurants as a teenager on New York City’s Upper East Side.  He has since built a successful career in the industry including seven years at Frank Prizanzano’s eponymous flagship restaurant, Frank, where he cultivated a large, loyal following.  In 2007, Michael enrolled in the French Culinary Institute, graduating with honors and an associate’s degree in both Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management at the end of the two-year program.  In 2010, Michael teamed up with his childhood friend Daniel Holzman and debuted The Meatball Shop in New York City’s Lower East Side. The mix-and-match menu of meatballs, served in a warm and convivial environment, was an instant hit.  Five more locations of The Meatball Shop—in Williamsburg, the West Village, Chelsea, the Upper East Side and the Hell’s Kitchen—opened in quick succession. Michael also co-authored The Meatball Shop Cookbook, which was published to much acclaim in 2011. A passionate fisherman since childhood, Michael combined his love of fishing and his culinary expertise with Seamore’s in New York City, which opened in summer of 2015 to immediate and consistent buzz. Michael has appeared in countless broadcast segments including ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s TODAY Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as well as in an array of widely reaching local and national publications such as The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, People, Food Network Magazine and GQ. 

dorothy

Women’s History Month: The Legacy of Our Founder

Since the early 1980’s, Women’s History Month marks a time to recognize, honor and celebrate the achievements of women around the world throughout the month of March. There are so many prevalent women in the world of food to thank for shaping the culinary and hospitality industry as we know it today. To acknowledge the importance of this month—not just as Women’s History Month, but also as the 35th Anniversary of the school’s founding and our annual Founder’s Day celebrations—we are proud to pay tribute to the life and legacy of our Founder, Dorothy Cann Hamilton. The everlasting effect she has had on both the school and the food industry can still be felt today. Below, learn about the legacy of Dorothy and use her spirit as your guiding light as you begin your new career.

In 1984 across America and the world, everything was changing. Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made the first untethered space walk, while Steve Jobs sold the first Apple Macintosh computer to the public back on Earth. President Ronald Reagan defeated Walter F. Mondale with 59% of the popular vote, and as many of the achievements of men were being widely recognized, a culinary revolution was beginning on the corner of Broadway and Grand street. This would later give way to culinary giants & thought leaders like Bobby Flay, Dan Barber, Christina Tosi and so many more.

1984Since 1984, thousands of chefs, culinary & pastry professionals, sommeliers and industry leaders have received their education at the International Culinary Center, founded as The French Culinary Institute. The school’s reputation and graduate success can be credited to our Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton’s original vision—to establish a culinary school that would educate aspiring chefs in a fast-paced program that got them into the workforce quickly and well prepared.

It all began while studying at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, during which Dorothy made frequent trips to France that exposed her to the world of French cuisine. After spending time in the Peace Corps in Thailand following college, she ventured back to New York City to work with her father, the Founder of the Apex Technical School. During this time, she continued her education, attaining a Masters in Business Administration from NYU. With a deep love of food at her core, it was then that she envisioned a way to bring her passion for food and education together.

It’s hard to imagine there was ever a time in New York City without a variety of cuisines at your fingertips—before you could order from virtually any restaurant on Seamless. A time before the Michelin Guide was even handing out stars in America. But, it’s true. There was indeed a time when the diversity of food culture was absent and the infamy of chefs did not yet exist. Dorothy’s vision for culinary education began to take shape alongside the evolution of cuisine and dining in New York City during the late 80’s and 90’s.

Many have said this before, but Dorothy was a true visionary. Known for her ability to identify what was missing and find a way to fill in the gaps, she brought a limitless creativity and resourcefulness to any problem. She identified a void in the culinary education of chefs in America—all over the world chefs were being trained in the codified techniques of French, but there was no true equivalent in the US.

dorothy w deansOnly someone with Dorothy’s determination and fearless spirit could bring the right people together to make this happen. From gathering a roster of legendary deans—Jacques Pépin, Alain Sailhac, André Soltner and Jacques Torres—to the support of industry giants like Julia Child, some of the most well known chefs in the world joined her dream, believing in what she set out to accomplish. That was the special thing about Dorothy; she had a keen ability to connect people from all walks of life. Dorothy didn’t just have a seat at the table—she was the one that built the table for the culinary world. Her gravitas and ability to connect those around her was her superpower. For this reason, many sought out her mentorship, helping numerous individuals launch their own careers, businesses and ideas in the food industry and beyond.

She cared deeply about education and the success of her students. From creating the renowned TV series Chef’s Story—later a podcast on Heritage Radio Network, featuring candid conversations with the biggest names in the industryto her blog, and eventually book, Love What You Do, Dorothy was passionate about setting people up for success in their careers. Dorothy wasn’t afraid of failure; rather, it was another way for her to learn and educate others. Her desire to continue to learn allowed her to embrace new educational pursuits for the school, establishing ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program and Olive Oil Sommelier Certification programs in recent years. It was her passion for education that inspired the recent addition of a Professional Development Scholarship for industry professionals to continue the pursuit of their education at ICC.

Today, we hope that each student who walks through our doors charts their own successful career with Dorothy in mind. Her vision, passion for food and the culinary industry, as well as her innovative spirit can be applied to everything that you do.