By Chef Faith Drobbin
Once the Thanksgiving turkey has been polished off and the relatives have departed, all thoughts turn to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. What better way to decorate for the winter holidays than with a homemade gingerbread house? This year, in addition to family-friendly gingerbread house making, ICE will also offer adults-only gingerbread house classes.
If you can’t join us at ICE for the gingerbread house festivities, you can certainly make one at home. To make a gingerbread house from scratch, you will need to bake the gingerbread house pieces, make lots of royal icing to serve as your “glue” during construction, and gather your favorite candies for decoration. While you can use whichever candies you prefer, I have included a list of traditional gingerbread house decorations below, along with recipes for the gingerbread pieces and royal icing.
By Rick Smilow, ICE President
On November 18, eighty people—including several food industry VIPs—gathered at ICE for a Vietnamese cooking party to benefit STREETS International. ICE has admired and supported STREETS’ efforts since the organization’s inception in 2009. Based in Hoi An, Vietnam, STREETS provides culinary and hospitality career training to poor and disadvantaged Vietnamese young adults between the ages of 17 and 21.
Many of the students who are chosen to participate in STREETS’ 18-month program are coming from orphanages and have limited opportunities for future employment. But with the aid of the career training, which includes a year of English language lessons, these young men and women now have the potential for long careers in Vietnam’s growing hotel, tourism and restaurant sector.
By Rick Smilow
When possible, I make the enjoyable effort to have a meal in the restaurants that ICE alumni have opened as executive chef and/or owner. I don’t have to travel far to do this in metro New York. But in late August, I made some trips to visit alumni spots in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC—all in the space of 12 days! That lead to the idea to have a long distance “round table” interview with the three ICE alumni chef/owners: Joncarl Lachman (‘02), Tiffany MacIsaac (’02), and Rachel Yang (’01).
By Vin McCann
Last week, restaurateur Drew Nierporent, founder of the Myriad Restaurant Group, offered a generous dose of advice to ICE students. As he led students through the development of his career as an entrepreneur—built on the success of long-running restaurants like Montrachet, Nobu, and Tribeca Grill—Nieporent outlined the principles that attributed to his success, validating many of the conceptual underpinnings of the Culinary Management program.
In 1985, he opened the door of Montrachet in Tribeca on a $150,000 investment with a monthly rent of $1,500. The restaurant rose to critical acclaim under the helm of such noteworthy chefs as Brian Whitmer, Debra Ponzek and current ICE Chef-Instructor Chris Gesualdi. For more than 20 years, Montrachet was one of the city’s most beloved eateries—an epic run in New York City years.
By Chef James Briscione
It was a pleasure teaming up this Thanksgiving season with Potluck Video’s Ali Rosen for an exciting three-part turkey series—from brined to bacon-wrapped to deep-fried. But once the magnificent feast is over, what do you do with all those leftovers? Read more to find out our top tips.
By Liz Castner
While the chocolate section of the Pastry & Baking Arts program is certainly a highlight for most students, it was truly transformative for a candy-lover like me. While I love to bake, there’s nothing quite like crafting beautiful, delectable little candies from scratch. However, prior to beginning the chocolate portion of the pastry program, I had yet to spend much time making chocolate candies. Little did I know, my candy-making horizons were about to expand considerably.
Over 11-days at ICE, I learned key components of chocolate creation that make or break a chocolatier’s success. Number one: chocolate tempering. We used tempered chocolate in every recipe we made, from chocolate clusters to truffles and molded chocolates, to our chocolate showpiece. (All of these pieces have been saved and will be displayed at our graduation ceremony, which will take place December 9th!)
By Maureen Drum
ICE has been training the industry’s top professionals for over 35 years, so it should come as no surprise that our graduates are in every nook and cranny of the food and hospitality field! It’s striking to see in the past month, just a sliver of what our graduates—both newly minted, as well as seasoned alumni—are up to.
- Many established chefs have been taking the food world by storm as they continue to build their restaurant empires or attract national press attention to their restaurants. For starters, Marc Murphy (Culinary ’90), Chopped judge and chef/owner of several restaurants, including Landmarc Tribeca, Landmarc Time Warner, and Ditch Plains, just added Kingside to his growing restaurant group. Located in the new Viceroy New York Hotel, Marc, in partnership with the Gerber Group, is bringing his signature downtown cuisine to midtown.
By Carly DeFilippo
While the New York City Wine & Food Festival may be best known for hosting walk-around tastings and private dinners with the industry’s most innovative and established chefs, an increasingly present—and interesting—aspect of the festival is a growing roster of panel discussions and lectures. Among those I attended at this year’s festival was “Pitch Me: How to Turn Your Love For Food Into a Successful Culinary Business,” featuring insights from established entrepreneurs on how to build a brand in this increasingly competitive business.
Recognize your brand. When the Food Network brought on Rachel Ray, they were looking for a can-do home cook. But even as her star has risen, Rachel has kept that message—accessibility—at the core of her brand. For her, a large part of content creation is ensuring the audience can see themselves in her show and feel a part of a community.
By Chef Andy Gold
If you’re tackling a turducken this year, you’ll need some stuffing to stand up to your birds. In the spirit of the dish’s origins, this stuffing features Cajun flavor.
By Chef Victoria Burghi
Chances are, you’ll have some leftover baked sweet potatoes from your Thanksgiving dinner. The morning after, wake up, smell the coffee and use those leftovers to fry up some of these delicious sweet potato donuts. (The dipping sauce will give you the energy to go shopping for the holidays to come.)