By Carly DeFilippo
In the restaurant business, December is one of the busiest times of the year, especially at such iconic restaurants as the legendary Gramercy Tavern. That’s where ICE Culinary Arts alumnus Juliette Pope works her magic, as the Beverage Director for both the restaurant’s “tavern” front room and formal dining room. With wines by the glass that range from $10-28 and bottles that span every corner of the globe, Juliette knows a little something about pleasing every palate at the table. So when it came to creating our guide to holiday drinking, we knew there was no better expert.
What criteria do you look for when pairing wines with a holiday menu?
The phrase “holiday menu” suggests many things: a large group of people, diverse tastes, varied dishes, serious imbibing, cold weather and a celebratory atmosphere. So don’t aim too high in terms of price tag. Think more in terms of wines with high impact—a lot of flavor, some semblance of luxury and appealing to a broad range of drinkers. Most importantly, don’t geek out too hard on specific pairings unless you know your audience to be gastronerds.
Read on to get Juliette’s picks for memorable holiday gifts.
By Jeff Yoskowitz—Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts
Every year since I can remember, my extended family has journeyed to my cousin’s house in Irvington, New York for a Chanukah celebration. My father, when he was alive, would enter their home, immediately tie on an apron, grab a bowl of latke mix and start frying potato latkes by the hundreds. It would take him hours, but he loved every minute of it.
It was a special time for me, and I always ate too much of the iconic fried foods prepared for the celebration. When desserts were served, there were always fried doughnuts—usually jelly-filled—that I ate, regardless of how full I was. Over the years, it came as no surprise that I took charge of dessert, making jelly-filled doughnuts of all kinds. One of my favorite variations to make is this recipe, where the doughnuts are filled with the jelly before you fry them. There really is no comparison to eating a fresh, warm doughnut infused with a warm fruit preserve.
Read on for Chef Jeff’s ultimate sufganiyot (Israeli jelly doughnut) recipe.
By Carly DeFilippo
These days, an emphasis on local goods is hardly out of the ordinary. Yet, our passion for beautifully designed, handmade products didn’t just happen. The careful curation of products by such trendsetters as ICE Culinary Management graduate Gaia DiLoreto, owner of By Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens, has helped the local “trend” blossom into a full-fledged movement. Read on for the story behind Gaia’s success and her list of the best food gifts in Brooklyn.
What have you been up to since graduating?
I graduated in October of 2010 and continued working on a business concept I developed in class, By Brooklyn, which I opened six months later on April 30, 2011! The idea came to me during the Management program and my instructors encouraged me to move forward with the business plan I had developed with them. By Brooklyn is a specialty retail shop located in Carroll Gardens that exclusively sells goods made in Brooklyn.
By Carly DeFilippo—Student, School of Culinary Arts
For most of my time in culinary school, I’ve been learning time-tested techniques or following a recipe “to a T.” So with the exception of a few lessons in modern plating, the ICE “market basket challenge” was the first time I was asked to truly cook creatively for my Chef Instructor and classmates.
These Chopped!-style lessons, which culminate in an exam of the same format, have been among my favorite moments in the program. After months of following specific directions, I knew that having a blank canvas with only the specification to use “bacon, scallops and tomatoes” or “half a chicken” would be the ultimate test of what I had really learned.
If asked to imagine the type of chef who excels in the fast-paced world of television cooking competitions, you might think of a stoic restaurant veteran, someone who thrives on the heat and stress of the kitchen. You wouldn’t necessarily imagine a contestant who seeks to share a social mission with the world, a message about her own past struggles with an eating disorder and the healing she found in organic, whole foods. But that’s exactly what ICE Culinary Arts graduate Lindsey Becker had in mind when she auditioned for The Taste, and she’s using the celebrated ABC show as a platform to inspire others to get in the kitchen and take responsibility for their health—in the most delicious way.
What have you been up to since graduating?
Since graduating from ICE, I started my own personal chef business providing healthy cooking services to clients throughout NYC. I would typically cook in clients’ homes once a week and prepare about 5 days’ worth of meals that were specifically crafted to their palate and healthy living or weight loss goals. Recently, a fantastic family offered me a full time position to be their private chef. It is an absolute dream job, and I’ve never been happier.
Read on to learn about Lindsey’s path from the glamorous world of magazines to inspiring meaningful change as a chef.
By Jenny McCoy—Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts
My trajectory from culinary school graduate to my current roles as an ICE Chef Instructor, author and entrepreneur didn’t follow the most conventional route. But luckily in the food industry, that’s okay. The more one gets to know other chefs and food professionals, the more you realize that there are many different paths to success in our field.
As a high school graduate who enrolled in culinary school on a whim, I certainly benefitted from spending time with seasoned professionals who shared their tips for succeeding in this business. So, in turn, I’m sharing my advice for those just starting out in the industry—to help you navigate the beginning of your career and find positions that best fit your strengths:
1. Choose a Path That Suits Your Learning and Working Style
Not sure what your “style” is yet? Try taking a Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory or a Myers Briggs Personality Test.
I took a hiatus from cooking in my twenties to pursue my bachelor’s degree. In doing so, I spent a lot of time studying leadership and was introduced to these tests. They really helped me understand myself as a student and as an employee. Give them a whirl! If nothing else, it’s always fun to self-reflect.
By Carly DeFilippo
Less than five years ago, the stretch of Harlem between Central Park North and 135th Street was, in the words of Chef Mike Garrett, “a total food desert.” But in October 2010, as the Executive Chef of Marcus Samuelsson’s first independent restaurant venture, Red Rooster, Mike and his staff opened a fine dining establishment that would forever change not just the food of this historic neighborhood, but the culture as well.
In 2011, Red Rooster received a rave two-star review from Sam Sifton in the New York Times, but its influence went far beyond great food. The restaurant, whose cuisine pulled from the ethnic backgrounds of the neighborhoods’ many diverse communities, was a galvanizing force in introducing downtown diners to the emerging uptown scene. Today, Red Rooster is in good company—playing the wise, inspiring neighbor to such celebrated newcomers as The Cecil, Barawine and 67 Orange Street.
But back before Chef Mike was revolutionizing Harlem’s culinary culture, he was just a 17-year-old dishwasher in upstate New York. Read on to discover Chef Mike’s journey from dishwasher to Executive Chef.
Does your restaurant have what it takes to thrive, or will it be just a flash in the pan? With this advice from ICE’s industry experts in American Express’s four-part Restaurant Success Series, learn how proper employee training and responding to customer feedback can help build a stable, profitable business. Plus, understand how to create a cost-effective menu that sells and discover how getting your manager out of the office and onto the sales floor can give you a leg up in this competitive industry.
For more tips on staying ahead of the curve, we consulted with ICE Culinary Management Instructor Vin McCann. Read on for his advice on developing a marketable product and building customer loyalty.
Cutting corners may seem easy and fast, but could you end up losing money in the long term? Join ICE Dean of Business and Management Studies, Steve Zagor, and American Express to determine your signature recipe for restaurant profits. Discover the number one thing you need to know to make money in the restaurant business, and learn how seemingly unimportant details—including the attire of your staff or the design of your flatware—can boost or hinder sales.
To further maximize your restaurant’s gains, we asked Zagor—a seasoned consultant and restaurateur— to highlight a few of his top tips for financial success in the competitive food industry.