Bread is a notoriously challenging culinary pursuit, which explains why many experts—Dana Cowin included—tend to leave their loaves to the experts. But with bakers like Sim Cass and Chad Pagano on our faculty at ICE, we knew we could help demystify the fascinating craft of bread baking.First up, Chef Sim shares his passion for sourdough, manipulating the magic of slow, natural fermentation to create a distinct flavor. Then, Chef Chad teaches Dana how to stretch and shape one of his favorite doughs into a savory focaccia.
To learn more about bread baking classes at ICE, click here.
Even as the editor in chief of a major food magazine, Dana Cowin never had the chance to try her hand at artisanal chocolate making. Luckily, no trip to ICE would be complete without a lesson in our new bean-to-bar chocolate lab.For the ultimate chocolate masterclass, we paired Dana with ICE Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, who shared his tips for at-home tempering. From there, we asked Chef Michael to reimagine an interpretation of Dana’s favorite candy bar: the100 Grand.
Click here to learn more about chocolate studies at ICE.
Even the most experienced food professionals have their blind spots in the kitchen, and former Food & Wine Editor in Chief Dana Cowin is no exception. Each year, she receives the latest high-tech kitchen gadgets but often doesn’t know how to use them. So we teamed Dana up with ICE’s own Director of Culinary Development, James Briscione, to dust off the dehydrator and make a savory salsa powder.Dana also confided that she finds the new charring trend a bit intimidating. It’s a fine line between burnt and beautifully blackened, so we asked Chef James to share his top charring tips. The result is a smoky, full-flavored lamb and eggplant dish that you can easily replicate at home.
Click here to see what other advanced culinary techniques we’re cooking up at ICE.
It’s one thing to be a good home cook, but how many of us feel comfortable making a great cocktail? For former Food & Wine Editor in Chief Dana Cowin, martinis and other gin cocktails were at the top of the list of techniques she’d like to master, so we teamed her up with ICE Director of Beverage Studies Anthony Caporale.From shaking to stirring, to handling a jigger and which cubes to choose, Anthony walks Dana through martini basics. From there, the pair switches up Dana’s standard gin & tonic with modern twists on gin cocktail classics.
Click here for a full list of upcoming beverage studies classes at ICE.
Ask any cook, food writer or culinary TV personality, and they’re likely to have a story about that one technique or skill that they never quite mastered. In the case of former Food & Wine Editor in Chief Dana Cowin, she dedicated an entire cookbook to the pursuit of “mastering her mistakes in the kitchen.”
At ICE, we specialize in furthering the skills of a wide range of food lovers—from aspiring young chefs to enthusiastic home cooks and even advanced professionals. So when we learned of a few weak spots that Dana wasn’t able to tackle in her cookbook, we invited her to ICE to meet with our lineup of cocktail, cooking, chocolate and bread baking experts.
Stay tuned! Every day this week we’ll be posting videos from Dana’s day at ICE, featuring signature gin cocktails, artisanal bread, advanced chocolate techniques and more.
To learn more about this video series with Food & Wine, click here.
If you work in food or hospitality, you know that even the most experienced chefs and culinary professionals never stop learning. At ICE, a significant portion of our students currently work in the food world but feel that their on-the-job training is missing something.
ICE pastry student Lauren Katz already had a great job as an editorial assistant at Rachel Ray Every Day magazine. Yet she knew she could boost both her culinary career—and her confidence—with hands-on training at ICE:
As a chef or culinary professional, your success is rooted in the quality of your ingredients. At ICE, we’re bringing students straight to the source with the opening of our indoor hydroponic garden.
At our hydroponic garden, students gain an appreciation for the rapidly evolving field of sustainable agriculture in an urban environment. From herbs and lettuces to rare strains of fraises des bois, the garden provides students with an unparalleled breadth of fresh produce.
If you’ve never eaten a tomato just minutes after its been picked or tossed a salad of crisp organic greens, we invite you to experience the future of flavor at ICE’s hydroponic garden.
Click here to learn more about culinary innovation at ICE.
By Jenny McCoy—Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts
Did you know that each year more than 24,000 cookbooks are published worldwide? Our unyielding appetite for new recipes and cooking techniques has made compiling a single “must-read” book list a daunting task for even the most well-read chef. So instead, I’m sharing a few short lists of game-changing texts—from food science tomes to classic pastry cookbooks—that have broadened my horizons as a culinary professional. First up, let’s take a closer look at the core ingredients so many of us take for granted, from cheese to chocolate.
Read on to learn about four of the best ingredient-focused books for chefs.
It may sound obvious, but the first step in the chocolate making process is bean selection. No two beans are alike, each offering distinctive flavor characteristics impacted by genetics, origin, farming and post-harvest handling—before they ever arrive at a chocolate production facility. Of course, individual chocolate makers are presented with numerous opportunities to imprint their personal stamp on the finished product during the chocolate making process, but to create an exceptional product, the best strategy is often to highlight the inherent qualities of the raw bean itself.
Read on to learn how bean selection influences the chocolate making process.
As 2015 comes to a close, it’s incredible to look back over my last six months as an ICE culinary student. I’ve gotten my hands dirty with knife skills and butchery, learned the full range of hot and moist cooking methods, and even journeyed through the cuisines of France, Italy and Asia. It’s challenging to choose just a handful of my favorite moments from the program thus far, but below I’ve compiled my top five culinary school experiences of 2015:Learning to work in a professional kitchen environment. Chef Mike Garrett has a unique approach to the third module of ICE’s program, which focuses on international cuisines. He chooses to make his classes work in a brigade system. In short, the brigade system is how traditional European kitchens are organized. Teams execute specific tasks for all the dishes on the menu, as opposed to a single chef cooking a dish from start to finish. Throughout Mod 3, our class rotated through three different stations: garde manger (salads, cold appetizers, etc.), entremetier (sauces, soups and stocks) and mains (meat fabrication and cooking, as well as the plating of all final dishes). It was interesting to see how we came together to create the dishes as a team and to experience the coordinated efforts of a professional kitchen.
Read on for more of Christen’s highlights from the first six months of culinary school.