By Chef Instructor Jenny McCoy, School of Pastry & Baking Arts
Most aspiring authors have no clue of just how much time and effort goes into writing a cookbook. By the time an author has completed her manuscript, she is often wondering why in the world she signed up to write one in the first place. Rizzoli published my first cookbook, Desserts for Every Season, in September of 2013, to critical acclaim. However, it was only with the help of an incredible agent, editor, photographer, and cookbook design team that I was actually able to get the thing written.
So as I finalize the contract details for my next cookbook(!), I thought this would be the perfect time to write about my efforts in securing a book deal, as well as the the process I like to use to write the books themselves. In a kind of mini-series of posts for the ICE Blog, I am going to break down the process for you in four stages:
- Writing a Proposal
- Selling a Proposal
- Project Planning and Management
- Writing and Shooting Photos for a Cookbook
By Carly DeFilippo, Culinary Arts Student
Whether you’re a professional cook or just an eager eater, we all have an intense, multi-layered relationship with flavor. There are tastes that remind us of childhood, foods that terrify or intrigue us with their strangeness, and flavors we crave time and time again. But how as chefs do we harness flavor? Where does it come from?
Of all the significant sources of flavor, the first (and possibly, most important) is the fond. This word, which literally means “the base” in French, refers to the brown bits created when you heat foodstuffs and they stick to the bottom of your pan. While many cooks mistake the fond for an inconvenience best removed with a bit of elbow grease, savvier cooks learn to deglaze the pan and capture that flavor. That’s right—add just a little wine, stock or other liquid to your pan and those brown bits loosen up, forming the flavor-forward base for a delicious sauce.
By Carly DeFilippo
In New York City, we may look first to the New York Times or other local publications for restaurant ratings, but on the international stage, there is no more respected standard of excellence than the Michelin star. As those familiar with Michelin well know, the stars are often concentrated in certain cities of excellence—for example Paris or Tokyo—and earning multiple stars outside those well-frequented cities is an especially challenging feat. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that two entrepreneurial ICE alumni, Georgianna Hiliadaki (Culinary Arts/Culinary Management ’03) and Nikos Roussos (Culinary Arts ’03) have risen to the top of the pack. Their restaurant—Funky Gourmet in Athens, Greece—is one of only two 2-star Michelin restaurants in the whole country. We connected with the creative pair to learn how their time at ICE influenced their innovative style.
What might people be surprised to learn about your work?
We will never forget what Chef Ted told us from day one at ICE: “Don’t expect that when you complete your studies here you can actually think of yourselves as Chefs. Even the dishwasher in any kitchen will know more than you—how to cut better, be faster, etc.” You have to put loads of effort and dedication to achieve something great as a chef.
“There are no new ideas,” the old saying goes. Yet every day a chef will challenge himself to disprove that statement, reimagining the experience of eating and bringing new life to the tried-and-true. Take fish sauce, for example. The 2,000-year old staple of asian cuisine was recently upgraded to “it” condiment, but how to improve upon something with that kind of history? Enter Chef James Briscione’s recipe for Fish Sauce Peanut Brittle, a creative twist on the salty, nostalgic sweet that’s nothing short of surprising.
By Casey Feehan
Technology and the culinary industry have been natural allies throughout history. From new tools and appliances to advancements in our scientific understanding of food, these innovations have helped chefs lighten their workload, augment their creativity and enhance the experience of eating. Now more than ever, technology is setting new standards for how we cook, and ICE alumni are the ones leading the charge. In particular, Florian Pinel, IBM Senior Software Engineer and a graduate of the ICE culinary program, is at the forefront of this revolution, leading the research team for Watson’s “cognitive cooking” project. But back when he was a student at ICE, Florian never imagined that he’d be the tech expert behind the world’s coolest food truck.
What were you doing before enrolling at ICE?
I was working in the research division at IBM. I began there in 1999 after graduating from university in France. I was spending most of my weekends cooking at home, but I wanted to take my skills to the next level and work in a restaurant, with the idea of possibly opening one of my own someday. I checked out the major culinary schools in New York and chose ICE because it offered the best options in terms of program quality and schedule. I graduated in 2005.
By Chef James Briscione, Director of Culinary Development
What exactly is modernist cuisine? In short, it’s a buzzword, the latest term used to describe an innovative and avant garde style of cooking. First popularized by Ferran Adria (the “foam guy”) at his restaurant El Bulli, modernist cuisine has since become known the world over.
Previous to Adria, the techniques used in modernist cuisine were housed under the umbrella of molecular gastronomy: a scientific discipline that studies the chemistry of food. Great minds such as Nicholas Kurti, Herve This and Harold McGee made tremendous strides in this field, ultimately inspiring chefs like Adria, Heston Blumenthal and Grant Achatz to incorporate scientific methods into their cooking. Thus, modernist cuisine was born.
By Carly DeFilippo
Originally formed in 1985 to celebrate James Beard’s 82nd birthday, Monday night marked the 29th annual Chef’s Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels. More than 40 of the country’s top chefs kicked off the summer season at Rockefeller Center with a wide range of seafood-centric dishes.
ICE was proud to have 37 student volunteers help staff the event—the only culinary school whose students had the chance to cook alongside such culinary leaders as Jean Georges Vongerichten, Michael Anthony, Michael Voltaggio, Francois Payard, Marc Forgione, Stephanie Izard and Jonathan Waxman.
By Stephanie Fraiman
Chef Chad Pagano loves doughnuts. Their basic recipe is a canvas for creativity, with no limit to the toppings, glazes and flavor profiles that can work their magic on the sweetened dough. Across the world, chefs of all cultures add their own twist to the beloved pastry, and—at least in America—that’s an idea worth celebrating.
In honor of National Doughnut Day, we asked Chad to share his expert tips, so you can craft the perfect batch.
By Carly DeFilippo
3 stars in the New York Times. Sous Chef to Thomas Keller. ICE Chef Instructor.
From the Beatles to Lucille Ball, Charlie Chaplin to Oprah Winfrey—some of the greatest success stories come from unlikely candidates who were told they would never “make it.” But if ICE instructor Chef Chris Gesualdi was once an underdog, you’d never know it today.
Even as a young culinary student, it was clear that Chef Chris’ work ethic made him distinct from other cooks. His first step into the “big leagues” of cooking was volunteering in Chef Thomas Keller’s kitchen at La Reserve (while sustaining another full-time job). Chris quickly became Keller’s “right hand man” and sous chef, working alongside the celebrated chef for 7 years.
“The years I worked at La Reserve, Raphael’s and Rakel were some of the most formidable of my career and Chris was there every day. His commitment, dedication and work ethic were unmatched and continue to be an example today. I am blessed to be able to call him a colleague and friend, and our profession is in a better place because of chefs like Chris who truly understand what it takes to be a chef.” - Thomas Keller
By Carly DeFilippo
Monday marked the celebration of the 21st annual Dessert Professional magazine “Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America” awards. From a reigning M.O.F. pâtissier (Meilleur Ouvrier de France–one of the most prestigious awards in the pastry realm) to the first female Executive Pastry Chef to grace the kitchens of Restaurant Daniel, the 2014 award winners represented an incredible range of technical skill and artistry.
Each year, ICE’s own culinary and pastry students have the opportunity to work alongside these nationally recognized chefs—an incredible honor and learning experience. From eclairs and layered cakes to earthy free-form plates, the wide range of desserts represented the promising future of pastry in America.