By James Briscione—Director of Culinary Development, School of Culinary Arts
The fried chicken sandwich, by law, may only contain bread, chicken, pickles and sauce. Never mind which law that is—the point is this: if you try to put anything more on my sandwich, we are going to have problems. With just four components to build it out, this sandwich is perfect in its simplicity, so each ingredient that goes into it better be perfect, too. Any missteps or half measures are going to stand out big time and completely throw off your chicken sandwich mojo.
Now don’t worry, you have me to take you through it step by step. First, the sandwich components:
- The bun: Only a soft potato roll will do. Period.
- The pickles: Dill chips are really the way to go (but if you have another preference I won’t fight you on this one).
- The chicken: Fried, of course—but also brined.
- The sauce: It’s gotta be special.
Read on for Chef James’ signature fried chicken recipe.
For 27 years, the U.S. Pastry Competition, hosted by Paris Gourmet, has provided opportunities for experienced professionals and up-and-coming pastry chefs to display the best of their talents. As the most prestigious pastry competition in the country, the event has long been an incredible opportunity for networking and career advancement.
This year, a team of three ICE pastry students—Pooja Jhunjhunwala, Marcela Torres and Anne Roche—entered the competition’s Junior Pastry Challenge. Mentored by ICE Chefs Kathryn Gordon and Michael Laiskonis, the students were charged with submitting a plated dessert, petits fours and a showpiece inspired by the theme “Magic and Illusions.”
Competing alongside students from other culinary schools, the trio were thrilled to bring home the second place award. “Seeing our showpiece in the context of all the other students—ours was the most different. In terms of technique, we really maximized the skills we learned, and it was great to see that recognized,” adds Pooja.
Read on for more on the students’ experience at the competition.
When ICE Vice President of Education Richard Simpson took on the duty of overseeing the build-out of ICE’s new, 74,000 square foot facility at Brookfield Place, he knew he was undertaking a project whose scope was unprecedented in New York City. With 12 teaching kitchens extending across a single floor of an A-class office building, the project required the manpower and logistics of opening 12 restaurants simultaneously—plus the complications of coordinating construction with prestigious neighbors Equinox and Saks Fifth Avenue.
While the average New York City restaurant kitchen might be built for efficiency and maximizing dining room space, the teaching kitchens at ICE have an entirely different set of requirements. At ICE, multiple gas, electric and French top ranges are distributed throughout each culinary kitchen, providing students with a diversity of equipment rarely seen on a single restaurant’s hot line. On the pastry side, our expansive kitchens mimic the high-volume production spaces of wholesale bakeries with oversized mixers, steam-injection deck ovens and professional sheeters.
Read on for behind-the-scenes stories from the construction of ICE’s new Brookfield Place location.
By Jenny McCoy—Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts
In our must-read cookbooks series, we’ve covered ingredient-focused books, vegetable bibles and the sweetest pastry selections. But there’s one area of the kitchen we’ve not yet touched, and that’s the meat section.
From butchery to charcuterie, simple pan sauces to showstopping roasts, animal proteins are an essential part of culinary education. As chefs become more aware of the quality of ingredients and the impact of their cooking from a sustainability perspective, respect for animal products is all the more important.
The following texts offer much for aspiring chefs and culinary professionals. Some contain advanced techniques that may go above and beyond the talents of home cooks, but they all will help readers gain a greater appreciation of where our food comes from.
Read on for Chef Jenny’s favorite carnivorous cookbooks.
By Carly DeFilippo
Breaking bread may be the traditional cornerstone of any feast, but I’ve always found it to be one of the more intimidating—and time-consuming—food products to make by hand. Beyond the naturally leavened, French-style bread that consumes so much of the current culinary conversation is a whole world of international loaves—many of which are far easier to recreate at home.
In New York City, Hot Bread Kitchen is the leading purveyor of unique global breads. Known as much for their social mission—providing job training to female immigrants, many of whom have gone on to work in the city’s top bakeries—as for their products, HBK has become a staple at the city’s markets and upscale groceries.
I have been a longtime fan of the brand’s Moroccan m’smen—which sells like hot cakes—so I was delighted to learn that the team would be sharing their recipes for the m’smen and other international bread in a hands-on class at ICE.
Read on for Hot Bread Kitchen’s m’smen recipe.
By Sarah Chaminade—Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts
Like many non-Irish descendants, when I think of St. Patrick’s Day, it’s all about four leaf clovers, corned beef, cabbage, whiskey and Irish soda bread. But what exactly is soda bread? Some say it resembles more of a scone than bread since it doesn’t contain any yeast. You can find hundreds of different recipes—some include caraway, and others even add eggs. If you ask true Irish lads or lasses, they’ll tell you soda bread must have only four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk. To them, anything more is a tea cake.
Now, while I’m all for authenticity, as a pastry chef it’s my job to constantly question tradition and seek ways to transform the simple into something extraordinary. Over years of experimenting, I’ve found what I believe is the perfect balance of flavor and texture—with a little added surprise at the end. I’m willing to bet that once you’ve tasted this Irish soda bread, you’ll never buy a loaf from the bakery again!
Read on for Chef Sarah’s expert take on Irish soda bread.
By Lauren Jessen—Student, School of Culinary Arts ‘16 & Culinary Management ‘16
Trying to figure out what to do with your life at any age can be overwhelming, stressful and exciting. I thought that at 24 years old I would have a good idea which direction I wanted my life to go, but that wasn’t the case. There’s no question that I’ve accomplished things I’m proud of, including earning a Congressional Award Gold Medal, publishing a book and managing a couple of blogs, but there was still that nagging question, “What do I do with my life?” Ultimately I realized my path involved food—and more than just eating it.
After looking at culinary school options around the country—and even a few overseas—I knew that the Institute of Culinary Education was the best choice for me. In particular, I was excited about the option to earn a double diploma in Culinary Management and Culinary Arts. Learning how to fabricate various meats, cooking without a recipe and understanding the science behind food are all important to me, but so is knowing how to manage food costs, best practices in marketing and all the other business skills needed to open a food establishment. The dual program is a unique opportunity to learn all of these skills and how to apply them in a real-world setting.
Read on to learn about Lauren’s decision to pursue a future in food.
Many people believe that to find success in the food industry, you need to start working in kitchens by the age of 18. At ICE, we’ve helped students from the ages of 17 to 70 discover their road to culinary success. Among those graduates is Culinary Arts alum Paras Shah, the executive chef at Kat & Theo in New York City’s Flatiron District. Already noted by such publications as Eater, The Infatuation and Grub Street, Kat & Theo is slated to be one of the most exciting new restaurants of 2016.
Before he was racking up mentions in the press, Paras was a restless 29-year-old, unhappy in his sales job and craving a change. When he saw one of his colleagues let go from the company, it sparked the motivation he needed to make his move. “I thought if there’s a chance for me to be laid off in this career I don’t even like, why not proactively pursue a career I would love? Which, for me, the dream was always to own a restaurant.”
Read on to learn how Paras made his dream career a reality.
While some ICE students have never set foot in a professional kitchen before coming to culinary school, others are looking to take their career to the next level. Take Culinary Arts student Peter Martinez, who had already held the title of executive chef at a small restaurant before enrolling at ICE.
Peter explains: “There are so many things that I thought I knew, but coming to ICE taught me the actual technique behind cooking. My skills increased tenfold.” What’s more, Peter was able to fund part of his education through scholarship opportunities at ICE, as the winner of the 2015 “Cookin’ With Allagash” competition.
As he takes his next steps in the industry, ICE’s Career Services department will be with Peter and his classmates every step of the way: “They helped me so much in terms of networking, meeting different chefs and how to approach positions the right way.”
Click here to learn how an ICE education takes your career to the next level.
It used to be that once you entered the workforce, you stayed with the same company for 30-40 years, and then you retired. But for the generation entering the workforce today, exploring a wide range of career options is far more attractive than staying on one set path from the start.
The ability to develop more than one skill set or area of expertise over the course of her career was what attracted Chef Sarah Chaminade to the culinary industry. From commercial bakeries and catering to high-end hotel dining, there are few environments where Sarah hasn’t tested her pastry chops.
“Depending on your personality or the place you are at in your life, the culinary industry offers a lot of options,” explains Sarah. “With a degree in pastry, I could do food styling, writing or just focus on an area of specialty production like cakes or artisanal chocolate. It was really up to me to push myself to succeed wherever my passion landed.”
Read on to learn more about Sarah’s path from pastry chef to instructor at ICE.