By James Briscione – Director of Culinary Development
Sous vide cooking is one of the fastest growing trends in modern cooking, among restaurant chefs and home cooks alike. Despite the fact that sous vide was first used in restaurants around the same time that microwave ovens hit the market for home cooks, it’s still viewed as a very new technology. But one thing that has really changed about sous vide over the past 40 years is the price. Sous vide equipment used to carry a price tag (around $1,000) that put it out of reach for most cooks. Today, the average home cook (or professional for that matter!) could be expertly equipped for sous vide cooking for $200 or less. And once you go vac, you’ll never go back. (See what I did there? Sous vide translates to under vacuum. Vac, vacuum…get it?)
I have been teaching sous vide cooking to students, professionals and home cooks at ICE for over five years, and my wife and I do a lot of sous vide cooking at home. If sous vide seems like too much effort for a home cook with a full work schedule and a family, let me persuade you to consider otherwise: With a busy schedule and two kids, the convenience and quality cannot be beat. What’s more, the sous vide method is easier than you think.
Additionally, for roughly the same amount of time, I have been part of The Official Jets Cooking School — helping Jets fans (and football fans in general) take their tailgating game to the next level. I’m a lifelong football fan and have always loved a good tailgate. As a chef, I don’t mess around when it comes to the food, which is why I love bringing sous vide to the tailgate. I cook my steak, even bacon — trust me on this — at home a day or two before the game. Then I quickly chill the cooked meat in an ice bath before holding it in the fridge or packing it in the cooler and heading for the stadium.
Keep reading to get Chef James’ recipe for the perfect sandwich for your next tailgate.
Introduction by Caitlin Gunther
Interview by Carly Evans
Chocolate: where most people see a tasty treat for immediate consumption, Chef Ebow Dadzie sees a world of possibilities for his next creation. A chef instructor at Monroe College and pastry chef for the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, Chef Ebow has earned a host of praise for his chocolate artistry — named as one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional magazine in 2015; awarded the honor of Most Influential Pastry Chef by the Black Culinary Alliance in 2012; named pastry chef of the year by Paris Gourmet in 2007; and more. Chef Ebow even earned the Guinness World Record for building the tallest sugar skyscraper in 2006 — talk about setting your sights high.
ICE is excited to host Chef Ebow for his upcoming hands-on course, Chocolate Showpiece with Ebow Dadzie, where students will learn to create their own sweet masterpieces. We spoke with the award-winning pastry chef to ask him about his signature style and his advice for rising pastry students.
Keep reading to learn more about this celebrated pastry chef.
Introduction by Robert Ramsey — Director of Advanced Culinary Center
Interview by Caitlin Gunther
In the international culinary scene, Spain is hot right now…white-hot. With a rich culinary history going back hundreds of years and local chefs who continually push the boundaries of modernist cuisine, Spanish cuisine offers a rarely seen depth and diversity — and the culinary community agrees. Three of the top 10 restaurants on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list call the Iberian peninsula home. In celebration of Spanish cuisine, ICE has partnered with Eat Spain Up to bring two of the country’s best chefs, Mario Sandoval and Toño Perez, to the kitchen classrooms of ICE. This is the second series of courses in our Advanced Culinary Center program.
Chef Mario Sandoval, chef of Coque on the outskirts of Madrid, has led his restaurant in an avant garde direction, introducing progressive tasting menus where the guests move from the wine cellar to the kitchen to the dining room as the meal progresses through courses. His efforts were warmly received by critics, diners and the Michelin guide, which awarded Coque its first star in 2004, followed by a second star in 2015. Outside of the restaurant, Chef Mario’s accomplishments include penning five cookbooks and launching an event space, a bakery and a catering company.
In anticipation of welcoming this acclaimed chef to ICE to lead a workshop focused on suckling pig — a traditional Spanish dish — we asked Chef Mario a few questions about the contemporary culinary landscape and his upcoming course at ICE.
Keep reading to learn more about Chef Mario’s upcoming workshop at ICE and register today!
By Caitlin Gunther
Julie Resnick (Culinary Arts) didn’t start the feedfeed with the goal of creating a behemoth crowdsourced food Instagram account with a following of over one million enthusiastic foodies. Her initial motive was simply to swap recipe ideas and to find inspiration for ways to use her weekly allotment of CSA (community supported agriculture) goods. Something like, How about a new way to prepare those sweet potatoes? But her education from ICE — which helped give her the ability to recognize truly good food and innovative preparations of it — along with her background in digital marketing, led to the creation of a community that self-selected foodies and talented photographers were clamoring to join. Luckily, the barrier to entry was easy — simply tag #feedfeed in your Instagram photos. Feedfeed seemed to fill a void in the food media realm. It was a call to action for home cooks and food photographers to share gorgeous images of meals made with vibrant, seasonal ingredients.
We were thrilled that Julie took the time to chat with us for the ICE blog, to reveal what it’s like running a massively popular Instagram account and website, and to disclose her “worst nightmare” of a meal (a bowl of cereal).
Read on to learn how Julie went from ICE student to founder of the feedfeed.
By Sarah Chaminade — Pastry Chef Instructor
Sometimes it’s okay to reinvent the classics, as long as it tastes as good or better than the original. This brittle recipe is just as delicious as your classic brittle, but with a tasty, seasonal addition: pumpkin seeds. Before I share the recipe, here’s an overview of this sweet, crunchy treat.
Where does brittle come from?
Brittle is a Southern treat that is enjoyed mostly around the holiday season. Though it’s not exactly clear when the first brittle was created, one legend says that a Southern woman created peanut brittle by mistake around 1890. (Which is oftentimes how the most delicious things are created — by happy accidents!) Apparently she was making taffy when she added baking soda instead of cream of tartar.
Keep reading to watch the video on how to make pumpkin seed brittle — and get the recipe!
By David Waltuck—Director of Culinary Affairs
“Generation Chef: Risking It All for a New American Dream,” a new book by journalist Karen Stabiner, is an insider’s look at the first year of operation of Huertas, Jonah Miller’s Spanish restaurant in the East Village. Karen was granted open access to Huertas – the kitchen, management meetings, applying for licenses, and other trials and tribulations of the first year of restaurant ownership. The author dedicates a small portion of the book to my experience with élan, the second restaurant of which I was owner and chef. Reading this book was in many ways an emotional experience for me.
Not to say that it isn’t a good book — in fact it is excellent — nor to imply that the story isn’t accurately reported and well written. My own story, however, is interwoven with Jonah’s, and the book caused me to reflect on my career and on the enormous changes in the world of restaurants over the past several decades.
Read on to learn Chef David’s musings on ‘Generation Chef’.
By Jenny McCoy—Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts
As a young girl, my family took many long car rides north from Chicago to visit my aunt’s apple and horse farm in Wisconsin. As we pulled up the dirt driveway, the horses ran to the gate to greet us.
We spent each day of our trip working and visiting. Every morning, the sound of beer cans tied to the trees tinkling in the breeze like wind chimes woke us. (My uncle was convinced that the odor would send away the hungry deer.) We went into the orchard first thing, the better part of the morning consumed by gathering bushel after bushel of apples, my brother and I chasing after the best fruit that had already fallen to the ground. Afterwards, we would treat ourselves to an afternoon ride, with a small sack of apples we had saved for the horses. This was followed by evenings of baking and canning, reserving the apple peels and scraps to press for cider and throw to the dogs. The scent of a McIntosh apple and the loud crunch of biting into a freshly picked fruit, juices running down my chin, immediately takes me back to childhood memories of thick wool sweaters, mud-covered shoes and rustling around in piles of hay in the barn.
Read on to discover Chef Jenny’s favorite heirloom apples and how to use them.
By ICE Staff
According to our students, one of the best parts about studying at ICE is the day-to-day learning and cooking in ICE’s classroom kitchens, which simulate the experience of working in a professional restaurant kitchen. When the time comes to begin their first restaurant gig, our graduates are right at home in their work environments. So what exactly does a “day in the life” look like for ICE culinary students? A new video shows just that: scenes from a culinary arts class led by ICE Chef Instructor James Briscione, from the mise en place to plating to clean-up. Check out the below video for a taste of life at ICE.
Read on to watch the full video of a day in the life of a culinary student.
By ICE Staff
“My mom told me I couldn’t play with my food growing up, but culinary school has taught me otherwise,” said Jessica McCain (Culinary Arts ’16). After following a unique path from college to reality television, the twenty-five year old Jess, who had always dreamed of going to culinary school, woke up one day and thought to herself, “It’s now or never.” She reached out to the Institute of Culinary Education and ten days later she was a student in the Culinary Arts program.
Keep reading to watch the video featuring ICE Culinary Arts student Jessica McCain.
By Caitlin Gunther
Calling all foodies: Beginning October 13, the New York City Food & Wine Festival will be taking New York by storm. Held in the culinary capital of the world, the four-day festival has an amazing lineup that includes tastings, demonstrations, dinners and hands-on classes led by culinary experts. Over a dozen ICE alumni are participating in this year’s events, including Matt Hyland of Emily Pizza and Emmy Squared, Anne Redding of Uncle Boons and Mr. Donahue’s, Sohui Kim of the Good Fork and Insa, Miguel Trinidad of Jeepney and Maharlika, Marc Murphy of Landmarc and Ditch Plains, Julian Plyter of Melt Bakery, Amy Scherber of Amy’s Bread, Scott Levine of Underwest Donuts, and Eden Grinshpan, who will be hosting a Kosher Dinner at the brand new restaurant Bison & Bourbon in Brooklyn, where innovative chefs—including Amitzur Mor of Barbounia NYC—will share fresh takes on Israeli and Middle Eastern culinary traditions.
For its part, the Institute of Culinary Education will once again be hosting all of the festival’s Master Classes, including Bread Making with Bien Cuit’s Zachary Golper, a Roasting Master Class with prolific food writer Melissa Clark of The New York Times, Cake Decorating with the internationally celebrated Sylvia Weinstock and a Chocolate Master Class taught by ICE’s Creative Director and acclaimed Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis. In anticipation of Chef Michael’s sold-out course—being held in our educational bean-to-bar Chocolate Lab—we asked him a few questions about his chocolate preferences and what students will learn in his exciting course.
Keep reading to get a sneak peek of Chef Michael’s upcoming Chocolate Master Class.