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.

Chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Michael Garrett pose with their namesake "Red Rooster"

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.

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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.

 

Afraid your food business is getting lost in the mix? Discover your “niche,” learn to build buzz and boost brand recognition with the “Building Your Marketing Plan” video in ICE and American Express’s four-part Restaurant Success Series. From exploring local advertising to increasing your online presence, learn how having the right marketing tools will set your business apart from the rest.

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To help you build your food business’ marketing plan, Lori Greene, digital media expert and Director of Content for ad agency Maxus Global, highlights how social media can help build your brand. Read on for her top 5 tips!

 

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.

recipe profits

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. 

 

Do you trust your staff? Do they trust you? Could security cameras do more harm than good? Master the secrets to preventing beverage, food and retail theft in your restaurant with this exclusive video from ICE and American Express’ four-part Restaurant Success Series. From the cash drawer “no-sale” to the little-known “straw-trick” and other clever theft secrets, ICE Culinary Management Instructor Anthony Caporale reveals the ins and outs of what might really be happening behind your counter.

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Among the video’s most fascinating highlights? Anthony shares insight into employee theft — a common problem that accounts for approximately 75% of a restaurant’s inventory loss, according to the National Restaurant Association. Read on to learn five ways “employee collusion” could be undermining your profits.

 

By Carly DeFIlippo

 

When it comes to choosing the most energetic, passionate communities in America, are there any stronger contenders than food lovers and football fans? There is no day when these teams’ talents combine more than on Thanksgiving, which is why we’re wishing you a very happy holiday from ICE and our #GangGreen partners, the NY Jets.

We’ve been gearing up for the ultimate food fest throughout the second season of the Official New York Jets Cooking School at ICE, teaching fans to craft everything from Chicago deep dish pizza to the ultimate chicken wings, and even deep-fried turkeys. What’s more, each class has featured current and former Jets players as special guests, from Bruce Harper and Wesley Walker to Brandon Moore, Tony RichardsonWillie Colon and Michael Vick.

 

There are still two more chances for you to join in the food and football fun before the end of the season. Continue reading for details!

 

The day of Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to catch up with extended family and friends, but from a culinary perspective, we’re all about the leftovers. Last year, ICE Director of Culinary Development James Briscione wow’ed us with three brilliant recipes for leftover turkey. So, of course, this year we came back for more. Grab a wedge of brie, a bag of cranberries and those prized turkey scraps. This is one grilled cheese you don’t want to miss.

thanksgiving grilled cheese

*Note: This recipe includes instructions to make cranberry chutney from scratch, but if you still have leftover cranberry sauce from your holiday dinner, lucky you!

 

By Chefs Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian

 

Chowders are chunky, hearty soups—a classic comfort food for the long, cold winter. As ingredients, cauliflower and cashews are both mellow in flavor, with buttery, earthy richness, but here they combine to make a bold soup. Cauliflower has become a star in the modern nutritional hit parade, standing in for potatoes in a mash or roasted until its curly white edges turn deep gold. The florets soften entirely in this soup but keep their creamy white color. We like to purée about a quarter of the soup and leave the rest of the florets and cashew pieces whole. This gives the soup a rich texture without the addition of too much heavy cream. (We’ve added a little cream to finish the soup, but if you choose to leave it out, the soup will still taste unctuous.)

cauliflower cashew soup

Cauliflower-Cashew Chowder

Yield: 12 cups

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 all-purpose potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups (7 ½ ounces) coarsely chopped cashews
  • 4 cups (14 ounces) cauliflower florets (from 1 small head)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

By Carly DeFilippo

 

When you’re an executive chef in one of the nation’s hottest food cities, holidays become just another day at work. So, who better to ask for their Thanksgiving tips than the professionals who reinvent holiday flavors year after year? 

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ICE Culinary Arts alum Anthony Ricco leads the kitchen at Jean Georges’ Spice Market —which means infusing an all-American holiday with Southeast Asian flavors. Whether it’s gingered cranberry sauce, chestnut-sausage stuffing with Chinese dates or sweet potato purée with cardamom marshmallow meringue, Anthony has reinvented every classic dish several times over.

 

By Michael Laiskonis, ICE Creative Director

 

Preparations are well underway as ICE staff and students anticipate the move from our 23rd Street facility to Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. As construction hums away, the lines set down on paper blueprints are turning into reality, revealing an immersive, state-of-the-art atmosphere for cooking and study. In addition to dedicated rooms for culinary technology, charcuterie, mixology and wine studies, I’m excited to announce that the new facility will contain an artisanal chocolate studio, complete with a full range of “bean to bar” equipment.

13. Finished Bar

The vision for the 550 square ft. studio is to approach chocolate from a holistic perspective. Truly unique in the realm of culinary education, this chocolate studio will provide knowledge and inspiration across a broad spectrum of hands-on applications—for our career students and recreational cooks, as well as for established pastry chefs and professionals seeking to learn the finer points of artisanal chocolate production. An underlying spirit of research and development into the technical science and the mystical art of chocolate will drive the wide array of program offerings.