By Caitlin Raux

There are several good reasons why Greg Proechel (Culinary Arts ’10), Executive Chef of Ferris, has an octopus tattooed on his right arm. For starters, the former college football player has an octopus-like dexterity in the kitchen, a skill that earned him the nickname “pulpo,” — that’s “octopus” in Spanish — from famed Spanish chef Jesus Nuñez, whom he accompanied on Iron Chef in, coincidentally, the octopus battle. The eight-armed mollusk, which can grow an arm if it loses one, is a symbol of regeneration, a theme that resonates with Greg. Less than a decade ago, he was working a desk job as a financial analyst. Today, he’s leading a new restaurant that’s already garnered praise from the New York Times, the New Yorker, and was named one of Eater’s Hottest Restaurants in Manhattan. His career path 180 began with his decision to enroll in ICE’s Culinary Arts program, where he began with zero professional kitchen experience and ended with a paid position at one of the best restaurants in the world — Eleven Madison Park. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of regeneration. And Greg continues to grow and make waves with his honest cooking and cheeky presentations of serious food.

Greg Proechel

Culinary school may have seemed an unlikely destination for a Wesleyan graduate who majored in economics. But to Greg, it was clear that a desk job wasn’t for him. “I need to do stuff with my hands. I always have,” says Greg. “I was a very avid drawer and I was always building stuff. I think I built every piece of furniture in my parents’ house. I knew I’d have to do something tactile.” So, college athlete, artist, carpenter — when did cooking enter the picture? “Cooking was always a big part of my life. All memories of my family revolve around food,” explains Greg. “I really wanted to go to culinary school as soon as I graduated.” To appease his parents, however, Greg worked as an analyst for a couple of years after college, all the while planning his next move. “I kept researching culinary programs, and when I got home from work, I’d practice my kitchen skills.” In 2009, just after ICE won its second IACP award, Greg applied to ICE’s Culinary Arts program — his first turn toward the professional life he truly wanted.

As the restaurant’s website will tell you, “Ferris is an amalgamation of everything Proechel has done in his New York restaurant career.” Greg laid the foundation for that career with his first externship during culinary school. Acting on the advice of ICE Chef Ted Siegel, Greg applied for an externship at Eleven Madison Park, which had just received its four-star rating from the Times. Despite the steep learning curve and inevitable slip-ups out of the gate, the learning experience was well worth it. “In the beginning, I messed up every single day,” says Greg, “but towards the end, I started doing well. And then I was hired.” It was during this time that Greg learned not necessarily what to cook, but how to work. Explains Greg, “To this day, I still use the methods I learned from my sous chef at EMP.” With the methods of a well-oiled Michelin-star machine under his belt, Greg was ready to start innovating in the kitchen.

Ferris Cote de Boeuf

Ferris’ Cote de Boeuf with all the fixings (photo courtesy of Ferris)

Ferris Cote de Boeuf

From Eleven Madison Park, Greg went on to Graffit, a modern Spanish restaurant led by Chef Jesus Nuñez, where he delved into molecular gastronomy. For a fledgling chef in the heyday of El Bulli, it was an exciting place to be. It was also the first place where Greg was given free reign to experiment in the kitchen. “That’s why I picked this career,” says Greg, “because you get to express yourself through food — and that was the first chance I got to do that all the time.” Four months into his stint at Graffit, Greg joined Chef Nuñez on Iron Chef, where they went head to head with Chef Michael Symon in the octopus battle. “That was just 16 months into my cooking career, so it was insane,” says Greg, “but the chef really believed in me.” Then, with a reinforced sense of kitchen creativity and confidence, Greg joined the team at Blanca, the pioneer of extravagant tasting menus in the then up-and-coming Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. Working alongside chef-owner Carlo Mirarchi, Greg found a warm welcome for his values, like carefully chosen, immaculately prepared products, and his inventive cooking. Together, these experiences prepared him for his ascent to executive chef at Le Turtle, where Greg created a menu of food described as “regularly excellent and at the very worst, interesting,” and set the restaurant world abuzz with his Sasso chicken — the chicken — served in its glorious, crispy skin entirety on a bed of hay. Advancing with a seemingly blind sense of determination, the young chef was already making a name for himself in New York City.

Once the world caught wind that Greg was taking the helm of a new restaurant venture, Ferris, diners eagerly awaited what promised to be a bold menu. Judging by reviews, he has delivered on that promise, with “insistently innovative dishes” emerging from the tiny, five-person kitchen. Greg seems to have taken no small amount of pleasure in channeling his experience and his favorite things into every item on the menu. Take, for example, the cote de boeuf served with “all the fixings” — various iterations of the onion — inspired in part by Eastbound & Down (Danny McBride fans will recall his character’s affinity for feeeexins), and also a nod to the standard procession of plates that come with any meal in nearby Koreatown. “When I go to Miss Korea in K-Town, they bring all of these different plates and sauces — that’s how I love to eat.” In other dishes, like the infamous roasted Sasso chicken, which isn’t on the menu but is served based on availability, you’ll find Greg’s childhood memories of farms in New Jersey, his home state, and his grandparents’ farm in Vermont. In terms of the theatrical element to Greg’s cooking, like the cote de boeuf presentation that brings the entire dining room to a hush as fellow diners look on enviously, it’s impossible to ignore the wink to the restaurant that wrote the book on theatrical dining — Eleven Madison Park.

Asked about the restaurant’s name, Ferris, Greg says it doesn’t have one origin, but rather, evokes a certain kind of feeling: the excitement of a kid on a Ferris wheel; the joie de vivre of the protagonist of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Greg, no doubt, is excited about food, and that excitement is contagious in his small, subterranean dining room. There’s also the idea of coming full circle, like a Ferris wheel, as Greg has done — from the days of being an analyst with a pipe dream of breaking into the culinary industry to today, an octopus-tatted chef who’s creating delicious dishes that are a joy to eat. It’s a story of hard work, tenacity and regeneration, and it began with a decision to change his life’s course. As the precocious Ferris Bueller once said — Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Greg isn’t missing it.

Ready to find your culinary voice? Learn more about ICE’s career programs. 

At ICE, we make it our mission to help students find their culinary voice — that creative drive within each of us that determines how we express ourselves through food. Whether it’s a career training program, a recreational course in pie crusts or a special event featuring handmade pasta, we’ll give you the tools to hone your culinary creativity. Join us as we ask some of today’s leading food industry pros to share their culinary voice.

2017 was an incredible year for Vivian Howard (Culinary ’03). While continuing to lead critically acclaimed Chef & the Farmer and the beloved neighborhood oyster bar Boiler Room, she opened a third highly anticipated eatery, Benny’s Big Time, a family-friendly pizza and pasta restaurant in Wilmington, NC. Vivian also racked up an impressive four IACP awards and a James Beard Award nomination for her book “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South.” Here, the ICE alum and star of the Peabody Award-winning PBS documentary series “A Chef’s Life” explains how she found that a return to her roots was exactly what her cooking needed.

Find your culinary voice with ICE — learn more about our career training programs.


By David Waltuck — Director of Culinary Affairs

Brandon Chrostowski is the founder and CEO of EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, a restaurant and school that provides culinary training and job placement assistance to formerly incarcerated men and women. Everyone who works there, from the kitchen to the dining room, is a former inmate.

Brandon in the Kitchen at ICE

I met Brandon when he worked at my restaurant, Chanterelle, from late 2005 to 2008, starting as a server, and ultimately becoming an assistant general manager. He originally applied and interviewed with my wife, Karen, for a front of the house job. Though he had no dining room experience, he had been cooking for years in a number of excellent restaurants in the U.S. and France. He explained that he wanted to work with us to learn how the front of the house functions.

From the time Brandon began at Chanterelle, his goal was already to open a restaurant and school to help former inmates with re-entry and to teach them the skills needed to find work in the restaurant industry. I have remained a friend and supporter of Brandon and his project, so I was very happy to have been able to facilitate the dinner prepared by EDWINS at the James Beard House on January 17, 2018, which ICE generously allowed Brandon and his team to prep for in our kitchen classrooms. Brandon and EDWINS are also the subject of Thomas Lennon’s documentary “Knife Skills,” which was screened for students at ICE on January 18th and just received an Academy Award nomination for Documentary Short Subject.

Brandon took a moment from his busy visit to New York to chat with me about EDWINS and some other projects in the pipeline.

David Waltuck: How did you get your start in restaurants and cooking?

Brandon Chrostowski: I got involved after being arrested and then put on probation. I needed to find something that would keep me busy.

Did you have a mentor?

Yes. Chef George Kalergis, a Greek chef from Detroit. He taught me the fundamental techniques of classic restaurant cuisine and that it’s not practice that makes perfect but perfect practice that makes perfect.

The EDWINS Team at ICE

When did you first conceive the idea that became EDWINS?

There were a series of events between 2002-2004 that led to the idea. I kept getting phone calls about people I knew who were killed or re-incarcerated. Also, the contrast of working in fine restaurants and living in poor areas always felt odd to me. I finally wrote a business plan in 2004.

Do you think the restaurant world is particularly accepting of people from varied backgrounds including incarceration? Why?

Yes. Because this industry accepts those who work hard and hard work has no language, and knows no boundaries when it comes to race, gender or ethnicity.

What is the success rate of your students? Do you have any favorite success stories?

Success is subjective. Each student has a life plan and if they make progress towards their goal then that is success — it’s not defined by what society deems success. As far as employment goes, after graduation our students find a job 95% of the time. Recidivism, or rate of return [to prison], for EDWINS students is 1% — nationally, it is over 40%. As an organization, we’re seeing success in these areas for sure. We’ve seen students go on to incredible jobs, from three-star Michelin restaurants to restaurants in Normandy, France. Those are some fun stories to listen to!

What are your plans for the future in terms of EDWINS? Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

We take it day by day. The first goal is to make sure we assist our students in accomplishing their goals. Next, it’s keeping the restaurant alive and sustainable. Running a school is expensive and unlike other schools, we pay students a stipend. It’s important to have a leaner, more profitable enterprise, in order to offset that cost.

I’m also working on a butcher shop close to our campus. The goal is to provide a place that focuses on butchery, charcuterie and preparation of meats. It’s also located in a neighborhood that has been forgotten and deserves a quality place to eat. And we can sell meats wholesale to the restaurant.

Little by little we are trying to build the best culinary school in the states. Watch out ICE!

Want to study culinary arts with Chef David? Click here for information on ICE’s career programs.

 

By James Briscione — Director of Culinary Research

The Sonicprep Ultrasonic Emulisifer by PolyScience is a piece of equipment that has fascinated me for a few years, but I never had the opportunity to use one. Until now. The Sonicprep is the latest addition to the Culinary Technology Lab here at ICE. The lab’s equipment spans from when man just learned to harness fire (our hearth oven, tandoor and rotisserie) to the most cutting edge cooking appliances in the world (sous vide and precision temperature induction). This latest addition may look more suited to a research lab than a kitchen, but its ability to help ICE chefs and students innovate with food (and flavor experimentation) is exactly why it belongs right where it is.

Sonic Prep

At this point, you may be wondering: What the heck is it? Good question. PolyScience tells us that the “Sonicprep emits ultrasonic sound waves or ‘sonicates’ to extract, infuse, homogenize, emulsify, suspend, de-gas or even rapidly create barrel-aged flavor. By applying low heat vibrations of sound energy, this new PolyScience machine provides you an incredible range of techniques.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, the Sonicprep is the key to creating, extracting, infusing and developing both flavor and texture in the fastest, most efficient and unique manner ever seen in a kitchen. Sonic waves force interactions between ingredients without the shearing, chopping or breaking that would be caused by a blender, so extracting or infusing flavors can become incredibly precise.

From something as simple as a new stove to an innovative, modern tool like the Sonicprep, there is always a learning curve when working with a new piece of equipment. When testing out a new stove, I always prepare something familiar, like a fried egg, to get my bearings. So for my first run with the Sonicprep, I also chose something I know well… alcohol.

I have long been a fan of infusing alcohol to create unique flavor combinations. For the past few years, in my sous vide courses, I’ve taught students how combining vodka + spices + heat + time = custom-flavored gin. While testing out the Sonicprep, I realized that there was the ability to create these same infusions without the high temperatures used in sous vide, meaning fresh items like herbs and citrus zest could retain their maximum aromas.

For our maiden voyage with the Sonicprep, I decided to transform vodka into gin. I loaded up a jar with vodka, crushed juniper berries, cardamom, coriander, black pepper, fresh cucumber and citrus zest. I set up a second infusion with some of the same spices, but also ventured to ICE’s hydroponic garden to harvest basil flowers to add herbaceous and floral aromas to the mix. The machine was set to run a cycle of just three minutes of constant sonic pulses. Sonic PrepThe speed and quality of the result was like nothing I had ever seen before with any other technique. The aroma of the herbs and spices in the jar became bright and full. Since it was a Friday afternoon, a few taste testers and I were able to sample both batches. The first jar yielded a product quite similar to gin, but more accurately described as gin-flavored vodka, meaning the transformation wasn’t quite complete. The second batch with the garden’s basil had an intense flavor, which wasn’t as reminiscent of gin but was delicious nonetheless. I’d say the latter is a strong front-runner to become my summer drink of choice, topped with sparkling water and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Though it was fun to experiment with the boozy potential of the Sonicprep, it’s so much more than a tool to use to up your mixology game. Now that we are more familiar with the machine and its variety of uses, new projects and goals are starting to take shape.

One that is especially intriguing to me is emulsion and homogenization. I hope we can manipulate fats and liquids into formulations to mimic common kitchen products — specifically butter and whipping cream. Imagine the possibilities if you could create your whipping cream from, say, rendered bacon fat or dashi, or make a butter substitute from olive oil or soy milk. Check back on the blog and follow ICE on social media to keep up with the latest developments from the Culinary Technology Lab!

Want to study the latest culinary technology with Chef James? Click here for more information on ICE’s career programs.

 

 

 

At ICE, we make it our mission to help students find their culinary voice — that creative drive within each of us that determines how we express ourselves through food. Whether it’s a career training program, a recreational course in pie crusts or a special event featuring handmade pasta, we’ll give you the tools to hone your culinary creativity. Join us as we ask some of today’s leading food industry pros to share their culinary voice.

If mild flavors are your bag, then Chef Miguel Trinidad’s cooking is not for you. The ICE alum and chef-owner of critically acclaimed East Village restaurants Jeepney and Maharlika is all about bold, flavorful cuisine. It’s no surprise that Miguel was drawn to the cuisine of the Philippines. “Filipino food is like a punch in the mouth. It’s big, it’s loud and it takes you on a journey,” explains Miguel. At his restaurants, Miguel takes diners on a flavor-packed journey with his modern take on traditional Filipino dishes like kare kare (oxtail stew) and pata confit (crispy pork leg). Says Miguel of his preferred cuisine, “[e]ven when you’re stuffed, you still want to take another bite because it’s so delicious.”

Here, Miguel shares his culinary voice and how being a chef is like being an artist.

Find your culinary voice with ICE — learn more about our career training programs.

Chef Anthony Ricco, ICE alum and executive chef of The William Vale, has a passion for feeding people — very well. The Brooklyn-native and former executive chef at Jean Georges’ Spice Market combines his culinary training and his unique style in every delicious dish that he creates. Though his roots are Italian, his culinary voice comes from a different part of the globe — watch the video to discover the inspiration for Chef Anthony Ricco’s culinary voice.

Find your culinary voice with ICE — learn more about our career training programs.

By Robert Ramsey — Chef Instructor, School of Culinary Arts

People often forget that citrus comes into season in the winter. This time of year, the fruit is at its sweetest, juiciest and most alluring. If you can’t find every variety used in this recipe, use any mix of citrus fruit you desire. Here, we top it with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, also a winter crop.

Veg_Valentine_3

Winter Citrus Salad
Servings: Makes about two servings

Ingredients:

1 navel orange
1 blood orange
1 ruby red grapefruit
2 tangerines
½ medium red onion
½ fennel bulb
½ bunch fresh mint
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
4 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons crushed pink peppercorns
Maldon salt for finishing

Veg_Valentine_1

Preparation:

  • Peel all citrus using a paring knife. Make sure all white pith is removed.
  • Cut citrus into various shapes — segments, wedges and slices add visual interest. Toss together in a mixing bowl and reserve at room temperature.
  • Slice red onion and fennel very thinly. I like to use a Japanese mandolin to ensure even cuts. Add the fennel and onion to the citrus mixture. Sprinkle a good pinch of Maldon salt (or any large flake salt) and the pink peppercorns. Toss well and allow salad to sit for 15-20 minutes.
  • While salad is sitting, rough chop or tear the mint, leaves only.
  • Finish the salad by tossing the mint, olive oil, pomegranate seeds and citrus mixture together.
  • Transfer to two plates, finish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Interested in studying culinary arts with Chef Robert? Click here for more information on ICE’s career programs. 

By Sarah Entwistle  — Student, Culinary Arts ‘18

Meet Sarah Entwistle, our newest “Life as a Culinary Student” blogger. After graduating from American University with a degree in business, Sarah headed to Salt Lake City to pursue a career in finance. Though she was rising through the ranks as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, after a few years Sarah realized that her passions lay elsewhere — cooking. Sarah returned to the east coast and enrolled in ICE’s Culinary Arts program. In this first blog post, she writes about a unique aspect of Life as a Culinary Student — volunteer opportunities with world-renowned chefs.

Fresh Sea Scallop

Fresh Sea Scallop

The excitement was palpable as five other culinary students and I waited for our assignments in the kitchen. Most of us had already volunteered at an ICE event, but we knew the stakes were higher with Chef Alex Atala, considered by many the best chef in South America. Chef Atala was in New York City to cook for a benefit dinner on behalf of the MAD/Yale collaboration at ICE. The goal of this collaboration is to bring together established and emerging chefs and scholars to improve our modern food systems. As Chef Atala is a huge proponent of sustainable cooking practices, sourcing products from local vendors and taking steps to reduce food waste, this was an organic partnership that celebrated the union of social consciousness and delicious food.

At around 1 p.m., Chef Robert Ramsey walked in and gave us the rundown for the afternoon. Chef Robert was in charge of the appetizers, Chefs Atala and Mattos would prepare the entrées and Chef Michael Laiskonis was creating a dessert. The starters, which we were tasked with preparing, included kohlrabi slaw wrapped in a marinated kohlrabi wrapper topped with crispy long island squid and sesame butter, Connecticut kelp noodles tossed in a pistachio-miso cream and twirled into football-shaped rounds topped with freshly grated horseradish, seared cauliflower marinated in a mole sauce served with a buttermilk, pomegranate and pepita salad, and American buffalo tartare topped with sous vide egg yolks and scarlet frill mustard leaf.

Connecticut Kelp Noodles

Connecticut Kelp Noodles

From the moment the day started, there was no idle time. Chef Robert doled out individual tasks for each of us to start tackling until the other chefs arrived. My first assignment was to use a mandolin to shred the baby kohlrabi into thin pieces. It was my first experience using a mandolin and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about slicing a finger off. Chef Robert told me, “If you cut yourself on the mandolin today, I promise it won’t be the last time.” To avoid cutting myself for the first time, I was hyper-focused on the blade and managed to escape a bloody outcome. I did, however, cut the rubber gloves I was wearing so clearly I came close. We combined the shredded kohlrabi with yogurt, lemon juice and seasoning to transform it into a slaw. While the finished slaw was marinating in the refrigerator, I grated some horseradish fresh off the root. The scent was sharp and intense, and it had a very bold, peppery flavor. The shavings would later be tossed into the kelp noodles, lending a spicy bite to the dish. Meanwhile, my classmates worked on shucking scallops from the shell and clipping hundreds of tiny edible flowers from ICE’s hydroponic garden from the stem. With everyone’s adrenaline levels high, time flew by.

As the clock crept closer to the 6:30 p.m. service, we had to prepare the appetizers for plating. Using marinated kohlrabi slices as a blanket for the slaw, we wrapped the slices tightly into perfectly shaped cylinders that would later be topped with crispy, flash-fried squid. It was a fresh, playful dish that had a satisfying crunch — Chef Atala insisted that we should try each dish before it went out for service. Next, we tackled the kelp noodles. Once the noodles were tossed with the cream sauce, toasted pistachios and shaved horseradish, we molded them into bite-sized football shapes (similar to a tourné). We did this by grabbing a clump of noodles with culinary tweezers and delicately twirling the noodles against the side of the bowl until they were roughly the shape we were looking for. We then laid each piece onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper so that the mold would set prior to service. Right before going out the kitchen door they were topped with the crispy calamari.

Throughout the evening, Chef Atala was a humble and generous leader in the kitchen. When he first walked into the kitchen, he shook each of our hands and introduced himself, setting a warm and inviting tone for the evening. Prior to service, he remained calm and focused and did not engage in much small talk or stray from whatever task he was working on. He brought in fresh, beautiful sea scallops that were still in the shell and took great care in gently shucking each one. As scallops are not typically sold in the shell, he took the time to demonstrate how to shuck them. When we prepared the appetizers, I noticed people coming into the kitchen to introduce themselves to Chef Atala and he was nothing short of polite and gracious. As a student with limited exposure to professional restaurant kitchens, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from working with one of the top chefs in the world. My first experience couldn’t have been more positive and I appreciated all the information that I was able to glean.

I’ve been a Culinary Arts student at ICE for nearly two months now and the opportunity to work in a kitchen led by Chef Alex Atala was one of the best experiences so far. I would implore any fellow ICE students who are looking to get involved in the culinary industry or to push themselves out of their comfort zones to check out the volunteering opportunities that ICE provides — it will be well worth your time.

Learn more about ICE’s Culinary Arts career training program.

 

By James Briscione, Director of Culinary Research

Your Thanksgiving turkey has a secret; and I’m here to tell it: that bird HATES being roasted in the oven. I know it, your turkey knows it and deep down, you know it, too: roasting a whole turkey in the oven just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It consumes a massive amount of time, space and energy, none of which I would be against if the results were impeccable. However, the sad truth is that roasting turkey in the oven is inefficient and the end product is imperfect.
sous vide turkey

I blame Norman Rockwell. Ever since he painted that famed portrait of an American family gazing lovingly at Mom as she places that large, bronzed bird on the table, the whole, roasted turkey has been the Thanksgiving gold standard. I can only imagine how dry the breast of Rockwell’s turkey must have been — he should have painted a 50-gallon drum of gravy in the background because I bet the family would have used every last drop of it.

Whole roasted birds have an inherent problem: for optimal flavor, tenderness and juiciness, the breast and legs need to be cooked at different temperatures for different lengths of time. At times like this, I like to channel Alain Senderens, one of my favorite rebel chefs and one of the fathers of Nouvelle Cuisine. Chef Senderens balked at the way that tradition trampled innovation in French cuisine. So this Thanksgiving, join me as I thumb my nose at tradition and invite innovation to my pumpkin-spice themed Friendsgiving.

Two words: sous vide. I have spent years extolling the tender, juicy and delicious virtues of cooking chicken sous vide. That led me to think, if sous vide makes the best chicken I’ve ever tasted, it will surely make the greatest turkey, too. All I had to do was figure out a way to cook turkey sous vide, yet make sure it still looked like a turkey when it arrived at the table, lest my family think I’m a total failure in annual fatherly duties (thanks for nothing, Rockwell). I decided to use a technique that I learned from Bryce Shuman at Betony, where they always cooked sous vide chicken breast with the bones in, so it would retain its natural shape. I applied the same method to the turkey breast, which I fit into a large, gallon-sized zip top bag. I zipped the legs and wings inside a separate bag and was on my way to a glorious Thanksgiving revolution: perfectly cooked legs and breasts with a classic presentation. This just may be the type of thing that makes everyone around the table happy this Thanksgiving. Check out the recipe below.

Sous Vide Thanksgiving Turkey

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons dry sage
2 teaspoons ground fennel seed
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 whole turkey, about 10-12 pounds
4 ounces melted butter

Preparation:

  • Start by making a dry brine — combine the sage, fennel seed, pepper, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Fabricate the turkey into a bone-in breast by removing the back-bone with a chef’s knife or kitchen shears. Separate the wings from the breast by cutting through the wing joint. Remove the legs from the body, cutting through the thigh joint and leaving the thigh and drumstick attached.
  • Use a Polyscience immersion circulator to heat a water bath to 66˚C (151˚F).
  • Generously season all of the pieces with the dry brine on both sides. Place one leg and one wing in each of two large, gallon-sized zip top bags. Add 1 ounce of melted butter to each of the bags. Place the seasoned breast in the refrigerator while the legs cook.
  • Fill a large pot or bowl with room temperature water and lower the open zip top bag into the water. The water pressure will push the excess air out of the bag. When the top of the bag reaches the level of the water, seal the bag. Transfer the sealed bags to the water bath and cook for six hours. Remove the bags and cool immediately in an ice bath. When chilled, transfer to the refrigerator and store for up to seven days before serving.
  • Reduce the water bath to 62˚C (143.5˚F). Place the turkey breast into a large, gallon-sized zip top bag and add the remaining 2 ounces of melted butter. Use the method above to remove the excess air from the bag and seal. Transfer the sealed bag to the water bath and cook for four hours. Add the chilled turkey legs to the bath and cook 40 minutes longer to reheat. Or, if not serving immediately, remove the bags and cool immediately in an ice bath. When chilled, transfer to the refrigerator and store for up to seven days before serving.
  • When ready to serve, heat a water bath to 62˚C and add the sealed bags of breast and leg to the bath and leave 40 minutes to reheat.
  • To serve, heat the oven to broil and arrange the turkey pieces on a baking pan and place on the middle rack under the broiler until golden brown.

You, too, can become an expert chef — learn more about our Culinary Arts career training program. 

By Kelly Newsome — Student, Culinary Arts

When you’re a lunatic like me, food gets you so excited that you want to do everything. After a lesson on India’s curries, I was ready to pack my bags for a sabbatical to diligently tend tandoori ovens and learn from the master chapati makers of the Indian sub-continent. After two weeks learning about the regional cooking of Italy, I was fantasizing about working in the kitchen of an idyllic agriturismo in the Tuscan countryside — perhaps learning the fine art of truffle hunting was in my future? Then there’s my love of writing, cookbooks and teaching — how could that fit into my plans? As tantalizing as these possibilities seem, the reality is equally foreboding — I need to choose one thing, right now, and this decision could determine the direction of my culinary career, forever. It feels like taking the SATs all over again. Adding to this predicament has been my recent experience in Module 4, Pastry & Baking Arts. I’d like to blame it on the butter but the truth is: I love the precision that baking demands. Accuracy, care and diligence almost always result in an excellent final product — and I like that. With all these interesting paths to explore, how should I go about deciding which one to follow?

Like many of my classmates who are nearing the end of their class instruction, the challenges we face are practical: we need to make a living; we need to fend off doubters and naysayers; we’re looking for personal fulfillment in our careers; and health insurance would be nice. With these concerns in mind, I’ve decided to lay out a roadmap of my planned approach. I can’t say it’s the right way, but hopefully it will set me on a path toward career fulfillment — and who knows, maybe it will help others who are facing a similar dilemma.

Culinary Student Kelly Newsome

1. Talk To Your Chef-Instructors

This may seem like the most obvious, but it is absolutely the most important. Our instructors have extensive experience performing at the highest level of the culinary industry — a level achieved by people who work hard and make smart choices. Realizing that I needed some serious guidance, I asked my current instructor, Chef Chad Pagano for his advice to culinary students feeling “overly enthusiastic” and a little unsure about their direction. Here’s what Chef Chad had to say: “First and foremost, stop overthinking it. Listen to your heart. Passion and love of the food industry will steer you in the right direction. Within that, work for the best chef you can find. I don’t care if it’s in the basement of his house. Young cooks need two things: practical kitchen skills and work ethic. You should also be reading, watching videos and immersing yourself in the industry. This would include volunteering and attending any and all demos and events at the school. This will help you fall into the proper direction for your career.” With this advice in mind, I’ve been able to narrow my search for an externship because I know I want to start my career working for the best possible chef that will have me. I was also able to narrow my search because there were certain types of restaurants that intuitively felt right to me and others that didn’t. So follow your heart. It may sound cliché, but the truth is, it will never let you down.

2. Explore All Your Possibilities

I have a vast pool of culinary interests, from working in a fine-dining restaurant to becoming a food editor or cookbook author. The great thing about ICE is that we have the opportunity to explore all of these options through externships and extracurricular courses. I’ve decided to apply for both food media and restaurant externships. I will go on trails at restaurants and interviews in test kitchens. My hope is that, just like a date, the experience will tell me the right choice to make.

Kelly Newsome

3. Get Involved

Volunteering at different culinary events throughout the city has not only given me a flavor of what to expect in professional restaurant kitchens, but it has also exposed me to some of the biggest culinary leaders in the industry. You get a sense of how to behave, what is expected of you and the pace and environment you might be walking into. Not to mention, it’s a chance to make a good impression, learn, observe and explore some of the possibilities.

4. Don’t Stress

One thing that I know for sure, because it has been hammered into my head for four straight modules, is that if you work hard, have a good attitude and the desire to perform at your absolute best, you’re going to be okay. So don’t stress, just smile (when possible), put your head down and do the best work that you can at all times.

The most important lesson that I have learned since beginning culinary school at ICE is that you need to stay true to you. Don’t forget what brought you to culinary school in the first place. There will always be people telling you that you didn’t need to go to culinary school, people who say you won’t make any money, people who tell you that you’re crazy for wanting to cook for a living. It doesn’t matter what they think, because if you felt this was right for you, then you are doing the right thing. Some people even say that the term “passion” is overused and has lost its meaning. I say that if passion for food and the culinary arts is what inspired you, keep being passionate and you’ll find the right direction for you.

Ready to embark on your culinary career path? Learn more about ICE’s career programs. 

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