Alternative flours — like chickpea flour, banana flour and grapeseed flour — can add a nutritional kick and a tasty nuance to many everyday recipes. Though substituting your tried-and-true AP flour may seem a little intimidating at first, once you have a few recipes under your belt you can add these alternative flours to your regular cooking and baking repertoire. To help you get there, Chef Sarah Chaminade is sharing three new recipes that she developed for ICE and Direct Eats using alternative flours. First, Chef Sarah uses chickpea flour to add a sweet and creamy texture to her chickpea canapés. Then, Chef Sarah demonstrates how to make a gluten-free angel food cake using banana flour —with all of the lightness and none of the gluten. Then, she uses merlot grapeseed flour in her chocolate chip cookies to create a gluten-free and vegan take on the classic recipe. Watch the video below, and then scroll to get the recipes.

Chickpea Canapé
Servings: three to four dozen individual canapés, depending on the size of each

In Liguria, the region flanking Genoa along Italy’s northwest coast, farinata is a classic dish. Farinata is a thin chickpea cake typically cooked in a wood-burning oven. In Liguria, bake shops put signs in their windows announcing the time that the farinata will be ready and customers line up to buy it. It’s a perfect snack when eaten like a piece of pizza on waxed butcher paper. Farinata, just like pizza, can be stuffed or garnished with any vegetable, cheese or sauce.

Ingredients:

3 cups chickpea flour
5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Optional garnish: dollop of creme fraîche, crispy prosciutto or micro herbs like micro arugula

Preparation:

  • Preheat convection oven to 450 °F (or 475 °F for a conventional home oven).
  • Combine chickpea flour and water with whisk until smooth — let sit for 1 hour to allow batter to thicken slightly.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Pour the batter onto a silicone baking mat or a baking sheet lined with parchment. Spread evenly with spatula and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  • Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut farinata into squares (5×7 or 6×8, depending on the size you prefer) and top with optional garnish.

* Recipe adapted from Ciao Italia by Mary Ann Esposito

Gluten-Free Banana Flour Angel Food Cake
Yield: one cake

1 10-inch angel food cake pan with removable bottom
15 egg whites, room temperature (note: it’s essential that they are at room temperature!)
1 pinch of salt
½ cup plus ¾ cup coconut sugar
1½ cups banana flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
* Flavor variations:
Replace vanilla with zest of one lemon, two limes or half an orange, or replace vanilla with two teaspoons of cinnamon

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • In a very clean, dry mixing bowl combine egg whites and salt and whip to soft peaks. Gradually add ½ cup of coconut sugar. Continue to whip egg whites to medium peaks, being careful to not over whip.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the remaining coconut sugar and banana flour.
  • Gradually sift dry ingredients into the whipped whites, folding gently to be careful not to deflate.
  • Fold in vanilla extract and vanilla bean.
  • Pour batter into an ungreased angel food pan, spreading carefully to distribute batter evenly — do not bang the cake pan, as this will cause the batter to deflate.
  • Bake for 50 min, or until golden brown and cake springs back when lightly touched.
  • Remove from oven and invert onto a cooling rack without removing the mold.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before unmolding.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Merlot Grapeseed Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: one dozen cookies

2 ½ cups almond flour
¼ cup merlot grapeseed flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup agave
1 cup 72% bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt the coconut oil in microwave or on stove top. In a medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, mixing with a rubber spatula or spoon to combine.
  • Stir in the chocolate chunks, and allow the mixture to chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Let cool before enjoying. Because these cookies stay nice and moist, they taste great the next day too.

Master culinary or pastry arts with ICE’s expert chef instructors — click here for information on our career programs.

By James Distefano — Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts

I love spices and everything about them — their history, their applications, their benefits and how they add depth of flavor and nuance to many worldly dishes. As the holiday season approaches, one cookie that I hold close to my heart comes to mind: speculaas. Speculaas (also written speculoos) are thin, crunchy, caramelized cookies that are redolent with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. They are commonly found in northern European countries like Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands throughout the holiday season. When I was a pastry cook at Park Avenue Café, working under Chef Richard Leach, we served these cookies as part of our petit fours plate. I was tasked with making them and I’d always make one or two extra because I loved their spicy sweetness.

gluten-free speculaas cookies

The idea to make this cookie was serendipitous. Around the same time that I was asked to come up with a holiday cookie recipe for the ICE blog, I was talking with two of my students about their Middle Eastern backgrounds. One of the students was telling me about a wonderful blend of seven spices used for seasoning meats; the second student about preserved and dried lemons. When I inquired about the spices, the former told me that it’s a very special blend — which happened to include all of the spices in a speculaas recipe, with the addition of rose hip. The second student explained how dried lemon is used for infusing flavor into rice dishes or ground into fine powder to provide a bright, citrusy note with a touch of acid. I fell in love with the idea of using both of these ingredients in this recipe because of their flavor profiles — they would contribute exotic flavors to an already unique cookie. The result was a delicious, spice-filled cookie. And as a bonus: they’re gluten-free. The takeaway? Don’t be afraid to look beyond the familiar to find new flavor profiles — they can really spice up your recipes.

Gluten-Free Speculaas Cookies
Servings: makes about 50 cookies

Ingredients:

250 grams butter, room temperature
206 grams powdered sugar
63 grams light brown sugar
2.5 grams lemon zest
5 grams spice blend (a mixture of spices that can include any of the following spices, to taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, rose hip and dried lemon)
2 egg yolks
20 grams tapioca starch
55 grams white rice flour
190 grams oat flour
100 grams sorghum flour
10 grams flax meal

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Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Place the butter, powdered sugar, light brown sugar, lemon zest and spice blend in a bowl fitted for an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Combine ingredients just until smooth.
  • Slowly beat in the eggs and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
  • Divide the dough evenly in half and roll into two cylinders. With plastic wrap, tightly wrap each dough cylinder and place in the refrigerator. Allow dough to hydrate overnight.
  • The following day, remove one dough cylinder from the refrigerator and cut into quarter-inch slices, then use a holiday cookie stamp to imprint your favorite design.
  • Place stamped cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
  • Once cookies are done, remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
  • Repeat with remaining dough cylinders.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to two days.

speculaas cookies

Read to dive into the pastry arts with Chef James? Click here for more information on ICE’s career programs.

 

By Jackie Ourman

 

In the third section of the culinary arts program at ICE, we delved into plating and presentation as well as cuisines from various regions, including France, Italy, Spain, and Asia. We took a culinary tour of the world right in our kitchen! It was amazing. I learned so much about regional cuisines and the factors that influence them. There were a few key takeaways for me that will forever influence the way I cook and think about food.

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The first is this: regional cuisines are varied and driven by the foods readily available seasonally and locally. If you live by the sea, you eat a lot of fish. If you are inland, you don’t. If you have lots of cattle, you eat a lot of beef. Otherwise, you do not. Fruit and vegetable dishes, as well as sides, are based on what is grown in your area. Period. We need to think about this as consumers and chefs.

 

We often wonder why other cultures are healthier than ours, and I think one of the main reasons is that they eat what is locally and seasonably available. In the US, we are able to get any fruit or vegetable we want, any time of year. There is a price to pay for this convenience, and I believe it is our health.

 

On a lighter note, I also learned a surprising fact: true Bolognese sauce does not have tomatoes! Who knew? I didn’t but, once I tasted it, I realized it might just be one of the best sauces I have ever had in my life. So amazing! You have to try it. Here is the link. I paired it with my favorite gluten-free spaghetti and it was delicious!

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The last thing I learned is there isn’t enough time in a school or even a lifetime to have an opportunity to master the cuisines of Asia. I was blown away by the complexity of the dishes from each region and the incredibly exotic ingredients. I would happily spend another 11 months just learning more about the foods from India, China, Japan and Thailand. I loved every dish and ingredient used and I am so happy I had the opportunity to do so. I even made a gluten-free version of General Tso’s Chicken!

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A lot of Asian foods use soy sauce as a primary ingredient. Many people don’t realize that most soy sauce contains wheat as a primary ingredient and is therefore unsafe for those on a gluten-free diet for medical reasons. However, tamari is a fantastic substitute and is readily available. I brought my tamari into class each night and was able to use it in many of the dishes we prepared so I was able to taste them throughout our lessons in traditional Asian cooking

 

Overall, I learned a tremendous amount in this section of culinary school. I wasn’t ready for it to end, but I’m looking forward to moving into the fourth module, which is pastry arts. I’m especially excited after learning that Chef Michelle Tampakis will be our instructor. She is an amazing pastry chef, and coincidentally, also has Celiac disease. She teaches some gluten-free cooking classes at ICE and even has her own gluten-free bakery, Whipped Pastry Boutique. I can’t wait to pick her brain and I’m looking forward to sharing what I learned in my next post!

 

 

By Carly DeFilippo
 

On the path to becoming one of the nation’s authorities on Pastry & Baking Arts, Chef Michelle Tampakis has taken some fascinating and unexpected turns. Born in the Bronx, Tampakis grew up in the New York City suburb of Teaneck, NJ.  She took and interest in the kitchen at a young age, with family as her inspiration.  Says Tampakis, “My dad would cook a lot while I was growing up, and he always encouraged me to get into cooking.”

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TV and movies would have their influence too.  Tampakis would often watch Julia Child on TV, thinking, “She made everything look so scrumptious, like you could smell it through the TV”.  The movie Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? sealed the deal. “I wanted to be a glamorous pastry chef, just like Jaqueline Bisset!”

 

After high school, she studied Hotel & Restaurant Management at a nearby community college, but was completely drawn to the kitchen.  Her first kitchen job was at the Moonraker Restaurant in New Jersey.  “I had no experience, but told the manager that I was smart and fast. And I loved it.”

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She quickly decided that culinary school was the way to go and attended the Culinary Institute of America from 1980-82, studying culinary arts. “I volunteered for everything, all of the clubs. I loved being involved.”  Culinary school was an integral experience for Tampakis, who feels that “it’s increasingly becoming a requirement to go to culinary school.  It’s just not as easy for those who don’t go [to school] to be successful”.

 

As a student, it was her externship at the Vista Hotel that led her to connections that would shape her future. She could work all of the cooking stations, but was pulling closer to pastry every day, leading to her hire as Assistant Pastry Chef at just 22 years old.

Chocolate-060Her connections from the Vista led to her next big break as Pastry Sous Chef at the glamorous Windows on the World, where she met Executive Pastry Chef Nick Malgieri. When Malgieri left the restaurant to develop a baking instruction program with culinary educator Peter Kump, Tampakis eagerly filled his vacant role. She had stayed in touch with Malgieri – a good thing for all of us, as he later offered her a position at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School as a Pastry & Baking Arts instructor.

 

While teaching at Peter Kump’s – which became the Institute of Culinary Education in 2001 – Michelle has stayed active in her professional pursuits beyond the classroom, participating as both a competitor and judge in pastry and chocolate competitions throughout the US and Europe. She is a regular judge for the annual Pastry Live National Showpiece Championship, and a frequent participant in the New York Chocolate Show, creating the most non-conventional showpieces imaginable, including fashion and costume attire. Among her other accolades, including numerous appearances on Food Network and with Martha Stewart, Michelle’s unique talents in crafting chocolate showpieces led her to being named one of Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs. Her enthusiasm and passion for all things pastry have helped her develop relationships with some of the world’s greatest pastry chefs, who today, she proudly invites to teach at ICE’s Center for Advanced Pastry Studies (CAPS).

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Then, in 2007, Tampakis was diagnosed with Celiac disease. For a pastry chef to have a medical condition which prevents them from exposure to gluten-based products – most notably, wheat flour – is a challenge to say the least. Fortunately for those with gluten sensitivity, Tampakis overcame this hurdle and has wholly embraced gluten-free baking techniques. Since then, her research has developed many successful recipes, which have become the foundation for Tampakis’ latest venture: a gluten-free bakery. Today, in addition to teaching a full schedule at ICE, Chef Michelle is the founder/owner of Whipped Pastry Boutique, where she proudly employs three ICE grads.

 

By Chef Michelle Tampakis

 

I love going to the Green Market in the summer months, when the farm stands are bulging with beautiful summer fruits. I love red fruits especially, and the combination of cherries and plums is always a treat! Damson plums and sweet, black cherries make a great combination.

Chef Michelle Tampakis and ICE Pastry & Baking Arts students.

Chef Michelle Tampakis and ICE Pastry & Baking Arts students.

Cherry season is prime-time for clafoutis, a traditional French dessert in which the fruits are baked, suspended in a flan-like batter. There’s no reason for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities to forgo this seasonal treat. The recipe can be tweaked using a few different flours, including that of sorghum, a grass related to sugarcane. Milled sorghum flour is especially useful in gluten free baking, as it contributes a cakey texture that isn’t sticky, like white rice flour.

Photo Credit: http://cuisine.palats.org/coinblog

Clafoutis – Photo Credit: http://cuisine.palats.org/coinblog

Of course, ready-made, gluten-free baking mixes can be used in place of the three ingredients listed here, but I prefer making my own combinations, since most of the store bought mixes already contain xanthan gum, which I find isn’t needed in everything.

Gluten Free Plum Cherry Clafoutis

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs Damson Plums
  • 1lb black cherries
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Wash and pit plums. Cut them into wedges. Wash and pit cherries.
  3. Combine fruits in a 2 quart, shallow baking dish, lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  5. In another small bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and vanilla.
  6. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients, until a smooth batter forms.
  7. Pour over fruit.
  8. Bake in preheated oven (or on a preheated barbeque grill) until custard is set, and lightly browned.
  9. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

 

 

By Jackie Ourman

 

As our culinary arts class continues to meet at ICE, we’ve gotten our groove and fallen into a comfortable routine. Mise en place is always first. I love the sound of knives cutting through produce, hitting the boards as we prep. I know there are some people who feel a sense of serenity when they organize and clean. That has never been me—but give me a knife and allow me to chop, dice and slice? Zen…so long as I don’t cut any fingers!

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In addition to knife skills, in our first module, we worked on meat fabrication and preparing stocks. These skills are essential for chefs to learn and provided me with a strong base of knowledge and connection to the food I prepare. For our practical exam, we put many of these skills to work by making a cream of broccoli soup (mine was gluten-free, of course) and medium dice two potatoes. Medium dice may just be the bane of my existence, but I made it through, and was feeling ready for Mod 2.

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In the second section of the culinary arts program, we focused on different cooking methods including sautéing, pan frying, deep frying and braising. After reviewing all of the recipes we were going to make on our pan frying and deep frying days, I was disappointed to see that I would not be able to taste anything. There was a ton of flour, breadcrumbs and even beer-batter (double-gluten!) in almost every preparation. Combine that with a lot of people in the kitchen at the same time and you pretty much have a recipe celiac cross-contamination disaster.

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But, in fact, it was the exact opposite. I brought in my gluten-free flour blend, breadcrumbs, panko and beer. Chef Ted Siegel, our instructor, allowed me to work with those ingredients and even set up a special fry station for me. How awesome is that? Besides being so accommodating, he is an amazing chef and I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to learn the craft from him.

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Hands down, my favorite recipe from that week of classes was the Pan-fried Crab Cakes with Avocado Sauce. Using Aleias gluten-free Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and panko yielded an absolutely delicious crab cake. Chef Ted complimented the end flavor and texture, as did many of my classmates. Here is the recipe. You should definitely try it out!

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By Jackie Ourman

 

The first module in the Culinary Arts program at ICE takes you through all of the basics of vegetable, herb and cheese identification, fabricating meats and seafood, and making stocks. We then moved on to learn the five “mother sauces”; béchamel, velouté, espagnole, hollandaise, and tomato sauce. These five are the basis of all classical sauces and each serves as the head of it’s own family of secondary sauces, which are used in many contemporary cuisines.

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Considering a major ingredient in most of these sauces is a “roux” (a thickening agent made from equal parts fat and wheat flour), this gluten-free culinary student found herself in a bit of a pickle! I could have brought in my own flours to work with, but initially, I wanted to learn how the sauces were supposed to look, feel and function. To achieve this, I decided to work with regular flour, sacrificing one of the most important senses for a cook: taste.

 

There was not a single thing I could taste before presenting my final product to our Chef Instructor to decide how well I executed the recipe. Can you imagine? We are trained to taste everything, to determine how it is seasoned and when it is ready. I was presenting sauces for judgment and approval without any sense of their flavor.

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I had to rely on my general sense of seasoning proportions and ask my fellow students to give me their opinions. For one out of the four sauces I made, another student said I should add more salt. Other than that, I actually didn’t adjust any of them—yet, Chef Sam approved of all of them. Yes! I did it! Although, I still have no idea how they tasted and am not exactly sure how I did relative to my own palette. Isn’t that crazy?

 

Since then, I’ve experimented a bit. I’ve learned some gluten-free flour blends don’t work well for roux, while others, initially, seem like they do not thicken enough, but then thicken a lot more after sitting for a bit. Through trial and error I’ve been able to make some great sauces using gluten-free roux or thickening slurries (made of equal parts of cornstarch or arrowroot and liquid). I even made this delicious gluten-free macaroni and cheese using béchamel as the base and turning it into a mornay sauce.

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My fellow classmates were a tremendous help in terms of understanding how my sauces tasted and compared with the traditional recipes. Through my gluten-free experiments, they have since learned of allergy-friendly substitutions they can use for their future customers. With the prevalence of celiac disease and gluten intolerance on the rise, it’s this kind of collaborative learning that helps us all move forward and become stronger chefs.

 

Jackie Ourman is a current ICE Culinary Arts student, food lover and mom of three managing celiac disease and multiple food allergies. For more of her delicious gluten-free and allergy-friendly recipes, visit her blog, Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean (C.A.F.E). You can also find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest

 

By Jackie Ourman

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I have always loved food. Loved to cook. Loved to talk about food, think about food, read about food. You get the gist. Food + Me = Love! But recently, my relationship with food was challenged. My love turned to fear.

 

One of my children was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies to peanuts, most tree nuts and sesame, while another child was diagnosed with celiac disease, along with the same allergies. Shortly thereafter, I was diagnosed with celiac disease (my mom was too!). Looks like we’ve been living with these issues for years and had no idea! When you have celiac disease, you can’t eat anything that contains gluten, which is primarily found in wheat, barley and rye.
Where life-threatening allergies are concerned, the only options are to refrain from eating those foods, educate, advocate and carry epinephrine. Shortly after my son’s diagnosis, I became a member of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network and utilized many of their incredible resources to wrap my arms around all of it.

 

After educating my children and myself as much as possible, advocating for them in our community and witnessing the immediate health benefits of a gluten-free diet for my son (energy, growth, happiness), the fear lessened a little bit. I started to get more creative in the kitchen. Instead of focusing on what we couldn’t eat, I focused on what we could. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the impact these issues would have on my children throughout their lives, I felt empowered and responsible to show them they could live full, happy lives and love food despite their dietary restrictions.
We are a family of 5 and my husband and third son (yes, 3 boys!) do not have allergies or celiac disease. I try to keep things varied, healthy and delicious for all. My goal for the food I prepare is that it doesn’t ever taste like it’s missing anything.

Jackie shares gluten free recipes, often based on what she learns at ICE, on her personal blog - like these GF Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

Jackie shares gluten free recipes, often based on what she learns at ICE, on her personal blog – like these GF Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

What started as a quest to help my own family became a mission to raise awareness about these issues and help others as well. I enrolled at ICE to learn as much as I could about food, recipes and the realities of working in busy restaurant kitchens. I graduated from the Culinary Management program in August 2012 and am currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. I absolutely love it!

 

Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean is a blog I created to chronicle my journey. I share recipes I use at home, adapt recipes I learn in culinary school, highlight experiences dining out with celiac and food allergies and share resources I have found helpful in and out of the kitchen. I’m excited to have the opportunity to share some of this information with you on the ICE Blog and hope you will enjoy my perspective on the Culinary Arts program as a student who is gluten-free and allergy-aware.

 

Jackie was also recently nominated for “Top 25 Foodie Moms” on Circle of Moms. You can vote for her every day through June 4th.

The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) hosted their annual conference in New York this past weekend. Each year, the conference brings together culinary professionals from across the globe to meet, network and learn the latest trends and developments happening in the culinary community and industry. Starting last Thursday and running through Monday, the conference was an incredible series of classes, seminars and lectures. Held in a different city each year, this year brought thousands of professionals to New York City to share their passion for food in the culinary capital of America. This year, ICE was a sponsor of the conference. From volunteering to teaching classes, our students, alumni and staff participated in all aspects.

The theme of this year’s conference was The Fashion of Food — Where Food, Fashion and Media Connect. Speakers such as Grant Achatz, Dan Barber, Melissa Clark, Amanda Hesser, Adam Rapoport, Ruth Reichl, Marcus Samuelsson and Kim Severson met to discuss topics such as The Fashion of Food, Is Farm-to-Table Just the Latest Fashion, and Why Isn’t Cooking Enough?.

In addition to these featured sessions, the weekend was filled with smaller, more focused and intimate sessions with an astonishing range of professionals discussing incredibly diverse topics. The classes included How to Write for Online Magazines, Food Festivals as Dynamic Marketing Tools, and The Evolving Pleasures of Chocolates. There was truly something for everyone and endless opportunities to learn more about all aspects of the food industry. More…

Fermentation

ICE Chef Instructor Mike Schwartz Leads a Session on Fermentation

The past four days have been a very exciting weekend for the culinary community. The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) hosted their annual conference in New York. Starting on Thursday, the conference has been packed full of events, seminars and lectures with amazing culinary professionals from all aspects of the food world.

One of the highlights of the conference was a full day of classes here at ICE. This morning the classes with ICE Chef Instructors included Vegetable Proteins: Seitan and Tofu with Peter Berley, Perfecting Your Macaron Skills with Kathryn Gordon, and Fermentation for the 21st Century with Mike Schwartz. Classes with guest chefs included How to Make an Awesome Cup of Coffee with Jonathan Rubenstein of Joe The Art of Coffee, and Whole Animal Butchery with Matt Jennings of Farmstead and Adam Tiberio of Tiberio Custom Meats. More…