By Dean Andy Gold

 

Les Dames d ‘Escoffier New York (LDNY) is an international organization of accomplished women professionals in the food, nutrition, wine, and hospitality industry. Each year LDNY’s annual scholarship program provides encouragement and support to some of the city’s most talented young women—tomorrow’s leaders in the industry.

Photo Credit: Cynthia Carris Alonso

Photo Credit: Cynthia Carris Alonso

In 2012, twenty-one enterprising women were awarded more than $60,000 in LDNY scholarships, and this year’s gala was no less impressive. After greeting many of the members and ICE students in attendance, I was told, “Sit close—you will be getting up very often.” They weren’t kidding. This year, ICE had so many scholarship recipients that I was called up 5 times to present awards to 7 ICE students.

Dean Andy Gold with ICE Scholarship recipients.

Dean Andy Gold with ICE Scholarship recipients. Photo Credit: Cynthia Carris Alonso

 

Among the proud winners, first came the recipients of the ICE-sponsored scholarships: Yadira Jimenez, for the Pastry & Baking Arts program; Cecily McAndrews for the Culinary Arts program; Christina Mariani for the Culinary Management program and Valerie Beckford for the Hospitality Management program. Other student winners included Culinary Arts students Claire Velighan,(the Meryl Rosofsky “Sustainable Food, Sustainable Life” scholarship) and Jacqueline Ourman (the Melitta USA scholarship).

Dean Andy Gold with ICE Scholarship recipients.

Dean Andy Gold with ICE Scholarship recipients. Photo Credit: Cynthia Carris Alonso

Further demonstrating the presence of the ICE community, LDNY shared an inspiring letter from one of last year’s scholarship winners, ICE Culinary Arts alumna Eliza Martin (who couldn’t be present as she was too busy preparing the beautiful hors d’ oeuvres for the elaborate reception).

 

As I was listening to Eliza’s letter, I spotted another ICE alum, Pastry Arts graduate Regina Anderson, speedily preparing the pastries that were flowing out of the kitchen. A freelance caterer currently pursuing a degree in holistic nutrition, Regina plans to integrate her culinary and nutrition training to further her career as a personal chef.

This year's LDNY Scholarship recipients. Photo Credit: Cynthia Carris Alonso

This year’s LDNY Scholarship recipients. Photo Credit: Cynthia Carris Alonso

In addition to the many scholarships provided by LDNY, each winner is assigned a mentor, providing scholarship winners with additional support as they strive to advance in their chosen fields. As long-time LDNY members, these influential mentors guide lucky students through the next year, helping them shape their goals and career paths. It is an invaluable gift from the organization and will quite literally change the lives of these aspiring young women.

 

I could not be more proud of the ICE scholarship recipients this year and of our continuing partnership with Les Dames d’Escoffier  New York.

By Carly DeFilippo

Each year, ICE has the honor of hosting the annual Careers through Culinary Arts (C-CAP) New York competition. This year, 24 finalists from New York City public high schools prepared two traditional French dishes in under two hours, vying for the chance to win scholarships to finance their dreams of attending culinary school.

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The C-CAP finalists present their two dishes: suprême de poulet, sauce chasseur avec pommes château and crêpes sucrées.

The students were judged by a range of accomplished culinary professionals, including Sara Moulton, Nancy Olson, Matt Hoyle, David Garcelon, David Chavez, Philip DeMaiolo, Kyle Knall and Jason Weiner, as well as successful C-CAP alumni Cesar Gutierrez and Santo Saitta.

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C-CAP student finalists and judges Cesar Guttierez (C-CAP alum; Lexington Brass), Kyle Knall (Maysville), Matt Hoyle (Nobu 57), Sara Moulton (Cookbook Author/TV Personality), Nancy Olson (Gramercy Tavern) and Santo Saitta (C-CAP Alum, Bar Boulud).

ICE Chef Instructor Ted Siegel was also on hand, a veteran judge of the annual competition. Clearly moved and impressed by the students’ ambitions, I asked Chef Ted to speak about his experience with the program:

The C-CAP is an execptionally important program, nationwide, geared to helping high school students prepare themselves for careers in the food service industry. It provides students with opportunities to enter the industry through scholarships to culinary schools such as ICE, The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales and ICC (just to name a few) or cash awards. 

Chef Ted Siegel judges the poulet chasseur and crêpes sucrées prepared by the C-CAP competitors.

Chef Ted Siegel judges the poulet chasseur and crêpes sucrées prepared by the C-CAP competitors.

These are opportunities that these students might not have access to under normal circumstances. Many of the students are already working in the industry, at restaurants such as Daniel’s and Gramercy Tavern, while participating in the program. Not only does the program provide these student with training to develop their culinary and cooking skills, but more importantly it teaches them the value of self discipline, focus and hard work to achieve a specific set of goals. 

C-CAP alumni Cesar Gutierrez and Santo Saitta with C-CAP Founder and Chairman Richard Grausman and President Susan Robbins.

C-CAP alumni Cesar Gutierrez and Santo Saitta with C-CAP Founder and Chairman Richard Grausman and President Susan Robbins.

These are difficult times for adolescents to grow up in and navigate. The thing that I find so striking about the program is the level of passion, dedication and professional integrity the C-CAP students display year in and year out, thanks to the support of C-CAP’s Founder, Chef Richard Grausman, and President, Susan Robbins, as well as the C-CAP Culinary Coordinators, the individual teachers in C-CAP affiliated high schools throughout the US and the large support staff that is associated with C-CAP.

Thank you to C-CAP for yet another inspiring year. We look forward to teaching future generations of C-CAP winners for years to come!

Yesterday afternoon marked the tenth Annual Allagash Brewery Contest at ICE. For the past 10 years, Allagash Brewing Company has partnered with ICE to offer student scholarships for the best student recipe using Allagash beer. This year ICE students were challenged to create a dish using an Allagash Interlude — a beer made from wild yeast and aged in wine barrels. The recipes also had to fit in the theme of barbecue.

Three ICE students were selected as finalists from the dozens of entries and got the chance to prepare their recipes for the judges. Culinary Arts student Travis Henningfield prepared Pear and Pork Belly Kushiyaki with Interlude and Miso-Glazed Onigiri, Cucumber, Daikon Salad and Pear Chips. Skye Whitman made Grilled Duck Breast with Dried Plum & Interlude BBQ sauce with Allagash-Buttermilk Cornbread and Orange-Jicama Slaw. The third competitor, Davina Thomasula made Interlude BBQ Glazed Pork Chops and Drunken Cheddar Grits with Apple Jicama Slaw. More…

Yesterday, the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF) hosted the finals for their annual Latin Legacy Culinary Competition at ICE. Three high school students from the Bronx donned their aprons for a chance to win a partial ICE scholarship worth $15,000.

Since 1982, CHCF has provided programs and services such as childcare and family health education for Latino children and their families. This year marked the sixth annual culinary competition, which was founded to give high school students with a love of the culinary arts a chance to express their passion and encourage them to pursue careers in the industry. More…

ICE is pleased to announce Elissa Beerman as the first-ever recipient of the Kevin Nurse Memorial Scholarship. Baking is more than a hobby for Elissa Beerman; baking is a key ingredient to her recipe for a positively optimistic outlook on life, even in the worst of times. Elissa’s overtly jovial way of living is extraordinary, especially once you discover that she has remained positive and optimistic despite all of the curve balls life has thrown her way. After recovering from breast cancer (after her mother had the disease twice) and overcoming the pain of a family death, Elissa decided that it was time to give up her ten-year teaching career and take on another challenge — the world of pastry. “Elissa is an extraordinary individual,” said ICE President Rick Smilow. “The same fight in her will serve her will hopefully make her a force in the pastry and baking arts.” It is because of Elissa’s extraordinary spirit and passion for baking that makes her a very deserving recipient of the Kevin Nurse Memorial Scholarship.

The $10,000 scholarship was established to commemorate the life of Kevin Nurse, a triumphant individual whose boundless passion for food helped him prevail over remarkable medical odds and become a successful chef. Kevin Nurse underwent a lifesaving heart transplant in 2006. After a year, Kevin contacted the donor’s family and discovered an amazing coincidence — the donor was working as a chef when he died. Kevin felt that he was meant to carry on the donor’s dreams and graduated from ICE in 2008. After Kevin passed away in 2010, ICE established the Kevin Nurse Memorial Scholarship to honor his memory. Given annually to a student entering ICE’s career training programs, the scholarship is a chance to change the life of someone who faces extraordinary medical challenges on their journey to fulfill their culinary dreams. More…

Six ICE students competed for a chance to compete in the Chefs of Grey Poupon Student Competition Finals being held at ICE on May 11. ICE students have won the competition for the last two years consecutively. This year, six students devised dishes around the theme, “health-inspired fish dish.” Culinary Arts students Marc Giroux, Brandon James, Kirsten Davenport, Maridania Collado, Pamela Vacon and Richard Chan created dramatically different dishes, all using Grey Poupon.

ICE Director of Education Richard Simpson, Director of Culinary Arts Program Mike Handal, Chef Instructor James Briscione and Chef Instructor Chris Gesualdi judged the semifinal round. After tasting each dish and careful deliberation, the judges selected Marc Giroux’s Grilled Striped Bass with Asparagus and Spring Vegetables; Brandon James’s Spice Encrusted Mako with Fennel Citrus Salad and Warm Dijon Sauce; Maridania Collado’s Country Mustard Glazed Chilean Sea Bass, Baby Bok Choy, Cockles and a Dijon-Miso Broth; and Richard Chan’s Smoked Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Mustard Cauliflower and Beets, Pea Coulis and Dijon Vinaigrette as the finalists for the next round of the competition. More…