By Danielle Page
It's that time of year again. The prestigious James Beard Foundation has announced the 2018 finalists for restaurant awards — and not surprisingly, the short list is full of ICE alums.
Each year the James Beard Awards embodies a theme, with this year's focus, "RISE," celebrating the power of food through community. As per the James Beard Foundation, nominees who are "championing causes, committing to values, speaking up for those who can’t be heard or cooking their hearts out" are being recognized in 2018. Semifinalists were announced just last month, with final winners to be revealed on May 7th in Chicago.
By Chef Simone Tong, Little Tong Noodle Shop
With less than 24 hours until the first day of spring, we’re hitting the market for our favorite spring vegetable: asparagus. Here, Chef Simone Tong (Culinary Arts, Culinary Management ’11), of the critically acclaimed Yunnan-inspired rice noodle restaurant, Little Tong Noodle Shop, shares a unique take on asparagus, incorporating some umami, a hit of spice, and pidan, aka century egg — a delicacy in Chinese cuisine that adds a layer of complexity and richness to any dish.
By Caitlin Raux
Students enroll in our pastry arts program for many reasons — for some, it’s to mix flour, eggs and sugar for the first time and launch a budding pastry career. For others, it’s to hone their skills and enhance their existing experience. Diploma (and whisk) in hand, our pastry grads set out on a range of career paths — from recipe writers to startup chefs to educators and more. Here’s a snapshot of the many possibilities of what you can do with professional pastry training from ICE.
Keep reading to discover where a pastry arts diploma from ICE can take you.
"Once you’ve tasted this Irish soda bread, you’ll never buy a loaf from the bakery again," says Chef Sarah Chaminade. Members of the ICE team, who had the chance to sample the goods, would happily concur — that this is truly the best Irish soda bread recipe. But what exactly is soda bread? According to Chef Sarah, "Some say it resembles more of a scone than bread since it doesn’t contain any yeast. You can find hundreds of different recipes — some include caraway seeds and others even add eggs. If you ask true Irish lads or lasses, they’ll tell you soda bread must have only four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk." Baked with caraway seeds, currants and even a shot of whiskey, Chef Sarah's recipe departs from the original yet still captures the essence of this classic Irish goody. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, there's no better time to master Irish soda bread.
Read on for Chef Sarah's expert take on Irish soda bread.
By Michael Laiskonis — Creative Director
Last month, the ICE Chocolate Lab launched Roots of Cacao, its first day-long symposium dedicated to all things chocolate. Through a series of talks, demonstrations, tastings and panel discussions, the program gathered more than a dozen chocolate makers, pastry chefs, industry insiders and historians to share their expertise with a packed room of nearly 100 attendees. Weeks later, I feel I am still soaking in all of the knowledge and insight shared in each intensive session, but a few thoughts still remain top of mind — ideas that I hope to address further at our next symposium.
Leading the technical side of the day’s conversation with his talk, “How Chocolate Gets Its Taste,” Clay Gordon, publisher of TheChocolateLife.com, broadly laid out the basic processing steps of chocolate from raw bean to finished bar, with a special focus on the complex building blocks of its flavor.
By Caitlin Raux
Here's a question: What inspires students to enroll in ICE’s hospitality management program? Several of our students, past and present, answered that question and turns out there are myriad reasons why students choose to study hospitality management at ICE.
For Rommel Gopez (Hospitality ’14), it was an unquenchable thirst for international travel combined with a love of meeting new people that led him to the hospitality industry. In his words, “I love talking to people from all over the world. I’ll talk to someone from one country and then think, ‘Oh, I should travel there next.’ And when I do travel there, I already have a friend.”
Keep reading to learn why our hospitality students and grads chose ICE.
By ICE Staff
Entries are officially open for the 2018 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Contest, and this year, the pot gets even sweeter: scholarship finalists will compete on ABC’s The Chew for the chance to win one of four full scholarships – worth more than $160,000 – to attend one of ICE’s award-winning Culinary Arts or Pastry & Baking Arts career programs.
For this year’s contest, public vote will determine the semi-finalists, and the finalists will appear on The Chew to compete for the coveted awards. The Chew’s co-hosts Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Michael Symon, will host the finals with four celebrity chefs serving as mentors. Meanwhile, ICE’s chef-instructors will teach the contestants culinary skills and judge the finals.
Read on to learn more about the 2018 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Contest and enter today!
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.
The chef behind such creations as a whole, crispy Sasso chicken served on a bed of smoldering hay, ICE alum Greg Proechel (Culinary Arts, ’09) has a proclivity toward bold, flavor-forward dishes with the occasional touch of whimsy. Asked to describe his culinary voice, Greg says it comes down to balance — a simple balance between acid, fat, texture and salt, plus one more essential element. Watch the video and discover the final ingredient in Greg’s culinary voice.
By Caitlin Raux
You couldn’t swing a spatula without hitting someone from ICE at the 2018 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Conference last weekend in New York City. ICE alums, students and employees popped up everywhere throughout the three-day conference. “As in years past, we felt proud to see so many ICE alums in attendance,” said ICE President Rick Smilow. In its 40th year, the conference featured hands-on workshops, industry-focused panel discussions, The Culinary Trust Taste & Toast gala, the IACP Awards Ceremony and, of course, great food and drinks — some of which was prepared by our very own ICE student volunteers.
Read on to learn about this year's IACP Conference.
By Caitlin Raux
Chef James Briscione, ICE’s Director of Culinary Research, has a healthy obsession with flavor pairings. So much so that he and wife Brooke Parkhurst, a writer, cook and ICE recreational instructor, teamed up to write, “The Flavor Matrix: The Art and Science of Pairing Common Ingredients to Create Extraordinary Dishes.” Chefs who have gotten their hands on this groundbreaking ingredient-pairing guide are singing its praises. Said acclaimed chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud, “This comprehensive book is a great tool for any student looking to strengthen his or her knowledge of ingredients, flavors and textures. The opportunity to study and understand the science of these elements is a great advantage to today’s generation of cooks. They should all make use of it!”
In between classes at ICE, where Culinary Arts students enjoy daily face time with ICE’s resident flavor master, we caught up with Chef James to chat about his forthcoming book.
What was your motivation in writing “The Flavor Matrix”?
This project really began right at ICE when we were working with IBM on the Chef Watson project.