Holiday Gift Guide 2018
The holiday season is in full swing, and although Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, the season of giving is just beginning. If you’re scrambling to think of a unique gift for your loved one, friend, or even your favorite sous-chef, look no further than our Holiday Gift Guide!
This year, we highlighted three different areas of gift giving. Whether you’re shopping for the professional in your life, the foodie that knows every restaurant in Manhattan, or someone in between, check out all of our suggestions below!
FOR THE PROFESSIONAL
For the culinary, pastry or wine professional in your life—from pro gear to great reads—these professional gifts are sure to delight any friend working in the industry, colleagues or your boss. But if you don’t need to impress your executive chef, you can always pick up one of these gifts for yourself!
Tilit is redefining work-wear for the hospitality industry from stove to street. For the chef in your life, a Tilit Apron is wearable, durable, and long lasting. Check out their line of aprons, all made right here in New York City!
It’s a great time to be a pasty pro! If you are looking for a book that is traditional, but none the less very professional, check Professional Pastry Art’s graduate Michael Zebrowski’s The Pastry Chef’s Little Black Book. Be warned—this book is anything but little! It includes any and everything you may need for a professional pastry kitchen.
For more serious Sommelier studies, this beautiful book, The Sommeliers Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe, goes beyond the basics through the classic wines of Europe. Not only covering what to drink and where it’s from, this guide offers tips on how to taste and highlights many producers. It is a visual book with great design, layout and photos that are sure to be treasured by anyone who is serious about wine.
Cocktail Kingdom is the world’s premier manufacturer and distributor of professional barware, offering a wide spectrum to meet the needs of the restaurant industry. This essential cocktail kit is an ideal gift for the busy restaurant owner who needs an upgrade in their life.
Featured in Vogue and founded by Professional Culinary Arts graduate, Maxine Thompson, Polka Pants offers tailored chef pants for women designed for functionality, comfort and style. Pick up a pair for the kitchen professional in your life, or buy a pair for yourself!
FOR THE YOUNG, ASPIRING PROFESSIONAL
For the young, aspiring chef in your life, our Teen Camps are a perfect way to get them into the kitchen. With Culinary and Pastry camp options, your teen is sure to be inspired during the week-long cooking & baking sessions. Relax knowing that your teen is learning from experienced, dedicated chef instructors (the same chef instructors who teach our Professional Culinary and Pastry Arts programs!)
FOR THE FOODIE
For the foodie friend or family member who knows all of the latest restaurants, keeps up with new food trends and has an envious home kitchen for entertaining!
A perfect conversation starter and accessory to amp up any outfit, Delicacies Jewelry is a great way to celebrate your foodie’s favorite ingredient. They’re all about tasteful jewelry for people who love food, so whether it’s dainty farfalle pasta, or a beautiful pineapple, you can find the right option for anyone.
Something that every foodie should have in their home baker tool kit is ICC Alumna Christina Tosi’s newest book—Milk Bar: All About Cake. Learn how to bring the Milk Bar flavor home using her basic recipes with flavors that are anything but! This book includes bundt cakes, sheet cakes, cupcakes and, yes, the famous cake truffles. If someone in your life loves Milk Bar or even if they just love sweets, this book is the perfect gift.
Give the gift of “experience” with a cooking class! Our one-day recreational classes are the perfect present for the avid home cook or bake sale guru in your life. With 20+ classes in cooking, baking and wine studies to choose from, there’s something for everyone at any age! Not sure which class they’d want to take? A gift certificate is a perfect option to let them choose!
We know we tend to favor our Dean of Pastry Arts’ amazing chocolates, but many people around the world agree that Mr. Chocolate, Chef Jacques Torres, makes some of the best bon bons around. We particularly love his Holiday Special Edition chocolate box that can satisfy any sweet-tooth. If you’re really in the holiday spirit, sit down with your box of chocolates and tune into the premiere of Netflix’s Nailed It! Holiday! season airing December 7th to see Jacques Torres as lead judge.
For the home cook ready to take their culinary game to the next level, pick up a copy of the newly released Essential Tools, Tips & Techniques for the Home Cook by Michelle Doll. This ICC alumna and adjunct Chef-Instructor has developed the perfect culinary compendium for the foodie to keep on hand in the kitchen. Without overwhelming, Chef Michelle walks the reader through essential culinary school techniques and tips to elevate their recipes. The book also includes recipes for every occasion and even a section for pressure cooker fanatics.
Legendary Chef, author of 29 cookbooks, acclaimed television host, Legion of Honor award winner and our Dean of Special Programs Chef Jacques Pépin has been hand-illustrating menus to keep track of what he cooked for friends, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and holidays. This book brings together Pépin’s favorite paintings so you can commemorate your own dinners with everything from the menu to the guests that joined you!
ICC STAFF PICKS
For when you want some help from the pros! Aren’t sure what to buy the professional, foodie, or family member who loves to entertain? Our staff are some of the most knowledgeable in the culinary industry, so if you’ve ever wondered what we use in our kitchens, look no further than our picks below!
When ICC President Erik is at home, he likes to pull out his ARY VacMaster chamber vacuum sealer for food preparation, preservation, and cooking sous-vide. Unlike a traditional Food Saver, a chamber vacuum sealer allows you to easily seal liquid and/or items with liquid. Whether he is making his signature hot sauce, turkey legs confit for Thanksgiving dinner, or any type of sous-vide cooking, vacuum chambers have a variety of uses. There are many new models and brands, but check out this option here.
Our Vice President of Education Leland is a graduate of ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts and Intensive Sommelier Training programs, and recommends a Vitamix blender as a must have kitchen staple for any avid home cook. Used by professionals all over the world, it is an amazing blender that has many different features like puréeing, chopping, and even emulsifying. ICC is proud to be a Culinary School Partner of Vitamix, which provides a discount to the ICC Community. Click here and use promo code: ICCVitamix21216 to view the offers!
Supporting our community is in our DNA, so it was easy for Judson to recommend one of our Food Business Fundamentals instructors Liz Alpern’s Gefilte Fish from her business The Gefilteria. Gefilte Fish is a traditional Ashkenazi appetizer served around the holiday season, and Liz’s can’t be missed!
For a fun gift that gives back, Cortney, graduate of both ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts and Intensive Sommelier Training programs, recommends a celebrity-designed spatula that benefits No Kid Hungry. 30% of the proceeds from every spatula goes towards helping feed children. Check out all of them here!
When Stephanie, ICC Professional Pastry Arts graduate and Assistant Director of Admissions is baking at home, the one thing she can’t live without is her ruby red KitchenAid Mixer. She uses her mixer whenever she gets the chance; from custom order cakes for clients, to cookies and mashed potatoes for family, a KitchenAid Mixer is a tool you’ll come back to time and again.
This year, Sara completed our Intensive Sommelier Training program, so she is all about wine for her staff pick! For any wine lover, pick up a copy of Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking by Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker. The simple, yet creative recipes with fun and unique wine pairings will make anyone a pro-hostess, as well as surprise seasoned wine lovers. It also includes fun “Pairing Cheat Sheets” such as what pairs with take away or what to drink when you don’t feel like eating!
From one of the first producers to bottle single-vineyard Champagne & to champion low dosage comes this absolute stunner of a vintage cuvee. Larmandier-Bernier “Cuvée du Levant” Vieilles Vignes Brut 2007 comes from the oldest Grand Cru vines in the village of Cramant, farmed biodynamically & hand-harvested. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or impress another, this treasure of a Champagne is a perfect choice.
AND ONE MORE...
In thinking about the holidays and bringing the community together, we wanted to share a piece of advice from our late Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton. Dorothy was a visionary in culinary education and helped to shape the food world as we know it today. In addition to her vast culinary knowledge, she was well versed in the world of wine and wrote an article about how a great wine must be paired with the correct glass. To pair with our Wine Coordinator Elizabeth’s amazing champagne selection, pick up a a champagne gift set that has all of your needs to accompany a beautiful bottle of champagne.
This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.