Great cuisine rests on the mastery of seemingly simple preparations and techniques that determine the quality of the final product. The most crucial of these is knife skills, which students begin to learn right at the start of their studies. We also emphasize proper preparation of stocks and the essential skills of meat, fish and poultry fabrication as well as food safety. This would be pointless without a palate that can discern balance and the subtleties of taste, so we incorporate numerous exercises in seasoning and food pairing as well as ingredient taste-perception classes to heighten a student's awareness of these concepts.
• Knife skills
• Food safety and sanitation
• Culinary math
• Product identification
• Palate development
• Ingredient pairing
INTRODUCTION TO MEAT, FISH AND POULTRY
When consumers purchase meat or fish they buy a fillet or a steak, few suspect the skill required to create them. In this course students are immersed in the techniques of protein fabrication. All types of meat and fish are included.
• Beef/veal identification and fabrication
• Pork fabrication
• Poultry fabrication
• Fish and shellfish
SOUPS AND SAUCES
Every chef takes great pride in the sauces that transform a good meal into a great dining experience. From the classic sauces of France to modern salsas, relishes, infused oils, coulis and chutneys you will explore all the diverse expressions of the saucier's art. These sauces form the basis for an exploration of a full range of soups.
• Grand sauces
• Compound sauces
• Emulsified sauces
• Contemporary sauces
• Vegetable-based soups
• Roux-based soups and bisques
DRY-HEAT COOKING METHODS
Mastery of cooking technique is an essential yet difficult aspect of the culinary craft. Whenever a chef turns and faces the stove, the outcome is wholly dependent on a few basic skills - sautéing, grilling and frying among them. These dry-heat methods are taught comprehensively and meticulously, giving students an opportunity for repetition that assures competency and confidence.
• Sautéing proteins, starches and vegetables
• Pan-frying proteins, starches and vegetables
• Deep-frying proteins, starches and vegetables
• Grilling proteins, starches and vegetables
• Roasting proteins, starches and vegetables
MOIST-HEAT COOKING METHODS
Moist-heat cooking produces some of the great treasures of the kitchen. Profound flavors and comforting textures make braises and stews the highlights of cuisines around the world. Poached and steamed dishes have come into their own and now form the basis of much of today's wellness-centered dishes.
• Braising proteins and vegetables
• Stewing proteins, starches and vegetables
• Shallow poaching proteins
• Steaming proteins and vegetables
• Deep-poaching proteins and vegetables
BREAKFAST, BRUNCH AND LUNCH
Dinner is the main meal associated with being a chef. But more than 30% of all meals eaten in restaurants are breakfast, brunch and lunch. This course explores the techniques and ingredients used in those meals, from egg cookery and crêpes to sandwiches, vinaigrettes and dressings. Legume, grain, timbale and soufflé techniques are also part of this course.
• Egg specialties
• Griddle specialties
• Breakfast meats
• Simple and composed salads
• Dressings and vinaigrettes
• Assorted sandwiches
• Grains and legumes
• Soufflés, gratins and timbales
FRENCH REGIONAL COOKING; ITALIAN REGIONAL COOKING
Cuisine of France: With good reason, France is considered the touchstone for all western cuisines. In this course students become familiar with characteristic ingredients, methods and dishes from Provence, Burgundy, Normandy and Alsace.
Cuisine of Italy: Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo and 17 other regions comprise what we think of as Italian food. Regionality is the essence of all things Italian and this concept is central to our presentation of this exciting cuisine. Using authentic recipes and ingredients, students come to appreciate the diversity and simplicity that characterize this popular yet elusive European cuisine.
CUISINES OF ASIA; ADVANCED COOKING, PLATING & PRESENTATION
Cuisine of Asia: The panoply of Asian flavors and techniques exert a growing influence on all types of food. Chefs commonly borrow spices, herbs and other ingredients from this region as they seek to create a more global approach to cuisine. Centering on flavor profiles and specific techniques, this course acquaints students with the essential dishes of India, China, Japan and Thailand.
Advanced Culinary Applications: Successful multitasking is one of the hallmarks of every chef. The challenges of bringing together all the components of an entrée require rigorous attention to timing and proper sequencing of tasks. This course is designed to enable students to assimilate these skills as they learn how to prepare and plate contemporary entrées.
PASTRY & BAKING ESSENTIALS
Even the most basic preparations in the pastry chef's repertoire require practice and skill to master. Silky custards, delicate tarts and flaky croissants all rely on mastery of the essential skills of rolling, kneading, mixing and forming. These concepts are emphasized in the comprehensive introduction to baking basics.
• Fruit-based desserts
• Pizza and focaccia
• Doughs (brisée, sucrée, puff, brioche, croissant and bread)
Today, complex, multi-element plates have become the norm in the best kitchens. Texture, flavor and form combine to create memorable finales to the dining experience. Students explore the interrelation between these concepts as they learn to prepare the components of plated desserts.
• Chocolate tempering
• Pâte à Choux
• Plated desserts
GARDE MANGER: HORS D'OEUVRES & CHARCUTERIE
Hors d’oeuvres and appetizers challenge the chef to create masterpieces in miniature. Whether they are as simple as a crab cake or as modern as a sphere or a foam, they require skill and a discerning palate. Charcuterie, the art of curing and preserving meat, has existed throughout the world for thousands of years. The 21st century has seen the dining public become increasingly interested in these artisanal, “house-made” delicacies. This course will cover both the preparation and presentation of contemporary and classic charcuterie: pates, sausages, terrines, fermented foods, pickles, smoking and curing.
MODERN CULINARY MASTERS & MARKET BASKET COOKING
As cuisine has evolved and transformed over time, certain chefs have come to the fore as innovators, visionaries and artists. Many are eager to share their culinary gifts with tomorrow’s chefs and ICE is proud to have collaborated with some of the most celebrated chefs: Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, Michael White, Alex Stupak, Anita Lo and Thomas Keller. In preparing recipes especially selected by the chefs, students come to understand the unique perspective of each and glean ideas that will spark their own creativity.
The course concludes with market basket cooking classes where students can individually express their interpretation of the masters’ lessons. With a basket of seasonal ingredients, students work alone to create a unique menu without using recipes as well as practice plating, timing, consistency and creativity.
At the end of their in-class training, all students complete an externship course. While ICE strongly recommends that students extern in restaurant kitchens, they may request venues such as hotels, catering companies, corporate dining rooms, test kitchens or food magazines in order to meet their professional goals.