People https://www.ice.edu/ en Meet Chef Norma Salazar https://www.ice.edu/blog/meet-chef-norma-salazar <span>Meet Chef Norma Salazar</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/08/2021 - 14:36</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/Chef%20Norma%20w%20students.jpg?itok=bb9v2m6_ The gold medal-winning pastry chef emanates kindness as an educator. <time datetime="2021-06-09T12:00:00Z">June 9, 2021</time> Kiri Tannenbaum — Director of Culinary Relations <p>Chef Norma Salazar brings hotel, restaurant and competition experience from the Culinary Olympics to the Pastry &amp; Baking Arts kitchen classroom.</p> <p>There is no (sugar-filled) challenge too great for <a href="https://www.ice.edu/losangeles/career-programs/pastry-baking-arts" target="_blank">Pastry &amp; Baking Arts</a> Chef-Instructor Norma Salazar. Case in point: Prior to joining ICE, the classically trained, foundationally French chef was recruited to run an eggless bakery.</p> <p>"I was scared since my entire background is eggs and butter!" she says. Through hours of research and months of recipe testing, however, she made it work. The concept that she was initially intimidated by soon earned local recognition and a devoted following. A result that Chef Norma should not have found too surprising as she is accustomed to earning accolades.</p> <p>After a childhood spent in Long Beach, California, where she was her mother’s sidekick in the kitchen, Chef Norma began dabbling in her own creations. "I started making holiday bake-off cookies and cakes. My mom was a big influence," Chef Norma says. In 1989, after completing her associate of arts at Long Beach College, she began her decades-long career in pastry at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach. There, she worked the early morning bake-off, which meant finishing hundreds of danishes and croissants for guests of the 531-room, 4 Diamond Award-winning hotel.</p> <p>"I always knew I wanted to do pastry, and I loved the hotel business," Chef Norma says. "There was always a variety of things going on — one day we could do restaurant; the next day we could do a special event, the next day a buffet or cakes for special orders."</p> <img alt="Chef Norma at ICE" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Chef%20Norma%20web.jpg" class="align-center" /><p>From the Hyatt, she moved on to the Queen Mary’s Sir Winston restaurant after the chef de cuisine, who was also a chef-instructor, offered her a position to prepare hot souffles to order, which were finished elegantly, tableside. At the busy restaurant, Chef Norma got deeper into volume production and eventually, her position grew. A few years later she became the pastry chef of the restaurant, managing a staff of seven. It was there, at the Queen Mary, that she was first exposed to culinary competitions, which began her quest for gold.</p> <p>Curious about Executive Chef Larry Banares’s involvement on the olympic team, Chef Norma asked if she could observe as he coached a fellow pastry chef. She even offered to volunteer to wash dishes to get a chance to soak in his training. To her surprise, Chef Larry declined her offer and instead said he wanted her to compete.</p> <p>Chef Larry’s encouragement led Chef Norma to a future of trophies.</p> <p>"I wound up winning best in show, best junior competitor and best centerpiece theme, which was Phantom of the Opera," Chef Norma says proudly. Every four years, the Culinary Olympics are held in Berlin, where Chef Norma traveled as part of the USA’s team. "We’d compete with chefs from all over the world where the winners received medals and awards," Chef Norma explains. In 1996, she was part of a team that ranked fifth overall out of 300 teams — "and I won the gold medal," she adds.</p> <p>The competition not only challenged Chef Norma, and others, to create stunning and innovative works, but being a part of the games extended her network. "I was able to meet people, create lifelong friends from chefs and mentors, and I had a great opportunity to coach others," she says. In fact, it was one of her USA teammates that led her to what would become her lifelong career: culinary education.</p> <p>Though the trophy is not as tangible, teaching has been equally rewarding for Chef Norma. "To see the students’ eyes light up when they have success — whether it is a wedding cake or a chocolate centerpiece — it makes me so proud," Chef Norma says. "I had great instructors, and I just want to be able to share that with them, too."</p> <img alt="Chef Norma with pastry students and their final cakes" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Chef%20Norma%20with%20students%20and%20final%20cakes.jpg" class="align-center" /><p>The gold-medal winner’s greatest achievement is the education she imparts. Her style of teaching is well known to be encouraging and supportive. She advises her students to always be professional, courteous and passionate about the work. "I feel tender-hearted compassion with the students and try to work with them on a one-on-one basis," she says. "Teaching is obviously different for every student, they all come with a different package and we have to open it slowly and turn them into the best, most beautiful gift in this industry that we can offer."</p> <p>Her favorite lessons to teach are the early part of the program, when she says students are wide-eyed and eager to dive in. "It’s exciting to teach this new field to them, the beginner courses with the sciences of sugar, the chocolate and all the baking ingredients." She adds that she loves teaching bread because it is very hands-on and there is great satisfaction from all the hard work. After 30 years in the industry, there really isn’t an area of baking that Chef Norma is not excited to teach. Above all else, she wants students to feel like they have the same kind of mentor in her that she has had in her own career.</p> <p>"They can count on me wherever they are," she says. "I am always there for them. I have been so fortunate to meet incredible people throughout my journey, and I hope my students will do the same."</p> <p><a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/pastry-baking-arts-info" target="_blank">Study with Chef Norma in Pastry &amp; Baking Arts.</a></p> Pastry Arts Baking Arts ICE Instructors Interview <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=23086&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="KPbS9PkXUONvtD7ljyIiiTVzp2vvhqKzPNvfYvO-V20"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:36:14 +0000 aday 23086 at https://www.ice.edu ICE Alum Combines Management and Pastry Training for Chocolate Company https://www.ice.edu/blog/joshua-mccain-josh-chocolates <span>ICE Alum Combines Management and Pastry Training for Chocolate Company</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Sat, 06/05/2021 - 13:35</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/josh%20chocolates%20header.jpg?itok=8CfLTQee This military vet who took three culinary school programs has found his calling. <time datetime="2021-06-05T12:00:00Z">June 5, 2021</time> Morgan Goldberg — Food Writer <p>After 15 years in the military, Joshua McCain left active duty to pursue his lifelong passion for cooking. He studied culinary arts, restaurant management and pastry arts before choosing a future in chocolate.</p> <p>Joshua McCain (Management, ‘18/Pastry, ‘21) didn’t always love to cook. At first, he simply made food to help his family. As the oldest of four children to a single mother, Joshua was often responsible for feeding his siblings. Over time, however, he grew to love the kitchen.</p> <p>“Necessity turned into interest,” he says. “I started off making a lot of mistakes like putting cinnamon in scrambled eggs. Eventually, I got better.”</p> <p>When Joshua graduated from high school, he delivered for Pizza Hut while he figured out his path. After September 11, 2001, he knew exactly what he wanted to do: “I woke up one morning and I saw the towers go down,” Joshua recalls. “Then I went to the recruiter’s office and started my military career. I wanted to serve my country.”</p> <p>Joshua worked hard and climbed the ranks in the Army for more than a decade. He toured in Iraq and Afghanistan and earned the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service medals before deciding to leave active duty. “The military is a great place to be, but I just wasn’t happy anymore.”</p> <p>For his next chapter, Joshua joined the National Guard in a part-time capacity and enrolled in the culinary program at the now-closed International Culinary Center (ICC). He immersed himself in the food world, volunteering at the James Beard House and attending every event he could. “I was a 34-year-old guy entering a young man’s game, so I needed to get some experience and I needed it quick,” he says.</p> <p>Joshua completed his externship at Dan Kluger's Loring Place and then took a job as a runner at Maialino for a crash course in front-of-house hospitality. “I went from running a 22-person team in a combat stress environment in southern Afghanistan and being responsible for millions of dollars of equipment to learning how to polish a fork from an 18 year old. It was humbling for me and I learned a lot from that,” he admits.</p> <p><img alt="Josh McCain" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Josh%20Chocolate%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />While gaining valuable restaurant experience, Joshua graciously accepted a full-time National Guard position. On the side, he started a company called Crafted Chef for catering small events, hosting cooking classes and consulting on menu development.</p> <p>After a while, however, Joshua realized that the business might not be a good fit. “I don’t know if private chef work is the right place for me because I enjoy working under my own creativity, and I realized that you really cater to your client and what they want,” he reflects.</p> <p>Instead, Joshua enrolled in the <a href="https://www.ice.edu/newyork/career-programs/restaurant-and-culinary-management">Restaurant &amp; Culinary Management</a> program at ICE, where he was honored with a leadership award by the end, and then enrolled in the <a href="https://www.ice.edu/newyork/career-programs/school-pastry-baking-arts">Pastry &amp; Baking Arts</a> program to round out his education. “There’s so much to be learned from being surrounded by people who are incredibly talented,” he says. “That’s what you get from being at ICE. The real value is in the network that you build.”</p> <p>While in the pastry arts program, Joshua became curious about chocolate making. Before he even reached the chocolate module, he began making chocolate by reading and watching YouTube videos. He purchased his own equipment, sourced beans from Hacienda San Jose — a Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa plantation in Ecuador — and crafted his own bars.</p> <p>When the chocolate module at ICE came around, Joshua used the instruction as a chance to improve. “It refined some of the skills that I struggled through and it made me a better chocolatier and a better chocolate maker,” he says.</p> <p><img alt="Josh Chocolates" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Josh%20Chocolates%20bonbons.jpg" class="align-right" />Joshua’s fiancée brought his chocolate bars to her office and her coworkers immediately asked to purchase more. As requests steadily came in, Josh Chocolates was born, and Joshua rented space in an incubator called Garden State Kitchen to keep up with production of his bars and bonbons.</p> <p>It’s important to Joshua that he’s in control of the process from start to finish, which is why he roasts, grinds, mixes and paints the chocolate himself. “The roasting is where the chocolate maker puts his mark,” he says. “That’s where the flavor profile of the bean comes out. If I could grow my own cocoa trees in New Jersey, I’d probably have a few planted in the ground already.”</p> <p>The company is already taking off, which Joshua attributes to his time at ICE. “I failed at quite a few businesses before I started this one,” he shares. “I knew how to recover from failure because of the education I got in the management course. I’ve been able to learn from my mistakes.”</p> <p>Now, Joshua is selling his chocolate on his website and at a local farmers market. He’s received inquiries about wholesale, which he plans to pursue, and he’ll soon start to search for a retail location. He would love to open a bean-to-bar café that offers chocolate, coffee and pastries in the morning and cocktails and chocolate savory bites in the evening.</p> <p>Joshua has a full plate with developing his chocolate business, serving in the National Guard, training for a triathlon and raising his four sons — but he’s never been happier. “After being a three-time war vet and having a super stressful career, the kitchen is the one place I can be myself and create something that I’m proud of for everybody else,” he raves. “It took me a long time to find chocolate, but chocolate makes me super happy.” What more can you ask for?</p> <p><a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/newyork/admissions-financial-aid/military-veterans" target="_blank">Explore military benefits at the Institute of Culinary Education.</a></p> Chocolate Alumni Pastry Arts Restaurant Management Military &amp; Veterans <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=23071&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="wHB3dnldvNeMFWBC1qAe6njurixB-hbBW5TNc9a3I7E"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Sat, 05 Jun 2021 17:35:54 +0000 aday 23071 at https://www.ice.edu David Schneider's Path to Portale https://www.ice.edu/blog/david-schneider-portale-restaurant <span>David Schneider&#039;s Path to Portale</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/01/2021 - 09:59</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/Portale%20header.jpg?itok=PHy9Wp0Q This Culinary Arts grad made the switch from back of house to front of house. <time datetime="2021-06-02T12:00:00Z">June 2, 2021</time> Morgan Goldberg — Food Writer <p>David Schneider built his restaurant industry resume working for Union Square Hospitality Group and Altamarea Group before becoming the Director of Operations at Portale Restaurant. Familiar with career changes, David had to leave the kitchen for management due to a medical condition and has flourished since.</p> <p>From a young age, food was a major influence for David Schneider (Culinary, ‘02). “I grew up in a family of foodies,” David says. “In Huntsville, Alabama, there weren’t a tremendous number of great restaurants. When we were on trips, our itinerary was based around the restaurants. While dining, we were always planning that next meal.”</p> <p>Despite these childhood culinary joys, David tested out a few professions before he pursued cooking as a profession. In his early 20s, he moved to New York and tried his hand at real estate, bartending and acting — none of which were a fit. “Regardless of what I should’ve been doing, like studying a monologue or preparing for an apartment showing, I was always in the kitchen practicing and coming up with that next dish,” he admits.</p> <p>After about a year in the city, David realized that food should be more than a hobby and enrolled in <a href="https://www.ice.edu/newyork/career-programs/school-culinary-arts">Culinary Arts</a> at ICE. He took night classes while working as a server at Petrossian during the days and weekends. The knife skills, discipline and insights from instructors that David gleaned from culinary school were coupled with exposure to a high-end restaurant, providing him with a well-rounded education that prepared him for his externship.</p> <p><img alt="David Schneider" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/David%20Schneider%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />David completed his mandatory hours at 71 Clinton Fresh Food and stayed there for nearly two years as a full-time cook gaining experience as garde manger and expediter along with working the fish and roast stations. “I was able to wear all the different hats, which was a dream come true,” he reflects.</p> <p>But when David hit his 18-month milestone, trouble arose. “I noticed that my skin was really starting to deteriorate on my fingers, hands, wrists and forearms,” he recounts. “I learned from a dermatologist that I had a bad case of eczema and that the conditions were exacerbating the situation.”</p> <p>David didn’t take the news lightly. “I didn’t want to just walk away from it,” he says. “I got a few different opinions and that was the consensus. As long as I subjected myself to those conditions, my skin would continue to find itself in that miserable state. I was faced with having to pivot and figure out something else.”</p> <p>At a crossroads, David decided to apply to college. He considered hospitality programs but ultimately followed his passion to study film at Columbia University and worked as a server on the side. “I never really stepped away from restaurants completely,” he explains.</p> <p>While he enjoyed the classes, film school actually deterred David from a career in movies. “I met a lot of very talented filmmakers and screenwriters who were still struggling professionally and it painted a picture for me that was less than attractive,” he describes. “I didn’t feel like talent was enough to achieve success, which ultimately scared me away from doing that.”</p> <p>After graduation, David determined that restaurant management was his desired path and set his sights on Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). “I read Danny Meyer’s "Setting the Table" and knew that was a restaurant group that I would die to work for,” he says. So when he got hired at MoMA’s Terrace 5 and Café 2, he was thrilled.</p> <p>The gig proved to be the ultimate introduction to management, and David’s supervisor was a seasoned USHG general manager who imparted her wisdom to him. “She helped me establish what I felt was a really strong, principled management foundation that I’ve tried to continue to build on all these years later,” he shares.</p> <p>In search of a fine-dining job and opening experience, David secured a manager position at A Voce Columbus, where fellow ICE alum <a href="https://www.ice.edu/blog/missy-robbins-restaurant-management" target="_blank">Missy Robbins</a> (Culinary, ‘95) was at the helm. “It was fantastic to work closely with a chef of her caliber, and I lucked out again to have another great GM as a mentor,” he says of the rewarding and grueling post.</p> <p>Then David was presented with an opportunity to become a floor maitre d’ at Marea, which he couldn’t pass up. The unique, service-focused role combined captain, maitre d’ and beverage responsibilities and kicked off his eight-year tenure with the Altamarea Group. “It was a very exciting environment: busy every night, a celebrity-filled room, 10 billionaires shoulder-to-shoulder at any given time, an incredibly high check,” David says.</p> <p>He was promoted to opening general manager at Ristorante Morini for almost three years, followed by stints at Ai Fiori, Vaucluse and Marea once again. David had no plans to leave, as he was happy, fulfilled and had space to grow, but he was approached with a compelling offer.</p> <p>Celebrated chef Alfred Portale wanted to partner with David to debut Portale Restaurant, a seasonally driven, contemporary Italian spot in Chelsea. “It was a no-brainer,” David says of his decision. “It was time for that next challenge.” So he took a leap of faith, left all his close colleagues and pushed himself outside of his comfort zone.</p> <p>Portale premiered in mid-November 2019 to much fanfare. Into the beginning of 2020, the restaurant received positive reviews and the demand for reservations was “through the roof.”</p> <p>Of course, the pandemic was a major blow. Portale closed for five months, reopened in August, closed again for the bitter winter and reopened again in March. “It was particularly hard being a young restaurant that had just gone through the review period,” David admits. “We were looking to double down on that attention and all that momentum has been lost.”</p> <p>Now, the team is joyfully reconnecting with loyal guests and meeting new diners looking to return to a version of normalcy. With better weather and higher vaccination rates, they're optimistic, and David has found his calling.</p> <p><em>Pursue a career in restaurant management with <a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/restaurant-culinary-management-info" target="_blank">ICE's seven-month diploma program.</a></em></p> Alumni Restaurant Management Interview Restaurants <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=23041&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="wSSQsV9-RFsHJzh2Mgv2weIxet_Jfkvvr-rZdDpnupQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Tue, 01 Jun 2021 13:59:30 +0000 aday 23041 at https://www.ice.edu Veterans Become Culinarians at ICE https://www.ice.edu/blog/military-veterans-culinary-school-los-angeles <span>Veterans Become Culinarians at ICE</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Fri, 05/28/2021 - 09:42</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/LA%20veterans%20header.jpg?itok=NgV9Jk5S Three Culinary Arts grads describe their career changes and bond as classmates turned best friends. <time datetime="2021-05-28T12:00:00Z">May 28, 2021</time> Kiri Tannenbaum — Director of Culinary Relations <p>Veterans from the U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy share their experiences enrolling at ICE’s Los Angeles campus, where GI Bill benefits are available.</p> <p>In July 2020, Alex Clark, Kenji Alexander Chang and Patrick Claytor put on their chef whites to begin their post-military journeys at ICE.</p> <p><strong>From F-16s to Food Trucks</strong></p> <p>Alex Clark grew up in New York City in the same apartment as his extended family — aunts, cousins and grandparents — where food was a big part of his upbringing. He fondly remembers spending summers in South Carolina as a child, when he would watch his grandmother cook. In addition to sharing a love of food, his family shared a duty to serve. “My father is a retired 29-year Army veteran and my grandfather was a Vietnam veteran,” Alex told us. Seeking guidance and structure, he joined the U.S. Air Force after taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. Alex left New York for basic training in San Antonio, Texas, then headed to Biloxi, Mississippi, for technical school. “It was fun except for getting up at 5 a.m. to go to class!” he said. Soon, Alex became a non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of daily squadron operations of fighter pilots and a fighter squadron that flew F-16 fighter jets.</p> <img alt="Alex at graduation" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Alex%20graduating%20with%20his%20mom.jpg" class="align-center" /><p>During his six years of service, Alex spent two years in Okinawa, Japan, and time in Scandinavia for temporary duty in Sweden, Finland and Iceland. When he retired from the Air Force, he knew what he would do next. “I started looking up top cooking schools and came across ICE,” he explained. “It has always been my dream to own a food truck or restaurant, and I knew there were certain aspects of cooking that I needed to learn.”</p> <p>When the LA campus reopened for in-person learning with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, Alex enrolled in <a href="https://www.ice.edu/losangeles/career-programs/culinary-arts">Culinary Arts</a>. He donned his uniform and mask, quickly feeling at home in the kitchen classroom. “The skills I learned in the military transfer over to the cooking industry seamlessly: being able to multitask, to move quickly but accurately, most of all serving others, being a part of something bigger than yourself,” he explained. In addition to the familiar skills, he found a few fellow veterans in his classroom. “We immediately gravitated towards each other,” Alex said. “We've shared a lot of the same experiences in the military.”</p> <p>Today, Alex's work at Thornton Winery’s on-site restaurant in serene Temecula is a far cry from his days as a staff sergeant in the Air Force — and he couldn’t be happier with his newfound career. “ICE has given me the knowledge and confidence to pursue my food dreams,” he said. “ICE has greatly prepared me to work in the industry by teaching me sound cooking techniques and food knowledge.” While this transplant misses “a good ol' New York slice” and relishes in everything bagels, butter crunch cookies and making fried chicken, when it comes to his future food truck, he has other plans. “Most of all I love breakfast food,” he divulged. “My food truck will feature a brunch-like menu.”</p> <p><strong>Vessels to Vespertine</strong></p> <p><img alt="Patrick Claytor" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Patrick%20in%20uniform%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />Always on the water, Patrick Claytor moved to Huntington Beach from Charleston, South Carolina, at the age of 10. When he wasn’t surfing in the Pacific, you could find Patrick aboard a boat or somewhere near the water. With a desire to explore beyond the Southern California coastline, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard at age 21. He trained as a boatswain’s mate in Portsmouth, Virginia, and eventually became a coxswain in Alameda, in the Bay Area, where he and his team worked counter drug interdiction, or as Patrick explained, “basically, busting drug smugglers from South America.”</p> <p>Though Patrick admits it was not quite as exciting as it sounds, there were some headlining drug busts. “We would interdict them hundreds of miles offshore,” he said. During his last four years in the military, he returned to Southern California to be closer to family in Long Beach, where he had an opportunity to dive into the evolving culinary scene. “Seeing LA as a growing culinary city lit the fire in me to think that I could pull this off,” he said of pursuing a culinary career at ICE.</p> <p>At home in his kitchen he experimented by making pasta from scratch for the first time. “I started reading cookbooks and it snowballed from there,” he said. Two years into reading about Sean Brock, the star chef from his hometown of Charleston, researching and poring through books, Patrick decided to gain formal training. “I wasn’t as good as I thought I could be and I wanted to push myself,” he said. “I saw it as an opportunity to grow.”</p> <p>While he was admittedly making a mess in all of his friends' kitchens, he discovered ICE. “It just seemed like the best fit, and I was impressed by the pedigree of alumni from the New York campus,” he said. Several lessons stand out from his experience in the <a href="https://www.ice.edu/culinary-arts-info">Culinary Arts program</a>. “Creating your own menu and really being able to put your personality into your dishes was probably one of the most rewarding things,” he said, describing his final assignment. “Cooking for friends and family is probably one of the most rewarding things but hearing praise from those you respect in the industry, it was amazing to get that feedback.”</p> <p>Patrick said his transition from the Coast Guard to the kitchen was fluid. “There are so many skills that transfer,” he explained, listing discipline, attention to detail, cleanliness, and overall, the brigade system. “The respect that you give your chef is the same with your supervisor,” Patrick said. Finding fellow veterans in his class was also a bonus. “We felt connected already. We are all best friends now. Going through similar life situations and coming from the military together, we shared a bond.”</p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"><img alt="Alex, Kenji and Patrick at ICE" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/best%20friend%20veterans.jpg" /><figcaption>Alex, Kenji and Patrick at ICE</figcaption></figure><p>Before landing his externship at boundary-pushing LA restaurant Vespertine, it seemed like working with Chef Jordan Kahn was a mere pipe dream. “The whole process of even getting my foot in the door at Vespertine was via Career Services with Rebecca Freeman,” Patrick said. “I have known about Vespertine for years, and it is crazy now to be working in that kitchen in the presence of Chef Jordan.”</p> <p>As a prep cook, Patrick has been helping the modern restaurant recreate dishes for takeout. For example, the eatery executed Alinea’s greatest hits, including a black truffle explosion and a bacon dish that hangs from a wire. “It is mindboggling how they can take that menu and translate it into takeout,” Patrick said. “It is a special kind of talent.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, Patrick is practicing his personal style of cooking at home. “I’m trying to focus on delicate flavors,” he said. “I like to focus on ingredients and build a dish around that to bring each to its full potential. That’s what excites me about my food right now.”</p> <p>In the not-too-distant future, he has his sights set on becoming a sous chef with the long-term goal of opening a place of his own in Los Angeles or Long Beach.</p> <p><strong>Craftsmanship Post Battleship</strong></p> <p>Kenji Alexander Chang was a voracious eater before he joined the U.S. Navy, where he was not a big fan of the cuisine. “Some of my favorite things to eat as a kid were beef noodle soup, Taiwanese scallion pancakes, fried whole flounder fish, Vietnamese pho, Japanese red bean cake, dumplings, popcorn chicken and everything my mother made,” Kenji shared. He attributes his intrinsic interest in food to his family history. In fact, Kenji’s uncle was a chef for Chiang Kai-shek, the President of the Republic of China, at the Grand Hotel Taipei in Taiwan before moving to the United States and helping Kenji’s aunt and mother emigrate. Eventually, they relocated to the San Fernando Valley and for as long as Kenji can remember, food was an opportunity for family bonding.</p> <p>“Most time spent together was either eating food or sitting around the dinner table afterward,” Kenji said. Kenji felt a pull to enlist in the military after graduating from high school, a result of his father’s mandatory military duty in Taiwan, which he credited with helping prepare him for life’s difficult obstacles. “As a kid I had an itch to join,” he said. “It’s the itch that separates the selfless from the selfish. I’m not saying everyone is selfish, but a majority of service members that I’ve met are pretty selfless.” He believes that altruistic act is the bond he shares with his fellow service members. “We are all willing to protect those we love, those we serve with and everyone back home keeping everyone safe."</p> <p>After boot camp in Illinois, it was off to A-school in Pensacola, Florida, and then to San Diego, Hawaii and deployment in the Middle East. As an aviation boatswain's mate specializing in fuels, Kenji was part of a staff that managed reconnaissance and maritime security around the oceanfront, ensuring they were battleship ready at all times. “I worked the USS Essex (LHD-2) which holds jets,” he said. “And the carriers can send off aircraft and marines on small boats.”</p> <img alt="Kenji Alexander" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Kenji%20in%20Navy.jpg" class="align-center" /><p>While aboard the boat, which held 1,700 troops and 2,000 staff, Kenji started cooking for himself as the food was, as he describes, “the worst.”</p> <p>“I was 19 and had never cooked for myself,” he said. “I realized I should have spent those years watching my mother cook those dishes and taken some notes, as I cooked myself horrible dishes.” After his contract was up with the Navy, he decided not to re-enlist. However, it was unclear what he would do next.</p> <p>Kenji turned to YouTube and Netflix and encountered an episode of “Chef’s Table” featuring Buddhist monk Jeong Kwan (who coincidentally <a href="https://www.ice.edu/blog/jeong-kwan-korean-temple-cuisine">visited ICE</a>.) Jeong Kwan’s approach to cooking and respecting ingredients and the earth really resonated with Kenji, a fellow Buddhist. “That sat with me,” he said. “I would watch that and every time I would say, 'Is this it, do I have to do this?'” Jeong Kwan’s episode reinvigorated him to pursue his education in the Culinary Arts at ICE.</p> <p>When he entered the kitchen, he didn’t leave behind the skills he learned in the military.</p> <p>“Some aspects that still reside with me from the service are the attention to detail, the sense of urgency and integrity,” Kenji reflected. “Being in a structured, hierarchical work environment is when I tend to move the best. I enter a hyper-focused mode with a pinch of OCD; I can get things done.”</p> <p>In addition to rediscovering his fastidious nature, Kenji has tapped into his creative side. “I love art. When I was a kid, I remember drawing with black and white and getting color was a game-changer,” he said. “When cooking, we have flavors and kitchen tools and we’re playing with food — nothing gets better. It just makes sense to me and I’ve fallen in love. I am excited to see where my culinary voice leads me in the near future.”</p> <p>Read more about <a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/losangeles/admissions-financial-aid/military-veterans" target="_blank">military and veteran benefits available at ICE.</a></p> Alumni Military &amp; Veterans Culinary Arts Culinary Education Chefs <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=23036&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="fhfY9d1ncvKsAdQadgIJS69Ndmy6NCc747I4CTUnxIE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Fri, 28 May 2021 13:42:31 +0000 aday 23036 at https://www.ice.edu ICE Alum Pivots Paella Experience to Private Catering https://www.ice.edu/blog/paella-catering-los-angeles <span>ICE Alum Pivots Paella Experience to Private Catering</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/25/2021 - 16:02</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/paella%20header_0.jpg?itok=apbeLwW9 The former lead paella cook at Otoño, Genna Gold launches Spanish cuisine catering. <time datetime="2021-05-25T12:00:00Z">May 25, 2021</time> Maki Yazawa — Food Writer (Culinary, &#039;19) <p>ICE alum Genna Gold (Culinary, '18) won’t back down from a challenge. Motivated, confident and driven, this Angeleno prides herself on determination to become better at her craft every day. From lead paella cook at Otoño to lead prep cook at Destroyer to starting a catering business amid the pandemic, Genna always kept her eyes set on the prize.</p> <p>Although Genna has found her true calling in the culinary industry, she admits it didn’t come to her immediately. "Right after high school, I went to art school in San Francisco, and I quickly learned that having a passion and having an actual career are very different. It was just very obvious that art was a hobby for me. My roommates are currently working at Disney as animators," she says. "I had to take a deep look and reevaluate." This led Genna to her next venture studying journalism at a community college.</p> <p>"From there, I spent a few years as the news editor for the college newspaper, then worked up to editor in chief of the magazine," she says. She became one of the editors for the CSUN newspaper after graduating and then took on some freelance work. However, Genna had another critical realization: "Amid the political climate at the time, I just felt that it wasn’t my cup of tea." She then turned to another one of her passions: cooking.</p> <p>"As a writer, I had a lot of books lying around, and I looked at my library and realized that 98% of my books were cookbooks," she exclaims. Instantly a light went off in Genna’s head. "I looked at myself and said, 'If you do this in your spare time for fun, wouldn’t you want to make this your career?'" The next day Genna enrolled in <a href="https://www.ice.edu/losangeles/career-programs/culinary-arts" target="_blank">Culinary Arts</a> at the Institute of Culinary Education and joined the first-ever class at the newly opened Los Angeles campus.</p> <p><img alt="Genna Gold makes paella" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Genna%20making%20paella%20web_0.jpg" class="align-right" />After completing on-campus lessons, Genna started her externship at a Mexican restaurant in Pasadena called Maestro, followed by a couple of other restaurant gigs, which ultimately led her to Teresa Montaño’s Otoño in Highland Park, California. Genna stayed at the Spanish-inspired restaurant for two years, where she worked her way up from garde manger to lead paella cook and lead catering paella cook. Unfortunately, once the pandemic hit, the restaurant was forced to close its doors.</p> <p>Scouting for a new workplace, Genna landed a position as the lead prep cook at Chef Jordan Kahn’s Michelin Guide-recommended Destroyer in Culver City, California. To challenge herself even further, Genna decided to launch her own catering business during her off-hours, featuring her profound love for paella and Spanish cuisine.</p> <p>Genna comments that finding a balance between all of her responsibilities proves challenging at times. Recently she noted that she began to hit a wall. It wasn’t until she received some encouraging words from her father that she could get past the hurdle and continue on the grind. Genna notes that she’s thankful for the opportunity to continue to work at a prestigious restaurant that allows her to acquire the necessary skills and experiences to better her private ventures one day.</p> <p>She notes that one of her greatest inspirations in the industry is Dominique Crenn, who she calls a "beacon of light for women in the industry." She admires her ability to keep pushing through strife and "setting an example for what this industry is really all about." Genna says she would love to work for her one day. "I’ve never heard one bad thing about her; she’s absolutely phenomenal."</p> <p>Along with what she’s learned at the restaurants and from leaders in the industry, Genna says, "I got my bearings at culinary school. If I had just walked straight onto the line at a professional kitchen, I would’ve been a really small fish in a big freaking ocean!" Through her schooling, Genna notes that she learned essential skills like keeping your composure under pressure, timing and kitchen terminology — which have proven critical on the line.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/COGEgpRDQYf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:540px; min-width:326px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:16px;"> <div style=" display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display:block; height:50px; margin:0 auto 12px; width:50px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/COGEgpRDQYf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" style=" background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"><svg height="50px" version="1.1" viewbox="0 0 60 60" width="50px" xmlns="https://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"><g fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd" stroke="none" stroke-width="1"><g fill="#000000" transform="translate(-511.000000, -20.000000)"><g><path d="M556.869,30.41 C554.814,30.41 553.148,32.076 553.148,34.131 C553.148,36.186 554.814,37.852 556.869,37.852 C558.924,37.852 560.59,36.186 560.59,34.131 C560.59,32.076 558.924,30.41 556.869,30.41 M541,60.657 C535.114,60.657 530.342,55.887 530.342,50 C530.342,44.114 535.114,39.342 541,39.342 C546.887,39.342 551.658,44.114 551.658,50 C551.658,55.887 546.887,60.657 541,60.657 M541,33.886 C532.1,33.886 524.886,41.1 524.886,50 C524.886,58.899 532.1,66.113 541,66.113 C549.9,66.113 557.115,58.899 557.115,50 C557.115,41.1 549.9,33.886 541,33.886 M565.378,62.101 C565.244,65.022 564.756,66.606 564.346,67.663 C563.803,69.06 563.154,70.057 562.106,71.106 C561.058,72.155 560.06,72.803 558.662,73.347 C557.607,73.757 556.021,74.244 553.102,74.378 C549.944,74.521 548.997,74.552 541,74.552 C533.003,74.552 532.056,74.521 528.898,74.378 C525.979,74.244 524.393,73.757 523.338,73.347 C521.94,72.803 520.942,72.155 519.894,71.106 C518.846,70.057 518.197,69.06 517.654,67.663 C517.244,66.606 516.755,65.022 516.623,62.101 C516.479,58.943 516.448,57.996 516.448,50 C516.448,42.003 516.479,41.056 516.623,37.899 C516.755,34.978 517.244,33.391 517.654,32.338 C518.197,30.938 518.846,29.942 519.894,28.894 C520.942,27.846 521.94,27.196 523.338,26.654 C524.393,26.244 525.979,25.756 528.898,25.623 C532.057,25.479 533.004,25.448 541,25.448 C548.997,25.448 549.943,25.479 553.102,25.623 C556.021,25.756 557.607,26.244 558.662,26.654 C560.06,27.196 561.058,27.846 562.106,28.894 C563.154,29.942 563.803,30.938 564.346,32.338 C564.756,33.391 565.244,34.978 565.378,37.899 C565.522,41.056 565.552,42.003 565.552,50 C565.552,57.996 565.522,58.943 565.378,62.101 M570.82,37.631 C570.674,34.438 570.167,32.258 569.425,30.349 C568.659,28.377 567.633,26.702 565.965,25.035 C564.297,23.368 562.623,22.342 560.652,21.575 C558.743,20.834 556.562,20.326 553.369,20.18 C550.169,20.033 549.148,20 541,20 C532.853,20 531.831,20.033 528.631,20.18 C525.438,20.326 523.257,20.834 521.349,21.575 C519.376,22.342 517.703,23.368 516.035,25.035 C514.368,26.702 513.342,28.377 512.574,30.349 C511.834,32.258 511.326,34.438 511.181,37.631 C511.035,40.831 511,41.851 511,50 C511,58.147 511.035,59.17 511.181,62.369 C511.326,65.562 511.834,67.743 512.574,69.651 C513.342,71.625 514.368,73.296 516.035,74.965 C517.703,76.634 519.376,77.658 521.349,78.425 C523.257,79.167 525.438,79.673 528.631,79.82 C531.831,79.965 532.853,80.001 541,80.001 C549.148,80.001 550.169,79.965 553.369,79.82 C556.562,79.673 558.743,79.167 560.652,78.425 C562.623,77.658 564.297,76.634 565.965,74.965 C567.633,73.296 568.659,71.625 569.425,69.651 C570.167,67.743 570.674,65.562 570.82,62.369 C570.966,59.17 571,58.147 571,50 C571,41.851 570.966,40.831 570.82,37.631"></path></g></g></g></svg></a></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style=" color:#3897f0; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/COGEgpRDQYf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" style=" background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank">View this post on Instagram</a></div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg)"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style=" width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/COGEgpRDQYf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_blank">A post shared by Genna Gold (@gennacooks)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async="" src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script><p>Fortunately for Genna, cooking skills weren’t the only thing she gained from her time at culinary school. She also met her boyfriend, classmate Nick Huddleston (Culinary, ‘18), while at ICE. The pair now collaborates, operating Genna’s private catering business that focuses on Spanish-inspired cuisine. She feels comfortable and skilled at making it and says that Spanish cuisine is a guaranteed crowdpleaser among her clients. The Los Angeles-based catering company accommodates dietary restrictions and can host parties of 8 to 40 people. For more information, Genna is available via Instagram <a href="https://www.instagram.com/gennacooks/" target="_blank">@gennacooks</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow your catering or paella dreams with <a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/request-info" target="_blank">Culinary Arts career training.</a></em></p> Alumni Global Cuisine Entrepreneurship Los Angeles <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=23016&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="obvwzBRkZRnunqECe0B1FwVbmQUIxXy2CF-o8TfY0xc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Tue, 25 May 2021 20:02:39 +0000 aday 23016 at https://www.ice.edu Meet Chef Stephen Chavez https://www.ice.edu/blog/pastry-baking-arts-chef-stephen-chavez <span>Meet Chef Stephen Chavez</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Tue, 04/20/2021 - 10:10</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/Stephen%20Chavez%20header.jpg?itok=ZscXh2mo From Italian Restaurants to Inspiring Instructor <time datetime="2021-04-20T12:00:00Z">April 20, 2021</time> Kiri Tannenbaum — Director of Culinary Relations <p>Pastry &amp; Baking Arts Chef-Instructor Stephen Chavez gained experience at event venues like Santa Anita Park and restaurants like Caffe Opera and Bakery before becoming an educator. He brings 15 years of teaching experience to the Institute of Culinary Education's Los Angeles campus.</p> <p>The first thing Chef Stephen Chavez remembers baking, with his mother’s help, was a pineapple upside-down cake that he discovered flipping through the pages of an issue of the children’s magazine, "Highlights," at 8-years-old. Chef Stephen grew up in the small town of Temple City, California, where family gatherings were frequent and featured dishes from his Spanish, Greek and Mexican heritage. “If you said to someone, throw me a tortilla, someone would literally throw you a tortilla,” Chef Stephen says. “That was my memory of food—gathering and being together.”</p> <p>His interest developed in his teenage years when he took an entry-level job as a dishwasher and busser at a local Italian restaurant. His eyes often wandered from his duties to the orchestration of line cooks in the kitchen. “Eventually, I got up the nerve to ask if they could teach me how to cook,” Chef Stephen recalls. Before his shift, he'd study the restaurant’s menu and how to prepare authentic Italian pasta, doughs, pizza and sauces for the eatery’s recipes. That sparked a curiosity in the culinary profession, but before pursuing it as a career, he took a detour into the world of music, singing in a band, working in music stores and running promotions for bands. But he never stopped cooking.</p> <p>“One day, I woke up and I was lost,” Chef Stephen says. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.” Though he loved music, reality set in that he was never going to be a star. He made a list of what he loved and cooking resonated as a new career path.</p> <p>After working in a few kitchens, he determined that he needed to enroll in culinary school to get to the next level. “I went in knowing I had been cooking semi-pro for 10 years, but I still had a lot to learn, like proper techniques and terminology,” he says. Soon he discovered a passion for what originally piqued his curiosity: baking.</p> <p>“When it came to pastry, I became inspired,” Chef Stephen says. “I found not only did I like it — I was really good at it.” He marveled at his aptitude for forming fondant flowers and his creativity when plating desserts. “I was making things look amazing to someone’s eye, and I never knew I could because I had never tried.” He credits his pastry instructor at the time, Chef Norma Salazar, who is now his colleague at ICE.</p> <img alt="Chef Chavez giving pastry students notes on cookies" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Chef%20Chavez%20teaching%20web.jpg" class="align-center" /><p>Soon after graduation Chef Stephen learned mass production as a professional baker creating desserts for venues like the Staples Center, Honda Center and the tony Jonathan Club in downtown LA and Santa Monica. After transitioning to sous chef at the venue owner’s restaurant offshoot, Chef Stephen had the opportunity to join the staff at Le Cordon Bleu, Pasadena. The chance to teach his passion was appealing as he came from a family of teachers and never shied from public speaking. He became an educator there for 14 years and taught every class in both the baking and culinary programs (and many academic courses). After an executive chef role at Tierra Mia Coffee Company and a stint working on the corporate side of the business at BakeMark USA, he returned to teaching when he joined ICE.</p> <p>Chef Stephen loves teaching bread. “When the bread goes in the oven, I am excited and want them to check it out!” he says. His enthusiasm is evident and his knowledge of pastry is vast. He often gathers students for quick demonstrations, like glazing fruit tarts or breaking down sugar work, and provides one-on-one wisdom about instincts like proper cookie doneness.</p> <p><img alt="Chef Chavez teaching cookies" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Chev%20Chavez%20teaching%20portrait%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />Though he no longer pursues music as a profession, Chef Stephen likes to fill his environment with music, often reggae. “I found that when I put music on in the classroom, it sets a tone and vibe and it gives people a little bit of rhythm,” he shares. Chef Stephen’s demeanor is caring and encouraging. “Through failure is how we learn,” he says. “Students should enjoy what they are doing and each day leave feeling great about what they did, whether that means they failed or succeeded.”</p> <p>His teaching philosophy is “about giving them everything that you have of yourself for them to succeed. Seeing their success is more gratifying than my own,” he says. That success can be as small as the perfect rise on a souffle or as big as a former student sharing news of a promotion. As for working alongside his mentor, Chef Norma, he says, “I am eternally grateful for the inspiration and guidance she has given me. She is something special and being able to work with her is an honor.”</p> <p>Above all else, Chef Stephen hopes his students leave with self-assurance. “The biggest thing I want for them is to be confident and know they can accomplish what they want,” he says. “There are a lot of life lessons in the kitchen beyond cooking and baking, and if I have somehow helped them to find something in themselves, then that is what I was put here to do.”</p> <p><em>Study with Chef Stephen in <a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/pastry-baking-arts-info" target="_blank">Pastry &amp; Baking Arts at ICE.</a></em></p> Pastry Arts Baking Arts ICE Instructors Los Angeles <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-11246" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1620422734"></mark> <footer> </footer> <div> <h3><a href="/comment/11246#comment-11246" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Chef Chavez</a></h3> <p>Submitted by Claudia Brock on <span>April 24, 2021 12:08pm</span></p> <p>Great story! He inspires me!</p> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=11246&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="TIxymQ4GhONE7yRcKupQBbj2GCdwGmDLBv3jJ-H_zUU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-11281" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1620422744"></mark> <footer> </footer> <div> <h3><a href="/comment/11281#comment-11281" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Healthy Baking </a></h3> <p>Submitted by Amy DeNoble on <span>April 28, 2021 8:03pm</span></p> <p>Good afternoon,</p> <p> </p> <p>I just read with interest the background of Chef Steven Chavez.  I am wondering if your programs at ICE address ways to veganize classic desserts?  Personally, I have made a big switch in my diet to eating mostly plant-based meals.  Desserts are a continual challenge.  I am considering enrollment at ICE.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p> </p> <p>Amy DeNoble</p> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=11281&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="y1GNps1kp7JDelPKut5vZS0I1K-h0M5ylJ3b7T-1PXg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <div class="indented"><article data-comment-user-id="15186" id="comment-11391" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1620932534"></mark> <footer> <p class="visually-hidden">In reply to <a href="/comment/11281#comment-11281" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Healthy Baking </a> by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Amy DeNoble (not verified)</span></p> </footer> <div> <h3><a href="/comment/11391#comment-11391" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Vegan baking</a></h3> <p>Submitted by aday on <span>May 13, 2021 3:02pm</span></p> <p>Hi Amy, the Pastry &amp; Baking Arts program has a few recipes that are vegan. The program is designed for aspiring professionals who are planning to go into bakeries, hotels, restaurants, etc. so recipes aren't converted to accommodate the students' dietary and lifestyle choices. The Health-Supportive Culinary Arts program is 95% plant-based and includes a few weeks of pastry and baking. You can see how we use alternative sweeteners and baking conversions here: <a href="https://www.ice.edu/blog/sugar-alternative-sweeteners-baking">https://www.ice.edu/blog/sugar-alternative-sweeteners-baking</a></p> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=11391&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wDnxb6P-5IIfek_uZPr7X1-x2BVfIimBEvbRg1cEXxQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=22881&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="k2vwNObdkwnYYgUkaunK9chMAP89CSvuSwC3uOlSzDk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Tue, 20 Apr 2021 14:10:30 +0000 aday 22881 at https://www.ice.edu Broadway Star Turned Culinary Student https://www.ice.edu/blog/broadway-star-turned-culinary-student <span>Broadway Star Turned Culinary Student</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Wed, 04/14/2021 - 10:41</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/Micaela%27s%20class%20header.jpg?itok=X0LL_EmC Micaela&#039;s Culinary Arts class wore custom aprons on their final day on campus. Here&#039;s how Micaela Diamond changed titles from Cher to Chef. <time datetime="2021-04-15T12:00:00Z">April 15, 2021</time> ICE Student <p>Micaela Diamond shares her shift from the performing arts to culinary arts and how both creative dreams became realities in New York City. After Broadway shutdown during the pandemic, she enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education, and now her stomach sings.</p> <p>Before the pandemic, I found myself performing for Hillary Clinton, Kim Kardashian and a slew of other celebrities that made my life feel a bit like a dream. I had just graduated from high school and was making my Broadway debut as Cher in “The Cher Show.” It was a complete dream come true, and the years of practicing my signature for the stage door in my chemistry notebook were finally paying off.</p> <p><img alt="Micaela as Cher on Broadway" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Micaela%20as%20Cher%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />It was the summer before I was supposed to leave for Carnegie Mellon University, one of the top musical theater schools in the country — on a full ride — and I got an audition to play “Babe.” I knew nothing of Cher besides hearing “I Got You Babe” in various Duane Reades around the city and so this audition felt somewhat useless. I threw on some bell bottoms and straightened my Jewish, curly, blonde hair and went to one of the biggest casting offices in New York. Callback after callback, I did more research learning about Cher's music, her Oscar, her bajillion boyfriends, and her plastic surgery (she did not remove her bottom two ribs, I confirmed this rumor with her, personally!). She had quite the life, and maybe, just maybe, I could pull this off. And then, unbelievably, I did. So the next two years of my life were filled with wigs, lower back pain, a Tony Awards performance (basically the James Beard Awards of theater), and a new platform my Gen-Z self was excited to use to make small change. There were 90 million highs and 10 million lows, and that’s about the ratio of life that makes you wonder how you got so lucky. At least for me.</p> <p>Throughout these two years, there were also endless thoughts surrounding food. These thoughts ranged from, "<em>How do I look smaller in this 1-inch skirt Bob Mackie (basically David Chang of fashion) personally tailored for me?</em>" to, "<em>Cooking food is the most delicious, beautiful and comforting process in the whole world!</em>" I cooked a lot, and I ate a lot. I was navigating my thoughts about being smaller and simultaneously navigating New York food in a bigger way than when I grew up here, frequenting farmers markets and my favorite hole-in-the-wall places, like Nana Thai on 21st street, or making an excuse to fine dine at Blue Hill.</p> <p>After Cher and a quick stint in LA to do a fun Coen brothers' play, I traveled to Paris. For my last night, I ate at L’Avant Comptoir in St. Germain with my lover. We got a bottle of orange wine and ate until our stomachs sang. The level of “worth it” after that trip was so high that I started to ask when and why fueling my own body had to be earned or deserved in the first place. The idea of feeding myself food that made me happy, nostalgic and full went home with me. It became this joy I kept chasing in my own home kitchen and slowly but surely, I bought new jeans and cooked cheesy lasagnas and then ... the pandemic hit.</p> <p>Theater plays its part in shaping the heart of New York similar to the way food does. Being an actor, I formed a relationship with 1,400 people every night, hopefully transforming them in some small way while I trusted them with my heart for two hours and 15 minutes. The Broadway theaters became silent, like so many other buildings in New York, and this jolt of transformation from 55th to 39th Street at 7 p.m. every night was gone. Thousands of actors, stage managers, choreographers and dressers desired this connection while struggling with an intense loss of identity. Who were we without this jolt?</p> <p><img alt="Micaela plating food in class at ICE" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Micaela%20in%20class%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />I was one of the lucky ones. I kept finding myself a little more each time I turned on the oven or tried a new recipe. I found this passion for food that could fill me up and let me explore my creativity in a different way. This passion has only grown since I started Culinary Arts classes at ICE in September. I am now making fried onions at Vic’s downtown under Chef Hillary Sterling, and let me tell you, those onions make my stomach sing.</p> <p>The hustle of restaurant work and theater have so many similarities. The physical labor and hours, the passion and the pressure — these are things I am somewhat used to, but there is a complete and utter new-ness and challenge to all of it. It has saved me in so many ways. How I will combine the two loves of my life is the question, but one I am lucky enough to even ask myself. Cooking at our core is so simply and completely intertwined with our human instincts. Unlike bursting into song when you fall in love, but what can I say? It’s fun. Both tell stories and inadvertently tell the ones we as individuals are drawn to. Asking myself, "<em>Why this one?</em>" "<em>Why this plate/character?</em>" "<em>This cuisine/story?</em>" Hopefully, through answering the hard questions, we begin to lift one another’s voices and find that jolt and connection we all so dearly miss.</p> <p><em>Explore a career change like Micaela with <a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/request-info" target="_blank">ICE's career programs.</a></em></p> Students Culinary Student Culinary Arts Career Changer <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=22841&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="w3GZM09xBw1nXDhWg1Aq9gRVOZ8FNFsCVeGe42qP1A8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Wed, 14 Apr 2021 14:41:27 +0000 aday 22841 at https://www.ice.edu Meet Chef Jürgen David https://www.ice.edu/blog/pastry-chef-jurgen-david <span>Meet Chef Jürgen David</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/08/2021 - 20:15</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/Jurgen%20header.jpg?itok=6KqqqPQs ICE&#039;s New Director of Pastry Research and Development <time datetime="2021-04-09T12:00:00Z">April 9, 2021</time> ICE Staff <p>Chef Jürgen David brings more than 20 years of education experience to the Institute of Culinary Education. He grew up in Austria, studied culinary and pastry after an apprenticeship, and then gained experience around Europe. Here's how his career path led to instructing at ICE.</p> <p>Jürgen initially aspired to act, sing and dance, but he followed in his sister's footsteps pursuing a career in the kitchen to have a solid job in case those passions didn't pay off. While making cakes for family gatherings, like a giant castle with sugar cubes and royal icing, his passion for pastry developed, and he took on a three-year apprenticeship at a family business near his home.</p> <p>"After that I had a chance to go to culinary school for a year when, for the second time only, they offered a pastry program so I did that for a year," Chef Jürgen explains. "They also offered psychology because we were supposed to be trained on how you deal with a 15- to 18-year-old apprentice. I always liked learning that kind of stuff."</p> <p><img alt="Chef Jurgen studies chocolate at ICE" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Jurgen%20science%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />When he completed his education, he took advantage of opportunities to experience cooking and pastry around Europe, from a chocolate shop in Switzerland to catering in Vienna to hotel season in Norway. Guided by seasons and visas, Chef Jürgen learned as much as he could during this time, including what he liked and didn't like in the field.</p> <p>"In Switzerland, I really fell in love with working with chocolate," he says. "I had a fantastic boss who was amazing with chocolate and because he was so good, I wanted to get good."</p> <p>He was compelled to leave when he visited New York — starting with Times Square. "Everybody’s here for a different reason, but they’re all passionate about being here and it’s a great melting pot," he says of falling for the city. "I still love that about New York."</p> <p>Chef Jürgen was only 22-years-old when he arrived, and his job search was a challenge despite his experience — until he saw an opportunity at the French Culinary Institute in The New York Times and his psychology training came full circle for teaching. The rest is history: He's trained future pastry professionals for two decades in one of America's culinary capitals.</p> <p>"Because I like sharing what I know, I love getting a new group and having a chance to mold them and help them get good habits and good posture," he explains of his approach. He encourages students to read and check social media to see what other people are doing in the world of pastry, remembering monthly issues of Martha Stewart Magazine indicating big trends before the age of Instagram.</p> <img alt="Chef Jurgen David teaching a student at ICE" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Jurgen%20with%20student%20web.jpg" class="align-center" /><p>In 2020, when the International Culinary Center (ICC, formerly French Culinary Institute) closed, ICE licensed the curriculum and hired many of the chef-instructors. Chef Jürgen came aboard as the director of pastry research and development.</p> <p>"I’m supposed to bring the best of ICC and ICE together in the curriculum and that will be awesome," he says. "I get to work in the <a href="https://www.ice.edu/newyork/explore-ice/chocolate-lab">chocolate lab</a>. I love the prospect of that. One of the goals I have is to incorporate chocolate making from scratch into the curriculum. I've dabbled in that, but we did not have the machinery to go from bean to bar [at ICC]."</p> <p>While he says food is food and making proper puff pastry or scones is the same anywhere, Chef Jürgen is enjoying our New York campus for its facilities and our career programs particularly because pastry chefs teach culinary students as well, which is a different audience and a good challenge. "They might not love pastry, and we get to get them excited about scones and gelatin because they’ll need it," he says.</p> <p><img alt="Chef Jurgen with a loaf of bread" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Jurgen%20web.jpg" class="align-left" />As for <a href="https://www.ice.edu/newyork/career-programs/school-pastry-baking-arts">Pastry &amp; Baking Arts</a> classes, he raves about the chocolate and candy-making lessons and equipment. "I absolutely love that I get to use the deck ovens and spiral mixers that are in every pastry kitchen," he says. "That’s the proper equipment to make bread."</p> <p>Chef Jürgen's philosophy is to try anything while in school because that is the time to do so. "I’m very nerdy when it comes to science," he admits. "Yesterday we had the dairy tasting and we tasted 23 milks and cheeses, and I love that. I tell the students, 'You might not like it but at least you get to taste it. When will you ever get the chance again to taste 23 different things with someone who knows about them?' It also stresses the importance of reading labels, knowing the food you have and having an open mind."</p> <p>Chef Jürgen's own experience — when a chef wouldn't let him leave the kitchen until he tried a mango tart — formed his open mind policy. Though he was scared of then-unfamiliar tropical fruits, Chef Jürgen tried the mango, loved it and was thankful the chef had challenged him.</p> <p>"I try to tell my students to have an open mind (unless you have an allergy or a dietary restriction)," he explains. "You don’t ever have to eat it again, but you never know what you’re going to like or not like."</p> <p>He enjoys pushing more advanced groups even further. You have the tools, now go. "My favorite question is 'why not?'" he explains. "It’s all about making sure you know the basics really well. Build your knowledge and take it from there. You can never stop learning, and you have to keep growing and changing. It’s so possible in our industry."</p> <p>In his many years at ICC, Chef Jürgen was fulfilled by graduates returning to introduce their cookbooks or attend professional development events. He watched pastry career paths broaden over time as we have seen. "In Europe, your jobs are very specific: You’re a pastry chef for a restaurant or in a pastry shop," he says. "Here, you’re a pastry chef, you can do anything. You can be anywhere."</p> <p><a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/pastry-baking-arts-info" target="_blank">Study Pastry &amp; Baking Arts with Chef Jürgen to pursue the career path for you.</a></p> <p>"It means a lot to me to inspire people to be the best chef they can be, and if they don't ever stop trying and building on the things they’ve learned, I’ve done my job and that makes me happy."</p> ICE Instructors Pastry Arts Baking Arts Chefs <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=22826&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="E18xEiKWz_UXKR9x8wIqyrD0712CkjN8wOiiUexIajg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Fri, 09 Apr 2021 00:15:19 +0000 aday 22826 at https://www.ice.edu ICE Alum Shenarri “Greens” Freeman Opens Vegan Soul Food Restaurant https://www.ice.edu/blog/shenarri-greens-cadence <span>ICE Alum Shenarri “Greens” Freeman Opens Vegan Soul Food Restaurant</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/08/2021 - 10:28</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/Cadence%20dishes%20header.jpg?itok=5B9H-dy- The executive chef is dedicated to helping people with her cooking at Cadence. <time datetime="2021-04-14T12:00:00Z">April 14, 2021</time> Morgan Goldberg — Food Writer <p>Recent Health-Supportive Culinary Arts graduate Shennari Greens has opened Cadence, a vegan soul food restaurant, with instant acclaim from the New York Times, James Beard Foundation, Tasting Table, Resy and VegOut. Here's how she pursued her plant-based culinary career at ICE.</p> <p>Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, Shenarri “Greens” Freeman (Health-Supportive, ‘20) showed an interest in wellness from an early age, but it wasn’t until her hospitality industry lifestyle began to feel unhealthy that veganism changed the course of her life.</p> <p>While studying physical therapy at Howard University in the early 2010s, Shenarri interned and worked at multiple live music venues and restaurants around the D.C. area. She spent four years bartending, hosting, cooking and serving at spots like the popular concert hall 9:30 Club.</p> <p><img alt="Chef Shenarri Greens at Cadence" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Shenarri%20Greens%20at%20Cadence%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />When she made the decision to halt her college classes due to a family illness, Shenarri took on a full-time managerial role at Marvin, a bustling bistro in the U Street Corridor. It was during her three-year tenure there that she adopted a plant-based diet.</p> <p>“There was a huge party environment and I drank so much alcohol,” Shenarri relays. “One day, I woke up and I had gained an extra 60 pounds. I wanted a full-body detox, so I decided to do a 30-day vegan cleanse without alcohol, and I felt great.”</p> <p>A month of clean eating snowballed into a permanent vegan diet that had more benefits than just Shenarri’s improved physical health. “It inspired me as a chef, as well, because I got tired of eating tofu and peanut butter sandwiches,” she explains. “That’s how the creativity with my food came along.”</p> <p>Shenarri began to showcase her innovative plant-based cooking with pop-ups and dinner parties. When she received positive feedback about the events, she started to consider culinary school. “I wanted to take it to the next level and actually understand food a bit more and learn the craft and proper technique,” she says.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it was a personal tragedy that ultimately compelled Shenarri to enroll. “The final push for me to leave D.C. and move to a different city was actually that my partner at the time had passed away,” she details. “He was helping me apply to schools and once he passed away, I knew it was something that I had to do.”</p> <p>Finding the right program, however, was a challenge. Shenarri was looking for a vegan culinary education with which she wouldn’t have to cook meat, but such an offering was difficult to find — and then ICE launched its <a href="https://www.ice.edu/newyork/career-programs/natural-gourmet-center">Health-Supportive Culinary Arts</a> program during her search. “It’s 85-90% plant-based, so it was just kind of meant to be,” she says. “I immediately signed up. I was sold. It was insane timing.”</p> <p>Shenarri earned a scholarship and started at ICE in 2019. She loved the classes and the instructors immediately. “Every day was really exciting for me because I got to learn something new,” she recollects, adding that she picked up invaluable knife skills, networking confidence and kitchen operations know-how. ICE also provided Shenarri with the chance to volunteer at the James Beard House, where she met chefs from all over the world while assisting with the venue’s famous dinners. “I wouldn’t know as many people in the food industry in New York as I know now,” she admits. “I’ve only been here a year and a half and my network has really expanded in a small amount of time.”</p> <p>Since Shenarri chose a hybrid program, she was able to work during culinary school. She served as head chef at Greedi Vegan in Brooklyn and had a short stint as a line cook at P.S. Kitchen in Times Square before the pandemic turned the tourist-ridden neighborhood into a ghost town. For the first few months of quarantine, while ICE classes were on hold, Shenarri took time to introspect, rebrand, build a website and upgrade her Instagram presence.</p> <p>In the summer, she happened upon a job with plant-based restaurant group Overthrow Hospitality. “It kind of happened by accident,” Shenarri reveals. “A friend and I were eating at Ladybird and we found out the company was hiring. I had a response within minutes of applying. The position I wanted as a chef wasn’t available, so I came into the company as a manager for Avant Garden.”</p> <p>As Shenarri was completing her externship hours with the group, her boss approached her with the incredible opportunity to be executive chef at a new vegan Southern and soul food restaurant in Alphabet City. She was thrilled with the offer and began developing the concept soon thereafter.</p> <p>In February, Cadence had its soft opening with a menu that was very personal to Shenarri, followed by an official opening on March 31. “Most of the items were inspired by dishes I grew up eating in Virginia or things I learned along the way,” she says. “Of course, I veganized everything and added my culinary background, as well.”</p> <p><img alt="Cadence dishes" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/cadence%20spread%202.jpeg" class="align-right" />The collection of flavorful, textured plates included Southern fried lasagna with red wine bolognese and pine nut ricotta, a spin on buttermilk cornbread, and jerk mac and cheese that represents Shenarri’s experience at cookouts. Grits made an appearance as well. “Everyone loves grits,” Shenarri insists. “Breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner — I couldn’t do this menu without them. I love grits so much.”</p> <p>Similar dishes, along with beverages from Black-owned brands, are part of the beverage program. “We want to highlight Black-owned wines and vendors,” Shenarri says. “I work for an amazing company. There is so much support. There is no idea that gets left behind or that’s too much. It doesn’t feel like work, it feels like a family and I really love that.”</p> <p>Though Cadence is her primary focus, Shenarri has plenty of aspirations for the future. One day, she wants to create her own line of vegan sauces and teach recreational classes at ICE. She’d like to contribute education on Southern, African and Caribbean cuisines as well as nutrition and plant-based diets.</p> <p>“My overall goal throughout life is to help people, and right now, I’m doing it through food,” she says. “There are other realms that I’m willing to explore as time goes on.”</p> <p>Thanks to ICE, Shenarri knows that restaurant cooking isn’t the only way she’s equipped to help others. She already designs healthy meal plans for clients and caters vegan events. “ICE really opened up my eyes to the industry,” she says. “I didn’t know I could do so many things with my diploma. I definitely consider myself a chef first, but I’m not limited to that.”</p> <p><em>Pursue your own <a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/health-supportive-culinary-arts-info" target="_blank">plant-based culinary career path.</a></em></p> Health-Supportive Culinary Arts Alumni Chefs Vegan Plant-Based Restaurants New York City <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-11211" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1620156411"></mark> <footer> </footer> <div> <h3><a href="/comment/11211#comment-11211" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">New Vegan Soul Food Restaurant</a></h3> <p>Submitted by Cyndi Rand on <span>April 14, 2021 3:51pm</span></p> <p>Wow!</p> <p>This is so inspiring... thank you!</p> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=11211&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ROZIeSYv6wTx7GDvF0me9eRbbLh3WvR30g_L9YG8CsU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=22816&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="6uSfndPsUeEruRDig25zRyMJnrizDUV2CsTkK3Qt3Qc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Thu, 08 Apr 2021 14:28:59 +0000 aday 22816 at https://www.ice.edu From a Career Crossroads to Croquembouche https://www.ice.edu/blog/change-careers-pastry-chef-school <span>From a Career Crossroads to Croquembouche</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/15186" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">aday</span></span> <span>Tue, 03/30/2021 - 21:17</span> https://www.ice.edu/sites/default/files/styles/width_1400/public/content/blog-article/header-image/Steohanie%20Loo%20in%20restaurant.jpg?itok=yoP3TIJu Pastry &amp; Baking Arts student Stephanie Loo shares her path to pastry school. <time datetime="2021-03-31T12:00:00Z">March 31, 2021</time> ICE Student <p>Pastry &amp; Baking Arts student Stephanie Loo finished business school and a finance internship before finally giving in to her passion for pastry. Today, she's pursuing a fine dining career next door to the global bank she left behind. Here's how she came to enroll at the Institute of Culinary Education after gaining experience at Philadelphia restaurants.</p> <p>In many ways, coming to culinary school has been a decade-long dream in the making, with a lot of detours along the way. I didn’t grow up in a family that appreciated food or restaurants much, so it’s always been a mystery to my parents as to where my unbridled passion for pastry came from.</p> <p><img alt="Stephanie Loo with braided bread at ICE" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Stephanie%20Loo%20braided%20challah%20web.jpg" class="align-right" />I was born and raised in New York City. Although I loved sweets growing up, it wasn’t until my high school years that I got more serious about baking and enrolled in a summer <a href="https://www.ice.edu/newyork/career-programs/school-pastry-baking-arts">pastry program</a> at the Culinary Institute of America. I fell in love with the idea of going to culinary school upon graduating but I had been accepted to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, my dream Ivy League school. My parents pushed me to go to Penn, believing that it would be a better long-term path for me and convincing me that at 17-years-old, I might not be sure that I really wanted to pursue pastry. Ironically, it was my personal essay on baking bread that got me into the college.</p> <p>As I made my way through finance, management and accounting courses at Wharton, I could not stay away from the kitchen. The tight-knit restaurant world in Philly welcomed me with open arms in so many ways. As a wide-eyed, eager and easily excitable freshman, I was fortunate enough to have Ellen Yin, restaurateur and two-time James Beard Award nominee, take me on as a pastry stagiaire at Fork and High Street. I worked in pastry on a weekday evening once a week, taking SEPTA down to Old City after my classes wrapped up for the day. I also had the opportunity to intern with Starr Restaurants after my sophomore year, learning the ins and outs of the business in Philadelphia and New York and being able to rotate through FOH and BOH positions at different restaurants. One of the coolest parts of my internship that summer was being able to see the opening days of Le Coucou here in New York City.</p> <p><img alt="Stephanie Loo making croquembouche" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Stephanie%20Loo%20croquembouche%20web.jpg" class="align-left" />My love for food permeated other aspects of my college experience. During my junior year at Penn, I decided to do my exchange semester in Copenhagen, for the sole, express purpose of wanting to eat at Noma, the No. 1 restaurant in the world at the time. Back on campus, I ran a private supper club out of my dorm (offering a rotating six-course tasting), had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for a food journalism class, and volunteered at different food events such as the James Beard Awards in Chicago and Cherry Bombe Jubilee in New York. I dined out in Philadelphia as much as I could — it’s truly one of the most exciting and underrated food scenes.</p> <p>I immersed myself in the food world during college and at times, it felt like living a double life, always having one foot pursuing a traditional business path and one foot pulling me towards the culinary world.</p> <p>Prior to my senior year, I landed a coveted internship at Goldman Sachs and it felt like being back at the crossroads I had experienced towards the end of high school. The Goldman Sachs office and the Institute of Culinary Education, funnily enough, are right next to each other, and sensing towards the end of the summer that I wouldn’t be fulfilled with an office job, I scheduled a tour of ICE’s campus. Though it would still be three years later that I would bite the bullet and <a href="https://www.ice.edu/pastry-baking-arts-info" target="_blank">enroll in culinary school</a>, I knew that I would be back someday.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUJDSHnITB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:540px; min-width:326px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:16px;"> <div style=" display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display:block; height:50px; margin:0 auto 12px; width:50px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUJDSHnITB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" style=" background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank"><svg height="50px" version="1.1" viewbox="0 0 60 60" width="50px" xmlns="https://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"><g fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd" stroke="none" stroke-width="1"><g fill="#000000" transform="translate(-511.000000, -20.000000)"><g><path d="M556.869,30.41 C554.814,30.41 553.148,32.076 553.148,34.131 C553.148,36.186 554.814,37.852 556.869,37.852 C558.924,37.852 560.59,36.186 560.59,34.131 C560.59,32.076 558.924,30.41 556.869,30.41 M541,60.657 C535.114,60.657 530.342,55.887 530.342,50 C530.342,44.114 535.114,39.342 541,39.342 C546.887,39.342 551.658,44.114 551.658,50 C551.658,55.887 546.887,60.657 541,60.657 M541,33.886 C532.1,33.886 524.886,41.1 524.886,50 C524.886,58.899 532.1,66.113 541,66.113 C549.9,66.113 557.115,58.899 557.115,50 C557.115,41.1 549.9,33.886 541,33.886 M565.378,62.101 C565.244,65.022 564.756,66.606 564.346,67.663 C563.803,69.06 563.154,70.057 562.106,71.106 C561.058,72.155 560.06,72.803 558.662,73.347 C557.607,73.757 556.021,74.244 553.102,74.378 C549.944,74.521 548.997,74.552 541,74.552 C533.003,74.552 532.056,74.521 528.898,74.378 C525.979,74.244 524.393,73.757 523.338,73.347 C521.94,72.803 520.942,72.155 519.894,71.106 C518.846,70.057 518.197,69.06 517.654,67.663 C517.244,66.606 516.755,65.022 516.623,62.101 C516.479,58.943 516.448,57.996 516.448,50 C516.448,42.003 516.479,41.056 516.623,37.899 C516.755,34.978 517.244,33.391 517.654,32.338 C518.197,30.938 518.846,29.942 519.894,28.894 C520.942,27.846 521.94,27.196 523.338,26.654 C524.393,26.244 525.979,25.756 528.898,25.623 C532.057,25.479 533.004,25.448 541,25.448 C548.997,25.448 549.943,25.479 553.102,25.623 C556.021,25.756 557.607,26.244 558.662,26.654 C560.06,27.196 561.058,27.846 562.106,28.894 C563.154,29.942 563.803,30.938 564.346,32.338 C564.756,33.391 565.244,34.978 565.378,37.899 C565.522,41.056 565.552,42.003 565.552,50 C565.552,57.996 565.522,58.943 565.378,62.101 M570.82,37.631 C570.674,34.438 570.167,32.258 569.425,30.349 C568.659,28.377 567.633,26.702 565.965,25.035 C564.297,23.368 562.623,22.342 560.652,21.575 C558.743,20.834 556.562,20.326 553.369,20.18 C550.169,20.033 549.148,20 541,20 C532.853,20 531.831,20.033 528.631,20.18 C525.438,20.326 523.257,20.834 521.349,21.575 C519.376,22.342 517.703,23.368 516.035,25.035 C514.368,26.702 513.342,28.377 512.574,30.349 C511.834,32.258 511.326,34.438 511.181,37.631 C511.035,40.831 511,41.851 511,50 C511,58.147 511.035,59.17 511.181,62.369 C511.326,65.562 511.834,67.743 512.574,69.651 C513.342,71.625 514.368,73.296 516.035,74.965 C517.703,76.634 519.376,77.658 521.349,78.425 C523.257,79.167 525.438,79.673 528.631,79.82 C531.831,79.965 532.853,80.001 541,80.001 C549.148,80.001 550.169,79.965 553.369,79.82 C556.562,79.673 558.743,79.167 560.652,78.425 C562.623,77.658 564.297,76.634 565.965,74.965 C567.633,73.296 568.659,71.625 569.425,69.651 C570.167,67.743 570.674,65.562 570.82,62.369 C570.966,59.17 571,58.147 571,50 C571,41.851 570.966,40.831 570.82,37.631"></path></g></g></g></svg></a></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style=" color:#3897f0; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUJDSHnITB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" style=" background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;" target="_blank">View this post on Instagram</a></div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg)"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style=" width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUJDSHnITB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_blank">A post shared by Stephanie Loo (@stephanieloobakes)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async="" src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script><p>It’s hard to express what my first few months of classes have been like. I’ve always loved learning, but feeling so much excitement about the things we’re producing in class each day keeps me going. Upon graduating, I’m hoping to work in fine dining, but we’ll see what the future holds for me.</p> <p>If you’d like to follow along on the rest of my adventures through culinary school and beyond, you can <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stephanieloobakes/" target="_blank">do so here</a>.</p> <p><em>Bite the bullet like Stephanie by applying to <a class="link--round-arrow" href="https://www.ice.edu/request-info" target="_blank">career training at ICE.</a></em></p> Career Changer Pastry Arts Baking Arts Students <div class="row align-center blog--comments"> <div class="column small-12 medium-10 large-8"> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=22771&amp;2=field_blog_article_comments&amp;3=blog_article_comment" token="LVlpBeEp7E0O8jZCq7B4e43uxWFuSUk__bkV3K4SXe4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> </div> Wed, 31 Mar 2021 01:17:50 +0000 aday 22771 at https://www.ice.edu