International Association of Culinary Professionals

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When the Elvis of the food world, Jacques Pepin turns 80, there is reason for chefs, cookbook authors, media personalities and press to celebrate. And they do.

Happy Birthday Jacques!

In Washington D.C. at this year’s IACP (the International Association of Cooking Professionals) conference, there was a huge celebration for Jacques with the ‘tout le monde’ of the food world. Everyone made a cake which then would be auctioned for the IACP culinary trust. The ICC made an exquisite and elegant cake but the piece de resistance for the night was the creation of our Dean Jacques Torres made  with his team and our pastry department’s Chef Jansen Chen and students. They created a lifesize stove of 400 pounds of chocolate festooned with books, pots and pictures. Also, all made of chocolate. Setting off at 7 am from ICC to New York, the huge stove arrived in DC by noon. The cracks and crevices suffered because the pockscarred roads, were smoothed out to such a degree, no one know of the rough ride.

Scenes from the stove

Viewing the stove, ICC's Jansen Chan and Jacques Torres

Daniel Boulud, Jose Andres, Dorothy Hamilton, Jacques Torres

Sherry Yard with Dorothy Hamilton

The impressive and huge sculpture was only overshadowed by the chefs who attended: Jose Andres, Daniel Boulud, Sherry Yard, Bill Yosses, Michel Richard and many more. The gayity and celebration of the evening was not dampened by the fact that Jacques Pepin could not attend. He had suffered a minor stroke a few days earlier and had to Skype in. He was thrilled and touched. (And is doing very well I am glad to report.)

Daniel Boulud, Jose Andres, Dorothy Hamilton, Jacques Torres

Patrick O'Connell's Lobster in a Pot

Of the 80 cakes some of the most astonishing were Patrick O’Connell’s Lobster in a Pot, the Coast Guard’s complete with official seal, and D’Artagnan’s cake of Foie Gras and berry jam.

ICC's Chocolate Mousse Gateaux and D'Artagnan's Fois Gras Cake

Bill Yosses, Michel Richard, Hasty and Jacques Torres

Bill Yosses, the former White House pastry chef (and now teaching at the ICC starting in September) was the cake doctor. Since many of these cakes travelled even thousands of miles (Spago) there was a cake hospital on site. Every cake was a beauty by the time the auction took place.

I never saw so much love infused in buttercream!

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I want to thank the International Association of Culinary Professionals for awarding me their  “Entrepreneur/Businessperson of the Year”. I must broadcast from the top of the Transamerica tower (the ceremony took place in San Francisco) that this award is truly to be shared with the staff of The International Culinary Center. I am lucky to stand on the shoulders of 300 educational professionals who cherish our students and alumnae.

I was the lucky one to high five Thomas Keller, chat with Alice Waters and hang out Marcus Samuelsson, Anne Willan and even our alums, Liz Gutman and Jen King, founders of Liddabit Sweets.

What a night! Thank you again IACP.

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At the New York Times Center Monday evening, April 2nd, our 28 year-old institution once again won the Vocational Cooking School of the Year in America from International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). We are very honored and thrilled, and I want to thank the staff, instructors, faculty, graduates and students of our schools.
Every year we grow. We are now in California, Parma and New York, and we continue to add new courses: Italian, wine and sommelier, food blogging and management, but the bottom line is we are dedicated to an authentic, quality education in the culinary arts. Thank you IACP for recognizing the wonderful people I work with!
Especially Chef Candy Argondizza, who also won an award that evening- as Best Cooking Teacher in America.

Chef Instructor & Director of Culinary Programs, Candy Argondizza, Sr Vice President of Education, Student Affairs, Facilities, Christopher Papagni and Dorothy

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