Tuesday, June 30, 2009

JWU to air TV cooking program on Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable and Johnson & Wales University's (JWU) culinary program are teaming up to dish out unique and delicious recipes to Time Warner Cable customers. Beginning in July, “Let’s Cook with Johnson & Wales,” sponsored by Lowes Foods, will air on Time Warner Cable’s Carolina On Demand (channel 1234). There will be two new segments each week through the end of the year.

Each week, a culinary or baking and pastry chef-instructor from JWU will be featured in a short cooking segment. The recipes will include local and regional favorite, chef specialties, and healthy and diabetic recipes. “The recipes will offer viewers a unique and different way to create dishes that will inspire [viewers] to get back into the kitchen and experiment,” said JWU’s dean of culinary education Mark Allison in a recent press release. JWU students will also participate in the programs.

Viewers will learn useful tips and secrets for success in the kitchen. “Time Warner Cable’s Carolina On Demand technology gives its customers interactive services that work for their busy lifestyles. These segments offer one-on-one classes with top chefs at their side at a time [that's] convenient for them,” Allison added.

Monday, June 29, 2009

September is National Food Safety Education Month

The National Restaurant Association is encouraging foodservice industry members to prepare for the 15th annual National Food Safety Education Month in September. National Food Safety Education Month is a campaign that focuses on the importance of food safety education for the restaurant and foodservice industry. This year's theme is "Food Safety Thrives When You Focus on Five."

As part of the campaign, www.ServeSafe.com will offer training activities and free posters for download starting in mid-July that reinforce the theme of overcoming the five barriers to food safety. Each week will focus on one of the barriers: purchasing food from unsafe sources, failing to cook food adequately, holding food at incorrect temperatures, using contaminated equipment and practicing poor personal hygiene. These materials are based on the ServSafe food safety training and certification program, which is nationally recognized and accredited for use in culinary classrooms.

National Food Safety Education Month was created in 1994 to heighten the awareness about the importance of food safety education. For more information, visit www.ServeSafe.com/nfsem.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Controlling your knife: a guide to consistant knife cuts

Contributed by Nathan Dunavant, Le Cordon Bleu St. Louis

For any knife skills exercise, each student should have a well-made (balanced) forged, high-carbon, stainless steal knife. Yet before they even begin to practice basic slicing techniques, I like to teach my students three points of control and proper positioning.

The first thing I have my students do is place their cutting boards on a nonslip mat or simply some moistened paper towels to keep the cutting board from sliding across the table. Next, I have them place the cutting board a finger-tips length away from the edge of the table (pictured right); this will help bring the foods that they're cutting closer to them and make for a more natural cut.

I then tell my students to stand with both feet on the ground about shoulders length apart for a good sturdy base. Next, I instruct them to "step up to the plate" and actually have the
ir hips parallel to and touching the edge of the table, again bringing them closer to the food. The next step is usually hard for most new students to grasp: I tell them to "relax" their shoulders and drop their elbows like they have weights in them. This relaxed elbow position allows the person wielding the knife to perform slicing or cutting motions more naturally.

Now we get to the knife part. By placing the tip of your index finger in between the heal and the bolster of the knife, you should be able to find the knife’s center of gravity (pictured left). By leaving the tip of your index finger on this point on the knife and “pinching” together your thumb and index finger you will have control of the knife's center of gravity.

Next, you need to turn your hand over and let the spine of the knife rest in the crook of your index finger's second knuckle. With the three remaining finger tips gently tuck the knife's handle against the base of your thumb pad. Do not push the handle into your hand, simple cradle the knife. Now when you turn your hand over you should notice that the knife follows your arm in a straight line from your elbow to the tip of your knife (pictured right). This technique will put the knife and your arm in a comfortable position that will act as a pendulum, enabling you to cut in a strait line to the same point on your cutting board consistently.

In your relaxed state, you should find yourself holding the knife across the cutting board at a 45 degree angle (pictured left). The second point of control is keeping the knife in contact with the cutting board via the tip end of your knife's cutting edge, though not the tip itself. When your knife comes off the board you loose control, and where it makes contact again--the board, the food or your hand--is now up to the knife and not to you. Control is key. Without control you will become more and more likely to force the knife, and when a knife is forced, things usually end up with the knife on the winning side. This is the same reason a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one: A dull knife is more likely to be forced, and when a knife is forced you lose control and end up cutting something you weren't looking to cut.

Now, for the same reason that a tricycle is more stable than a bicycle, three points of control are more stable than two. The third point of control when cutting is your other hand; when properly positioned, it acts as a stabilizer for the food and as a guide and stabilizer for the knife. Using what most chef’s call the "claw" method (think of making a scary tiger claw with your hand while telling a story to a child; pictured right), you point all your fingers and thumb away from the knife's cutting edge and use the top of your index and middle finger--not the tips--to hold foods down while using the tops of your fingernails on your ring, pinky and thumb to guide the food towards the knife.

Use the planes in between your second and third knuckles on your index and middle fingers to support and guide you knife strokes. Make sure that you spread apart your index and middle fingers while doing this, so that when your control hand is in contact with your knife you can maintain a 90 degree angle on your foods (pictured left). Ready to cut something? Well, there's still a little bit more before I’m ready to "cut" you loose.

Let's say you have a 10-inch cutting edge on your knife. For the initial slice, you will use the half of the knife (those 5 inches) that lay in the middle of the blade (pictured right) and the rest of the cutting edge in the follow through cut. Letting the knife do the work--literally, let the weight of the knife guide it through your food. Don't push down. I know the knife is sharp enough to push down through most foods, but by doing that, you do two things that you don't want to do: First, you'll be forcing the knife (and thus, losing control); and second, you'll be putting pressure on your wrist that will result in crooked cuts.

When you have 5 inches of the cutting edge through your food, the heel of the knife should be in contact with the board, continue your forward motion with the remaining 2 1/2 inches for your follow though cut (pictured left). As you cut, remember the three points of control: (1) holding the knife properly, (2) maintaining contact with the cutting board and (3) using your control hand. Also, mind your stance--keeps hips squared and stay relaxed. Using these methods and techniques, I have been successful in teaching hundreds of students how to properly, consistently and efficiently produce the classic knife cuts that are the basis for professionally cooked and prepared foods.

CIA awards its "Cream of the Crop" scholarships

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has awarded its "Cream of the Crop" scholarships for summer and early fall 2009. Seven aspiring culinarians who begin their CIA studies between July and September earned merit scholarships to the college based on their leadership skills and academic record.

Recipients earn $5,000, which is renewable for each year of study at the CIA provided they maintain at least a 3.2 grade point average (GPA). The latest scholarship winners are:
  • Kira Bassingthwaight of Missoula, Mont.--Ms. Bassingthwaight is graduating from Hellgate High School with a 3.8 GPA. She was captain of the school's cross country team and a member of the Link Crew that helped freshmen transition to high school.
  • Steven Doucakis of Londonderry, N.H.--Mr. Doucakis graduates from Londonderry High School with a 3.5 GPA. He is a member of the music honor society and founder of his school's marching band. Outside of school, Steven created a program at his church to bring baked goods during the holidays to families who recently lost a loved one.
  • Allison Fortin of Spencerport, N.Y.--Ms. Fortin graduates from Spencerport High School with a 3.7 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and French Club, a peer tutor and a volunteer for many charitable organizations in her community.
  • Eric Jeffay of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.--Mr. Jeffay finishes his studies at Briarcliff High School with a 3.9 GPA. He was the founder and president of his school's Culinary Club and a member of both NHS and the National Math Honor Society. Eric was also captain of the varsity swim team.
  • Brighid Lee-Egan of Summit, N.J.--Ms. Lee-Egan graduates from Summit High School with 3.9 GPA. She was a member of the volleyball team and won the Award of Excellence for Family and Consumer Science. Brighid is active in her community as a Girl Scout, counselor at Comfort Zone Camp, and volunteer with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
  • Michael Shinholt of Eldersburg, Md.--Mr. Shinholt is graduating from Century High School with a 3.9 GPA. A member of the football and baseball teams, he was also a member of the Young Life Club and culinary arts program at his school. Michael has volunteered for neighborhood fund-raisers and served as an umpire in a local baseball league.
  • Molly Winn of Tyngsboro, Maine.--Ms. Winn completes her studies at Tyngsboro High School with a 3.6 GPA. She was a member of the theater program, chorus and dance team at her school. Molly also taught Sunday School at her church.
"These seven outstanding young men and women rose to the top of a very qualified applicant pool to earn their scholarships," said CIA vice president of enrollment management Drusilla Blackman in a press release. "They join more than 100 other successful up-and-coming culinarians in the last 10 years whom the CIA has been proud to support through the Cream of the Crop Scholarship."

All seven students will be pursuing bachelor's degrees from the CIA in either culinary arts management or baking and pastry arts management. The CIA's Cream of the Crop scholarships are awarded to 10 worthy recipients over the course of each academic year.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chez Boucher recognized by New Hampshire Magazine

The editors of New Hampshire Magazine recognized Chez Boucher Culinary Arts Center's cooking workshops in the magazine's July "Best of NH 2009" feature.

For its annual, statewide poll, New Hampshire Magazine--the state’s largest lifestyle magazine--invites magazine readers, fans and New Hampshire residents to vote in more than 100 categories, from best local microbrew and best cupcakes to favorite restaurants in each region of the state. Along with the Readers' Poll, Best of NH includes many Editor's Picks--such as Chez Boucher, which was selected by the staff as having the state's best cooking workshops. The July issue, on newsstands now, features the complete list of Best of NH winners.

Chez Boucher is a French cooking school established for the budding professional and novice alike (see previous CET post here). Located in the heart of downtown Hampton, N.H., it offers a complete culinary arts education program and other resources like the Gourmet Shoppe, a film production studio kitchen and the Chez Bouchon dining room.

For more information about the Chez Boucher Culinary Arts Center, call (603) 926-2202 or visit www.chezboucher.com.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FCI offers tuition reduction, scholarships

The French Culinary Institute (FCI) and its sister school, the Italian Culinary Academy (ICA), are offering a 10 percent tuition reduction targeted to recent high school graduates, as well as a scholarship from the Friends of the FCI for career courses at the school that start this summer.

The tuition reduction is intended for 17- to 20-year-olds who received a valid high school diploma within two years of the enrollment date at the FCI or the ICA. And beginning in August, the reduction will apply to high school graduates who enroll in all of the career programs at the FCI: Classic Culinary Arts, Classic Pastry Arts, International Bread and the Italian Culinary Experience.

Additionally, the Friends of the FCI is offering a $10,000 Summer Scholarship for a student who enrolls in the Classic Culinary Arts or Classic Pastry Arts programs that begin in July or August. The application deadline is July 31. For more information, visit www.frenchculinary.com.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dessert expert shares insight in new book

Delmar, part of Cengage Learning, has published The Dessert Architect, a guide to building versatile and creative desserts for professional pastry programs and chefs.

The book, by chef, teacher and foodservice consultant Robert Wemischner, features an overview of essential dessert-making tools and equipment, contemporary plating techniques, ingredient sources, 50 multi-component recipes that can be mixed and matched, and beverage and dessert pairing suggestions.

For more information or to purchase the book, visit Delmar's Web site.

Friday, June 19, 2009

ICE boot camp gets students into culinary shape

The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) introduced the ICE Boot Camp series, an intensive summer program offering 11 courses that cover basic techniques of cooking, baking and wine education.

ICE Boot Camp provides students with a sample of the professional culinary program at ICE through intensive classes ranging from two to five days in length. The program runs from July to mid-September. For more information, visit ICE's Web site.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Culinary scholarships more important than ever

(Photo by Christina House for The Los Angeles Times)

Over the years, culinary scholarships have helped launch countless numbers of aspiring chefs into the foodservice industry. Today, though, with households nationwide shouldering the burden of the ongoing recession, such scholarships are more important than ever. In fact, for many students-chefs and their families, a scholarship is not merely a catalyst to pursuing a professional culinary eduction; it's a requirement. Given these circumstances, then, it's equally important to celebrate those who--despite the odds and the pressure--do earn scholarships.

A recent Los Angeles Times article, published on June 11, did just that, profiling a select group of the 34 California high school seniors who participated in a recent culinary competition and walked away with scholarship earnings totaling more than $590,000. Held at at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., the competition was sponsored by Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), a nonprofit organization that works with students in several U.S. cities.

To read the full article, click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kendall College debuts outdoor oven

A new piece of equipment is getting a rise out of faculty and students at Kendall College, but it’s not located in one of the school's state-of-the-art kitchens; it’s in the courtyard. Kendall recently unveiled an outdoor wood-fired brick oven, which aims to revive a centuries-old custom of community cooking and baking while expanding students' learning experience.

“Historically and throughout the world, many town and village squares boasted an oven that everyone used to bake their home-prepared bread dough,” master baker and Kendall culinary arts instructor Melina Kelson-Podolsky said in a recent press release. “The oven served as a gathering site for the community.”

Kendall’s wood-fired bread oven is expected to draw welcome interest from the surrounding community on Chicago’s Goose Island, but that’s not the oven’s primary purpose. “It’s used across the curriculum--everything from drying herbs to roasting meats to baking pastry and breads,” Kelson-Podolsky added. Guests of Kendall’s highly rated Dining Room also benefit; the outdoor oven is often employed to cook pizza specials on the lunch menu.

Construction of the oven, which began last summer thanks to funding from Chicago-based Bays English Muffin Corp., was an exacting process that encompassed several months and capitalized on the talents of local artisans. The “guts” of the oven were completed by a team of five students, Kelson-Podolsky and another baker with oven-building experience.

Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, Kendall College’s dean of culinary arts, said in the release that foods baked and cooked in a wood-fired oven take on a pleasing organoleptic quality that is often difficult to achieve in a conventional oven. “Breads and meats from an outdoor wood-fired oven promote the interaction between the mouth and nose in a way that recalls rustic cooking of yesteryear,” he went on to say. “The sensory experience is enticingly nostalgic and leaves us hungry for more.” Koetke added that periodic tasting events for the local community and greater Chicago area will expose more people to the tantalizing flavors and aromas of foods cooked in the new oven.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

OCCI to host two summer culinary competitions

The Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI) will be hosting two culinary competitions on back-to-back days this summer.

The Bay Area Chef’s Association of Southern Oregon will present Cold Salon on July 31. The event is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Contestants will present cold platter, pastry desserts, buffet showpieces and other dishes for judging. The OCCI-hosted event offers setup at 7 a.m. and judging at 10 a.m. Applications and an entry fee ($50 for ACF members, $100 for non-ACF members) are required for participants. The deadline to submit the registration form (PDF available here) is July 10.

The next day, Aug. 1, OCCI will host the ACF-sanctioned Albacore Tuna Cooking Competition. Competitors will receive one whole 12- to 15-pound albacore tuna. They need to provide the rest of the ingredients to complete ten portions of their signature dish--three portions for the judging panel, one for photography and six for the public to consume at the event. Competitors must provide their own equipment and china. They will have two hours to complete their dishes--one hour, 50 minutes for cooking and a 10 minute window for plating and serving. Competitors must provide recipes for their signature dish at the time of the event. These may be used in promotional material by the Oregon Albacore Commission. An entry fee ($50 for ACF members, $100 for non-ACF members) and a registration form (PDF available here) are required. Awards will include ACF medals, trophies and $1,000 in cash prizes.

For more information about either event, contact chef Tom Roberts at (541) 888-1545.

Monday, June 15, 2009

International Gold & Silver Plate Society awards internship stipend

The International Gold & Silver Plate Society awarded East Carolina University Department of Hospitality Management senior Timothy Stewart Smith a $1,000 stipend to help finance the cost of his internship this summer at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.

Criteria for the internship stipend include consistently high academic achievement, financial need and a strong commitment to a career in hospitality management. The Gold & Silver Plate Awards program, sponsored by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, helps develop industry programs and projects that emphasize the need for improved education and training in the next generation of foodservice industry leaders.

Friday, June 12, 2009

CSU launches hospitality initiative

The California State University (CSU) system has partnered with hospitality industry leaders to launch a Hospitality Industry Initiative, which aims to create excitement about career opportunities in the hospitality industry and prepare the industry's next generation of managers.

California's hospitality industry accounts for more than 5 percent of the state's Gross Domestic Product and provides jobs for approximately 10 percent of the workforce, according to data from CSU.

On May 29, the CSU and industry executives held the inaugural meeting of the Hospitality Industry Advisory Board to discuss industry trends and workforce expectations. Fourteen of the 23 CSU campuses are taking part in the initiative. Participating board members include:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chefs of Grey Poupon culinary competition results

Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) student Kamal Rose (above left, with Dave Wilcox of Kraft Foodservice) was awarded a $20,000 culinary scholarship by Kraft Foodservice for winning the 2009 Chefs of Grey Poupon Student Culinary Competition, held on May 6, 2009, at the Chopping Block in downtown Chicago. Rose won the grand prize with his original recipe, Crisp Chicken Duo with Dijon and Hazelnut Crust, Morel Jus Lié, Baby Beets, Wilted Greens and Fines Herbes Salad (pictured below), and his surprise Mystery Basket Challenge dish, Cheese Bacon Crumble.

Now in its fourth year, the Chefs of Grey Poupon program was developed to celebrate the accomplishments of chefs who embody the spirit of culinary creativity and to spread the inspiration of Grey Poupon mustard (see previous post on Stirrings, the blog for CET's sister publication Chef Magazine). A student culinary competition was added to the program three years ago to inspire the great chefs of tomorrow, and to strengthen the partnerships Kraft Foodservice has with the nation’s top culinary schools. The judges for the student competition were the three 2009 Chefs of Grey Poupon: Tim Curci, co-founder of Bonefish Grill; Christopher Cristiano, corporate executive chef of Fox Restaurant Concepts; and Lenny Scranton, CEC, vice president of culinary of Morrison Healthcare Food Services.

Rose, who will start his second year at ICE in New York City in July 2009, moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., from the tiny island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean when he was 15 years old. During high school, Rose participated in a four-month externship at Tribeca Grill, which five years later led to his current position as sous chef at the restaurant under executive chef Stephen Lewondowski.
(l to r) Kamal Rose presents his winning dish to Christopher Cristiano, Lenny Scranton and Tim Curci, the competition judges and 2009 Chefs of Grey Poupon.

“The $20,000 scholarship from Kraft Foodservice makes a big difference in my future,” Rose said in a recent press release. “I can focus on getting the most out of my classes at school and receiving the education that will allow me to achieve my dreams.”

Three other culinary students from top culinary schools across the nation also went home with scholarship prizes: Dion Jumapao, a first-year student at Kendall College, received a $5,000 scholarship for second place; Roy Sloan, a first-year student at The Culinary Institute of America, took third place and a $3,000 scholarship for his recipe; and fourth-year Johnson & Wales University student William Long took fourth place and a $2,000 scholarship for his recipe.

For more details about the Chefs of Grey Poupon program--the 2009 chefs, student winners and original recipes--please visit www.chefsofgreypoupon.com.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hass Avocado Board culinary instruction CD

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB)--who, on behalf of 20,000 producers and 100 importers, works to ensure the brand value of fresh domestic and imported Hass avocados sold in the United States--recently released an updated Hass Avocado Culinary Instruction Kit CD.

The instructional CD aims to boost your knowledge of the Fresh Hass Avocado and give your operation (or culinary curriculum) a leg up on the competition with creative, nutritious menu ideas. Become familiar with the various ripeness stages and the optimum cooking procedures to use at each stage: from fresh to deep-fried to broiled applications.

The Fresh Hass Avocado is the most widely consumed avocado on the market. Easy to peel and available year-round, this oval-shaped fruit has a smooth, nutty taste that accents and complements cuisine from Asia to the Mediterranean to the Americas. Teach your students how to work with avocados and experience why Fresh Hass Avocado is the preferred avocado for menu creations.

For a free copy of the Culinary Instruction Kit CD, contact the HAB at (949) 341-3250.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Executive chef stays the course, earns City Tech degree after seven years

(photo by Alberto Vargas)

Feliberto (Fili) Estevez, executive chef at New York's historic Gracie Mansion, was one of more than 1,000 graduating seniors who participated in New York City College of Technology's 69th commencement, held June 1 at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Balancing his education and professional life, Estevez--pictured here with with his professor and mentor Lynda Dias (hospitality management)--graduated seven years after first enrolling at the college.

Estevez, whose mother flew up from the Dominican Republic to attend his graduation, was awarded an associate degree. He plans to continue his studies in pursuit of his bachelor's degree and would eventually like to become a teacher himself.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Unilever chef receives honorary doctorate

Unilever Foodsolutions executive chef Steven Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC, received an honorary Doctor of Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University in Denver, on May 23. Jilleba, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., is a 33-year foodservice industry veteran and one of only 61 Certified Master Chefs in the world.

Chef Steven Jilleba

Jilleba is a member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), American Academy of Chefs (AAC) and World Association of Chefs' Societies (WACS). He manages ACF Culinary Team USA for the 2009-2012 term. Among the awards he has received are: the AAC Chair’s Medal in 2008, the ACF Regional Chef of the Year in 2001, the ACF Regional Chef Professionalism Award in 2000 and the Herman Rusch Lifetime Achievement Award for the central region.

For the past three years, Jilleba has worked directly with the Culinary Institute of America on behalf of Unilever Foodsolutions to co-produce and host the
Savoring The Best of World Flavors DVD series, which received the James Beard Foundation award for best Webcast in 2007 and 2009.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Textbook's newest edition offers f&b cost control measures

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute last month published the seventh edition of the textbook Planning and Control for Food and Beverage Operations, which includes the most current control processes used by professionals to reduce costs at every stage of food & beverage operations.

The book, written by Jack D. Ninemeier, Ph.D, CHA, CFBE, CHE, professor at The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, includes chapters on controls for purchasing and receiving, storing and issuing, production, serving and labor. Readers will learn how to calculate actual food and beverage costs, prevent revenue theft and perform cost-volume-profit analysis. The newest edition also updates manual controls that have since been replaced by technology-based controls procedures. For more information, visit www.ahlei.org.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sullivan grad wins grant for bakery business model

Pastry chef and Sullivan University graduate Alisha Hardison recently won a $15,000 grant and six months’ free rent for an original bakery concept through the city of Owensboro Ky.'s first annual eMerging Ventures Challenge, a citywide economic development competition that seeks to sponsor start-ups and expansions of existing businesses.

Hardison entered her bakery business plan--Dalisha's Desserts--into the competition in January, and after being selected as the competition's only culinary business finalist, she beat out three technology-based contenders to claim the grand prize. Hardison is using the grant money to move her baking operations out of her home and into a new commercial space.

In an e-mail to her alma mater, she credited much of her success to Sullivan and chef-instructors like Scott Turner. Of Turner, she wrote: "He's an amazing teacher. I had him for most all of my baking classes, and I wouldn't be here without him. He pushed us to be our best and gave us all the skills that we needed to succeed.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The French Pastry School offers professional continuing education courses in pastry arts

En-Ming Hsu, a pastry chef-instructor at The French Pastry School and a former Pastry World Champion, will conduct a hands-on continuing education pastry class--The Art of Pre-Desserts and Plated Desserts--June 8–10, 2009, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

The recipes in this three-day course will take advantage of fresh, local ingredients found at farmers markets. Among the seasonal recipes attendees will prepare with Hsu’s guidance are Rosemary Glazed Figs with Homemade Fromage Blanc, Lavender-scented Red Haven Peaches with Wildflower Honey Frozen Souffl√©; Shaved Melons with Muscat Ice; and Wild Borreal Blueberry and Lemon Biscuit Verrine. The course also will cover such topics and trends as sustainable agriculture, organic products and their impact on your dessert menus, and planning your menu economically.

Part of The French Pastry School's ongoing Summer Collection of professional continuing education offerings, the course also will include a three-course lunch. For more details, visit www.frenchpastryschool.com.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Vilcek Foundation seeks applicants from the culinary arts for 2010 Creative Promise prize

The Vilcek Foundation--whose mission is to honor the contributions of foreign-born scholars and artists living in the United States--on May 19 announced that the culinary arts will be the 2010 category for its annual Creative Promise prize in the arts and humanities, and opened the call for application submissions. Chefs, artisans and innovators are all eligible to apply; the application deadline is July 31, 2009.

The Foundation expanded its awards program in 2008 with the Creative Promise prize to recognize exceptional contributions of younger immigrants to the United States in the biomedical sciences and the arts and humanities. The latter category changes annually to reflect the broad range of disciplines it encompasses. The choice of culinary arts is a timely one, given the controversial nature of immigration in the United States today.

“Nothing is more basic to humanity than food, and nothing is [more] successful at bringing people together than a shared meal,” said Vilcek Foundation executive director Rick Kinsel in a recent press release. “Furthermore, the culinary arts flourish in America in large part because of its immigrant practitioners. We have them to thank for the fact that we in this country have only to step outside our doors to sample the foods of the world. As a result, more than ever before, Americans are taking a greater interest in food--where it comes from and how it is grown--and have a deeper appreciation for the art and science behind a carefully prepared and beautifully presented meal.”

The Creative Promise winner will receive a $25,000 cash award and a certificate of recognition designed by Stefan Sagmeister, which will be presented during the foundation’s annual awards ceremony and dinner held in New York City next spring. In addition, four other finalists will each receive $5,000 cash awards. To be eligible for the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, applicants must have been born outside the United States and be 38 years or younger as of December 31, 2009. The application deadline is July 31, 2009. Additional award details and an online application are available at www.vilcek.org.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June issue of ACF Culinary Nutrition News tackles food allergens

The latest installment of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University's "Culinary Nutrition News," now available for download, examines the food allergies that affect 12 million Americans today. The article offers facts, resources and a quiz covering topics such as gluten sensitivity, the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance and the eight foods that account for 90 percent of all food-allergy reactions. (In case you can't wait, they are: eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat.)

Upcoming "Culinary Nutrition News" articles--available online for free on the first Monday of each month--will cover topics such as fiber-rich foods, calorie countdown, healthful cooking techniques, downsizing calories and portions and demystifying lipids.