Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The French Culinary Institute Honored Four Outstanding Alumni

Staff Contributor: Melanie Miller

On November 13th, 2006, The FCI recognized four outstanding alumni at the 2006 Outstanding Alumni Awards reception. Dorothy Cann Hamilton, presided over the ceremony and we honored the following alumni who have excelled in the industry:

Daisy Martinez (Culinary ’99), Host of PBS Series Daisy Cooks: Culinary Arts Award

Victoria Love (Pastry ’98), Executive Pastry Chef of Water Club: Pastry Arts Award

ile Carpenter (Culinary ’99), Executive Editor of Every Day with Rachel Ray: Professional Achievement

Robert Surles (Culinary ’00), Executive Chef of Calhoun School: Contribution to the Culinary Industry

It was an exciting reception and we had a terrific turn out, enabling many alumni to reconnect with each other, the deans, The FCI, and get a first hand look at our new space. The evening concluded with a gala dinner benefiting the Friends of The FCI including a delicious dinner, a silent and live auction conducted by our own Daisy Martinez. Who will be next year’s winners?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

PastryScoop.com and Dave Arnold Mix It Up at the Chocolate Show

Staff Contributor: Raina Bien

Judiaann Woo, editor-in-chief for PastryScoop.com, may know a thing or two about chocolate, but her knowledge of cocktails can be a little thin. So, when she was invited to demo a chocolatey cocktail recipe at this past weekend's annual Chocolate Show, she joined forces with Dave Arnold, The FCI's director of culinary technology and (unofficial) mixologist.

Armed with a cocktail shaker prototype of his own design and his trusty CO2 carbonation tank, Dave got to work mixing up drinks for an audience of 70 thirsty spectators, first carbonating batches of root beer liqueur to pour over scoops of white chocolate ice cream for a fizzy, grown-up version of a traditional float. Up next was his twist on a Cape Codder (in less poetic terms, the good old vodka & cran), a mix of homemade cranberry syrup, chocolate vodka, and a splash of orange liqueur, all carbonated and poured over fresh orange segments. And after that came carbonated chocolate martinis. Clearly, Dave's a man who prefers his cocktails fizzy over shaken or stirred. And strong: seltzer dilutes the flavor behind any drink, which is why he reaches for the CO2 whenever he wants a little bubbly. We'll have to wait a few more years to see if, as Dave hopes, carbonation technology hits the American home kitchen. In the meantime, based on audience response alone, we think he's already winning over converts.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fun with Fondant

Staff Contributor: Chef Cynthia Peithman

Conquer your Fondant Phobia!!!

Pipe icing like a Pro!!

The FCI has just compelted its first course designed to banish the mystique about rolled fondant icing. Students learned how to produce a beautiful, three-tiered cake from start to finish. From cracking eggs... to baking the genoise... to piping the
last decorative ornament. To dress up the rolled fondant, many techniques were explored: shell borders, pearl borders, drop strings, scrools and swirls, swiss dots, stenciled icing, flooding. Other techniques are demonstrated and practiced using rolled fondant for trimming elements such as bows, ribbons, textured borders.
While the focus is on producing and working with rolled fondant icing, students are also instructed on baking, filling, and building a three-tiered special occasion cake. This course can help both the beginner to learn how to get started, and the practiced decorator to learn new tricks and techniques.

Save your place in our upcoming Cooking Clinic - Fondant and Royal Icing, January 22, 2007 - January 26, 2007.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Join Us on 11/13 for a Meal to Remember

Staff Contributor: Melanie Miller

Want to help raise money for students to go to The FCI? For those of you who don’t know, The Friends of The French Culinary Institute is our non-profit arm that raises money to provide scholarships to FCI’s career students and will be having their annual gala dinner on Monday, November 13th, 2006 following our Alumni Awards Ceremony.

We are very excited for this year’s “A Meal to Remember” gala dinner, as it will feature the classics as well as their modern interpretation to display what keeps the culinary arts moving forward. Classic French dishes will be served next to its modern interpretation prepared by top New York City Chefs: Julian Alonzo (Executive Chef of Brasserie 8 ½), Zak Pelaccio (Executive Chef of Fatty Crab and 5 Ninth), Emily Isaac (Executive Pastry Chef of Union Square Café), as well as our own Chef Lee Anne Wong.

In addition to the delicious dinner and champagne reception (sponsored by Kobrand) there will be an auction with extraordinary items, such as a week in Sicily sponsored by Authentic Sicily, a cooking class with David Bouley, an original painting by Jacques Pépin, reservations at top NYC restaurants, and more. Please call us at 646-254-7521 if you are interested in purchasing a ticket to our gala dinner or visit
http://www.frenchculinary.com/aboutus_friends.htm if you would like to know more about The Friends of The FCI.