Friday, July 31, 2009

Alumni in the News

The French Culinary Institute is more than one of the world's finest cooking schools. It's also a launching pad. Thousands of stellar careers and countless culinary stars have taken off from our New York City location, powered by the incomparable training, credentials, connections, and career placement services of The FCI.

But our stellar reputation has always been based upon a single factor: the performance and integrity of our alumni, whose professionalism and success are why many believe ours is the premier culinary school in the world. We're proud of all of our graduates, and we're pleased to highlight some of their recent accomplishments.

Meg Grace, Permanent Brunch
After working in several famous kitchens in Washington, D.C., New Orleans, and New York City, Chef Meg Grace (Classic Culinary Arts ‘99) launched The Redhead, in Manhattan's East Village, with two partners and a day job. But what started as just a cocktail menu has grown into a buzz-worthy collection of Southern-influenced American classics, including fried chicken the infamously tough critic Frank Bruni called one of the best dishes of 2008, and "the best beer nut in America," according to Esquire magazine: bacon peanut brittle.

After just a year, The Redhead is still red hot. But Meg hasn't stopped there. After a long-awaited gestation period, restaurateur Lesly Bernard’s Permanent Brunch has finally opened, with Ms. Grace as Consulting Chef. Also in the East Village, Permanent Brunch, is the city's only all-day brunch-only restaurant, featuring dishes like baked eggs with braised short ribs ragu and duck fat fingerling potatoes; butter-poached shrimp and grits with sweet corn, chanterelles, and tomato; and a bacon bar with five different varieties! Stop by for brunch, day or night, and see it for yourself.
Permanent Brunch, 95 First Avenue (between 5th and 6th Streets)

Eton Chan, Eton dumpling shop
A year after opening the Carroll Gardens dumpling shop Eton, Eton Chan is bringing a second location to the Brooklyn neighborhood. His new space will focus on a variety of bubble teas and Hawaiian shaved ices offered year round, and his crave-worthy dumplings will be available frozen to take home. Pastries and cookies may also grace the menu in the future.
Eton, 372 Sackett Street (near Smith St.), Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Melissa Muller, Organika
This new, unexpectedly Italian restaurant is now open for business in Greenwich Village. Unlike the name might suggest, Chef Melissa's Organika cuisine is an articulate menu of Italian favorites using local, sustainable, and artisanal products, including locally-cured salamino, coppa, and soppressata; whole wheat lasagna with pesto, b├ęchamel, zucchini, grape tomatoes, and eggplant; and rigatoni with grass-fed beef meatballs. Viva Italia!
Organika, 89 Seventh Avenue South (at Bleecker Street)

Lauren Braun Costello, Notes on Cooking
Notes on Cooking, a new cookbook by Classic Culinary Arts alum Lauren Braun Costello, is now available on Amazon and bookstores everywhere. In very succinct form, Notes on Cooking gives home cooks practical kitchen guidance without all the hyperbole. An easy, amusing read, the book brings confidence in simplicity to beginners still collecting their skills, but draws on more advanced knowledge to coach experienced cooks using recipes as guidelines, rather than gospel. Pick up your copy today.

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