My Experience at the International Culinary Center in NYC

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by thewolff, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. thewolff

    thewolff

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    I have thought about this before and I have had trouble coming up with ideas on ways to get the instructor to "challenge" me. The classes are very structured and follow the lesson to the letter. Do you have any suggestions?
     
  2. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I think your going to run into a lot of different kinds instructors. Some instructors will be happy to see a person like you with ambition and drive to be the best they could. Other instructors are just putting in the time, just follow the lesson plan and move on. I don't think you'll find all your instructors being game to help you out in this area. You will find a few, take advantage of them. First of all make sure your doing well in the structured part of the class. Most of the other students won't want more and may even be having trouble keeping up in the first place. I would talk with the instructor after class and tell them your game for anything. You want to be the best you can in this field and would appreciate anything they can offer above and beyond whats taught in the daily course. If you don't ask, you don't get. You come across really well on this site. Just be yourself!......Let me know if it works out........ChefBillyB............P.S. this may also widen your scope of contacts with the outside world. There could be times when a Chef may ask an instructor if they have any advanced students for some catering or restaurant work. This could open a door for future employment. The most people you have in your corner pays off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  3. chefross

    chefross

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    the wolf:

    I agree with ChefBillyB in that you are practical and one of those people who has a clear vision of what you want.

    Unfortunately culinary schools are structured to educate the clueless, so when someone like yourself comes along, the course work become boring.

    Being placed in a group setting where each member must produce a product to combine with others, can be a test in patience.

    While your skills may be adequate for the job, others may struggle. This, in and of itself, makes the learning process a drag.

    First.......STOP comparing yourself to others.

    They are not you and you are not them so why compare?

    What's the point?

    To make yourself feel good?.

    You already know you. You know what you are capable of.

    I agree with the comment about going to the instructor for something more challenging.

    If they are really interested in seeing you rise above the rest they will help.

    If they don't, then you know you'll have to research more on your own after school hours.

    I wish you well..
     
  4. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Greetings thewolff!

         Regarding how to get your instructors to challenge you, you could ask them to critique your grasp of the "critical techniques" that the lesson is designed to teach. Asking them what other products use the same techniques can open the door to extract additional information from their personal experience/repertoire. I assume you want more of a challenge because you want to acquire more knowledge from your instructors. Asking them about their experience can be a useful way to extract some additional knowledge.

         I agree with chefross, you are only in competition with yourself. Cooking food will always be subjective. The same pot of soup will always draw a variety of responses! Too salty, not enough salt, too bland, too spicy, etc. Even in culinary competitions I wasn't really competing against others, I was competing against a standard of perfection based on my vision of what I saw as the perfect treatment of each ingredient to achieve the desired end product. As you know, satisfaction comes from within for this occupation. Satisfaction that you did your best is your greatest reward.

         Because I finished my schooling about 40 years ago, I am curious as to what they teach these days about salt. I always made that my first point of discussion with new crew members. So, if you are willing to take the time, I would appreciate knowing what they have taught you about salt.  

    Good luck my friend,

    SGMChef
     
  5. thewolff

    thewolff

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    What a great question! Salt can be a very subjective topic. My first instructor in Level 1 always wanted more salt. His explanation on salt was; salt should elevate all the ingredients on the dish. Putting enough salt on a dish is riding a fine line to too much salt or just enough that you can taste all the flavors on your tongue for over 10 seconds. That is one technique I use for evaluating how much salt I need. I taste a dish and count down until the flavor disappears off my tongue. 

    There has not been a formal class on salt though. Which is quite surprising. Thanks for the feedback everyone! @Chefross  @ChefBillyB  
     
  6. thewolff

    thewolff

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    Its been awhile since my last post. Level 2 is almost over. Things have been going on a little more smoothly recently. Last class we focused on cheese and the process of making cheese. We also did a tasting of about 12 different cheeses. Next week is "chicken your way" and a wine tasting class. "Chicken your way" is when you get to take a whole chicken and make one entree with it. It has to be two servings. Hopefully I will remember to take some pictures to post. Level 3 is right around the corner. Should be a little more exciting. Just one more week and I am done with level 2. Woohoo!!
     
  7. thewolff

    thewolff

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    Not going to say much today. Today was make a whole chicken anyway you want it. The picture below is about 15 minutes after the dish was presented. I have made all of the components before. Not together like this. The purees were giving me a hard time because I was making such small quantities of each. 


    The dish is half a chicken breast and thigh. Which has been seared and finished in the oven at about 158-160 degrees. Served with roasted carrots, pearl onions and a saute porcine mushroom. On top of a green puree, carrot puree and egg yolk puree. I did make a jus that you can see came out a little oily. This is definitely not my best dish, but for composing everything in 2 hours I wasn't disappointed. 
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  8. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Nice job Chef! Isn't it wonderful when you can put your on vision of what a dish should look like. It looks like your starting to have fun......Keep in touch.....ChefBill
     
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  9. thewolff

    thewolff

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    Well since it's a snow day I figured I would write today. I started level 3 last week. Talk about a difference! Level 3 compared to the previous levels is a joke.
    Essentially level 3 is family meal. Something I do everyday at work. The difference is at school we have 2 1/2 hours to do it. Where at work I have 2 hours to do it, but I have to do my mise en place also.
    The instructor had changed again. The two instructors I had once for a day back in level 1. They are good cooks with years of experience. I am excited to with with them.
    Level 3 also involves charcuterie. I will have some pictures and updates once I start that. Any one on the east coast stay warm!
     
  10. chef brah

    chef brah

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    where are most of the instructors from?

    any of them who are asian cuisine specialists?

    i come from asian background and want to improve my cooking using french techniques.

    also regarding externships..how do they work? does college assist u in hunting or are you on your own?

    i know few chefs who can give me internships at their restaurants but i was keen on working in a high end french restaurant to build my confidence and skillset.
     
  11. thewolff

    thewolff

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  12. thewolff

    thewolff

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    I have had some big changes happen since I last posted. I recently was offered a sous position at a seasonal seafood restaurant in Montauk, NY. The owner is paying for housing and a decent salary. The problem was with my school schedule I would not be finished in time for the summer season. Luckily I was able to change my school schedule around. Now I am attending day time classes. I go to school M-F 9-3. I had to restart the level 3, but since I only did about 3 classes it was not a big deal. I had to pay more : / 

    Since I changed to daytime classes, my view about the school has changed a lot. I would recommend to anyone thinking about going to ICC, to do the daytime classes. You are going to get more from the school. Since you are doing it everyday your able to take everything you learned and apply it to your future lesson much easier. All the faculty is there. Family meal is much more of a project because of the amount of people eating during the day.

    I am about halfway done with level 3. I should be done with classes totally on May 15th. Then I go directly to Montauk, and start that summer adventure (I will be starting a new thread for that!) This friday is the charcuterie buffet we have been working on for the past 10 classes. I will take some pictures and will make sure to post them this weekend. 
     
  13. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I have been enjoying this thread.

    The summer gig sounds awesome...

    Work your butt off then collect a few good times memories to file away and then take out and remember when you are a geezer lol.

    mimi
     
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  14. chef brah

    chef brah

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    i might be taking evening schedule 4.30 to 9.30 pm classes as its cheaper also it gives me day time free to pursue other ventures

    is there is a big difference in quality of learning?
     
  15. thewolff

    thewolff

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    The quality of teaching is the same. All of the instructors are sufficient. Obviously some instructors are more passionate then others. Nighttime classes are going to be smaller. We did just have a new day class start and they are only 10 people. The biggest difference is that the school is really open during the day. All of the administration is there, you are in school everyday from 9-3, the students who take day classes seem to be more passionate and skilled. Maybe you should sit in a daytime class and a nighttime class. I am sure you will see the differences right away. When are you thinking of starting? 
     
  16. reshyam

    reshyam

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    Hi Guys,

                          Well come to forum site.We went off to college and after a year dropped out to travel the United States playing poker. Did that for 10 years and decided the life wasn't for me anymore. We moved to NYC chasing a girl and got into the real estate business. We did alright, but we learned that in the real estate game only the boss makes the money. We havve opened my own office with two other business partners. We worked hard. 75 hours a week squeezing every penny out of dollars we spent. We have Even after being fairly successful at it, 

    Thanks...............
     
  17. thewolff

    thewolff

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    Last day of L3. Tomorrow I start Level 4. It is going to last about 4 weeks. During that time I will be finishing my job in the city and moving to Montauk. I am going to have to commute to Montauk on the weekends. Next few weeks are going to be tough for me. I am excited though. I will update this once I am a couple of days into L4. 
    Not sure what this is about....
     
  18. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    IDK...

    The royal we offering some sort of advice per personal experience?

    mimi
     
  19. thewolff

    thewolff

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    Finally back from Montauk. The summer was a blast. Learned allot. Met a bunch of great people. I also graduated from culinary school! Glad to be done with that chapter of my life.

    I did such a great job this summer that the restaurant group offered me the Chef de Cusine position for both of their restaurants. So it looks like I will be going back out to Montauk in the spring.

    Overall I am pleased with my decision to going to school. I would not be where I am now without it. I will be active on this site, so if anyone has questions about school or working in Montauk please PM me.
     
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