Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This!

In the summer, CIC partners with TTC's Continuing Education department to provide culinary and baking and pastry classes for the Kids' College. Pictured are the participants in Chef Claire Chapmans' Kids'College confections class, eager to fill to-go boxes with the sweets that they created that day. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CIC Grad Christian Isaman Receives TTC Award

At Trident Tech's 2018 Awards Day, the President’s Award/Kurtzman Prize, given to a graduating student on the basis of academic achievement, contributions to the college and community service, was awarded to Christian Isaman, a Culinary Arts Technology graduate from Charleston. TTC President Mary Thornley personally presented the award. Congratulations, sir!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

CIC Alum Andrea Lever Upchurch Creates a Sunday Supper for Charleston Magazine

"Andrea Upchurch calls herself a 'well-seasoned South Carolinian,' having pin-balled around all areas of our state during her youth. Though her family changed locales frequently for her parents’ business, gatherings around the table for weekend suppers remained fixed. 'Sundays always meant fried chicken and cornbread,' she reminisces.
"Now as the executive pastry chef for Magnolias and Blossom—as well as mama to two-year-old Dewey and wife to husband Nate—Upchurch has a lot on her plate." Read the story and get the recipes here. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

CIC Alum B. J. Dennis Featured in The New York Times

"Mr. Dennis, 38, believes food is the living bearer of history.
He has devoted himself to promoting the cooking of
Gullah-Geechee Nation, the descendants of West Africans
 who lived along the coast from North Carolina to North Florida."
Kim Severson recognizes Dennis in a New York Times article titled "Finding a Lost Strain of Rice, and Clues to Slave Cooking: The search for the missing grain led to Trinidad and Thomas Jefferson, and now excitement among African-American chefs." 

Chef Dennis' part in this story is his discovery of the rice in Trinadad.
"Mr. Dennis had heard about hill rice — also known as upland red bearded rice or Moruga Hill rice — through the culinary organization Slow Food USA and the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, the group that brought back Carolina Gold in the early 2000s. He’d also heard stories about it from elderly cooks in his community. Like everyone else, he thought the hill rice of the African diaspora was lost forever.

"But then, on a rainy morning in the Trinidad hills in December 2016, he walked past coconut trees and towering okra plants to the edge of a field with ripe stalks of rice, each grain covered in a reddish husk and sprouting spiky tufts. 'Here I am looking at this rice and I said: ‘Wow. Wait a minute. This is that rice that’s missing,’ he said."
Read this fascinating story here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

CIC Alum John Ondo Tells Charleston Magazine Why He Opened Kairos Greek Kitchen

After running Lana Restaurant for twelve years, the Charleston native traded fine dining for fast casual at Kairos—but his culinary craftsmanship, and his French fries, came along for the ride.

"Before this, you owned Lana Restaurant (white tablecloth) downtown. What made you leave?" 
John Ondo: "Honestly, I was ready for a change. Twelve years was a good, successful run in such a competitive market and I wouldn’t take anything back, but I thought it was time to move on. I was ready to try something different and challenge myself with something new." Read the whole story.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CIC Alum Allison Smith Shares an Indian Supper with Charleston Magazine

Photo by Shell Royster
"The baking whiz behind Glazed, the gourmet doughnut shop sweetening up King Street since 2011, has earned a reputation for creatively delicious baked goods. But doughnuts with berry-goat cheese filling, green-tea glaze, beet custard, and candied fennel aren’t the only goodies in the Culinary Institute of Charleston alum’s cannon. Allison Smith’s true passion skews toward international cuisines, specifically that of her husband Mark Remi’s South Indian family. 'I cook at home a good bit, and it’s rarely a typical American meal,' she says. 'Mark and I make a lot of Asian food, and Indian dishes are in regular rotation.' Smith’s personal menus became more public this past fall, when, sensing a hole in the local ethnic dining market, she opened Sambar, a South Indian food stall in Workshop."
Read the whole story and get the recipes here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

CIC Chef Instructor David Vagasky Featured in Charleston Magazine

The November issue of Charleston Magazine included a story titled "Bountiful Supper," which featured Chef Vagasky entertaining. "When dinner menus are dictated by the season, you never know quite what you’ll get. “'Every day, Jim brings in what he calls the ‘mystery basket’ of whatever he’s growing and asks me to figure out how to use it,'” says David Vagasky. The cooking challenge suits the chocolatier and pastry chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, whose childhood suppers in Minnesota embraced the plant and animal yields of his family’s farm."

There's a wonderful menu of grilled chicken with sauteed Swiss chard, smoky shrimp ravioli with Roma tomato sauce, autumn salad, and the pecan pie with Bourbon whipped cream seen in the photo. Read the story and get the recipes here.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Grayson Foster Receives a 2017 South Carolina Tourism Student Award

Congratulations to CIC Hospitality and Tourism Management student Grayson Foster! Hospitality and Tourism Department Chair Nathan Rex accompanied Grayson to the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia for the 2017 South Carolina Tourism Student Awards, where she was awarded a plaque and a $1500 scholarship by Duane Parrish, Director of South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Sponsored by the South Carolina Travel and Tourism Coalition, the Tourism Student Awards recognizes students who were recommended by faculty for exemplary work and outstanding academic achievement related to hospitality and tourism in South Carolina, including culinary studies.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

CIC Alum Daven Coad Gets a Splendid Post & Courier Review

Photos of Daven Coad as the winner of 
The People's Choice Award
in San Pellegrino's Almost Famous Chef competition

Charleston Post and Courier Chief Critic Hanna Raskin recently wrote a review titled "Find Surprises Inside Mainland Container Co.," where CIC alum Daven Coad is chef. Raskin wrote: "chef Daven Coad has worked up an array of dishes that reveal a real interest in local ingredients and unfussy ways of celebrating them." 

There is much more, plus plating photos at 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Culinary Institute of Charleston: Comprehensive Look

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CIC Alum Chef Jamie Simpson Hits the Celebrity Circuit

Congrats to CIC alum and Culinary Vegetable Institute chef, Jamie Simpson. He's now on the celebrity circuit, joining Charlotte Voisey and Peter Vestinos to celebrate the much maligned cocktail cherry at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail.

Taking place annually in New Orleans, Tales of the Cocktail bills itself as "The world's premier series of cocktail festivals - highlighting what's now, new and next in the spirits industry."
Read about it here: 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017 Study Abroad "Cruise Culture - Eastern Caribbean"

In June, the CIC division embarked on its 2017 Study Abroad “Cruise Culture – Eastern Caribbean” aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. Hospitality department chair, Nathan Rex, and Culinary instructor, Chef Joe Branton, accompanied 12 students as they visited St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Haiti. During the cruise, CIC students were directly exposed to cruise operations, including lodging operations, food service operations, entertainment/gaming/recreational services, and event planning. Some of the onboard experiences included back of the house tours, executive guest speakers, dining, and entertainment. While in St. Maarten, the students took an island bus tour, where they learned about history and culture of the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, France and the Netherlands. 

In Puerto Rico, the group was provided an in-depth culinary tour through the city of Old San Juan, where they tasted and participated in making some authentic dishes and learned more about the history, culture, and cuisine of the island. The final stop of the trip was in Labadee, Haiti, which is a private beach leased by Royal Caribbean. In Labadee, students were given the opportunity to decide on their activity for the day. Some of the activities experienced were a cultural Haitian village tour, reef snorkeling, and, of course, shopping!

As a result of an amazing week in the Caribbean, the experiences, skills, relationships, and memories that the students realized from this study abroad will be directly applicable to enriching their future careers in the hospitality and culinary industries. Now, who’s ready to cruise in the 2018 Study Abroad?

On the ship


St. Maarten and St. Martin

Puerto Rico

Monday, July 10, 2017

2017 CIC Distinguished Alumni Party

There was fantastic food and drink at the CIC Distinguished Alumni Party!
Following golf at the 3rd Annual TTC Pro-Am Golf Tournament Fundraiser, players and guests enjoyed a special after-party featuring the Culinary Institute of Charleston’s distinguished alumni. Eleven alumni chefs all working in our local community prepared elegant signature dishes from oyster stew and enchiladas to delicious desserts and specialty cocktails. Thanks to CIC alums:
Chef Michael O'Shaughnessy from Cassique at Kiawah Island
Chef Ulfet Ralph, The Lodge at Little St. Simon's Island
Chef Jonathan Kaldas, The CODfather
Chef Peden Rucker, Fish
Chef Corey Elliott, The Country Club of Charleston
Chef Jillian Rowe, Red Drum
Chef Chris Holme, Slightly North of Broad
Chef Anna Abram, Bishop Gadsden
Chef Jordan Fagan Siegel, Cru Catering
Chef Lauren Brower, Wild Dunes
Bryan Voss, Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits

Top to bottom:
Chef Ulfet Ralph, Chef Jordan Siegel with
chefs from Wild Dunes
Chef Jillian Rowe
Top to Bottom:
Chef Anna Abram,
 Chef Michael O'Shaughnessy
Chef Jonathan Kaldas
Top to Bottom:
Bryan Voss
CIC Student
CIC and Conference Services Staff
Top to bottom:
Chef Chris Holme
Chef Corey Elliott
Chef Peden Rucker

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CIC 2017 Graduate Luncheon

Students graduating in May were invited to the Clubhouse at Cassique
for their 2017 Culinary Institute of Charleston Graduate Luncheon.
Cassique is one of the most prestigious  parts of Kiawah Island.

Jordan Fagan Siegel receives the HCSA Leadership Award

Left: Faith Huff, winner of the Chef Bill Stacks Memorial Award. 
Right: Kimberly Tesh, winner of the Dr. Frankie miller Memorial Award.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Baking & Pastry Chef Instructor Bernd Gronert Featured by Charleston City Paper

Photo Credit: Jonathan Boncek

With a baking and pastry resume that is a mile long, Chef Bernd Gronert is usually thought of as CIC's incredible chef instructor. Not too many know that he is also a fruit farmer extrodinaire. 

The City Paper wrote: "Chef/farmer Bernd Gronert grows Charleston's trendiest fruits, the old fashioned way"
Read all about it in the Charleston City Paper story.