Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CIC Grad BJ Dennis in Garden & Gun Video

Enjoy CIC grad BJ Dennis in this humorous video produced by Garden and Gun magazine: "Southern Chefs in the Hot Seat." He's keeping mighty fine company these days!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Post & Courier Gives a Shout to CIC's Relish Restaurant

In its April 15 Food Section, the Post & Courier features a Relish dish prepared by two students from Chef John Ondo's Mediterranean Cuisine class. Staphanie Zawacki and Paul San Luis delivered a centerpiece of beeliner snapper that was taken off of the bone and rubbed with basil, parsley, thyme and garlic before roasting. Carrots, artichoke hearts, olives and tomatoes are boiled in chicken stock, which is reduced after the vegetables are removed. Garlic confit is incorporated into the sauce with a stick blender. Tomato petals and basil puree add color and flavor. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

CIC Chef Instructor David Vagasky Featured in the Post & Courier

Chefs  Vagasky (l) and Gray (r) demoing chocolate
for one of their accounts, Southern Seasons.

Chef Vagasky and his partner Chef Mark Gray have a very sweet business called Cacao’s Artisan Chocolates. They recently received some sweet props from the Post & Courier in an article about their company, its products and the over 1,000 chocolate bunnies they made for Easter. Read it here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Chef Kevin Mitchell Attends James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp

Group shot at the Tabasco factory. 
Cooking the collaborative dinner.
From March 15th - 17th,  Chef Kevin Mitchell attended the invitation-only James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. This is program offers a unique opportunity for civic and politically minded chefs to become more effective leaders for food-system change. During thematic retreats around the country, participants receive advocacy and media training while learning about important issues, challenges and opportunities facing the food world. The goal is to build a growing network of like-minded chefs, provide support for personal interests and passions and give tools and guidance that will help them act as influential advocates. The Boot Camp provides:
  • A geographically, culturally, and demographically diverse group of 15 chefs
  • A unique destination to facilitate group cohesion
  • Policy and media training by industry and political experts on specific food-system topics
  • Hands-on activities that engage chefs with local natural resources, such as harvesting, visits to local farms, slaughterhouses, fisheries and other producers
  • A collaborative dinner prepared by the participating chefs
  • Educational sessions about pressing food-system topics, such as the Farm Bill or sustainable fisheries
  • Exposure to campaigns of partner organizations, such as the Pew Charitable Trusts’ campaign against antibiotic overuse in livestock
  • Strategic brainstorming about effective action points and next steps 
In addition to Chef Mitchell, attendees were:
  • Jamie Simpson, Milan, OH
  • Bill Telepan, New York, NY
  • Christian Thornton, Martha's Vineyard, MA
  • Lee Anne Wong, Honolulu, HI
  • JBF Award Winner Sherry Yard, Los Angeles, CA
  • Victor Albisu, Washington, D.C.
  • David Carson, Atlanta, GA
  • Michael Leviton, Boston, MA
  • JBF Award Winner Emily Luchetti, San Francisco, CA
  • Jud McLester, Chicago, IL, Tabasco's Executive Chef
  • Seamus Mullen, New York, NY 
The Boot Camp took place on Avery Island, home to the McIlhenny Company, producer of Tabasco.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Charleston Wine + Food Gives 2015 Culinary Legend Award to CIC Program Specialist Marion Sullivan

"Food writer Marion Sullivan, chef Kevin Johnson, bartender Joe Raya and chef Mike Lata today were honored by the Charleston Wine + Food Festival for their contributions to the local culinary community.
"While the annual awards are designed to recognize individuals whose influence is measured in years or decades, Sullivan – recipient of the Laura Hewitt Culinary Legend prize – used her acceptance speech to praise other trailblazers whose work she feared might be forgotten.
“'It is my duty to call out the ones who paved the way,' she said, citing chefs Donald Barickman, Frank Lee and Louis Osteen.
"We have so much to toast today,' said Sullivan, a program specialist at the Culinary Institute of Charleston. 'We’re now facing that teenage decade when anything can happen.'”
Read more here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Welcome New Hospitality & Tourism Department Chair Nathan Rex

Nathan Rex is a Culinary Institute of Charleston alumnus, holding associate degrees in both Hospitality and Tourism Management and Culinary Arts Technology. After graduating from the CIC, Nathan continued his education at the University of South Carolina where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. He later earned an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Nevada.

A native of Garden City,South Carolina, Mr. Rex most recently served as the resort manager for the 3,000-room luxury property The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. His hospitality experience also includes positions as the director of front office at the Ravella Resort, assistant executive housekeeper and assistant front desk manager at the MGM Grand, and front office manager at the Platinum Hotel, all in Las Vegas. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Congrats to CIC Alum Chelsey Conrad!

Congratulations to CIC alum Chelsey Conrad, who is moving up to take over the chef position at Charleston's highly popular Butcher & Bee. Conrad cut her culinary teeth in Chef Frank Lee's kitchen at Slightly North of Broad. She started as a sous chef at Butcher & Bee and was slated to move to Nashville to open a new Butcher & Bee there. When the Bee's chef, Stuart Tracy, announced that he was taking a position in Atlanta, ownership advanced Conrad into the top post. Read the announcement in the Charleston City Paper

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ad Featuring CIC Student Featured in The Local Palate

When Yuri Kojima won the first prize in the Limehouse Heritage Pumpkin Contest, her award was featured in an ad in the culinary magazine The Local Palate

Yuri's recipe for Hot and Sweet Miso Kabocha was featured as the vegetarian entree at TTC's Night in the Valley Dinner and Auction.

Here's the recipe:
Hot and Sweet Miso Kabocha
Serves 4

Canola oil
1 kabocha squash, about 1 pound                1/2 pound lean ground pork, crumbled
1 Tbs. tenmenjan (sweet miso paste available at H and L)
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger                          1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. sambal oelek chili paste                    1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbs. soy sauce                                          1 Tbs. sake
2 tsp. sugar                                                 Pinch black pepper   
1 Tbs. water                                               1 Tbs. potato starch
1 tsp. rice vinegar                                       3 scallions, thinly sliced
Japanese sushi rice

Heat canola oil in a fryer or deep pot.

Peel the squash, cut it in half, and remove the strings and seeds. Cut the squash into 1¼-inch pieces. Working in batches if necessary not to crowd the fryer, deep-fry the squash until it is tender when pierced with a toothpick. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork and cook it, separating it with a fork, until the juice renders clear. Add the tenmenjan and combine it well. Add the ginger and garlic and cook them until you can smell their aroma. Add the sambal oelek and combine well. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, sake, sugar, and pepper and bring to a boil. Place the squash on top of the sauce and let the squash absorb the juice from the sauce, about 3 minutes.

Place the water in a small dish and stir in the potato starch to dissolve. Add the dissolved potato starch to the skillet. Add the rice vinegar. Sprinkles the scallions on top and serve accompanied with Japanese sushi rice. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Congrats to CIC Grad Brittany Myers

CIC grad Brittany Myers landed a sweet job with Sallie's Greatest Jams, an all-natural jam company out of Cameron, SC. that pairs fresh herbs with fruits. There are nine flavors, including Strawberry Basil, Fig Sweet Onion Rosemary and Blackberry Spice Sage, and four syrups made from fresh fruit juice and designed for use in cocktails. The company has been an Oprah's Favorites pick and a Garden & Gun magazine Made in the South winner.

Seen here demo'ing product in the new Whole Foods store in Avalon, a mixed-use development in Alpharetta, Georgia, Brittany says that she travels doing demos and is involved in recipe development. Congrats, Brittany! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Butchery and Charcuterie class is off to a big start

Chef Stefanelli's charcuterie class created this bounty from Keegan-Fillion Farms' pastured pigs.  Look for student-produced lonza, pancetta, salami, chorizo, and ham in CIC's restaurants, 181 Palmer and Relish. The CIC is so proud to work with Annie and Marc Fillion. Our restaurants use their pastured chickens and their eggs in our restaurants and our Farm to Plate classes spend a morning at their farm.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Charismatic CIC grad BJ Dennis is in the news again. Congrats, Chef!

"For now, staying light on his feet is priority for busy Geechee chef."
BJ has his hand in many pots. "His life as head of Chef Benjamin (BJ) Dennis Personal Chef and Catering keeps him on the road quite a bit, and his recent consulting gig with Republic Garden and Lounge on King Street keeps him busy revamping the menu and retraining the staff. Dennis is a classically trained chef and credits local chefs Jeremiah Bacon of the Macintosh and Frank McMahon of Hank’s Seafood with influencing his style, but he gives just as much credit to 'guys who look like me,' such as Nigel Drayton of Nigel’s Good Food in North Charleston, the late 'Miss Barbara' Ellington, who ran breakfast and lunch at Hyman’s Seafood, and Edmond Floyd, who worked at Anson."

It's a great story. Read it here

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Farm to Plate Class Takes a Field Trip to Asheville

There are so many places that we love to go when we're on the Asheville Field Trip. In Fall 2, the class was able to have an extra special treat: the Biltmore mansion decorated for Christmas! Christmas trees and poinsettias galore - plus wonderful coral singers. We went to Sunburst Trout Farms for a lesson in aquaculture. Their smoked trout and trout caviar are award-winning. At Spinning Spider Creamery, we saw the goats and the cheeses, and tasted samples. Another artisan company that brings home the blue ribbons! We dined at Curate, Chef Katie Button's fabulous tapas restaurant. We missed our regular visit to the French Broad Chocolate Company because they were moving into their new digs. Something to look forward to next time!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Company of CIC Grad Trey Dutton Featured in the Post and Courier

In December, we featured a recipe for Cranberry-and-Mustard Chutney by CIC grad Chef Trey Dutton. In addition to being a chef for the Indigo Road Group, Trey has his own company, Southern Keep, which produces small batch pickles and jams. On January 7th., the company was featured on the front page of the Post and Courier Food section, with particular note of his Cement Pickles. Read more about Trey in the post below. Read more about his company:

Monday, December 15, 2014

CIC Grad Chef Trey Dutton Shares His Holiday Chutney Recipe

A native of Brunswick, Georgia, Chef Trey Dutton grew up in Summerville, South Carolina. He is a 2004 graduate of the culinary arts program at the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College. In 1999, Chef Mike Lata gave Trey his culinary first job in the kitchen at Anson. Trey went on to work for Chef Lata at FIG from 2003 to 2005. Subsequently, he held the position of Lead Sous Chef at the Sea Island Company’s property, The Cloister, in Sea Island, Georgia, operating the 100 Hudson dining room, and of Chef de Cuisine at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, in Bluffton, South Carolina.

Trey developed his own company in 2014, Southern Keep, where he produces small batch artisan pickles and preserves. This began as an outlet for him to “share his love for pickling and canning, especially by recreating his great-grandmother’s recipe for ‘Cement Pickles.’” He describes them as a “super-crisp, sweet and tangy original. My great-grandmother's recipe, infused with lots of love over the course of the three days it takes to make them.”

In August 2014, Trey was hired by the Indigo Road Group, where he will serve as Executive Chef at their Mercantile & Mash and The Cedar Room properties at the Cigar Factory, scheduled to open in June, 2015. Mercantile & Mash will be an emporium with a coffee shop, bar, bakery, lunch counter and culinary mercantile on the ground floor; The Cedar Room is a private event space above it. In the interim, Trey is working at the Indigo Road Group’s properties Oak Steakhouse, in Charleston and Alpharetta.

Trey and his wife Ellen have a four-year-old daughter, Avie Jane, and live in West Ashley.

The Charleston City Paper Features Yuri Kojima

Congrats to CIC student Yuri Kojima, featured in today's Charleston City Paper piece "Summerville's Yuri Kojima hosts YouTube's Japanese Cooking Lovers." (Yuri is seen here with her winning dish for the Limehouse Produce Pumpkin Contest). 

"After graduating this spring from CIC, Kojima plans to use her sports and nutrition degree to become a health coach. Until then, she's starting the process, little by little, on each of her YouTube videos. Nearly every episode either gives a meat alternative like tofu (of which she also includes a recipe) or encourages the use of additional vegetables."