Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Butterbeans, Butterbeans, and More Butterbeans!


GrowFood Carolina, a nonprofit, is South Carolina's first local food hub. Its downtown Charleston warehouse stores fresh produce from nearby farms. Then GrowFood's staff markets, sells, and distributes this local product to grocery stores, restaurants, and other wholesale customers. Their nonprofit mission-driven structure allows them to return a large percentage of the sale price to the farmer. 

Two weeks ago, GrowFood asked CIC to assist with farmer Josh Johnson's prodigious butterbean crop. Johnson's Old Tyme Bean Co. is growing two varieties: the Jackson Wonder, a heirloom speckled bean, and the Bridgeton, a more typical green lima. GrowFood wanted to freeze some of the butterbeans to increase their availability. While GrowFood has freezer storage capacity, it lacks the ability to blanch, cool, and vacuum seal the butterbeans. The CIC will tackle this task on three different dates, corresponding to Johnson's crop schedule. These photos show CIC students working on the first batch. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Maymester Visual Arts and Hospitality & Tourism Class Takes Off

Photo of St. Phillip's Church taken by Lisa Livingston

Inspired by their passions for tourism, writing, and photography, Maymester students explored popular tourist destinations in the Charleston area to create impressionistic journals, photographs, and blogs in a collaborative Visual Arts and Hospitality & Tourism class. Using location photography, portraiture, and photo journalistic techniques,  participants captured the beauty and culture of the area during guided walking tours of destinations including historic Charleston, Folly Beach, and Mepkin Abbey.

Please enjoy the blog by one of the participants: http://lisalivingstonsculturalcharleston.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 30, 2014

CIC Conducts Boeing Farm-To-School Initiative Training for Tri-County Food Service Staff

Left top: Chef Huff and Dorchester county food service workers. Top right: Chef Huff with Charleston county food service workers. Bottom left and right: Dorchester county food service workers. 

Last week, Chefs Kevin Mitchell and Miles Huff conducted the first of two week-long training programs for Tri-County Food Service Staff. These training weeks were sponsored by Boeing as a part of the Boeing Farm-To-School Initiative.

The purpose of the collaboration between CIC, Boeing, and the school districts is to train food service staff in the tri-county school districts to produce appetizing and tasty healthy meals that use fresh, frozen, and local food items. The menus will employ healthy cooking techniques using food service equipment designed for quantity cooking methods.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CIC Grad Andrea Lever Upchurch Gets a Shout Out

Andrea Lever Upchurch, Executive Pastry Chef for Hospitality Management Group, Inc., which includes Charleston restaurants Magnolias, Cypress, and Blossom, is truly talented. Her latest kudos are in Rachel Ray's magazine! 

EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY, at RachelRaymag.com, is loving s'mores, including Andrea's s'mores-inspired frozen dessert with sorghum marshmallow and fudge. Get down to Cypress and check it out!

Chef Lionel Vatinet Does Shaping Demo for Artisan Breads Class

Master Baker Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery and Cafe in Cary, NC, came
to Chef Vagasky's Artisan Breads class Monday to demonstrate shaping and scoring! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Tennessean's Update on the Dinner Prepared by CIC Grad BJ Dennis and Chef Sean Brock

As we shared earlier, at the end of May,CIC grad BJ Dennis went to Nashville to prepare a dinner with HUSK Chef Sean Brock. Here's a fantastic description of the event - and every dish - from The Tennessean:

"Our dining spotlight, an intimate gathering in The Stables at Husk, is a story of connections. Foremost, it's the journey of one chef, BJ Dennis, as he, accessing his grandfather's memories and stories, connects with his Gullah heritage, inspiring him to bring forward the vanishing cuisine of his people.

"It also highlights the friendship of two chefs, Dennis and Sean Brock, who bonded over a common dedication to preserving the foodways, following its connection to another continent.

"And finally, it's the sharing of that knowledge of the culture, its history and food, with a group of curious eaters — connections made all around the table.

"This event, the second in Brock's ongoing Workshop Sessions — small dinners with a purpose — was held May 30-31. Meshing lecture, video and six courses with beverage pairings, the quests of both chefs became illuminated: Dennis' preparing the food of the Gullah and Geechee people of the Sea Islands (along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia) and Brock's tracing of those culinary roots to West Africa."
Read the rest of the story here: BJ Dennis and Sean Brock Dinner

Monday, June 2, 2014

CIC Alum BJ Dennis Invited to Husk Nashville for Workshop Series

CIC alum BJ (Ben) Dennis was thrilled to be invited by Chef Sean Brock to come to Nashville and share the cuisine of the Gullah culture. For the first of the Workshop Series in the Stables, Husk Nashville's private dining facility, Chef Brock  featured two nights of a shared menu. BJ's dishes, seen above, were Crispy Shrimp, Sweet Pea and Rice Croquettes with Geechee Peanut Sauce, Snapper with Shrimp and Crab Purloo, Eggplant Gumbo, and a Charleston Chewy with Vanilla Soft Serve and Bourbon Sauce. The Workshop Series includes an hour of lecture preceding the dinner.

Chef Brock also included BJ in the Charleston Cook It Raw event. Catch a look at him in the film. Thanks, Chef Brock, for your inclusiveness. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Establishes the Dean Frankie Miller Hospitality Award

Dr. Frankie Miller
The award was established in honor of former CIC Dean Frankie Miller, who was dean when TTC opened the new 77,000-square-foot  Culinary Institute of Charleston facility on TTC's Main Campus. In presenting the award, Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Helen Hill expressed the bureau's deep appreciation of Dr. Miller's many contributions to the city's hospitality and tourism industry, including training the city's tour guides in the true spirit of Charleston's history. The 2014 award was presented to Hospitality and Tourism Management graduate Neida Borrero-Rivers. 

l-r: Neida Borrero-Rivers, Dr. Miller,
CAC&VB Director of Sales Suzanne Wallace,
and CAC&VB Chief Operating Officer 

Laurie Lynn Smith

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Graduates Luncheon 2014

Relish restaurant was the site of the 2014 Graduates Luncheon. Along with certificates and kudos for all of the hard-working attendees who completed their programs, there were two special awards presented for service to and support of the CIC above and beyond.
The Dean Frankie Miller Hospitality Award was presented to Neida Borrero-Rivers and the Chef William Stacks Memorial Culinary Award was presented to Ms. Johnnie Gibson. Congratulations to all!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chef Kevin Mitchell Participates in 2014 Minority Chef Summit In Nassau

CIC Chef Instructor Kevin Mitchell is pictured at the 2014 Minority Chef Summit, hosted and sponsored by the 2014 Summit Beneficiary Organization College of the Bahamas, an institution that aims to cultivate and develop more partnerships abroad, by increasing research and innovation activities, and work in areas crucial to national development. 
He gave a presentation on Lowcountry Cuisine and the Heritage of Gullah Cuisine - as seen in the photo holding up Charlotte Jenkin's Gullah Cuisine cookbook. (Chef Mitchell led the recipe testing for this book in CIC kitchens.) On the top right, Chef Mitchell is participating in a panel on "What Does Every Ethnic Cuisine Have in Common?" moderated by Colleen Vincent of the James Beard Foundation. He also led a panel on "Front of House to Kitchen Vibe" -  how to make the FOH/BOH bond stronger. The last photo is a group shot with the student attendees. 
This event is the brainchild of Chef Erika Davis and is the extension of the work she's done with her Culinary Wonders USA. Its goal is to "create a space where [chefs of color] can show solidarity amongst our colleagues, be positive role models to this next generation of hospitality professionals, and to pay homage to the legacy and heritage of our forefathers and mothers." 
Post and Courier food writer Hanna Raskin interviewed Chef Mitchell before he left. She wrote: "Exposing culinary students of color to the range of available restaurant opportunities is one of the overarching goals of the upcoming inaugural Minority Chef Summit. ... 'You can strive to be more than a line cook,' Mitchell says. 'There are African-American sommeliers, African-American cicerones.'" To read the complete story: 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Congrats to CIC Grad Andrea Lever Upchurch for Her Post and Courier Shout Out

CIC grad Andrea Lever Upchurch is the Executive Pastry Chef for the Hospitality Management Group, whose restaurants include Cypress, Blossom, and Magnolias. Her Tropical Baked Alaska just received a shout out in the Post and Courier Food Section column Sum of Its Parts. 

"The local inspiration for the dessert was a robust crop of kiwis, which flavor the ice cream between the cake layers. The cake is key lime chiffon, which freezes better than buttery pastry. The outer layer is Italian meringue, which is made with heated sugar syrup instead of dry sugar and flavored with Malibu rum. The toasted coconut atop the meringue adds crunch. To give the roasted pineapple a deep flavor that contrasts with the lightness of the cake, Upchurch soaks the fruit in Meyer's dark rum. The creme Anglaise dotting the plate also gets a hit of Malibu." 
We can't wait to get down to Cypress and try it!

Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor Kelly Wilson Gets Post and Courier Coverage

Reengineered Coconut Cake
In her Post and Courier coverage of the ACF Southeast Regional Conference, food writer and restaurant critic Hanna Raskin wrote: 
"Chocolate, the fallback dessert ingredient for many young chefs, doesn’t fare well in the Lowcountry. “It’s hot down here,” Kelly Wilson, an instructor at Trident Tech’s Culinary Institute of Charleston, this week explained during an American Culinary Federation regional conference session dedicated to regional pastry. “In terms of climate, that dictates what you can make and what you can store,” Wilson said.
"But Wilson urged her audience to think beyond chocolate for other reasons, too: While chocolate has a long central American history (and shorter European history), a bevy of other ingredients are more closely tied to the Native American, African, British and French cultures that are reflected in traditional Charleston foodways. Chefs who reflexively localize their savories sometimes forget about fortified wine, black walnuts, rice, sweet potatoes and coconuts when planning last courses, Wilson suggested."
For more: http://raskin.postandcourier.com/2014/04/30/putting-a-lowcountry-spin-on-dessert-plates/

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Scholarship Luncheon Photos Include Two CIC Donors

The Trident Technical College Foundation just posted photos from the 2014 Scholarship Luncheon on the Trident Technical College Alumni and Friends Facebook page   and we found these photos of two great CIC donors. Thanks to Linn Lesesne and Rick Widman, who generously give The Charming Inns and Circa 1886 Scholarship. CIC students benefiting from this scholarship are: Suzan J. Endicott, Kathleen M. Epperson, Eugenia F. Fields, Brittany N. Meyers, and Jeremy A. Young.

Monday, April 21, 2014

CIC Grad B. J. Dennis Hosts at Le Creuset

Le Creuset asked B.J. to host one of their L'Atelier cooking classes. (Chef Kevin Mitchell lending a hand.) Check out the menu!

Le Creuset's L’Atelier – the workshop – is a fully equipped demonstration kitchen designed by SieMatic and equipped with the highest quality Miele appliances.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two Special Awards Given at the 2014 Graduates Luncheon

Relish restaurant was the site this morning of the 2014 Graduates Luncheon. (See the CIC Facebook page for photos of all the smiling faces: CIC Facebook ) Along with certificates and kudos for all of the hard-working attendees who completed their programs, there were two special awards presented for service to and support of the CIC above and beyond.
The Dean Frankie Miller Hospitality Award was presented to Neida Borrero-Rivers and the Chef William Stacks Memorial Culinary Award was presented to Ms. Johnnie Gibson. Congratulations to all!