Wednesday, March 19, 2008

CIC Photos from 2008 BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Garde Manger headed to the islands today for their practical exam on buffets!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chef Frank Lee of Slightly North of Broad Joins Students Today in the Production Kitchen

There were lucky students and happy diners today when Chefs Council member Chef Frank Lee joined Chef Instructor Scott Stefanelli and the students in the production kitchen.

Under the guidance of Chefs Lee and Stefanelli, students cooked Chef Lee's "Pan-Roasted Wild Striped Bass with Mushroom-Spinach Crepe, Asparagus, and Ginger-Carrot Emulsion" as the Special of the Day in the Mikasa Dining Room.

Prior to becoming Executive Chef/Partner of Maverick Southern Kitchens and Slightly North of Broad, Chef Lee was Sous Chef at Le Perroquet and Les Nomades Restaurants,Chicago, Sous Chef at Le Pavillion Restaurant, Washington, D.C., Sous Chef at Restaurant Million, Charleston, and Executive Chef Colony House Restaurant, Charleston.

The Chefs Council of the Culinary Institute of Charleston provides insight and vision for the Institute's programming and academic offerings.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

CIC Students Prepare Desserts for Chicago Chef Gale Gand to Serve at 2008 Food and Wine Festival

2008 Food and Wine Festival Celebrity Chefs Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace and Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club Come to CIC

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Wando High School Wins State ProStart Competition

The Wando High School Culinary Arts program won the State Championship for the second year in a row at the annual Hard Rock Park© ProStart Invitational cooking competition January 28-29, 2008 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Wando competed against 20 other South Carolina high schools in a competition requiring a 3 course meal cooked in one hour over two butane burners.
Team members from left to right are seniors Leila Schardt, Chelsea Wright, and Justin Edgar, and sophmore alternate Sullivan Johnston.

The team was mentored by Chef Robert Carter of the Peninsula Grill, who was named South Carolina’s ProStart© Mentor of the Year for 2008. Team coach Julian Buckner, C.C.E.E., C.C.E., was also named a ProStart teacher of Excellence by the National Restaurant Association, an honor bestowed on only 30 of the over 1600 ProStart teachers teaching 60,000 ProStart students.

Starter:Seared Shrimp and Scallop on a Luscious Grit Crouton with Chiffonnade of Spinach and a Red Pepper Vinaigrette

Entree: Carolina Black Grouper Wrapped in Parma Ham with an Onion-Arugula Slaw on a Morel - Sweet Potato Succotash and Tomato Butter Sauce

Cinnamon-Buttermilk Panna Cotta with a White Chocolate Crisp, Fresh Berries and a Blackberry Coulis

The format of the competition is in both Management and Culinary Arts. The Management competition involves case studies and a knowledge bowl. Charleston County’s Garrett Academy placed second.

Also during the Myrtle Beach competition, Coach’s Low Country Brands, a major sponsor of both state and national ProStart competitions, and BiLo held a separate competition with a recipe contest using LCB’s and Bi-Lo’s products. Both management and culinary teams were asked to submit recipes. Wando’s culinary team took first place and the management team took third place. Chelsea Wright and Leila Schardt were culinary winners. The winning members of the management team were Justin Edgar, Sullivan Johnston, Michael Friedrich, and Walter Ziegler.
The Wando High School team will represent South Carolina at the seventh annual National ProStart Invitational from April 24-26th, at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. In 2007, $1.3 million in scholarships were awarded to winning students.

The ProStart program career-building program was developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and is managed nationally by National Restaurant Association Solutions in conjunction with state restaurant associations. This partnership brings restaurant and foodservice operators, educators, and government officials together to coordinate the program in each state. The ProStart program is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. When students pass two national exams, complete a checklist of competencies, and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce. For more information on the ProStart program and National ProStart Invitational, please visit

Monday, March 3, 2008

Gale Gand's Recipe for Chocolate Cakes with Warm Macadamia Nut Goo and Chocolate Paint

The Culinary Institute of Charleston proudly sponsored Chef Gale Gand of Tru restaurant in Chicago at the 2008 BB&T Food + Wine Festival. Under the leadership of Chef Gand and CIC Adjunct Instructor, Chef Kelly Wilson, CIC students prepared her desserts for her demonstration and her presentation at the Bubbles & Sweets event - some 500 + servings!

About her desserts, Chef Gand says: "Hands down, this is the most popular chocolate dessert I’ve ever served. German chocolate cake – mild cake layered with coconut caramel – is a classic, but I always thought it could stand to be more intense, nuttier, and less sweet. So my then-assistant Martha and I developed a powerfully chocolatey cake batter with a dark chocolate edge. Then I toasted the coconut and added macadamia to the topping. Now it’s an extreme version of the original: velvety dark cake, with a warm sticky topping full of crunch and nuts. The way it all combines in your mouth is spectacular. You’ll be making a big sheet of cake, then cutting it out into rounds for individual servings. Don’t worry about what to do with the leftover chunks of cake; you’ll find plenty of takers. I substitute them for the bread in my favorite chocolate bread pudding recipe. You can freeze the chunks to use later, if you aren’t ready for another irresistible indulgence right away."

Chocolate Cakes with Warm Macadamia Nut Goo and Chocolate Paint
Makes 30 servings; can be halved
For the chocolate cake:
3 cups sugar
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 1/8 cups cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups very hot water
For the coconut macadamia nut goo:
1 ¼ cups sugar
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted

For the Chocolate Bergamot Paint
Yields: 2-3 cups
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
9 ounces semi sweet chocolate
½ cup light corn syrup
1 cup strong Earl Grey tea
You’ll need:
A large sheet pan with sides, about 13 x 17 inches
Parchment paper
A 1 1/2-inch (approximately) round biscuit or cookie cutter
Whisk and Pastry brush

For the cake:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your sheet pan (above) and line the bottom and sides with parchment or waxed paper.
Sift together the 3 cups sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Transfer to a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand mixer) and blend briefly.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Add to the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add the hot water, mixing at low speed just until combined. The batter will be quite thin.
Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay) and the center feels firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan. Chill, covered, until ready to cut the cake.

Meanwhile, make the caramel: Pour the 1 ¼ cups sugar into the center of a deep saucepan. Carefully pour the water around the walls of the pan, trying not to splash any sugar onto the walls. Do not stir. Gently draw your finger twice through the center of the sugar, making a cross, to moisten it. Over high heat, bring to a full boil and cook without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally to even out the color, until medium caramel in color, 5 to 10 minutes. Immediately turn off the heat and use a wooden spoon to slowly and carefully stir in the cream, as it will bubble up and may splatter. Stir in the macadamia and coconut. Keep warm till ready to use or rewarm when ready to use.
For the chocolate sauce: Melt the chocolates together over simmering water. Whisk in the corn syrup and tea all at once. It will look like it’s going to break; but keep whisking, it will come together. Keep warm till ready to paint or rewarm when ready to use.
To serve: Flip the cakes onto the back of a parchment-covered sheet pan and then peel the parchment off the side now facing up. Trim off the edges of the sheet pan and cut out rounds of the chilled cake with a biscuit or cookie cutter, 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter. If the cake seems to be sticking, dip your cutter in cocoa powder between cuts. brush a dessert plate with the chocolate sauce. Place a cake on each plate and drizzle with coconut macadamia nut goo.