Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Farm to Plate Class Ends by Cooking Local

Members of Class 1 of Farm to Plate, r/l:
Renata Dos Santos, James Handy, Dereck Israel, Ami Whiteside, John Hicks, Thomas Jordan, Charles Valenza, Cole Poolaw and Chef Instructor Michael Carmel. Absent from the picture: Seth Purvin.
For their final exam, the class divided into groups of three and devised menus of appetizer, entree and dessert. All primary ingredients had to be locally grown, raised, or caught.

Judges awarded first place to the team of Handy, Dos Santos and Whiteside.

Special notice was given to the appetizer below from the team of Hicks, Poolaw and Valenza, which featured Wild American Shrimp.

Monday, October 13, 2008

CIC Premiers Taste of Charleston IRON CHEF!

Friday, October 10th - CIC inaugurated its new demonstration amphitheater kitchen at the Palmer Campus with a high-spirited Iron Chef competition. Chefs Aaron Deal of Tristan and Craig Deihl of Cypress clashed pots with Chefs Frank Lee of Slightly North of Broad and Charles Arena of The Boathouse on East Bay, cheered on by some 250 attendees and the playful patter of emcees Tom Crawford and Mickey Bakst.

CIC Donates Doggie Baking Class to Pet Helpers

On a sunny Saturday morning, CIC Chef Jeff Alexander led a group of friends in treat-filled class of baking for their dogs. CIC donated the class and lunch following it in 181 Palmer to Pet Helpers as an auction item for their annual Fur Ball. Guest celebrities - and dog lovers - Teresa Taylor, Food Editor of the Post & Courier, and Mitchell Crosby, of JMC Charleston, joined in the fun. The CIC Baking Club, under the leadership of Chef Bernd Gronert, whipped up a batch of puppie cupcakes for snacks.

Chef Lee Teaches Farm to Plate Class

Folowing a talk by Keegan-Filion Farms owner Marc Filion, Chef Frank Lee, of Slightly North of Broad, joined the Farm to Plate students in the kitchen to prepare the farms's pastured chicken.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chef Alexander Stars in Post & Courier Story

Chef Alexander's Artisan Bread class was featured in a story titled "The Art of Baking" by Post & Courier columnist Nathalie Dupree.

"There are 10 of us," writes Dupree, "including the instructor, Jeff Alexander, who have been standing next to the oven during the Artisan Baking Class. The hardest artisan bread to make is the French baguette. And, class after class, the students at Trident Tech's Culinary Institute of Charleston turn out at least three loaves of French baguettes each, totaling more than 50 each by the end of the term. Each student is eager to master all 50.

"Fifty is a magic number to chef Alexander, a graduate of Johnson & Wales when the culinary school was in Charleston, a passionate baker and unbelievably dedicated teacher.

"In addition to the French bread, the class had already rolled pita bread and formed it into rounds, watching it as it miraculously puffed in the oven. They had made pissaladiere (French pizza-type breads, these shaped into rectangles), covering them with salt and pepper, sauteed onions, garlic and the finest Nicoise olives.

"The finale is pizza, tossed in the air. "Think 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, 9 o'clock as you toss the dough between two hands, turning as you go," says Alexander. "That will keep it round." And it does."
Find the complete story, including CIC student Meri Spalviero's recipe for homemade pizza, at: