Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Maymester Study Abroad in Italy

Italy Maymester Program Itinerary 2009
May 11
Departure Charleston. May 12 Arrival in Florence. Welcome dinner.
May 13 Orientation and presentation of the student assignments: Food Landscape of Italy -food writing and photography project. Visit to the internal part of the Duomo and Baptistry.
May 14 Visit to San Lorenzo fresh food market, Lecture on Food Writing I.
Lecture and Workshop – Introduction to Italian gastronomy and typical Italian products, rules and regulations for guaranteeing quality and tradition.
May 15 Visit to the Uffizi Gallery. Workshop - Food Photography I.
May 16 Day trip to Northern Italy in the Po Valley.
Parma – Guided tour of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese factory. Walking tour of the city center and lunch on own. Transfer to Modena to visit a traditional balsamic vinegar factory for tour and tastings, part of the Consorzio Produttori di Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena.
May 17 Lecture on Food Writing II, Lecture and Workshop – Regional cuisine, Tuscany and its summer specialties.
May 18 Visit the Accademia Gallery, Lecture on Food Photography II, Lecture and Workshop: Olive Oil in Tuscan Cuisine – the importance of olive oil in the Italian culture and diet.
May 19 Lecture and final review on food writing and photography project, Lecture and cooking class – Italian cuisine and the Mediterranean – Exploration of the Italian cuisine as a part of the Mediterranean culinary culture.
May 20 Lecture and workshop: The importance of pasta in Italian cuisine and the tradition of Italian meals including the preparation of fresh pasta. Lecture and workshop: Italian Baking and Pastry: breads of Tuscany and specialty breads.
May 21 Visit an organic school canteen, Lecture and Workshop: Foods for Therapy – Beyond Chocolate, followed by a chocolate workshop with the European Champion Chocolate/Pastry Chef Andrea Bianchini (with tasting), Lecture: Meal Planning and Meal Management in the Italian family followed by a real meal with Italian families. Students will be invited in small groups by Italian families to join them for dinner.
May 22 Free day to explore the city of Florence.
May 23 Field trip to Montepulciano and Pienza. The trip will include visit to the Tenuta di Salcheto vineyard with tasting of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. At the end of the day, the group will move to San Sepolcro to check into a countyside agriturismo.
May 24 After breakfast in agrituismo, students will visit the town of San Sepolcro. Dinner in agriturismo.
May 25 Free day in the country around the agriturismo. After lunch, return to Florence. Evening free.
May 26 Free day in Florence. Farewell dinner in evening.
May 27 Departure from Florence and arival in Charleston.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Reviews Are In on Sustainable Seafood Lowcountry Supper

On June 16th, the CIC and the Sustainable Seafood Initiative of the South Carolina Aquarium partnered to present a Lowcountry Seafood Supper featuring CIC chefs, guest chefs and culinary and hospitality students. The event took place at 181 Palmer. The menu and wines follow:
~ Passed Hors d’oeuvres created by Chef Stefanelli and CIC students ~Louis Bouillot Grande Reserve Cremant de Bourgogne
~ Blue Crab and Mascarpone Ravioli, Fava Beans, Spring Onion, Preserved Lemon,
Chef Scott Stefanelli ~ Rene Sparr 2007 Pinot Blanc
~ Seared Yellow fin Tuna, Yellow Gazpacho, Roasted Corn, Pickled Okra,
Chef Frank McMahon: Hank’s Seafood ~ J Wine 2007 Pinot Gris Russian River Valley
~ Sautéed Trigger Fish, Sweet Peas, Country Ham, Wood-Grilled Shrimp, Vidalia Onion Relish,
Chef James Clark: Waterscapes at the Marina Inn ~ Martin Ray 2007 Pinot Noir
~ Roasted Swordfish, Lobster Sauce, Heirloom Potatoes, Early Summer Vegetables,
Chef Robert Wysong: Kiawah ~ Bodegas de la Marquesa Valserrano Crianza Rioja
~ Fresh Blueberry Buckle with Local Peach Ice Cream, Chef Jeffrey Alexander
Guests at the event included Chef Bob Waggoner, who sent an email that the "Dinner was wonderful. Ya'll did fantastic!"
And author and former Post & Courier restaurant critic Holly Herrick, who wrote the review that follows in her blog at
Friday, June 19, 2009
Saving Fish While Sustaining the Soul
The Culinary Institute of Charleston, working in tandem with the South Carolina Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Initiative, culinary students, and a host of talented guest chefs, achieved a resounding missionary and culinary trifecta at the Sustainable Seafood Dinner held at 181 Palmer on the school's Palmer campus last Tuesday (June 16).
A fund-raiser extraordinaire, the goal was to raise funds and awareness for the aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Initiative, showcase the talents of the students and the chefs, and present an award-winning, five-course feast to the evening's guests. Served within the intimate, soothing space of the school's working classroom/restaurant, 181 Palmer, the event achieved all this and more.
Between courses, Megan Westmeyer, the aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SSI)Coordinator, provided informative and humorous anecdotes about the significant progress the initiative has made in improving the lives and longevity of the fish that populate our coastal waters. From improved long-line techniques and gentler and kinder lures that prevent wastless ensnarement (and murder) of the denizens of the deep to the chivalrous mating habits of male triggerfish, Westmeyer had the small crowd of 40 alternating between waves of laughter and hushed, appreciative enlightenment.
The menu showcased 100% sustainable fish, including blue crab, yellowfin tuna, triggerfish and swordfish and each course was paired with wine, every bottle retailing for $20 or less. Hank's Seafood Chef Frank McMahon's pink, seared slices of yellowfin tuna swam in a cool sea of sweet corn, tomatoes, tangy pickled okra and dill while Waterscapes at the Marina Inn (Grand Dunes) chef James Clark triggerfish went Lowcountry with the round, rich flavors of sweet peas, country ham, shrimp and Vidalia onion relish. Dessert came in the delightful form of a round scoop of fresh peach ice cream served on a crisp shortbread cookie with a blueberry buckle; a type of sophisticated spoon bread.
Students worked with the chefs to create the dinner, just as they do every day of the school year with chef Scott Stefanelli in the school's kitchen laboratory. One of Charleston's best kept restaurant secrets, 181 Palmer serves a three-course lunch ($15)throughout the year when school's in session, and everyone is invited. Just be sure to make a reservation. Stefanelli and his students infuse the food and the dining room with talent, skill and unbridled positive energy that's on par with any five-star restaurant anywhere in the world.
Culinary Institute of Charleston Palmer Campus 66 Columbus Street, downtown
For required reservations: (843) 820-5087, ext. 2

CIC Kids' Cooking Classes Going like Hot Cakes

June 19, The Post & Courier. "KIDS COOK UP A BATCH OF FUN"
"With Father's Day just around the corner, mothers around the Lowcountry are trying to find time in their busy schedules to prepare celebration dinners and cakes.
"Usually small hands are more a hindrance than a help, but children can be a huge help in the kitchen if they have the necessary skills. Trident Technical College's Culinary Institute of Charleston is offering cooking classes for children throughout the summer to teach everything from how to decorate a cake to how to make candy.
"'I think I've found my calling," said 11-year-old Hannah Luckie during the Down Home Southern Cooking class Thursday.
"There isn't a bored or pouting face in the bunch.
""I really like cooking, but I don't have enough time. I have things to do, other camps to go to," Gabrielle Strother said. Strother got a break from her busy 10-year-old's schedule to learn how to make traditional Southern favorites, such as pulled pork and coleslaw."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Meet CIC Student and Award-Winning Pit Master J.T. Handy

In Feb., 2009, CIC student and award-winning pit master J. T. Handy taught a Southern Barbecue Master class at the FELC Summit held at CIC's Palmer Campus. According to Mr. Troy Rosamond, Financial Director of *SUSTA, "Chef Randy Cheramie, an instructor at John Folse Culinary Institute in Thibodaux, Louisiana, attended this class. J.T. Handy did such an outstanding job that Randy returned to Thibodaux raving about this guy, saying 'we’ve got to get him for our barbecue session [for the SUSTA International Chefs Training Program].'" Mr. Rosamond had "extensive discussions with instructor George Kaslow of John Folse Culinary Institute and planned to bring on a guest barbecue chef for the program."
"The pieces," said Mr. Rosamond, "just fit together perfectly. Mr. Kaslow had preliminary discussions with Mr. Handy, found him intriging, and left it to me to contact him and make the arrangements for his participation. Everything just fell into place: the scheduling, his availability and willingness to participate, and Mr. Handy’s knowledge and ability."
Subsequently, J. T. went down to teach a class to a visiting group of chefs from India. "It went so well," said Mt. Rosamond, "that the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations has arranged for him to perform at their bi-annual conference and, I think, to tour a few of their establishments. This follow-up activity is not under the auspices of SUSTA.
"However, SUSTA will definitely work with him in the future. He has a standing guest spot in our chef training program, which is expected to last at least another three years when we plan to train chefs from three different regions of China: Year 1 – Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, Year 2 – Shanghai, Year 3 – Beijing. Also, if an opportunity arises, we will definitely utilize him in future trade promotions that may come up. We have also introduced J.T. to the marketing department of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, and he is likely to do some work with them in the future."
J.T. will indeed be going to India - for fifteen days in November to teach barbecue at three festivals in three different cities. Additionally, J. T. will be teaching one of his classes for the Level IV Prostart Conference at the CIC Palmer Campus in July. Congratulations, Tim! That's some success story!
See Tim in the SUSTA Newsletter at: http://www.susta.org/press/insight.html#chefs
*SUSTA is a non-profit regional organization consisting of the 15 Southern states and Puerto Rico. We work with the USDA and with our region’s Departments of Agriculture to implement USDA funded programs that benefit value added food companies throughout our region with the goal of increasing sales of southern U.S. agricultural products. We target companies that are defined as small business by the SBA guidelines (or cooperatives), whose branded products consist of >50% US agricultural content (excluding water). http://www.susta.org/
International Chefs Training Program
Since the summer of 2000, the John Folse Culinary Institute has served as a testament to how food can bring people together from around the globe.The institute serves as the home of an international training program that represents 15 southern states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Chefs come from as far away as India, Russia, Hungary, Mexico, Thailand, Canada and Croatia to participate in this two-week fellowship program sponsored jointly by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Southern United States Trade Association. After arriving, chefs attend lectures and hands-on demonstrations. The experience allows chefs to create dishes they’ve never attempted before, with the hope that they will promote Southern cooking when they return to their homeland. At the end of the week, participating chefs are asked to prepare their traditional dishes with southern U.S. ingredients. http://www.nicholls.edu/culinary/susta-international-chefs-training-program/

Monday, June 8, 2009

BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Presents Check to TTC Foundation

On June 4th, BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Chairman Laura Hewitt and Festival Director Angel Postell presented a check for $10,000.00 to the TTC Foundation for CIC Culinary Scholarships. Accepting the check on behalf of the Foundation and the CIC were (l-r) Kathleen Forbes, Foundation Director, Michael Saboe, CIC Dean, and Marion Sullivan, CIC Culinary Specialist and Festival Board Member. The CIC thanks the Festival for this generous donation!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

CIC Students and Faculty Recognized at Awards Day


(The Hospitality and Culinary Student Association - advisors: Chef Vagasky and Mr. Teehan)) brought home first place for Outstanding Student Organization.
Chef David Vagasky, HCSA Advisor, was named second runner-up for Outstanding Student Organization Advisor.
Cheryl Cote received awards for Academic Recognition and Outstanding Members of Student Organizations.
Renata Dos Santos received an Outstanding Student Organization Award.
Joe Branton received the State Credit Union Award.
Amy Campbell received the Merit Award for the Hospitality/Tourism division and Carla Walker received the Merit Award for the Culinary division.

Photo by James Connelly.

Monday, June 1, 2009

ACF Student Team Brings Home the Bronze!

Under the leadership of mentor Chef Ward Morgan, The Charleston ACF Student Team brought home a bronze from the Southeast Regional Competition.
Team members from left to right:
CIC Students Jonathan Kaldas, Jeremy Manley, Meri Spalviero, and Joe Branton (Captain), and Joe DiMaio (Arts Institute)Posted by Picasa