Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Hospitality and Culinary Student Association Site is now up and running on

Go to the HCSA Group page under Clubs and Organizations. If you have joined HCSA, you will have access to the Group Site. If you have not joined, you will need to click on Request to Join before you will be able to access the site.
The HCSA home page has a list of all the events upcoming for HCSA under Announcements. You can sign up to volunteer or participate in any of the Club’s events by clicking on the Event Announcement. At the bottom of the home page is the HCSA Semester Calendar. You can see the date & time for all semester activities, and you can click on each event in the calendar to get more information. Right now we are taking nominations for 2011 President and Vice President, volunteers for the Taste of Charleston and Iron Chef, and applications for the Farm to Plate field trip.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mr. Hallman and Chef Alexander Featured in Fall "Sizzle"

In the fall 2010 ACF magazine"Sizzle," an article on mentoring titled "Learning from Experience" features two CIC instructors, Hospitality Instructor Blake Hallman and Culinary Chef Instructor Jeff Alexander.
"According to Mr. Hallman, the whole idea of mentoring is to put somebody new with someone with experience. 'A smart person learns from another person's successes and failures. I think a mentor is responsible for making sure students recognize what will be required of them in the real world.'" ... '"We try to let students know what the industry is like and what to expect, and not just the skill set they need to learn in class,'" says Hallman. "I tell students 'I do not plan to train you to be a manager, but rather as a leader.'"
For quotes from Chef Alexander and other industry leaders, see:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beautiful lemon meringue tarts and raspberry cupcakes were just two of the divine items that were offered in today's Bake Sale. CIC Chef Instructor David Vagasky and his Retail Bakeshop class put these on weekly - and always sell out! For the Bake Sale schedule, see the "Coming Soon" column on the left.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chef Mitchell Works on Chef Brock's Team at The Charleston Wine + Food Festival's Ultimate Critics Dinner

According to Charleston Magazine's Social Columnist, Reese Moore: "Gourmands who attended the Ultimate Critics Dinner at the Cottages on the Charleston Harbor truly experienced a night to remember. The event featured capanés and a five-course tasting menu prepared by seven local chefs, selected by Charleston food critics as the best culinarians of 2010, and was hosted by Mickey Bakst of the Charleston Grill." The event raised almost $20,000 for the Festival's 2011 charity, Lowcountry Local First.
For more, go to:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CIC Grad Renata Dos Santos Introduces Charleston's Newest Underground Dining Experience: L.I.M.E.

As featured in the e-newsletter "Charlie,"L.I.M.E. stands for Local. Impromptu. Moveable. Evening.
"L.I.M.E. is the new top-secret, upscale traveling foodie event in Charleston
, brought to you one Saturday per month. It will generally be all-inclusive (including tax, gratuity and a charitable donation), and feature a sommelier or mixologist handling pairings for each course. The first L.I.M.E., for instance, is featuring a mixologist who hinted at a strawberry infused Grand Marnier that she’s pairing with a dessert course.
"The concept comes to us from Chef Renata Dos Santos, a recent Culinary Institute of Charleston grad, who has garnered a ton of praise and recognition so early in her career. She hails from Trinidad, where liming is a way of life and she’s incredibly excited to bring it to Charleston.
"One of the neatest things Dos Santos will be doing is selecting Culinary Institute grads as the featured chefs. You’ll get young Sean Brocks, young Frank Lees…an experience you can’t get in any restaurant. Sometimes these young chefs will be paired with our local rockstars, but not always. So, in all of your indulgence and delight, you’re also helping bring exposure and learning to the young talents of tomorrow. " For the rest of the story, see:
The first installment of L.I.M.E. is Saturday, Sept. 18 at 5pm. Chef: Renata Dos Santos. Cost: $125. Beneficiary: Simply Divine Garden. Tickets:

Friday, September 3, 2010

CIC Grad Ellis Grossman Opens Black Bean Co. Restaurant

The Black Bean Co. occupies an attractive new space at 116 Spring St. just west of Rutledge. Grossman describes it an an "energy food restaurant where what you get will fuel you for the day!"
Susan Cohen of The Charleston City Paper says that "the menu is broken down into several categories, our favorite being the 'Good for the Soul' section with items like the Spring Street (chicken or turkey with hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh tzatziki, and sprouts). Thanksgiving Joy also has a certain appeal with its combination of turkey, mixed greens, cranberry dressing, sprouts, and fresh mozzarella. Vegans get their own section with eight wraps that range from the Ginger Palmetto (heart of palm, mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, carrots, banana pepper, and tofu) to the Festival Wrap (black beans, jasmine rice, zucchini, squash, and avocado). Grossman also has plenty of salads to choose from and a handful of intriguing specialties of the house: fresh spring rolls, California roll, gazpacho, wheat grass shots, ginger mint lemonade, and pasta salad."

The Black Bean Co. serves breakfast from 8-11 a.m., with coffee, espresso, cappuccino,yogurt, berries, muffins. Munchies include biscotti and tasty vegan cookies. It is open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. seven days a week. Black Bean delivers. The menu is online at 843.277.0990. The restaurant participates in the CHAMP dining card program.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Visit CIC Grad Kristy Holdgate at Charleston's Macaroon Boutique

Macaroon Boutique woos the Holy City with authentic Parisian pastries
Charleston Magazine - September 2010: by Holly Herrick
"If forced to select one food that personifies Paris, for me it would have to be the pastel bubble of deliciousness known as a macaroon. So when Macaroon Boutique opened this April, it easily became Charleston’s most authentic taste of the City of Light.
"You can’t help but be happy inside the petite shop run by Fabienne B. Rizzo and her husband, Fabrice, a Paris native whose resume includes study at Relais Desserts International and stints as executive pastry chef at New York City’s Tabla and Les Halles.
"Alongside croissants, pain au chocolat, Pithiviers, chocolate fleur de sel cookies, and baguettes, the glass cases boast lovely macaroons. They’re everything the treats should be, with a crunchy exterior yielding to a smooth-as-butter interior and a creamy, flavorful filling.
“'Making macaroons is not hard,” Fabrice says humbly. He’s wrong. I’ve made them, and I’ve made them with one of Paris’ most decorated chefs. Yet his are the best I’ve ever had. “The key to perfect pastry is to do it all by hand and use only the best ingredients,” Fabrice says. He does just that every morning with the help of Kristy [Holdgate], a Trident Tech graduate who pipes out the tricky meringue batter like a pro."
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