Celebrating its fifth year in 2013, the two-day weekend culinary master classes provide participants with the opportunity to learn from celebrated chefs, that begins with breakfast, includes lunch with renowned industry speakers, and caps off each day with a cocktail reception where students have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the chefs and compare notes with new and old friends.
Having attended The New York Culinary Experience in 2012, we were familiar with the drill, and we were eager to begin. As there were eight morning classes and eight afternoon classes, from which to select, we decided to divide and conquer to maximize our learning experience.
A passionate and dedicated bread-making dynamo ever since taking a bread class with Baker Mark Fiorentino during The New York Culinary Experience in 2012, Edward decided to continue to perfect his bread skills by taking a morning "Brioche" class with Baker Peter Endriss, co-owner and head baker of Runner & Stone Bakery and Restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.
Edward Nesta and Baker Peter Endriss
For 3 hours and 15 minutes, Baker Peter Endriss put the class through their paces teaching them not only bread making basics, but how to create decorative breads and rolls as well. By the end of the class, students had made brioche, pain au lait, braided rolls, breads filled with chocolate, and breads studded with nuts, cinnamon, and raisins. In addition to taking home recipes and skills from the class, students also had the opportunity to take their breads home with them.
Proud Baker Edward
With thoughts of warm weather, Debra selected "Celebrating Strawberries" with Pastry Chef Mindy Segal, chef-owner of the restaurant, Hot Chocolate, in Chicago, Illinois who won a James Beard Award in 2012 for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Working alongside Pastry Chef Mindy Segal students learned to make Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies, Strawberry Consommé with Poached Rhubarb and Buffalo Milk Ricotta Cheesecake and Oat Streusel during our allotted 2 hours and 15 minutes time slot.
Pastry Chef Mindy Segal
The New York Culinary Experience attracts a wide age range of its students from those making their first foray to a kitchen to professional chefs looking to increase their experience cooking with one of their favorite chefs. It is a culinary celebration, an opportunity for couples, families, parents and their children, and friends to share the experience as they learn technique and style from master chefs.
Debra Argen, Chef Alain De Coster, and Edward Nesta
Many students return year after year, adding to their entourage by bringing new participants. Pastry Chef Mindy Segal's class had many returning students that included mothers and daughters in the class sharing the experience, many of whom Debra had cooked with at the 2012 experience, the youngest student, Molly Schwartzberg, age 10, who took the class with her mother, and despite her age was focused and determined, perhaps a future chef in the making.
Student Molly and Pastry Chef Mindy Segal
In the afternoon, Edward took a class with Chef Harold Moore of Commerce Restaurant in New York City, where the class learned to make dinner rolls, as well as roast chicken with stuffing, potato puree, and market vegetables, comfort food at its best.
Edward Nesta and Chef Harold Moore
Debra took a class with Pastry Chef Laurie Jon Moran of the three-Michelin starred Le Bernardin in New York City, entitled Soufflés (are) Not as Scary as You Think. Over the course of 2 hours and 15 minutes, Chef instructed the class on how to make delectable savory as well as sweet soufflés that included a tempting Roquefort Cheese Soufflé, a delicate Grand Mariner Soufflé, and an intensely decadent Passion Fruit Soufflé.
Chef Laurie Jon Moran and Debra Argen
Taking the soufflés out of the oven, gloriously puffed to perfection, you could hear a collective sigh of appreciation as the class dipped their spoons into their creations and tasted the delicious results.
Chef Laurie Jon Moran and ICC Instructor
Although they might appear difficult to make, or a bit temperamental, chef instructed that if you have the right recipe, and follow the instructions, soufflés are perfect to serve for a dinner party, as they can be prepped and left to rest for up to 90 minutes prior to baking. Prepared ahead of your guests' arrival, then baked for 8 minutes and served immediately thereafter, soufflés can be wonderful as a savory starter or as the grand finale to your dinner party.
Chefs Chatting at Cocktail Reception
At the end of the day, we attended the cocktail reception where we toasted the chefs who patiently guided us through their recipes, to our success at mastering new techniques, and to our fellow students who shared this wonderful day with us. The New York Culinary Experience once again exceeded our expectations with the quality of the chefs and the diversity of courses, as well as the state-of-the-art facilities at The International Culinary Center.
Gillian Duffy, Chef Harold Moore, Chef Naomi Pomeroy
We cannot wait to see the class listing for The New York Culinary Experience 2014!
Read about the individual classes in the Gastronomy section and interviews and recipes from the chefs in the Chefs' Recipes section.
Stephanie Fray, Gillian Duffy, and Soma
Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook to listen to interviews with the chefs and see more photos from the event. www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience