Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pasión por el Café wins Gourmand Award

We are very happy and proud to announce that Pasión por el Café, written by IACP member Patricia McCausland, has won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for "Best Single Subject" in Latin America. The book will now be competing for the "Best in the World" Award. The results will be announced on April 7 in Beijing, China.

Patricia is of Colombian origin but moved to Panama seven years ago and is an active member of the Panamanian IACP group. She is passionate about coffee and travelled the coffee plantation regions of Colombia and Panama while conducting research for this book.

Her first book, Secrets of Colombian Cooking, was published in the United States after she met her agent during the 2002 IACP Conference in San Diego.

Congratulations Pachi!

Elena Hernandez
IACP International Committee Chair

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Back to the Future with Enrique Olvera

Leading Mexico City chef and restaurateur Enrique Olvera of Restaurante Pujol, has a rare talent for re-imagining traditional Mexican food, including delights mostly seen alongside streets and roadsides. His guides: the elements of flavor, texture, temperature, aroma, and color.

Together with Mexico's country coordinator Ruth Alegria, Olvera, 31, will show how to marry classic technique with an understanding of characteristic Mexican ingredientes to yield new and sublime results. His stunning re-interpretations -- drawing on his intimate knowledge of regional diversity -- are infusing new life to Mexico's cuisines.

Olvera graduated with honors from the Culinary Institue of America, Hyde Park in 1999, where he was awarded the Gold medal of the Societe Philantropique of New York; the M.K. Fisher Award for the best thesis of his generation and the Jacob Rosenthal Leadership Award.

Enrique Olvera and Ruth Alegria will present a cooking class entitled: "Mexican Cooking: Back to the Future", on Saturday April 15 at Kendall College in Chicago, IL, during our 29th IACP Annual Conference. The workshop has been sold out for a few weeks now.

The Global News blog was lucky to get a peek into the menu that will be presented. Those who signed up, are in for what looks like an exquisite selection of Mexican dishes, the 21st century style. Some of them are:
-Squash Blossom Capuccino- Coconut Milk foam and Nutmeg
-Esquites with Mayonnaise gelatine
-Striped Bass Ceviche, roasted Tomatoes
-Rack of Lamb with Chocolate crust, Black Beans and Mole sauce

In December of 2005 Enrique founded TEO (Taller Enrique Olvera), a creative workshop to promote gastronomical culture.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Creative Gastronomic Dialogues

Alimentary technicians, producers, institutional representatives, technology center directors, chemists and physicians, gastronomy opinion makers, feature writers and cooks, will meet in San Sebastian, Spain on March 12 and 13 to discuss three basic concepts:

1. Products, raw materials, environment, surroundings and culture.
2. Technology, techniques and science.
3. Visions, values and soul.

Among the speakers: Harold Mc Gee, Heston Blumenthal, Carlo Petrini, Joan Roca, Michel Bras.

The event is organized by Euro Toques Spain and will be transmitted to 100,000 people around the world through the internet. Log in at www.dialogosdecocina.com

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dianne Jacob

It's always exciting to receive e-mail from our members indicating that they are visiting this blog. This space was created by and for our membership, with the idea of showing the World who we are as an organization.

IACP is composed of 4,000 food professionals from 35 countries: from Malaysia to Argentina; from Spain to the United States. We are food writers, chefs, entrepreneurs, cooking school owners and teachers, food photographers and stylists, food scientists, culinary students, and more. We are unique in the sense that we represent different areas of the profession, different parts of the planet, united by one common denominator: food.

One of the greatest advantages of belonging to the IACP is to have access to continuing educational opportunities, not only in the specific area that we move in, but to extend our possibilities to other areas within our field.

The first book I read about food writing in English was Will Write for Food, by Dianne Jacob. I devoured the book in a week. Then I signed up for Dianne's workshop on writing last year at the IACP Conference in Seattle, but I was unable to attend at the last minute. So, when I learned that Dianne will be teaching a week-long class next summer on food writing in one of my favorite parts of the world, the South of France, I was very interested. How could I miss this unique opportunity to learn with one of the best food writing teachers around? Plus the cooking in this part of the country is so good: Cassoulet, Coq au Vin, Foie Gras...delicieux! je veux être là!

I set myself to find out more about Dianne's class. I found out it will take place from June 9-16 at a place called the Lot Valley. Dianne will teach about how food affects memory, place, and identity. You might write about cooking, meals around the family table, restaurants, travel, your mother’s kitchen or friendships - whatever inspires you. You will stroll around the local markets to get inspired by the people and the food, you will visit wineries and medieval villages. If you are already at work on a cookbook idea or writing a book, this workshop makes room to pursue your project.

I want to be there!

If you want to go (like me), please read the complete program and details by visiting Dianne's website here.

If you want to meet Dianne you might want to sign up for one of her two very interesting workshops during our Chicago Conference next April: Pizza, The Heart and Soul of Chicago and Eco-Gastronomy. For more information, click here. If you are not an IACP member and wish to attend our Conference this year, we are offering for the first time ever a special fee that includes a 6-month trial membership plus registration. Come to Chicago and celebrate the world of food with us!

And please keep those e-mails coming.

by Elena Hernandez
Chair, International Committe

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Homaru Cantu

Postmodern Cuisine in IACP's 29th Annual Conference
by Elena Hernandez
photo taken at Madrid Fusion 2006

One of the workshops that I am looking forward to attend during our upcoming Conference in Chicago is "A Savory and Sweet look into Postmodern Cuisine" on Thursday April 12.

The presenter in no other than world reknown chef Homaru Cantu, of Cantu Designs and Moto Restaurant in Chicago. He will be joined by Ben Roche, Moto's pastry chef.

But, who is Homaru Cantu, some of you may be asking yourselves? And what is all this business about "postmodern cuisine"? According to the Star Chefs website, "since opening Moto, Chef Homaro Cantu has attracted much attention with his interpretation of Postmodern Cuisine. While Postmodern Cuisine is in its infancy in America, it seems that many diners and critics weighing-in on this new style of cuisine still view it as the Wild West of whimsy. And this is true at Moto, because the sky is the limit as Cantu stretches known scientific and gastronomic boundaries.

Postmodern Cuisine, often times referred to as Avant-Garde cuisine, found its roots in Spain with Ferrán Adrià of El Bulli leading the evolution. With the exact definition of Postmodern Cuisine still open for interpretation, it is safe to describe this culinary movement as one that reacts against earlier modernist principles. It reintroduces traditional or classical elements, typically carrying modernist styles or practices to extremes. Or Chef Cantu simply describes it as, “The human race has been eating the same way for hundreds and hundreds of years. At Moto, we strip away the rules, stretch the imagination and entice guests with never-before seen dishes. It’s about being open-minded and having a lot of fun with food.” To read Homaru Cantu's biography and a list of his inventions, click here.

I had the chance to see chef Cantu in action last year at Madrid Fusion, and he blew everyone's mind off. Do NOT miss this workshop.

To tickle your curiosity about what his presentations are about, here is a video to watch.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Norway celebrates "The French Chef" anniversary

Oslo Reporting on a Julia Child Celebration
by Scott Givot

A lively group of Norwegians gathered this evening in tribute to the memory of a beloved icon of the culinary world and particularly for all she invested in IACP.

Ingrid Espelid Hovig, the equivalent to Julia Child in Norway and former recipient of IACP's Lifetime Achievement Award launched the evening with a Champagne toast, followed by playing an American Public Television documentary on Julia Child's visit to Norway. In the film, Ingrid meets Julia and recalls the days when she and her husband, Paul Child, lived in Oslo in post war 1950's. Ingrid has always humbled herself in the towering shadow of the US diva, however, Julia Child is known to many Norwegians as the Ingrid Espelid Hovig of the US.

I began my day in preparation of the evening meal on page 263 of Julia Child's classic, from Julia Child's Kitchen, a first edition numbered and signed by both Julia and Paul Child. There was just one twist. Instead of beef, I selected reindeer. Accompanying the French inspired stew was a root vegetable mash and more than one glass of aquavit with a good Norwegian Pilsner from the arctic region.

We recalled our various treasured memories and encounters with the late Julia Child, which took us on a journey around the world from Paris to Philadelphia and from Venice to San Antonio. Somehow I feel that in the spirit of creating great company, delicious food and appropriate grog, we have done this lady a great tribute, which she so surely has deserved. We salute our heroine. Skål! Long may her spirit wave in our hearts and minds!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hats Off to Julia - IACP celebrates anniversary of the "French Chef"

IACP members all over the world will be celebrating tomorrow the 44th anniversary of the first airing of Julia Child's successful cooking series, The French Chef. Local gatherings have been organized in the United States as well as New Zealand, Italy, and Norway.

Julia Child (August 15, 1912–August 13, 2004) was a famous American cook, author, and television personality who introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American mainstream through her many cookbooks and television programs. Her most famous works are the 1961 cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and, showcasing her sui generis television persona, the series The French Chef, which premiered on February 11th, 1963.

Julia Child was a founding member of IACP and the Culinary Trust.

Read more about the French Chef cooking show here.

Chef creates dishes and drinks using coca leaves

He says that if Coca-Cola can use them, then its use in the kitchen should be legal.

Peruvian born chef Gastón Acurio and a group of colleagues served an array of dishes prepared with coca leaves to President Alan García and his cabinet this past December. The menu included desserts made with coca leaf flour and “coca-sours”, a take-off of the symbolic peruvian cocktail, the pisco sour.

“It’s been almost 100 years since an American found in the coca leaf an opportunity to create one of the most famous brands in the World: Coca Cola”, said Acurio, who owns Astrid & Gastón restaurants in Perú, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico. “If we could find other legal uses for the coca leaf, it would be the beginning of a new era in the Andes”.

The fear that the drug cartels would benefit from an expanded legal coca leaf market to produce and sell more cocaine, drove the majority of the countries to ban international commerce of the leaf. A 1961 United Nations treaty stipulates that the governments could allow for the international commerce of the coca leaves as a flavor agent as long as the alkaloides, a base to make the drug cocaine, be eliminated. “This is the use that the Coca Cola Company gives the leaf”, cites Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography.

The coca leaf, a stimulant that has been chewed in the Andes since pre- Inca times, is legally consumed in tea and soft drinks in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Acurio, 39, said his dishes prove that the coca leaf could have a productive use that would help the poor Andean farmers expand their markets, a position backed up by the leaders of Peru and Bolivia.

When Fidel Castro turned 80 he received a cake prepared with coca leaf flour from Bolivian president Evo Morales. Last September, Morales brought with him to New York City a coca leaf, illegal in the United States, and held it up high during his message to the General Assembly at the UN.

“It is not possible that the coca leaf is legal to make Coca Cola and illegal for medicinal consumption in our country”, said Morales. Bolivia is the poorest country in South America.

Chef Acurio said that he would liket to serve "coca sours" in the restaurants he is planning to open this year in Madrid and San Francisco, he sustains that the potential benefits of the coca leaf are attractive.

“It’s a nutritional leaf with a delicious flavor that can be used to season shrimp, crabs, mollusks, almost anything that’s cooked in the kitchen.”, said Acurio. “It’s a product that could be served in the best restaurants and at the same time help the poorest farmers”.

Original Text in Spanish

Translation and Photo: Elena Hernandez

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Harry A. Bell Grants for Food Writers

The Culinary Trust Seeks Applicants for the
Harry A. Bell Grants for Food Writers
Applications now being accepted

Louisville, KY (January 10, 2007)—The Culinary Trust is offering grants for travel and research to food writers during the pre-contract phase of their book proposal. Applications are available and will be accepted until May 31, 2007.

The late Julia Child and Eva Haller established the grant program in 1999 as a memorial tribute to their friend, Harry A. Bell. He encouraged and appreciated serious culinary pursuits and was a mentor to many in the culinary profession.

A committee of culinary professionals will evaluate each application and the Trust will notify recipients by September 15, 2007. The amount of funding typically ranges from $3,000-$4,000, but can vary according to the applicant’s proposal and expense budget. Recipients have one year to use their research grant. Completed applications, supporting materials and a $10 processing fee are due May 31, 2007.

To request an application, or for more information, contact The Culinary Trust or visit their Web site at www.theculinarytrust.org

The Culinary Trust
ATT: Trina Gribbins
304 West Liberty Street, Suite 201
Louisville, Kentucky 40202-3068

Phone: (502) 581-9786 x264
Fax: (502) 589-3602
E-mail: tgribbins@hqtrs.com
Web: www.theculinarytrust.org

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Surfing through the net I found about Minimiam, a site where photographers Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle exhibit their creations surrounding a very peculiar food world, where its inhabitants are really tiny.
We can observe how each of these tiny characters perform special tasks such as on the above photo: taking away all the seeds before enjoying this delicious looking fruit.
It's also necessary to "cut the grass" and nothing better than using a lawnmower to remove it from the surface of a kiwi. If you're looking for a sports challenge, then the ideal setting is a Paris Brest (traditional french puff pastry ring), where sugar and sliced almonds will give the cyclists in the photo a hard time.
The mini soldiers try to maintain harmony for the rest of the tiny population by facing an army of snails that threatens to devastate their home.
Photographic art fusioned with food and a large dose of imagination results in this unusual album. Visit the Minimiam website for more interesting photography.

Source: Directo al Paladar
Original text in Spanish by: Vil Sid
Translated by Elena Hernandez

Friday, February 02, 2007

IACP Past President passes away

Sharon Tyler Herbst, author of "The Food Lover's Companion" and former IACP President, has died. According to the Associated Press, Tyler passed away on January 26 in her Bodega Bay home after a 3 1/2 year battle with ovarian cancer. The International Committee of IACP wishes to express its deepest condolences to her husband Ron Herbst and other members of her family.

Elena Hernandez
Chair, IACP International Committee

The following is a message written by IACP Board Director Scott Givot:

For a friend...

News of the passing of Sharon Tyler Herbst is as though an angel had flown over my head. I can still recall her sunny face and radiant spirit at the Seattle Conference last year. Her company had the same effect on me as it did on our first meeting long ago in Santa Fe. Because of this meeting with Sharon, I joined IACP in 1989, the same year she was President.

To know her has been a journey of delightful moments, strung like the pearls in a lifetime. She has been a mentor and introduced my lifeline to IACP, when I so desperately needed renewal of faith in my potential and ability. Her laugh was contagious, her humour sharp as a tack and loyalty to loved ones and friends as deep as can possibly be fathomed.

Most of all Sharon has shared her gift to embrace courage in the face of terminal illness and continue her path onward with lightness. She has been a remarkable woman and shared her knowledge along with her dear mate and husband, Ron through the many books she has created. I know that it was her longing wish to one day see the Northern Lights in the Arctic skies. Somehow when I look into the heavens tonite, I believe she is amongst them.

Scott Givot

Fallece Guillermo Rios - Guillermo Rios dies

Con sorpresa y tristeza recibimos la noticia del fallecimiento de Don Guillermo Ríos Gamboa miembro de IACP y fundador del Centro Culinario Ambrosía en México, sucedida el pasado mes de diciembre 2006.

Don Guillermo fue un personaje importante en la gastronomía mexicana, recordado por promover la educación culinaria y ser "un generoso innovador: constantemente buscaba maneras de impulsar a chefs, como hizo con Ricardo Muñoz, Enrique Farjeat (brazo derecho de Martha Ortiz Chapa, del restaurante Aguila y Sol) y Federico López", por mencionar algunos destacados. Para leer la noticia completa hacer click aquí.

Así lo recordamos, quienes tuvimos la oportunidad de conocerlo durante nuestras conferencias, siempre acompañado de sus colaboradores del Centro Culinario Ambrosia.

En nombre de la comunidad Internacional del IACP, extendemos nuestro más sentido pésame a su familia y colegas de trabajo por ésta irreparable pérdida.

Remembering fellow member Guillermo Rios 1950 -- 2006

Guillermo Rios the man whose life work in the Mexican culinary world took him from caterer to school director to magazine publisher, passed away in Mexico in December of 2006.

His commitment to promoting culinary education in Mexico led him to establish the Centro Culinario Ambrosia. The Centro provides a program that is a synthesis of traditional and contemporary techniques as well as practical experience at the student run restaurant Alkimia, a first in Mexico. Practice periods, known as stages, in renowned restaurants in México or Europe are also a must for every student.

Within this vision he helped create the competition Joven Chef Mexicano encouraging young chefs to interact, compete and be judged by leading Mexican chefs. The winners of the competition are then eligible for stages with Juan Mari Arzak or Ferran Adria. Apart from the opportunities afforded by this competition he also provided scholar-ship opportunities within Mexico and now through the Culinary Trust of IACP as well. His generosity in awarding scholarships makes a professional education possible for almost a third of the student body, or over a hundred young people a year.

Creator, director and guiding spirit of Grupo Ambrosia del Bosque which includes Ban-quetes Ambrosia, a major catering company with several facilities in México City, the Centro Culinario Ambrosia, the schools restaurant Alkimia, the magazines Gastronomica de México, Restaurantes, Gastronomía y Vinos, Alkimia, el Arte de Transformarse and Tu Boda as well as founder of the Concurso Nacional Joven Chef Mexicano and the student version, El Concurso Gastronómico Estudiantil, currently organizing its twelfth event. His many accomplishments were remembered by his colleagues Monica Patino, Federico Lopez, Patricia Quintana, and Carmen Ramirez Degollado among many others recently. Their words spoke of a passionate and dedicated visionary whose entrepreneurial endeavors were directed towards the recognition of Mexican chefs and Mexican cuisine in the world forum.

On behalf of the International Committee of IACP we extend our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

Elena Hernández
Chair, IACP International Committee
Ruth Alegria, Mexico Coordinator