IICA GETS AWARDED THE BEST INSTITUTE FOR CULINARY ARTS
We are extremely proud to share with you the various recognition's & achievements that our faculty and students get. It is due to the hard work and extreme dedication with which our founder Chairman, Mr. Virender S Datta has lead the institute to great heights and we will continue to do so for years to come.
New Delhi 25th February 2014, IICA Announced its' latest achievement of becoming the first ever institute in the country to achieve WACS recognition of Quality Culinary Education award. As a part of our continuing development and commitment to global culinary education and training, IICA's culinary programs exceeded the "12 WACS Standards of Quality Culinary Education".
It was an amazing after for all the food lovers..... IICA students hosted a lunch for some of the most eminent food bloggers in New Delhi, we are proud to share all there reviews that were posted on there respected blogs.
Blog Review #1
Food Bloggers Name: Aishwarya
Link to actual website: http://www.aishwaryaeats.com/
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Have you ever followed any dream? Any dream? A dream of swimming one full lap. Of getting a 20 on 20 in maths. Of determinedly making that dish that you forever screw up, one way or the other. Of having a perfect relationship. Of finally learning everything about that one passion that you were forever putting off, in favour of a more stable job, or "when do I have the time?" or "I'm too old for this now."
We at the Bloggers' Table, were invited to International Institution of Culinary Arts, Delhi, to sample what following a dream can be like. A bunch of talented culinary students, under the guidance of so many talented chefs, cooked for us and served us Food of the Escoffier Era. That sounds too awesome for me to even process. To say it one line: some of the best food I've had, from one of the sweetest hosts. So worth it.
A little about IICA here. As a lay person, what I liked the best about IICA, associated with the Indian Culinary Forum, is that there is no age limit. See that's what. That's what passion is all about. Founded by The accomplished Chef VS Datta of Oberoi Sheraton Hotels, ITC Hotels, Fortune Park Hotels, individual courses are accredited by Edexcel and City & Guilds. Some of the awesome courses on offer are Hotel Management, Culinary Arts. And courses for Hobby chefs in international cuisine, chocolate making and patisserie!
Sid, Charis, Mukta, Tanya, Himanshu and I took a tour of the campus, peeked into the kitchens and saw our meal being prepared. Ample stomach rumblings ensued. We were greeted by the chefs at a beautifully set table with cold lemonade. Look, when a set menu greets us, and tells us what delicious awesomeness awaits us, it makes me happy. Not to mention hungry in anticipation. We started with house baked breads rolls, lavash and focaccia and pats of herbed butters.
For La Salade, Salade Nicoise: quarters of boiled eggs and potatoes, chunks of tuna, fresh tomatoes, blanched green beans and a dollop of anchovies, dressed in a French vinaigrette on a bed of green and purple lettuce. The beans were crunchy, the vinaigrette light, the tuna solid and the anchovies- a solid hit of that salty fish got me on the way to an appetizing start!
We followed it up with a Soupe a l' Oignon, which was an onion soup, garnished with a gratinated baguette topped with Gruyere. Arjun Datta, the COO of IICA informed us that replacing the beef broth of the onion soup was a more considerate chicken broth. As appreciative as we were about that, I think the chicken broth lightened the soup, where it should be creamy and rich. I feel the baguette slice was also soaked for too long in the soup; it had becomes bloated and almost disintegrated, not having been held together with enough cheese.
For our entree, we had the famed Sole Meuniere. Fillet of sole dredged in milk and flour, pan fried in butter, served with wilted spinach and a lemon butter sauce. It was, to say it in one word, the highlight of the meal. The fish was butter soft, yet firm. The flouring was just there, not forming a bread pakora like layer, yet there. The wilted spinach still had the green taste there, yet was not grassy. There was a beautiful wedge of lemon on the side, and a slice of a black olive hanging on to a tiny little horn from the lemon peel. Adorable and so so SO delicious.
For the main course, or Le Plat Principal, there was Poulet Saute Chasseur. This was hunter style butterflied chicken with a bundle of vegetables and chateau potatoes and a hearty mushroom sauce. I got my favourite portions, a leg and a thigh. There's something about that portion that is so soft and melty, layers and layers of dark meat that has more flavour than the rest of the chicken combined! On this too, the flouring was fabulous, just melded together with the crispy skin. The chicken was tender and easily maneuverable with a regular fork and knife, which is saying something, since it was bone-in. (I was in absolute chicken heaven at this point). Yellow zucchini, cauliflower and carrots were bundled like a yakhni. The high point? The potatoes. The outside was crispy, and the inside was like starchy buttery clouds. It was so fluffy, I don't even have words to describe it. Me being me, I layered with herbed butters and noshed it down. Worth it.
By this time, we were seriously full, but not heavy. This was debunking French food myths! Anyway, we were then served our dessert, a cold and dewy Mangue Romanoff. A cross between a trifle and a Dilli-wala fruit cream, it had chunks of sweet mango and quenelles of mango gelee swimming in lighter than air cream. This, was summer in a bowl. Everyone looked at peace again, simply because it was heavenly. Heavenly heavenly heavenly.
And here's the catch. It was topped with two beautiful pieces of caramel. One was a long thin, VERY DELICATE stick of caramel, ascending vertically from a round shell of caramel. The other was a crispy, rather prickly nest of caramel strands. We witnessed the creation of both, and safe to say, creation of this requires a lot of hand control, control over caramel consistency and so much courage. And patience. Take a look!
Our dessert goblets were licked clean, honestly. We were served tea or coffee, with the cutest petit fours I've seen. Tiny slices of cheesecake, garnished with three different grapes. They didn't taste much different to me. Even though I wanted to chomp up more of those, I just didn't have tummy real estate left anymore.
This entire course was cooked and served by the first years students of IICA, who are just four months in. Safe to say, and I know I speak for everyone else in our group, that this was one of the most worth-it Bloggers' Tables we've had.
Follow your dreams, those are some of the few things that belong solely to you, and we must let our dreams get the better of us. Make a bucket list. Aim on completing them. One by one. One satisfied smile at a time.
'Til the next time!
May 22, 2013 § 4 Comments
The Indian food industry scene is changing at a supersonic speed. People are getting more and more opened to international flavors and home cooks are stirring storm in their kitchens. Now fathers don’t mind their sons dreaming about being a future chef. And mothers love to get more and more experimental with serving Thai, Burmese and Italian on their everyday dinner tables. Much thanks to globalization and people travelling more frequently to far overseas locations and getting accustomed to acquired tastes of foreign lands. There’s a high probability you would find an average Indian homemaker hooked to Masterchef Australia than the Indian version on television. Internet has also opened up the vast avenues to learning new techniques and methods to classic dishes.
We are the nation producing largest number of doctors and engineers in an year and hence we have a sound academic infrastructure to support that. But now when more and more of future generations are showing their proclivity to a culinary career than to opt for the traditional courses, the question which strikes back us is “Do we have good culinary institutes with similar, if not better faculties?”
Of course, people can get admission in foreign culinary institutes and gain excellent education and skills required. But truly speaking, how many of us can afford to get a giant hole of foreign exchange in our pockets? So, the need of the hour is to have opened up more and more culinary institutes locally, but not by compromising the quality of education.
Blogger’s Table, few days back got a chance to have visited this not so old yet renowned culinary institute, International Institute of Culinary Arts, in capital. The purpose of the visit was primarily to apprise of the kind of education, faculty, infrastructure. IICA was founded by Chef Virender S. Datta who has over 40 years of versatile experience in Hotels & Hospitality Industry, including that of Executive Chef-Oberoi Sheraton Hotels, General Manager & Vice President Operations of ITC Hotels, Founder President , Fortune Park Hotels by Welcomgroup. The institute offers a variety of courses accredited by Edexcel and City & Guilds, including Hotel Management, Culinary Arts. And there are courses for Hobby chefs in international cuisine, chocolate making and patisserie as well. And guess what, IICA doesn’t have any age limit, unlike many other culinary institutes in country. Isn’t it something really motivating?
We got to taste some of the authentic french delicacies prepared by their first year students. And I tell you, it was one of the most honest and delish food which was served that afternoon. It speaks for the kind of skills and talent the faculty has over there, that students who’ve just been for four months in the course could manage to pull up these dishes. Yes, you read it right, just four months! Amazing, isn’t it? Look at it yourself! And don’t miss those nice plating skills.
Blog Review #3
Food Bloggers Name: Charis
Actual Website: http://culinarystorm.com/
May 29, 2013 by culinarystorm
We were invited to sample a 5-course French meal prepared by the 1st year students of the institute.
The institute was started in 2005 by Mr V.S Dutta with a vision “to become India’s finest culinary institute delivering international standards of culinary education and training chefs for tomorrow.”
Before the lunch we were given a tour.
We saw some fantastic sugar work action (we even learnt a trick or two).
We were then seated at an elegant, tastefully set table with refreshing bright-yellow lemon drinks. I must add that there was some very romantic French instrumental music in the background that did its part in mentally transporting us.
The first course was the very classic Salad Nicoise. This is a salad I’ve eaten in several places across the city and I have to say this is the best rendition of it I have tasted. Not only did it include all the right elements (right down to potatoes, capers, and anchovy paste), but it was also plated in a simple way that made it look just beautiful. I could go on about the mix of textures and flavours in this dish (the meatiness of the tuna, the creaminess of the egg, the sharpness of the olives, the fishy-ness of the anchovies, the crunchiness of the beans) but it will suffice to say I absolutely loved it. (I still have dreams about that wonderful anchovy paste.)
The second course was Soupe a l’Oignon or French onion soup. The soup was mild and not onion-y enough in my opinion. Traditionally it is made with beef stock which lends it a stronger base flavour, but here it was made with chicken stock which is obviously weaker. The Gruyere-covered baguette could have done with a little more bubbling cheese.
There was an assortment of freshly baked bread and herbed butter at the table, which we were constantly nibbling at. Can someone please tell me how, just how, breadsticks are so awesome?
The third course was Sole Meuniere. The fish was cooked to perfection – moist and covered with a very light lemon-butter sauce. It came seated on a bed of delicious sauteed spinach, accompanied by a posh lady lemon wedge who looked like she was carrying an olive hand-bag! No, seriously! Look
The fourth course was Poulet Saute Chasseur or Hunter style chicken. Crispy skinned chicken, covered in a rich brown sauce, served with a steamed vegetables and some divinely buttery baby chateau potatoes.
The fifth and final course was my favourite. Yes, yes, it was the dessert course – a stunning Mango Romanoff. A chilled cream and sweet mango marriage, topped with a crisp sugar-work web. Inside there was also a thick mango puree (not too sweet) which added even more flavour. We all devoured this dessert like it was the end of the world. And believe me, I’d do it again.
Post this wonderful, wonderful lunch it was time to meet the very talented students and the teacher-chefs while we snacked on some petit fours with tea.
If you’re someone who’s been thinking about taking a cooking course or want to study the art, this seems like a wonderful place to do it. The teachers are inspired and fun, and the stuff you learn is bound to be delicious!
I’m tempted to do it myself!
Here’s the very happy bunch of us. Thank you to all the students and staff at IICA for making it a truly memorable French afternoon.