Advancing Pastry Know-How
Michelle Tampakis is a Senior Pastry Instructor at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She specializes in chocolate and has been a competitor in two of the Food Network’s Chocolate Challenges in July 2005 and October 2004
Chef Tampakis is the creator and Director of the Center for Advanced Pastry Studies (CAPS at ICE) program, which focuses on continuing education classes for pastry chefs. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Michelle has been a member of the Chocolate Manufacturers of America symposium discussions on Trends in the Chocolate Industry.
I recently met up with Chef Tampakis at the New York Fancy Food show to find out how the Center for Advanced Pastry Studies program at the Institute of Culinary Education has developed since its inception two years ago.
What made you want to start the Center for Advanced Pastry Studies (CAPS) at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE)?
Were there any challenges in setting up the program?
The cost of the chef and their travel expenses, along with materials and promotion of the class is too high to be doable with a small class size. It’s impossible to offer an affordable class fee without vendor support. We’d love to use every vendor’s products at the school, but for a school our size that would mean organizational chaos, so we use the supporting vendor’s products in the CAPS classes, along with the chef instructor’s recommended products. CAPS attendees get to work with products and ingredients they might otherwise not know about or have access to.
What has been the program’s biggest success?
What has been the program’s biggest “not success”?
What impact does CAPS have on ICE?
What does the future hold for CAPS at ICE?
ICE offers a 15% discount on CAPS classes to ICE alumni. Upcoming classes include: Viennoiseries with Cyril Hitz, Belgian Candy with Jean Pierre Wybauw, Experimental Cuisine with Will Goldfarb, Pastry Laboratory with Paul Edwards, and Plated Desserts with Joe Murphy. For more information, go to www.iceculinary.com.