In a new video from ICE and Direct Eats, Chef James Distefano, former executive pastry chef of the acclaimed Rouge Tomate, delves into baking with alternative butters. First, he shares the recipe for a mouth-watering maple butter crepe cake. Then, he shows us how to whip up blondies made with cashew butter, with an added touch of yum from chocolate chips and salted cashew brittle — delicious and (sorta’) nutritious. Finally, for those of you with peanut allergies, Chef James has a new best friend for you — sunflower butter, a great alternative for recipes calling for peanut butter. He uses sunflower butter to bake his sunflower seed financiers, a light, airy and peanut-free sponge-cake with just a hint of vanilla. Grab a whisk and check out this inventive butter exploration, then scroll down for the complete recipes.

Butter ExplorationKeep reading to watch the videos and get the recipes. 


By ICE Staff


What would the world look like if we produced no food waste? How would our daily practices be affected? Could we make a significant impact on our communities? Is such a world feasible? The Zero Waste Food conference — a conference presented by ICE and The New School featuring industry leaders and visionaries like Massimo Bottura — will tackle these questions and more.

Zero Waste Food conference

Keep reading to learn about the conference and how to register today. 


By John Ragan — USHG Senior Director of Operations and Master Sommelier 


John Ragan MS teaches Understanding Winea 10-week, in-depth course developed in collaboration between ICE and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). As USHG’s senior director of operations and master sommelier, John works with each of USHG’s restaurants to evolve their exceptional wine programs. 


We’ve all been there: You’re sitting down to a high-stakes dinner — maybe you’re meeting the in-laws, closing a deal or just trying to make a really good first impression — and someone hands you the wine menu. Ordering wine in a restaurant can feel a little intimidating, especially if you’re making decisions for a group. But with a few key tips and guidelines under your belt, ordering a great, versatile bottle with outstanding value can be a breeze.

John Ragan headshot


Order wine with confidence. Keep reading to get all of John’s tips. 


This is the third part of a three-part Valentine’s Day menu. Get the first course here and the second course here!


By Robert Ramsey — Director of Advanced Culinary Center


Round out your vegetarian Valentine’s Day with this savory main course. The presentation is beautiful and it’s actually a lot simpler than it looks to create. Plus, the rich buttery crust and truffle-infused mushroom duxelles scream decadence and luxury. If any of the mushrooms are unavailable, you can substitute any type of fresh mushrooms that are available.

Mushroom Tart

Keep reading to get the recipe for this delish, savory dish. 


Interview by Carly Evans


Inspiration can happen at any moment. For Scott Green, Executive Pastry Chef at The Langham Hotel Chicago and one of Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs of 2016, his life-changing moment of inspiration occurred back when he was a student with a scholarship to study fine arts in Chicago, while watching a pastry documentary. Shortly after, he switched from fine arts to pastry arts and never looked back. As Chef Scott explains, “One moment of inspiration propelled me along a path as a pastry professional that has spanned more than fifteen years and taken me around the world.”


ICE is pleased to host Chef Scott in an upcoming course at our Center for Advanced Pastry Studies (CAPS): Project Design for Award-Winning Chocolate Desserts. In this hands-on workshop, Chef Scott will share his unique method of planning a project, working on time schedules, developing flavors and testing designs. Those in attendance will have the chance to work with him on world-class chocolate dessert productions using Guittard Chocolates. 

Chef Scott Green

In anticipation of this exclusive ICE workshop, we chatted with Chef Scott about his craft, the next culinary destination and his advice for pastry students.

Keep reading to get the full interview with Chef Scott and to sign up for his upcoming course at ICE. 


In a new video from ICE and PEOPLE magazine, ICE Chef Jenny McCoy shares the secret to impressing your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day (hint: it’s CHOCOLATE).


Chef Jenny layers her ultra-rich chocolate cake — with an extra dose of delicious from the addition of espresso — with piles of velvety Nutella-mascarpone frosting and adds an exciting crunch from chopped hazelnuts. What’s more; though it looks and tastes impressive, this simple recipe requires minimal ingredients and no stand mixer or fancy tools — who needs the extra stress on the big day? Trust us: it’ll be love at first bite. Watch Chef Jenny demonstrate how to create the cake in the video below — then keep scrolling for the full recipe and her pro tips for whipping it up at home.

ICE + People Valentine's Day cake

Keep reading to watch the video and get the recipe for this decadent cake! 

By James Distefano – Chef Instructor, School of Baking & Pastry Arts


When I was the executive pastry chef at the original Rouge Tomate, my job was to incorporate more fruits and alternative grains into my baking while cutting back on the refined sugar and flours. I saw this directive as a positive challenge — one in which I could expand both my knowledge of ingredients and also my palette.

My medjool date sticky toffee pudding is a great example of this. It combines sweet medjool dates with whole wheat and buckwheat flours.

sticky toffee pudding

Keep reading to get the recipe for this (naturally) sweet treat! 


What drives you? How do you reach people? When you make your mark on the world, what will it look like? What’s your culinary voice? With the 2017 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Challenge in full swing, we turned to the judges, ICE’s industry-leading chefs and instructors, and posed them that same question. Here’s a look at their answers.

Culinary Voice ICE Instructors

Entries and voting are open! Click here to enter or vote for your favorite video. 


This is the second part of a three-part Valentine’s Day menu. Get the first dish here! 


By Robert Ramsey — Director of Advanced Culinary Center


Figs and honey have long been considered aphrodisiacs by cultures the world over, so we’ll use both in this sweet and savory combination. Figs were supposedly the favorite fruit of Cleopatra and honey was prescribed by Hippocrates to boost libido. In short, this is the perfect Valentine’s Day appetizer, regardless of whether you stick to a vegetarian diet or not.

Fig toasts with ricotta

Keep reading to learn how to make these tasty toasts. 

Whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or the Falcons, there’s at least one thing we can all agree on: Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect day for watching football eating chicken wings. To help you score a tastier-than-ever Super Bowl spread, Chef James Briscione is sharing his secret to the ultimate make-at-home chicken wings. With a healthy dose of brining and a simple, delicious sauce, these wings will make even your non-enthusiast friends excited about football.

By James Briscione — Director of Culinary Development

Brined Chicken Wings

Keep reading to get the recipe for these flavorful, game day wings.