By now, we’re all familiar with the local food movement, but how much do you know about food waste? It’s incredible to consider that the average American family throws out $1,500 worth of groceries a year. While that may be horrible news for the environment, those of us in the restaurant industry also know that wasting food is literally throwing money in the trash.
By the time you factor in staff salaries, monthly rent and the various other costs of running a business, restaurant owners are looking at a very small profit margin. That’s why, at ICE, we teach all our students the value of using every bit of their ingredients—from making stock with discarded bones to dehydrating tomato skins to make potent flavor powders.
This Thanksgiving, I’ve developed two simple food waste-focused recipes that make the most of the scraps from your apple pies and sweet potato casseroles. I hope this inspires you to research more ways to make the most of all your ingredients, and most importantly, helps you have an even happier Thanksgiving!
Read on for Chef Jenny’s apple butter and baked sweet potato skin recipes.
Wondering how to choose which culinary school to attend? It’s a personal, professional and financial decision that only you can make for yourself. That said, at our brand new facility in New York City, we’ve got eight enticing reasons why ICE should be on the top of your list.
From state-of-the-art kitchens to a global curriculum designed to take you anywhere in the industry—not to mention the world—ICE is truly one of the most innovative, creative culinary schools in the industry. It’s no surprise that more than 11,000 students have chosen ICE as the place to start their culinary careers.
Click here to learn how ICE can help you find your culinary voice.
Over the past 10 years, the number of bean-to-bar chocolate operations in the United States has grown exponentially. Yet no American culinary school has invested in a chocolate lab where pastry students and seasoned professionals can experience the full cycle of bean-to-bar production…until now.
“I once read an article where a chocolatier stated, ‘The most important step in making chocolate is every step.’ With the development of this center of research and development, I’m excited to show pastry chefs who aren’t chocolate makers how quantitative aspects of the process—roasting time and temperature, milling particle size, etc.—can effect the end flavor, and to explore the best applications of every type of chocolate.” – Michael Laiskonis, ICE Creative Director
According to culinary star Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Jenkins entered her restaurant as the “worst intern she ever had.” Ten years later, Michael is running Guarnaschelli’s kitchen as the executive chef at Butter restaurant in New York City. “I remember being young and reading Letters to a Young Chef by Daniel Boulud,” Michael explains. “In it, he says, ‘The first thing you should do in a kitchen is make yourself useful.’ I took that to heart, and I even came into the restaurant on my days off. That extra time was an opportunity to experiment and master techniques through repetition—like making pasta.”Michael met Chef Alex when she was a teacher at the Institute of Culinary Education. He approached her about an externship opportunity after she subbed for one of his classes. Though she clearly was unimpressed with him at the beginning, Alex soon offered Michael a full-time job, and three years into his time at Butter he was competing—and winning—on Chopped. “Competing on TV was a revelation. It was as if you studied Spanish for three years, got dropped in the middle of Mexico and suddenly realized you had been fluent in Spanish all along. Working with Alex—three years in the pantry preparing precise appetizers—had trained me so well for competition. In comparison to the other people on the show, I felt that I knew what I was doing.”
Read on to learn more about Michael’s dynamic culinary career.
New York City’s oldest culinary school is now its newest—and this is your chance to see it for yourself. Extending across 74,000 square feet, our brand new facility at Brookfield Place offers Hudson River views, an increased sense of community and unprecedented opportunities for culinary discovery.
Our new location is outfitted with equipment from leading culinary brands, representing the highest professional standard in culinary creativity and technology. From our hydroponic garden to our bean-to-bar chocolate and culinary technology labs, students can truly experience the food chain from farm to plate and gain an appreciation for every step in the culinary process.
Like the old phrase, the second module of the Culinary Arts program at ICE is literally a lesson on learning to taking—or rather, managing—the heat in the kitchen. For me, that meant facing my fears—of fire and overcooking proteins—and learning a lot more about cooking, and myself, in the process.
After successfully completing “Mod 1,” as students call the first section of our program, I felt that my basic skills were in a good place. I was quicker with my knife skills, beginning to understand fabrication and loving all that I was learning in class. Mod 2 was a different story—with a new chef instructor and numerous hurdles to conquer.
This mod is where we learn to actually cook, and boy, did we ever. From sautéing to deep frying, braising to poaching, Chef Sam Kadko taught it all. For future students who are wondering how to survive unscathed and make the most of this mod—I have a few pieces of advice.
At ICE, we host over 700 culinary events each year, serving more than 20,000 guests. Our hands-on cooking, baking and mixology classes are perfect for corporate entertaining, team building and closing dinners, or for personal celebrations such as birthdays, rehearsal dinners and reunions. Combining the best elements of a cocktail party, a cooking class and an informal banquet, ICE cooking parties are an easy, seamless option when you want to celebrate with and entertain a group.Choose from a variety of delicious themes for your culinary party at ICE’s brand new Brookfield Place facility. From steakhouse classics, to hearth oven pizza, to beer and wine tasting events, ICE has a menu to satisfy every appetite and please the palate.
When it comes to innovation in the restaurant world, few challenges have been as important as the public’s growing interest in nutrition and wellness. Of all the New York City kitchens to respond to this call for healthier cooking, few have gained as much attention as the Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate. As the executive pastry chef for this groundbreaking restaurant, James Distefano spent six years translating the principles of classic pastry into award-winning healthy desserts. Today, as a chef instructor in ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program, James is sharing that passion for innovation with the next generation of game-changing chefs.“As a thirty-something chef in the industry, you start to become aware of the impact of what you eat on your health,” says James. “What’s more—when you’re told to use less butter, white flour and processed sugar, you have to start looking elsewhere, and that’s where creativity starts.” From olive and avocado oils to alternative grains like sorghum and buckwheat, James was charged with adapting stereotypical “hippie food” into Michelin-starred desserts. Over six years at Rouge Tomate, James saw dietary restrictions like gluten-free or vegan transformed from inconveniences into his daily inspiration.
Today, as a chef instructor at ICE, James shares his enthusiasm for discovery and experimentation with a fresh generation of aspiring chefs. “What I love about a culinary school environment—versus training staff on the line in a restaurant— is that the opportunity to learn is so much greater. In a school setting, you can make mistakes, which is the best way to learn. In a restaurant, the goal is always to minimize mistakes, and thus, you eliminate those key teaching moments.”
By James Briscione—Director of Culinary Development
A lot has been happening at ICE since the school took up full-time residence at Brookfield Place in May. For me, the most exciting element has been the creation of our new Culinary Technology Lab. Before your mind runs wild with cartoonish images of mad scientists in chef hats or smoking beakers full of neon liquids, let me explain.
The whole idea of technology is a funny thing. These days, we tend to assume that technology always refers to something with a screen or a certain fruit-based logo. But if you type the word “technology” into the search box on your smartphone, you’ll learn that it refers to the application of science or scientific knowledge to practical tasks. Every step in the evolution of cooking—from man’s discovery of fire to sous vide—is part of the history of culinary technology. Thus, in ICE’s Culinary Technology Lab, we’re bridging the gap between ancient and modern techniques.
Read on to learn more about the impressive firepower in ICE’s Culinary Technology Lab.
As the pastry chef behind jewelry-inspired bakery Mini Melanie, ICE Culinary Arts alum Melanie Moss serves up some of the most stylish treats in NYC. But before she was catering the city’s most chic parties and designing cakes that are almost too pretty to eat, Melanie trained in some of the country’s most famous restaurant kitchens. We checked in with this innovative alum to learn about the training that prepared her for a dynamic career as a culinary entrepreneur.
What was it that attracted you to ICE? I had zero restaurant experience, and the beautiful, sprawling kitchens at ICE—filled with excellent equipment—seemed like the boot camp I needed to prepare myself for restaurant life. I fell in love with the library, too, as I’ll always be a bookworm! I spent hours looking through the stacks of old Gourmet magazines and ICE’s beautiful cookbook collection. It seemed like the perfect spot to learn and grow right in New York City.