And we’re off! Today was the start to my six-month experience in ICE’s Culinary Arts Program in New York City. Fourteen of my classmates and I arrived at Kitchen 601 in the early morning hours, tugging and tying as we got accustomed to our new wardrobes – checkered pants, chef whites and a commis hat.

We spent the first part of the morning in orientation, familiarizing ourselves with program details and with one another. Our class is truly a melting pot with new culinary students coming from California to Florida, Mexico to Italy. Our backgrounds also range the spectrum from 10-plus years spent behind the burners to rookies just stepping into a commercial kitchen for the first time (myself falling in the later half of the scale).

Chef Instructor Ted Siegel, our chef instructor for Module 1, greeted us with a stack of print-outs geared at familiarizing us with measurements and the history of cooking. “Not to sound jaded,” he said, “But I’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to restaurants and catering.” A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Ted has worked in the culinary profession for almost 40 years with time spent at Chez Panisse, Washington Square Hotel and Orso Restaurant.

We spent the second half of class setting up our knife kits and learning about arguably the most important and well known French phrase in cooking: Mise en place. Mise en place is defined as having everything, both ingredients and equipment, in its rightful place at the right time. The 4-hour class ended with a look ahead at the rest of the week and a heads-up that knife skills begin on Wednesday. We’ve been guaranteed that the next six months of culinary school will fly by, but right now I’m just trying to hang on to every minute of the excitement.


  1. What a great new addition to the world of blogging.
    Looks good. DICED – what a great logogo!

  2. I love this blog entry… Im excited and havent even submitted my app yet!

  3. I was wondering when this would happen! Great platform…congrats!!!!!

  4. Pingback: Lesson 5: Medium Dice & Mirepoix | ICE Blog

  5. Chef Ted was my instructor when I was at ICE. He made me cut enough medium dice potatoes to feed an entire third world country! I can do it with my eyes closed now! Good luck!

  6. Pingback: Lessons 6-10: Fabrication & Stocks | ICE Blog

  7. what a great blog to read, i am interested in going to this school for baking and pastry so its great to get a first hand look and information from your blog!

  8. Pingback: Lessons 11-14: Meat Fabrication | ICE Blog

  9. Pingback: Lessons 15-19: Classic & Contemporary Sauces | DICED: The Official Blog of ICE

  10. Pingback: Culinary Lessons: Food Fabrication & Stock Preparation | DICED: The Official Blog of ICE

  11. Pingback: Lessons 38-42: Now we’re cookin’ | DICED: The Official Blog of ICE

  12. You know, I gotta tell you, I genuinely savour this webpage and the great insight. I find it to be energizing and very educational. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyhow, I finally decided to write a comment on First Culinary Arts Program at ICE – Institute of Culinary Education | DICED: The Official Blog of ICE – I just wanna say that you did a good job on this. Cheers mate!

  13. Love the blog…I was curious though, what knives and knife sets are used @ ICE?

  14. Pingback: Risotto | DICED: The Official Blog of ICE

  15. I know this is old.. but I just start teaching ProStart and been looking for different visual things for my students to practice, learn, and so forth especially when English is not their primary language. I am already impressed with your first one. I am going to see if I can order this for my students to practice their cutting skills. Thank you!!

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