One of the fun traditions at The Institute of Culinary Education is that on a Friday night in early January, we close the door for a big staff party that we call The ICE Ball. The evening starts with hors d’oeuvres and dinner on floors 5 and 6, and then moves to the 12th floor for dancing and dessert.

Chef Matt Weingarten

We invite local alumni chefs and restaurants to participate in the walk-around feast. This year’s special guests included Julie Taras Wallach, executive chef of Little Giant and Tipsy Parson, who made Shrimp and Grits with Chow-Chow, and  Matt Weingarten, executive chef of Inside Park, who made an eastern European stew of sauerkraut, porcini and smoked meat.  The buffet’s savory tastes were complemented by ICE’s Special Events chef Brendan McDermott’s carving station and chef-instructor Gerri Sarnataro’s eclectic pizzas. The only food sourced from the outside was from one of New York’s favorite Filipino restaurants, Krystal’s Café, which provided a traditional roast suckling pig.

What would an ICE Ball be without a sweet finale! A table full of treats included alumni Chef Mamie Nishide’s signature “Trufflebites,” which are part truffle and part brownie and alumni Chef Maria Baillergeau’s famous Boozy Truffle and Grasshopper-Mint and Chocolate Mousse. It was a night full of fun and food, surely only to be topped by next year’s bash!

Pictured above in top image (left to right): ICE Chef Instructor Scott McMillen, Deanna Silva (Career Services), Brian Aronowitz (Director of Marketing and Admissions) and Alexandra Leaf (visiting instructor). Pictured above in second image (left to right): Joshua Pappas (Director of Purchasing), Dana Malach (Human Resources Manager), Kristina Fisher (Special Events Manager) and Richard Vayda (Director of Wine Studies and Culinary Management instructor).

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