As you would expect, the staff and management at ICE has interest, desire and appreciation for great food. Sometimes great food is simple and inexpensive, and other times it is elaborate, complex and well, not inexpensive. Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant Daniel, one of the most celebrated restaurants in New York and America, fills the later category. Among the restaurant’s many accolades, Daniel has earned four stars from the New York Times, three stars from Michelin and four different James Beard Awards. ICE has always had close ties with Daniel. Boulud sits on our Chefs’ Advisory Board and many ICE students have gone on to extern in their kitchens after completing their in-class work.
On the evening of November 30, ICE’s Director of Education, Richard Simpson and I treated eight of our esteemed Chef Instructors to a memorable nine-course, five-hour meal at Daniel. It was a way to say thank you to these key personnel here at the school. At the same time, it was a wonderful opportunity for many of the experts who teach our students to see culinary and pastry and baking arts performed at the highest level. This was a meal where the guests could comment all night about precision knife cuts, delicate flavor profiles, pristine ingredients, gorgeous plating concepts and adventuresome wine and food pairings.
A complete written account of the tasting menu would require too much typing, so forget about that. But highlights included the two courses where each dish was finished with freshly shaved white truffles from the Alba region of Italy — a special seasonal treat that will only be available for a few more weeks. Those two courses were Italian Agnolotti with Fontina Creamy Risotto with Parmesan, and Turbot Roasted on the Bone with White Truffle Cauliflower Mousseline, Glazed Crosnes and Green Peppercorn.
After the meal, our group visited the kitchen and prep areas. For Chef Instructor James Briscione, it was a chance to see former colleagues, as he worked as a Chef de Partie at Daniel prior to joining the team at ICE. The team also visited with ICE externs now working in the kitchen.
It would be impossible and prohibitive to eat like this every night, but all agreed, when one does, it’s gastronomic inspiration.