ICE is pleased to announce that this March we will welcome prestigious pastry chef Michael Laiskonis as our first-ever Creative Director. In this new and innovative role, Laiskonis will bring his vast experience as an industry leader to ICE.
Laiskonis has long been one of the industry’s most creative and talented chefs. Fresh off of an eight-year tenure as Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin, Laiskonis is well known for helping the restaurant earn four stars from The New York Times and three Michelin stars. He was named to America’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs by Pastry Art & Design in both 2002 and 2003 and was Bon Appétit’s Pastry Chef of the Year in 2004. Best known for his use of modern techniques to reinvent classic desserts, he was also awarded the coveted James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2007. Laiskonis has been an active writer, in print and on-line, including Gourmet, Saveur and The Atlantic and has appeared on television shows such as Top Chef: Just Desserts.
Now, he joins ICE’s educational leadership team to direct new projects in curriculum development and research, teach classes, mentor ICE students and faculty and serve as an industry ambassador for ICE. ICE President Rick Smilow said, “Michael’s been an active member of our Advisory Board for over a decade. So we know well the intelligence, drive and commitment to excellence that he will bring to our program.”
Laiskonis remarked, “After twenty years in the kitchen, this new role with ICE is the perfect opportunity for me to give back, and inspire the next generation of chefs to excel and innovate in the culinary and pastry arts.”
ICE and Laiskonis will redefine the traditional role of Creative Director — he will use ICE kitchens as cutting-edge culinary research labs to ensure that ICE faculty and students learn the latest techniques firsthand from one of the industry’s most well respected professionals. We looking forward to seeing how Laiskonis enriches the student experience at ICE!