By Carly DeFilippo

Often referred to as the “Oscars of Food”, the annual James Beard Awards honor the country’s most respected chefs, restaurateurs, beverage professionals, food journalists, activists and media professionals. As one of the most anticipated culinary events each year, the JBF gala is always full of exciting wins for the ICE alumni community and offers an exceptional opportunity for current ICE students to volunteer alongside the industry’s most respected chefs.

ICE students support alumnus Brian Recor, Chef de Cuisine at Morgan's in the Desert.

ICE students support alumnus Brian Recor, Chef de Cuisine at Morgan’s in the Desert.

This year, we were thrilled to have 36 culinary and pastry students participate (more than any other culinary school!), supporting such esteemed chefs as Kevin Sbraga (Sbraga Dining—Philadelphia), Bill Corbett (Absinthe Group—San Francisco), Robert Del Grande (Restaurant RDG/Bar Annie—Houston), Paul Qui (Qui—Austin) and Sue Torres (Tierra—Westport, CT).

ICE President Rick Smilow caught up with alum Gail Simmons, nabbing a selfie with famed musician and food lover, Questlove.

ICE President, Rick Smilow, caught up with alum and Top Chef host, Gail Simmons, nabbing a selfie with famed musician and food lover, Questlove.

It was also exciting to see ICE alumni Brian Recor, Chef de Cuisine at Morgan’s in the Desert (La Quina, CA), and Aaron Gottesman, Chef de Cuisine at The Fat Ham (Philadelphia), representing their home restaurants at Monday night’s gala. Additionally, at Friday’s Broadcast, Book and Journalism awards, ICE alumnus Matthew Riznyk, Executive Chef at Great Performances, masterminded and oversaw the catering for more than four hundred of the most influential personalities in food media and publishing.

ICE culinary student Mariseli volunteers alongside alumnus Aaron Gottesman (Chef de Cuisine, The Fat Ham—Philadelphia). JBF award winner and ICE alum Amy Thielen attends Monday's gala with her husband.

ICE culinary student Mariseli volunteers alongside alumnus Aaron Gottesman (Chef de Cuisine, The Fat Ham—Philadelphia). JBF award winner and ICE alum Amy Thielen attends Monday’s gala with her husband.

Last, but certainly not least, we were thrilled to congratulate ICE alumni Amy Thielen, Greta Anthony and Ed Behr on their Beard award wins, recognizing their contributions to the fields of food publishing and media. Amy’s cookbook The New Midwestern Table won in the category of “American Cooking”, while Greta’s work on Martha Stewart brought home the award for “Television Program – in Studio or Fixed Location”. Renowned founder and editor of The Art of Eating, Ed Behr, was one of six inductees into the Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America”.

ICE President, Rick Smilow, catches up with JBF award-winning alum Ed Behr.

ICE President, Rick Smilow, catches up with JBF award-winning alum Ed Behr.

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