After 42 years in New York City, ICE is opening a second location in Los Angeles — an urban oasis for food and restaurant lovers and without a doubt one of the most exciting food cities in America. Having taken over the facility previously occupied by Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, we’re currently reimagining the space as a center for learning, innovation and creativity, staying true to the vision embodied by our New York flagship. With ribbon cutting scheduled for early 2018, both the ICE and food community couldn’t be more thrilled.

“Los Angeles is an ideal next step for ICE, as it has the confluence of food culture, diversity, job opportunities and a nationally recognized, vibrant culinary community that ICE can support and grow just as we have in New York City,” said Rick Smilow, ICE’s president and CEO. “ICE will provide a new option for ambitious and creative students who want to start or change careers, advance in the culinary and hospitality industries or are cost- and time-conscious in their approach to education.”

Industry leaders are excited to welcome ICE to the west coast. “I’ve been working with ICE students in New York for years and they are consistently among the best young chefs in my restaurants,” said Tom Colicchio, celebrated chef/restaurateur and host of the hit television series Top Chef. “I’m very much looking forward to having an institution like ICE produce the same level of talent for my LA and Las Vegas restaurants, and to what their next generation of culinary leaders will do for the west coast food scene.”

“I was thrilled to learn that the Institute of Culinary Education is expanding and opening its second location in Los Angeles,” said prolific chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck. “LA is a hub of culinary innovation, and having a culinary school of ICE’s caliber in this market will only enhance the city’s standing as a major culinary center in the United States.”

Hollywood Hills: Find Your Culinary Voice

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Local officials and community leaders have been generous with their support as well. “California has always been a trendsetter when it comes to the culinary arts,” said Panorea Avdis, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “ICE’s new LA campus will ensure future generations of top chefs are pushing the boundaries of our state’s long-established variety of cuisines and locally sourced ingredients, which gives us that added advantage as a global destination for adventure seekers, business travelers and entrepreneurs, alike.”

The school will offer the same sense of community, creativity and campus life as our NYC location. ICE Los Angeles will feature career-training programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management. The Hospitality Management program will be added later in the year. Once career program classes are up and running, ICE is considering options to add specialized amenities and features such as a chocolate lab, culinary technology lab and an extension of its “farm to classroom” program, and later on, recreational classes and special culinary events.

“At ICE, our mission is to enable the creative light within each individual, empowering them to find rewarding careers in the culinary and hospitality industries,” said Smilow. “We’ve helped more than 14,000 alumni find their culinary and hospitality voices, and are thrilled to be able to bring that mission to the west coast and Los Angeles area.”

Learn more about ICE’s award-winning career training programs.

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It’s official: ELF the Musical is returning to the Theater at Madison Square Garden. What better way to commemorate this huge announcement than a huge Elf-themed confection? That’s why ICE’s expert pastry chefs joined forces and spent over 500 hours crafting a 10-foot tall replica of Buddy the Elf, made of delicious Rice Krispies Treats®. The colossal confection was unveiled on Wednesday, October 25 at the Garden, and the result was outstanding — fitting for a larger-than-life, sweet-treat loving elf like Buddy.

Like the musical’s principal character Buddy, who embarks on a heroic journey in search of his family, ICE pastry chefs Elisa Strauss and Penny Stankiewicz set out on their own courageous quest to construct NYC’s largest Rice Krispies Treats® sculpture. It took several weeks, 70 pounds of chocolate, 50 pounds of fondant, 15 pounds of edible glitter and 300 pounds of Rice Krispies Treats®, but, with the help of 9 ICE pastry and cake decorating students, the chefs pulled it off.

ELF the Musical and ICE jointly donated the sweet sculpture to the NYC Department of Homeless Services, a partner of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works with the Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Networks, Inc. to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles.

ELF will run for a limited engagement from December 13-29, 2017 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tickets are on sale now! 

Learn more about ICE’s career programs.

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Chef Kathryn Gordon, chef instructor in ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program, has been named one of Dessert Professional Magazine’s 2017 Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America and inducted into their prestigious Hall of Fame. We’re ecstatic, we’re proud and we’re breaking out the bubbly — and serving it with Chef Kathryn’s elegant and celebratory pomelo and cantaloupe calissons. For those of you who haven’t heard of calissons, they’re a traditional almond candy that can be found in sweets shops throughout Provence, France. Chef Kathryn adds her personal, summery touch by sprucing them up with pomelo confit, candied cantaloupe and marbleized orange blossom glaze. And, of course, served alongside a chilled flute of champagne with a couple spoons of fresh, bright cantaloupe granita.

celebratory summer cocktail

Chef Kathryn’s Celebratory Summer Cocktail

Pomelo and Cantaloupe Calissons
Yield: Makes 40 (1-inch dome) calissons

Ingredients:

1900 grams blanched almond flour
100 grams powdered sugar
1 gram fine sea salt
60 grams pomelo confit (recipe below), drained well
60 grams candied cantaloupe (recipe below), drained well

Preparation:

  • Place the almond flour, powdered sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 30 times, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl every five pulses to ensure ingredients are mixing smoothly.
  • Add ¼ of the pomelo confit and pulse. When a dough starts to form, hand knead in the remaining pomelo confit and candied cantaloupe. Press mixture into 1” flexipan molds. Let air dry for two days. Unmold and place on a glazing rack.
  • Glaze with orange blossom glaze and air dry.

Pomelo Confit

Ingredients:

Peel of 1 pomelo and cold water to cover
Pinch of salt
200 grams granulated sugar
150 grams water
25 grams glucose syrup

Preparation:

  • Cut the pomelo peel (with pith) into ¼-inch dice. Place the peels in a small non-reactive saucepan (stainless steel or tin). Add salt and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and blanch for five minutes. Pour the mixture through a chinois and rinse in cold water. Repeat the blanching process four more times, without adding additional salt.
  • Stir together sugar and 150 grams water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the mixture is boiling, add glucose syrup and blanched pomelo peels. Turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Chill and reserve syrup for cocktail.

Candied Cantaloupe

Ingredients:

200 grams granulated sugar
50 grams orange juice, freshly squeezed
Flesh of 1 medium orange-fleshed cantaloupe (about 1200 grams), cut into ½-inch dice

Preparation:

  • Stir together sugar and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add diced cantaloupe. Turn off heat and let cool for one hour. Reserve syrup and extra fruit for granita.

Marbleized Orange Blossom Glaze

Ingredients:

20 grams orange blossom water
15 grams water
200 grams powdered sugar
Pink, egg yellow and orange gel food coloring

Preparation:

  • Stir orange blossom water and water into powdered sugar. Divide into three bowls, and stir in pink, egg yellow and orange colors, respectively. Place each color in a disposable pastry piping bag. Cut a small hole in each and place those three pastry bags in a fourth pastry bag. Cut a hole at the bottom, straight across. Squeeze out the glaze, and swirl over the calissons on the glazing rack. Let set one hour before removing with a small offset spatula.

Canteloupe Granita

Ingredients:

Reserved syrup and fruit from candied canteloupe

Preparation:

  • Puree in food processor. Place in shallow pan in freezer. Break up crystals around pan perimeter every half an hour until frozen and slushy. Keep frozen until time to serve cocktails.

Celebratory Summer Cocktail

Preparation:

  • Fill chilled champagne glasses to one-third with reserved pomelo syrup. Spoon in cantaloupe granite until halfway filled. Top with champagne or sparkling wine. Serve with pomelo and grapefruit calisson.

You, too, can study pastry & baking arts alongside Chef Kathryn — click here for more information on ICE’s career programs.

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By ICE Staff

Make sure your champagne (or seasonal cider) is on ice because we’ve got some celebrating to do: The Institute of Culinary Education has been named “The Best Culinary School in America” by The Daily Meal, a leading food and lifestyle website — and was awarded the same title by The Best Schools and EDinformatics. Add to this being named as one of America’s top culinary schools by FSR Magazine, and it goes without saying, it’s been an exciting year for the ICE community.

ICE is the Best

We asked Rachael Pack, cook editor of The Daily Meal, how ICE was chosen as the best culinary school in America. Having gone to culinary school herself, Rachael had been through the process of exhaustively researching culinary schools and was aware of the factors that prospective students weigh. As she explained, “I used the factors that were important to me as a student coming out of college: the reputation of the school, location, quality of facilities, length of study…and finally, cost.”

Though the competition was fierce, ICE was ultimately chosen for the top ranking. “The top three schools were very close; they are also schools that have been at the top for a long time. For the final tweaks in the list, I fell back on my industry experience and perception of the schools now that I have passed that phase in my life.” Rachael continued, “In the past years I have, of course, made many friends in the industry with different educational backgrounds, so the conversations and interaction with real grads, recent and otherwise, also played a huge role.”

These latest recognitions haven’t been without dedicated work and innovative thinking. The ICE team has grown to include industry-leading chefs such as Michael Laiskonis and David Waltuck. Our new student housing program has opened the door for aspiring culinary and hospitality professionals from around the country to pursue their passions in New York City. ICE’s new Brookfield Place location boasts over 74,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities, including an indoor hydroponic herb garden and the nation’s first education-focused bean-to-bar Chocolate Lab. ICE is honored to receive all of its recent accolades. Still, at end of the day, ICE is most concerned with continuing its mission to help you find your culinary voice.

Watch the video of a day in the life of a culinary student at ICE

Interested in ICE’s career programs? Click here to learn more.

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By Caitlin Gunther

“Two bites: It’s about moderation but also about sophistication and elegance—two very French traits.” An excerpt from the introduction of ICE chef instructor Kathryn Gordon’s new cookbook Les Petits Sweets: Two-Bite Desserts from the French Pâtisserie, co-authored by Anne E. McBride. Chef Kathryn, who takes annual excursions to taste her way through the best pastry kitchens and neighborhood bakeries of France, has a deep knowledge of French culture and food, particularly the sweet side. The cookbook takes readers on a journey through classic and innovative recipes for macarons, financiers, tartelettes, petits fours and much more. But the idea behind petit sweets isn’t just about moderation—it’s also about choice, as Chef Kathryn explains, “[What] I appreciate when making two-bite desserts is that my guests can try more of them. There’s no need to chose, and that allows me to cater to more tastes at once.”

From Armagnac-vanilla cannelés to banana-brown sugar madeleines, Chef Kathryn’s cookbook is a comprehensive and creative guide to tiny French confections, replete with baking tips from the chef herself, who has measured, mixed and baked these recipes more times than she can remember. In anticipation of Chef Kathryn’s book release party on October 10, I sat down with her to chat about the making of Les Petits Sweets.

Chef Kathryn Gordon Les Petits Sweets

What was the inspiration for your new cookbook, Les Petits Sweets?

It was a follow up to my first cookbook, Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home. The sweets in this book are the same size and have the same vibe, but the new art director gave the book a fresh take with color changes and some old-fashioned flower prints—the French look.

What’s your process for deciding what to include in your cookbook?

I start by making lists, usually just scribbling on paper. Then I start typing it up, seeing the gaps and fleshing it out. Then I make flavor lists. This time, I made a chart and it helped me balance the recipes—like I decided I couldn’t have so much raspberry, a very French flavor. When we started writing, we had to decide how to organize the chapters. The second book is so broad that we ended up having more short chapters and a couple recipes in each. Sometimes I would realize we didn’t have enough recipes in one chapter, like financiers, so I came up with the cashew-curry financiers and they’re really good. Just slightly sweet.

Are two-bite desserts a French pastry tradition?

The French are known for the classic petit fours, especially at a fine dining restaurants. It’s the equivalent of the after-dinner red and white mint. I’ve had to make petit fours at various places I’ve worked. Once when I was working at Tavern on the Green, a waiter was sent to the pastry section to ask for the petit fours and he clearly didn’t know what they were, so he asked for the “Betty Fords.” I finally figured out what he meant. To me, petits fours include the classics like financiers but also candy, chocolates and cookies. It’s to give people just a little something extra.

Do you have a favorite petit sweet?

When I go on field trips with students, I like to get cannelés (can-uh-lays) because no one really knows what they are.

There are cannelé recipes in the book and a lot of them have classic flavors like vanilla and rum, but I also wanted to play with the flavor profiles. I used Armagnac because I really like it as a brandy. When I was making the lists of French flavors, sometimes I realized I had too much of one flavor, like orange, so I had to branch out to other flavors like tangerine. I would go around to different pastry classes and ask the chefs for French flavors, to make sure I was covering them all. I like flowery things and Anne [McBride, the co-author] likes St-Germain so we used that for one recipe. I like the tea flavors like lapsang souchong too, so I steep that in the milk for another recipe.

I had never made cannelés before writing the cookbook; but I had eaten them and knew I liked them. I wasn’t sure about things like whether I’d have to chill the batter overnight. But I found out that if you make them right away, your cannelés would have different heights. Letting them chill and hydrate overnight gives them uniformity. The book tells you that.

What’s the recipe you tested the most times?

The macarons.

How many times did you test them?

I don’t even remember—for ages. We were testing in the old ICE location, asking questions like what happens if you bring the almond flour up, bring the almond flour down, what happens if you bring the sugar up, what happens if you bring both up in conjunction? We were doing it forever.

Fifty times?

At least. I can tell you based on that, that if you’re at sea level and want to make your macarons less sweet, you’re better off pairing your macarons with something tart, like curds or ganaches, because you can’t indefinitely take out the sugar because the feet won’t form at sea level without sugar. (Feet = the ruffles on the edges of the macarons.)

Les Petits Sweets madeleines

madeleines (credit: Evan Sung, 2016)

You have a whole chapter dedicated to madeleines? Any advice for making them?

I like whipping the eggs and the sugar together into a ribbon, so the madeleines have really good structure. If you want that rounded bit, you have to rest your batter overnight. You have to have a really hot pre-heated oven, and if the pan is hot and the batter is cold, you’ll get the best temperature shock and that helps create that puffed shape.

Reprinted with permission from Les Petits Sweets © 2016 by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Pear-Rosemary Madeleines
(servings: makes 16 large madeleines)

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, divided
1 ripe pear (about 220 grams), peeled and cut into ¼-inch (6-millimeter) pieces
1 teaspoon (2 grams) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon (1 gram) freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
½ cup (68 grams) all-purpose flour
⅓ cup (40 grams) almond flour
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
Vegetable oil cooking spray 

Preparation:

  • Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
  • Place 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of the butter, the pear and rosemary, ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) of the salt, and the pepper in the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pears begin to turn golden and translucent. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Place the remaining 4 tablespoons (56 grams) of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it melt. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture reaches a ribbon stage, where the whisk leaves a strong, three-dimensional shape. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder and remaining ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) of salt until just combined. Fold in the melted butter and the pears. Spoon the batter into a piping bag (do not cut an opening yet), tie the bag closed and refrigerate (up to overnight).
  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Spray a nonstick 12-cup madeleine pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  • Cut a ½-inch (1.25-centimeter) opening straight across the tip of the pastry bag. Pipe the madeleine batter into each cavity of the pan, filling it nearly to the top. Immediately place the pan in the hot oven and bake for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the edges of the madeleines are golden and their top is puffed up. Refrigerate the extra batter while one batch bakes. Remove from the oven and unmold immediately by inverting the pan onto a wire rack. Repeat until the batter is used up. Eat the same day.

Tell us your favorite petit sweet in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Les Petits Sweets! Winner will be announced on October 10.*

*Winning entrant’s shipping address must be within the continental United States.

Want to study pastry arts with Chef Kathryn? Click here to learn about ICE’s career programs.

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