By Caitlin Raux


Students enroll in our pastry arts program for many reasons — for some, it’s to mix flour, eggs and sugar for the first time and launch a budding pastry career. For others, it’s to hone their skills and enhance their existing experience. Diploma (and whisk) in hand, our pastry grads set out on a range of career paths — from recipe writers to startup chefs to educators and more. Here’s a snapshot of the many possibilities of what you can do with professional pastry training from ICE.

Pastry Arts alums

Keep reading to discover where a pastry arts diploma from ICE can take you. 


"Once you’ve tasted this Irish soda bread, you’ll never buy a loaf from the bakery again," says Chef Sarah Chaminade. Members of the ICE team, who had the chance to sample the goods, would happily concur — that this is truly the best Irish soda bread recipe. But what exactly is soda bread? According to Chef Sarah, "Some say it resembles more of a scone than bread since it doesn’t contain any yeast. You can find hundreds of different recipes — some include caraway seeds and others even add eggs. If you ask true Irish lads or lasses, they’ll tell you soda bread must have only four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk." Baked with caraway seeds, currants and even a shot of whiskey, Chef Sarah's recipe departs from the original yet still captures the essence of this classic Irish goody. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, there's no better time to master Irish soda bread. 

Irish Soda Bread

Read on for Chef Sarah's expert take on Irish soda bread.


By Michael Laiskonis — Creative Director


Last month, the ICE Chocolate Lab launched Roots of Cacao, its first day-long symposium dedicated to all things chocolate. Through a series of talks, demonstrations, tastings and panel discussions, the program gathered more than a dozen chocolate makers, pastry chefs, industry insiders and historians to share their expertise with a packed room of nearly 100 attendees. Weeks later, I feel I am still soaking in all of the knowledge and insight shared in each intensive session, but a few thoughts still remain top of mind — ideas that I hope to address further at our next symposium.

Leading the technical side of the day’s conversation with his talk, “How Chocolate Gets Its Taste,” Clay Gordon, publisher of, broadly laid out the basic processing steps of chocolate from raw bean to finished bar, with a special focus on the complex building blocks of its flavor.


By Caitlin Raux


Here's a question: What inspires students to enroll in ICE’s hospitality management program? Several of our students, past and present, answered that question and turns out there are myriad reasons why students choose to study hospitality management at ICE.


For Rommel Gopez (Hospitality ’14), it was an unquenchable thirst for international travel combined with a love of meeting new people that led him to the hospitality industry. In his words, “I love talking to people from all over the world. I’ll talk to someone from one country and then think, ‘Oh, I should travel there next.’ And when I do travel there, I already have a friend.”

Rommel Gopez

Keep reading to learn why our hospitality students and grads chose ICE. 


By ICE Staff


Entries are officially open for the 2018 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Contest, and this year, the pot gets even sweeter: scholarship finalists will compete on ABC’s The Chew for the chance to win one of four full scholarships – worth more than $160,000 – to attend one of ICE’s award-winning Culinary Arts or Pastry & Baking Arts career programs.


For this year’s contest, public vote will determine the semi-finalists, and the finalists will appear on The Chew to compete for the coveted awards. The Chew’s co-hosts Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Michael Symon, will host the finals with four celebrity chefs serving as mentors. Meanwhile, ICE’s chef-instructors will teach the contestants culinary skills and judge the finals.

2018 Culinary Voice Contest

Read on to learn more about the 2018 #CulinaryVoice Scholarship Contest and enter today!


At ICE, we make it our mission to help students find their culinary voice — that creative drive within each of us that determines how we express ourselves through food. Whether it’s a career training program, a recreational course in pie crusts or a special event featuring handmade pasta, we’ll give you the tools to hone your culinary creativity. Join us as we ask some of today’s leading food industry pros to share their culinary voice.


The chef behind such creations as a whole, crispy Sasso chicken served on a bed of smoldering hay, ICE alum Greg Proechel (Culinary Arts, ’09) has a proclivity toward bold, flavor-forward dishes with the occasional touch of whimsy. Asked to describe his culinary voice, Greg says it comes down to balance — a simple balance between acid, fat, texture and salt, plus one more essential element. Watch the video and discover the final ingredient in Greg’s culinary voice.


By Caitlin Raux


You couldn’t swing a spatula without hitting someone from ICE at the 2018 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Conference last weekend in New York City. ICE alums, students and employees popped up everywhere throughout the three-day conference. “As in years past, we felt proud to see so many ICE alums in attendance,” said ICE President Rick Smilow. In its 40th year, the conference featured hands-on workshops, industry-focused panel discussions, The Culinary Trust Taste & Toast gala, the IACP Awards Ceremony and, of course, great food and drinks — some of which was prepared by our very own ICE student volunteers.

IACP Culinary Trust

Read on to learn about this year's IACP Conference. 


By Caitlin Raux


Chef James Briscione, ICE’s Director of Culinary Research, has a healthy obsession with flavor pairings. So much so that he and wife Brooke Parkhurst, a writer, cook and ICE recreational instructor, teamed up to write, “The Flavor Matrix: The Art and Science of Pairing Common Ingredients to Create Extraordinary Dishes.” Chefs who have gotten their hands on this groundbreaking ingredient-pairing guide are singing its praises. Said acclaimed chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud, “This comprehensive book is a great tool for any student looking to strengthen his or her knowledge of ingredients, flavors and textures. The opportunity to study and understand the science of these elements is a great advantage to today’s generation of cooks. They should all make use of it!”

Flavor Matrix Cover

In between classes at ICE, where Culinary Arts students enjoy daily face time with ICE’s resident flavor master, we caught up with Chef James to chat about his forthcoming book.


What was your motivation in writing “The Flavor Matrix”?


This project really began right at ICE when we were working with IBM on the Chef Watson project.


"We’re excited that the 2018 IACP Conference is beginning today in New York City, and that so many Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) alumni are speakers and attendees,” said ICE President Rick Smilow, an IACP board member and presenter at Sunday's award ceremony.  

2018 IACP logo bag

The list of ICE graduates included in this year's conference include:

  • Gail Simmons — Author, Top Chef judge  
  • Stacey Rivera— Digital content director, Meredith
  • Stacy Adimando — Executive editor, Saveur

Keep reading to discover all the ICE grads at the 2018 IACP Conference, and learn more about this exciting culinary event. 

22. February 2018 · Categories: Recipes


When we think of margaritas and guacamole, the chill of February doesn’t exactly come to mind. But Chef Rick Bayless — a veritable authority on authentic Mexican cooking — enjoys the challenge of adapting these beloved classics year-round. Luckily, he gave us an inside look at his winter spin on these warm-weather dishes.


For colder months, Bayless warms the flavor of margaritas with the addition of ginger and tops things off with a bit of festive bubbly. When it comes to guacamole, he trades out tasteless winter tomatoes for apples, onion for roasted fennel, and cilantro for thyme. The result is a distinct deviation from these summertime favorites and might just inspire you to test out your own seasonal twists.

Rick Bayless margarita

Read on to get Rick Bayless' expert tips for #NationalMargaritaDay. 

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