07. June 2017 · Categories: Video

When it comes to making layer cakes, it’s all about the tiers — and not the crying kind, though beautiful, Pinterest-worthy layer cakes can occasionally cause some waterworks. Achieving those perfect tiers, however, can be tricky — making a layer cake isn’t exactly, well, a piece of cake. But with the right tools and an expert teacher, it can be. That’s why ICE + Wüsthof have partnered to present a new knife skills video demonstrating the proper knife and technique for splitting a cake into layers. Watch as ICE Chef Sabrina Sexton levels a pound cake into perfect tiers using a serrated bread knife (and don’t miss the stunning layer cake at the end).

Wusthof Cake

Continue to the full post to watch this new knife skills video — it's nothing less than culinary art.


By Caitlin Raux 


“The Italian language wasn’t passed on — but the food definitely was,” says Chef Frank Proto, ICE’s newest career program instructor, on his Italian-American upbringing in Long Island. Since childhood, Frank received a firsthand education in Old World cooking methods: homemade sausages hung to dry from bamboo in the cellar; wine made from Grenache grapes purchased at the Brooklyn Terminal Market. It’s no surprise that once he became a chef, Frank gravitated toward unfussy Mediterranean cuisine made with the highest quality products.

Chef Frank Proto

At the outset of his career, Frank found a mentor in renowned Chef Joe Fortunato, now chef/owner of the West Village mainstay Extra Virgin. Chef Frank not only rose through the ranks in Joe’s late restaurant Layla, he helped him to build new restaurants from the ground up, and went on to do the same with restaurateur Marc Murphy, too. When the New Haven restaurant Barcelona needed an executive chef, Chef Frank had the chops to take the helm.


Read on to learn about Chef Frank's path from the hottest kitchens in NYC to ICE. 


On Tuesday, May 9, 2017 — for the very first time — ICE held a momentous commencement ceremony at NYU's Skirball Center to celebrate the graduation of ICE career students who completed their programs in the first half of 2017. ICE President Rick Smilow welcomed 600 proud family and friends to share in the ICE graduates' accomplishments. Rick noted the diversity of the students, who represented all of ICE’s career programs — Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management — as well as diverse ages, nationalities, educational backgrounds, career aspirations and more.

ICE Commencement

Read on to watch the video recap of this truly special day. 

29. May 2017 · Categories: Culinary Arts


By James Briscione — Director of Culinary Development


This past March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invited me to Brazil to help launch a new campaign called #USfoodexperience which was developed to introduce American ingredients and dining traditions to the Brazilian market. As part of my visit, I created a menu of classic dishes from around the United States and served it to 100 of São Paulo’s top chefs and media. I also toured local culinary schools and hosted a series of demos at each school, sharing recipes for some of my favorite American foods. But for me, the highlight of the trip was our dinner at D.O.M., the #2 restaurant in all of South and Central America.

Chef Alex Atala

Read on to follow along on Chef James' culinary journey through the menu at D.O.M.

By Jenny McCoy — Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts

As Chef Jenny explained in her
previous post, the virtues of shrubs — those trending drinking vinegars made from a combination of fruit, sugar and vinegar — are many. For one thing, they aid in digestion and keep blood sugar levels in check. They also happen to mix well with most spirits, making them the perfect, healthy-ish mixer for cocktails at your Memorial Day barbecue. That’s why Chef Jenny concocted a seasonal, dangerously tasty strawberry-rhubarb shrub — serve with your spirit of choice or a splash of soda water on ice, and feel good about your beverage choice this Memorial Day.

Keep reading to get the recipe for this refreshing cocktail. 


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

Keep reading to get this sweet, celebratory recipe. 


The Center for Advanced Pastry Studies (CAPS) at ICE is designed for current industry professionals looking to expand their skill sets. These single- and multi-day continuing education workshops are taught by master chefs and critically acclaimed artists from around the globe. 

ballerina pig

ICE is excited to welcome back Karen Portaleo to teach the upcoming CAPS course Carved Cake: Ballerina Pig on June 2. Karen is a celebrated cake and chocolate artist who creates fantastical cakes at Highland Bakery in Atlanta, Georgia. She has appeared on numerous television shows including Food Network’s Cake Challenge and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and her work has appeared in various publications like Cake Central Magazine and National Geographic. Karen’s client list includes Sir Elton John, Usher, Jane Lynch, T-Pain, Demi Moore, AMC's The Walking Dead, CNN and The W Hotel.


In anticipation of Karen’s class, we chatted with her about her work in the pastry world and what she has in store for students in her cake carving class at ICE.


What would you say is your signature style when it comes to designing a cake?


I would say my style is whimsical and very sculptural. I rarely make tiered cakes anymore — I've paid those dues already! My work is often described as "dark," but that's not my general esthetic. I think my work falls into the category of cakes that don't look like cakes.


Read on for the full interview with Karen and to register for her upcoming course at ICE! 


By Steve Zagor — Dean, School of Restaurant and Culinary Management


Why should I get a culinary or hospitality education? Can’t I just get a job and learn the business while I work?


What a great question and one that should be asked. I hear this almost weekly. As a dean and instructor at ICE, I often meet dreamers who are navigating the very intense process of looking down a long, unpaved and rocky road to the future, evaluating what can only be termed a “seismic” career change. Some may have MBAs or JDs with significant experience and incomes in other fields. A few may have families with kids at home. Others might be reentering the business world after a hiatus. And there are also those who are entering the work world for the very first time. Though they come from different places, they have similar a goal: a career in culinary or hotels.

Rommel Gopez

So let’s examine the above question and see if there is an easy answer.


Keep reading to discover this industry expert's views on culinary and hospitality education.


By Robert Ramsey — Director, Advanced Culinary Studies

There are few things in life more satisfying than freshly baked naan: the supple, chewy flatbread found in many central Asian cuisines. Made from just a few ingredients and leavened with yeast, the recipe isn’t much different than the breads found in so many cultures all over the world. Then what is it that makes naan so distinct and delicious? Certainly, the chutneys, condiments, relishes and a good slathering of ghee (clarified butter) add to the appeal, but many would argue that the cooking method is what’s behind the incredible flavor and texture. That cooking method is, of course, baking in a tandoor oven.

Chef Mike


In Tools & Techniques of Tandoori Cooking, our upcoming Advanced Culinary Center class on Sunday, June 4, Chef Mike Brockman, corporate chef of Wood Stone and expert in tandoori cooking, will guide us through the nuts and bolts of this ancient technique. The initial focus will be naan — with plenty of requisite tasting — but we’ll also cover beef kebab, saffron ghee, chicken tikka, vegetable skewers and plenty of sauces. Attendants will get firsthand experience with the diverse uses of a tandoor oven and walk away with a new understanding of a very old technology.


Keep reading to get the lowdown on this unique cooking method. 

19. May 2017 · Categories: Video


By ICE Staff


In the United States, 40% of food is wasted each year. This staggering figure sets off alarm bells: the status quo is unsustainable (pun intended). That’s why ICE and The New School organized the first-ever Zero Waste Food conference — to drive the conversation surrounding eliminating food waste and increasing sustainable food production.

Click below to read the full post and watch the video recap of the Zero Waste Food conference.