Choosing where to go to culinary school? Seeking inspiration for your externship placement? Wondering what it really takes to own your own restaurant? In our new Alumni Stories video series, we take you behind the scenes in the industry and answer the questions that can guide your culinary career. First in our series is ICE graduate Matt Hyland, the chef/owner of Emily pizza in Brooklyn.
When it comes to buzzworthy pizza in New York City, few pie-slingers have achieved a cult following as quickly as Culinary Arts alum Matt Hyland. After putting in time at some of the city’s hottest pizza havens (including Roberta’s) Matt opened his first restaurant, Emily, in 2014—and has been racking up accolades ever since. Emily has been featured in publications including Saveur,New York Magazine, Tasting Table and the Village Voice.
What’s more—keeping his eyes on the pies—Matt recently announced he will soon be opening a second restaurant, Emmy Squared, focused on his version of Detroit-style square slices. If there’s one thing we know about this ICE alum, it’s that he’s sure to keep defying our expectations—and thrilling our taste buds—time and time again.
Ready to follow in Matt’s footsteps? Click here to receive free information about ICE’s Culinary Arts program.
Today, it’s nearly impossible to remember a time before food media stars and celebrity chefs. But, in fact, many of the most respected restaurant industry pioneers grew up knowing that their parents and friends looked down on their career choice.Such was the case for Brian Buckley, ICE’s first Culinary Management instructor. After more than 35 years in the industry, Brian has seen it all—and he’s having the last laugh. “After college, I tried working a normal job writing advertising copy, but after a year, a friend told me about a really good bartending gig. I realized I could make way more money doing something I liked! My parents were totally freaked out and begged me to go to law school, but I was smart enough to see that there was a real possibility to make a name for myself in the restaurant business.”
As a consultant, Brian has worked with everyone from California cuisine innovator Wolfgang Puck to the Food Network, Kitchen Arts & Letters, Cook’s Illustrated and even a wildly successful New York City Penn Station bar and grill called “Tracks.” “I’ve done every job in hospitality except valet parking,” jokes Brian. “If I saw that I could learn something new, I took the job.”
Read on to learn more about Brian’s path from bartender to sought-after consultant.
Hello, my name is Jenny. I am a former executive pastry chef turned pastry chef instructor. Some might say I’m still in recovery.
I began my career in Chicago, working my way up through the kitchens of Gordon’s, Blackbird and Charlie Trotter’s—true icons in the city’s culinary history. My time in these restaurants—like many culinary school graduates—was my first real introduction to the “yes, chef” culture of kitchens.The “yes, chef” mentality stems from chefs who worked their way up in grueling environments, once called kitchen brigades. These environments were built for efficiency and excellence: a clear hierarchy, where everyone knew their place. The culture of these kitchens tended towards a sort of masochistic martyrdom where the longer you worked, the better chef you were. Chefs at the best restaurants were expected to put work before everything in their personal lives—including sickness and even sanity—to maintain the restaurant’s prestige.
Read on to learn why the “yes, chef” culture is disappearing in kitchens.
After learning the fundamentals of cooking and acquiring a firm grasp of technique, it is our instinct as chefs —and often, a professional requirement—to develop variations on the most iconic dishes in the culinary canon. In truth, even the dishes we create “from scratch” seldom evolve in a vacuum; it is often the reinvention of a well-established dish that provides the best template for personal expression. Even when our interpretations of codified dishes evolve into something truly unique, the greatest reward of recreating the classics is often rediscovering what made them great in the first place.Among the many staples of fine pastry, I’ve been obsessed with pâté à choux off and on for several years. Even after years of experimentation, I feel there is much more to harness from this understated preparation and more to refine. When done well, there are few better pastry-based vehicles. But therein lies the problem: often viewed as “just a vehicle” for whatever is inside of it, choux pastry rarely gets the attention it deserves.
Read on to discover how Michael develops new approaches to choux pastry, classic international desserts and even caramels for the contemporary palate.
Growing up in Seoul, South Korea, I never really cared for extracurricular activities, sports never seemed that exciting and Model United Nations was simply not for me. Around the age of 12 or 13, I baked my first cake and realized how much I enjoyed cooking—and especially baking. Which is why, initially, I was interested in ICE’s School of Pastry and Baking Arts. But as much as I loved cooking and baking, I knew I wasn’t passionate about spending the rest of my life working as a pastry chef. I was looking for a way to be around food, but realized I would rather manage an establishment than be in the kitchen. That’s when I learned about ICE’s Hospitality Management program.At first, I worried that Hospitality Management wouldn’t be as exciting as a hands-on culinary program. Yet just weeks into the program, both Plemmie Lawson, instructor for our human resources course, and Tom Voss, the dean of the School of Hospitality Management, have blown me away with their enthusiasm for the material. I know this year will not be filled with boring lectures. Moreover, I know that this program will enable me to work in so many different industries, including restaurants and casinos.
Read on to learn more about Ryan’s experience as a hospitality student.
By now, we’re all familiar with the local food movement, but how much do you know about food waste? It’s incredible to consider that the average American family throws out $1,500 worth of groceries a year. While that may be horrible news for the environment, those of us in the restaurant industry also know that wasting food is literally throwing money in the trash.
By the time you factor in staff salaries, monthly rent and the various other costs of running a business, restaurant owners are looking at a very small profit margin. That’s why, at ICE, we teach all our students the value of using every bit of their ingredients—from making stock with discarded bones to dehydrating tomato skins to make potent flavor powders.
This Thanksgiving, I’ve developed two simple food waste-focused recipes that make the most of the scraps from your apple pies and sweet potato casseroles. I hope this inspires you to research more ways to make the most of all your ingredients, and most importantly, helps you have an even happier Thanksgiving!
Read on for Chef Jenny’s apple butter and baked sweet potato skin recipes.
Wondering how to choose which culinary school to attend? It’s a personal, professional and financial decision that only you can make for yourself. That said, at our brand new facility in New York City, we’ve got eight enticing reasons why ICE should be on the top of your list.
From state-of-the-art kitchens to a global curriculum designed to take you anywhere in the industry—not to mention the world—ICE is truly one of the most innovative, creative culinary schools in the industry. It’s no surprise that more than 11,000 students have chosen ICE as the place to start their culinary careers.
Click here to learn how ICE can help you find your culinary voice.
Over the past 10 years, the number of bean-to-bar chocolate operations in the United States has grown exponentially. Yet no American culinary school has invested in a chocolate lab where pastry students and seasoned professionals can experience the full cycle of bean-to-bar production…until now.
“I once read an article where a chocolatier stated, ‘The most important step in making chocolate is every step.’ With the development of this center of research and development, I’m excited to show pastry chefs who aren’t chocolate makers how quantitative aspects of the process—roasting time and temperature, milling particle size, etc.—can effect the end flavor, and to explore the best applications of every type of chocolate.” – Michael Laiskonis, ICE Creative Director
According to culinary star Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Jenkins entered her restaurant as the “worst intern she ever had.” Ten years later, Michael is running Guarnaschelli’s kitchen as the executive chef at Butter restaurant in New York City. “I remember being young and reading Letters to a Young Chef by Daniel Boulud,” Michael explains. “In it, he says, ‘The first thing you should do in a kitchen is make yourself useful.’ I took that to heart, and I even came into the restaurant on my days off. That extra time was an opportunity to experiment and master techniques through repetition—like making pasta.”Michael met Chef Alex when she was a teacher at the Institute of Culinary Education. He approached her about an externship opportunity after she subbed for one of his classes. Though she clearly was unimpressed with him at the beginning, Alex soon offered Michael a full-time job, and three years into his time at Butter he was competing—and winning—on Chopped. “Competing on TV was a revelation. It was as if you studied Spanish for three years, got dropped in the middle of Mexico and suddenly realized you had been fluent in Spanish all along. Working with Alex—three years in the pantry preparing precise appetizers—had trained me so well for competition. In comparison to the other people on the show, I felt that I knew what I was doing.”
Read on to learn more about Michael’s dynamic culinary career.
New York City’s oldest culinary school is now its newest—and this is your chance to see it for yourself. Extending across 74,000 square feet, our brand new facility at Brookfield Place offers Hudson River views, an increased sense of community and unprecedented opportunities for culinary discovery.
Our new location is outfitted with equipment from leading culinary brands, representing the highest professional standard in culinary creativity and technology. From our hydroponic garden to our bean-to-bar chocolate and culinary technology labs, students can truly experience the food chain from farm to plate and gain an appreciation for every step in the culinary process.