By Andrea Strong

She’s been an accountant, a model, a caterer, a chef, a reality TV competitor and most recently a cookbook author, a restaurateur and a co-host of ABC’s Emmy award-winning, popular lifestyle series “The Chew.” She is Carla Hall, the fan favorite competitor on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars.” Classically trained in France, but true to her Nashville roots, Carla is a culinary Wonder Woman who’s worked nearly every nook of this business with enthusiasm and a healthy dose of hootie hoo!

Andrea Strong spoke to Carla about changing careers, the need to feel frustration, the reasons she temporarily closed her Brooklyn restaurant Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen and why social media is a double-edged sword.

Carla Hall

Andrea Strong: You started out as an accountant, then became a model and then ditched it all to become a caterer. Can you talk a bit about these decisions and how they played out?

Carla Hall: I think it’s important to say that from the beginning, I had parents and grandparents who said to me, “It’s your job to be happy, not to be rich.” So I was always looking for satisfaction. Having the support of my family made it that much easier to make the transitions I made.

Keep reading to learn how Carla launched her culinary career, plus her advice for aspiring food media pros.

05. July 2017 · Categories: Alumni

By Caitlin Raux

In 2011, Illtyd Barrett (Management ‘12) was on a mission: to put Welsh cuisine on the map. A builder, an artist and an experienced cook, he had all of the ingredients for a restaurant — except the business savvy, which is why he enrolled at ICE. There, he met Tom Coughlan (Culinary/Management ‘12), a young, aspiring chef who had recently switched courses from finance to culinary arts. When Illtyd was ready to open a restaurant, Tom’s “job application,” famously captured by the New Yorker (presenting two quarts of blood and pig skin from a freshly slaughtered swine), instantly landed him the head chef position. Today, the two ICE grads are serving up Welsh cuisine at Sunken Hundred in Brooklyn, which has quickly become the center for Welsh culture outside of Wales. The menu features Welsh specialties like lamb pasties and Gwaun Valley trout, and seaweed foraged on the coasts of Wales pops up in unexpected places, from cocktails to desserts. Like a Welsh version of Cheers, the space has the cozy feel of a neighborhood pub — only one that serves refined and delicious food.

Sunken Hundred

On a Friday before the rush of dinner service, we caught up with Illtyd and Tom at Sunken Hundred. They invited us to sample their seaweed-laden fare (warning: the bar snack of laver seaweed fried into salty, light puffs is highly addictive), and dished on Welsh cuisine, their path to opening a restaurant and the importance of choosing a good business partner. Said Tom, “If you are ying, you need to find your yang.”

Keep reading to learn how these ICE alums put Welsh cuisine on the NYC food map. 

By Kelly Newsome — Student, School of Culinary Arts

An entire class on salad, seriously? That was the topic of conversation one Tuesday evening in the women’s locker room at ICE. We hemmed and hawed, convinced that there was nothing to learn about salads that we didn’t already know. Salads, at least in the American culinary tradition, have been relegated to the depths of diet food, a punishment rather than a pleasure. But, as I would soon learn, salads can be unabashedly delicious, and the classics are classics for a reason — when executed correctly, they are irresistible. My assignment that Tuesday night was Cobb salad — a classic American recipe that gave me a newfound respect for the humble art of salad creation.

cobb salad

Keep reading to get the step-by-step guide to making this classic dish.

By Chef James Briscione — Director of Culinary Research

 

Ready to take this weekend's cookout to the next level? Let's talk ribs. The secret to the best ribs ever to come off your grill is… your oven! Slow roasting your ribs in the oven before finishing them on the grill is the best method we’ve found for juicy, falling-off-the-bone ribs that don’t require an expensive smoker or low temperature grilling set up. But before your ribs hit the oven, they need a little bit of prep.

Grilled Ribs

Keep reading for Chef James' step-by-step guide to making the perfect ribs. 

30. June 2017 · Categories: Video

 

Summer is the season for seafood. Whether you’re dreaming of sushi like Jiro or picturing the perfect seafood cookout, learning how to properly fillet a fish is essential. But we get why you’ve been putting it off: it’s intimidating. That’s why ICE and Wüsthof teamed up to roll out a new video demonstrating the correct technique for breaking down a whole fish. Watch as Chef Sabrina Sexton, ICE’s Culinary Arts program director, uses a range of Wüsthof blades to fillet a beautiful red snapper. Check out our tips below, outlining the technique, then head to your local fishmonger and make your seafood dreams a reality.

Wüsthof knife skills fish

Read on to get the step-by-step guide to filleting a whole fish. 

27. June 2017 · Categories: Recipes, Video

 

By Caitlin Raux

 

Give a girl a slice of pizza (plus garlic knots) and you’ll feed her for a night. Teach her to make homemade pizza and she’ll be able to host spontaneous dinner parties and feed all of her pizza-loving friends for a lifetime. Because with just a handful of ingredients — flour, water, salt, yeast and olive oil — you can throw together a pizza using what’s already in your cupboard, adding a few fresh toppings to give it that gourmet touch.

homemade pizza video

Keep reading to watch the video and get Chef Jenny's simple pizza recipe. 

 

When you host a special event at ICE, you can have your seasonal, delicious meal — and cook it, too! ICE’s Special Events department hosts over 400 culinary events every year, and with each, we turn an event or celebration into a fun, memorable cooking experience.  

 

This month, we’re rolling out our summer menu, incorporating the season’s best produce, and offering a brand new hydroponic garden option, which allows you and your guests to take a guided tour of our onsite hydroponic garden and then whip up a tasty meal using fresh-picked herbs. We caught up with Philipp Hering, ICE’s Special Events Lead Chef, to get the lowdown on this fresh new menu.

ICE cooking event

Everything on the new seasonal cooking menu looks SO good — which are your favorite dishes?

 

Thank you! I love to incorporate new, trending ingredients and to make them accessible to the general public, who either don’t how to use them or wouldn’t give them a second thought. That being said, my current favorites on the menu are our pastas — specifically, the Tagliatelle with Summer Vegetables. It’s a simple preparation, but the flavors and colors pop — perfect for the season. I also have a soft spot for our Tuscan Chicken “Under a Brick.” I love roasting chicken and this method puts a new spin on it.

 

It seems like the dishes draw influences from around the globe — how do you go about creating the menu? Where do you look for inspiration?

 

The menu is a collaborative effort between the members of the Special Events department. We discuss our favorite trends, taste a lot (probably too much!) and then build out the recipes. We chat with other chefs at ICE about what they are currently doing. I also draw upon my experience cooking at Barbuto. It was really a chef’s restaurant, so I was lucky to meet lots of great local chefs and gain inspiration from them as well.

 

Keep reading to learn more about our new Special Events menu — and book your event today!

 

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

 

As the Fourth of July approaches and we eagerly anticipate colorful firework displays and backyard barbecues, why not celebrate with a red, white and blue sprinkle-covered confetti cake? This delicious lemon-almond cake, filled with fresh strawberries and blueberries and layered with cream cheese icing, is sure to be a crowd pleaser. With layers in red, white and blue, DIY confetti and loads of sprinkles, it's so spectacular, it just may distract your guests from the fireworks!

Video_play_Button_July_Fourth_Cake

Keep reading to learn how to make this festive holiday cake!

By Chef James Distefano

Is there anything better than corn in the summertime? To me, corn is one of the highlights of the season’s produce. As a kid spending summers at the Jersey shore, the last thing I wanted to do was leave the beach early and shuck corn for dinner (but I did love eating it!). Now, it’s one of my favorite summer ingredients to work with, its subtle sweetness giving it the versatility to work in many dishes. What’s more: whether you’re using it in a soup, salad or simply grilled and buttered, corn is an ingredient that doesn’t need a lot of gussying up.

Corn Ice Cream - No-Churn - No Machine Ice Cream - James Distefano - People magazine

You may not believe corn and dessert go together, but consider this: while we commonly think of corn as a part of a savory dish, it’s also in plenty of your favorite breakfast cereals. The best part about this recipe is that you can make it without an ice cream maker.

Read on to watch how you can make this delicious, seasonal ice cream at home!

 

By Michael Laiskonis—Creative Director

 

“If you cook, you are going to get hurt.” The crowd that gathered for a panel discussion on modernist cooking erupted into laughter, but Wylie Dufresne’s observation was gravely accurate. Extreme heat (and cold — working with liquid nitrogen was the object of Wylie’s remark), sharp knives and heavy equipment are some of the perils that cooks must navigate in their daily workplace environment. Add to the mix a dash of occasional chaos and the pressure to produce at breakneck speed, and it’s a wonder more chefs don’t bear hideous deformities.

Chef Sharpening Knives

Young cooks are instantly identified by the rows of scars running up their forearms: the reminders of brief skin-singing encounters with blazing hot oven racks and pan handles. A cook’s relative experience is easily judged by his or her fingertip’s tolerance to heat (a seemingly heat-proof layer of skin inevitably forms with time). Another telltale sign of a chef is the tough, raised callous at the base of the index finger: the contact point of skin and the carbon steel blade of a chef’s knife. This callous never fully returns to soft, supple flesh, even after years of retirement from daily slicing and chopping. It’s a calling card of sorts, a silent testament to one’s lifelong métier.