By Bill Telepan, Director of Sustainability
In this interview, ICE’s Director of Sustainability Bill Telepan speaks with Chef April Bloomfield, the British-born, NYC-based chef behind The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and The John Dory Oyster Bar. Bill and April talk about Coombeshead Farm, the farm in the heart of Cornwall, England that April owns and runs with Chef Tom Adams, chef-owner of the London restaurant, Pitt Cue. Don’t let the name mislead you — Coombeshead is more ecosystem than farm, or more precisely, a farm, guesthouse, restaurant and bakery that runs largely off the fat of the land, and animals raised on that land. Bill and April chat about her first brush with farming, the benefits of producing your own food and the importance of getting dirty sometimes.
Bill: Your food is so inspired by the seasons. When you came up with The Spotted Pig, what amazed me was how there were great ingredients in a casual setting and it felt so easy. I understand it was not easy, but it felt that way. I wanted to first ask you about growing up — did you have any experience with farming? What was food like at your home?
Read on to learn what inspired April to get growing.
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.”
Read on to learn about our first-ever west coast location.
By Steve Zagor, Dean of Restaurant & Culinary Management
These days, we’re seeing more news on the abolition of tips. You might wonder: what’s the consensus on tipping? I have a little tip for you. We won’t be ending tipping in the U.S. anytime soon. We have a better chance of seeing Mickey Mouse star in a new movie. Here’s why.
Recently, the no tip experiment – yes, it’s still in the test tube phase – was spotlighted in a “60 Minutes” interview with Danny Meyer, whose Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) claims fame to a formidable roster of top full-service restaurants and the fast casual Shake Shack. Meyer is also the Pied Piper of the no-tipping movement, and as such he eloquently spreads the gospel of no tipping and the equalization of the wages between cooks and wait staff. Meyer has commented that it’s an important human value-based decision, but that the road will be long before it becomes commonplace.
To celebrate the release of her highly anticipated cookbook, My Rice Bowl, James Beard Award nominee Chef Rachel Yang will visit ICE on November 10. She and co-author Jess Thomson will reflect on their careers, provide insights for culinary business owners and discuss the process of getting a cookbook published. Attendees will have the chance to win a free copy of the book, which features 75 recipes based on Rachel's deeply comforting Korean fusion cuisine. Below, Rachel shares one of her favorite recipes from My Rice Bowl.
By Rachel Yang, ICE Graduate and Chef-Owner of Joule, Revel, Trove and Revelry
For me, the best moment of cooking the food we cook is catching a customer trying to figure out what’s happening in their mouth. They take a bite and chew thoughtfully, but they either don’t find the flavors they expected or they can’t identify what they’re tasting. They take another bite and in a storm of discovery, they chat with their fellow diners about what’s happening. By this point, they’re already hooked — there are smiles and nods and reaches for another bite.
These potatoes are a prime example of a dish that creates that kind of experience. Tossed with a blend of Kalamata olives and soy sauce, they look like they’ve been coated in barbecue sauce, but somehow the combination of salt and butter with the deep umami flavor comes across like dark chocolate in the first bite.
Read on to get the recipe for these delicious, umami-packed potatoes.
By Michael Laiskonis, Creative Director
When ICE moved into its current facility at Brookfield Place, staff and students were treated to new features like the Chocolate Lab – my home base – as well as our indoor hydroponic farm. This innovative space focuses on unique varieties of culinary plants grown for flavor, and their efforts benefit our students in the teaching kitchens as well as chefs and restaurants throughout the city. Every time I walk past the brightly lit farm, I can almost taste the dozens of flavors growing within and my imagination immediately starts to stir. This first in a series of posts traces some inspired ideas that emerge when we crossbreed these amazing raw materials with advanced pastry projects in the Chocolate Lab.
Keep reading to discover what happens when our Creative Director pays a visit to the hydroponic garden.
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.
Click through to watch and learn more about the making of the giant elf!
By Lauren Jessen — ICE Graduate + Blogger, A Dash of Cinema
Long before I attended culinary school, I attempted to make homemade marshmallows. Unsurprisingly, my first go was a sticky mess — my marshmallows fell flat. Flash forward a few years later to actually being in culinary school at ICE: when it came time to make marshmallows in class, I had flashbacks of my previous marshmallow miss and was nervous that the lesson would result in a frustrating mess.
Keep reading to get the recipe for these frightfully easy Halloween treats.
Sometimes, a moment of inspiration can change the course of your career. Whether it’s an ah-ha! moment or a taste of something outstanding, it sets you on a new path of discovery. For Pastry Arts student Calvin Luk, his moment came during a visit to the York Cocoa House Chocolate Emporium in the U.K. The Hong Kong native had relocated to York to study archaeology, but one sip of the famed York Cocoa House hot chocolate and he knew his future lay in the art of chocolate making.
Soon after his visit, Calvin began working at the acclaimed York Cocoa House. When he realized he was ready to take his education to the next level, he chose the Pastry & Baking Arts program at ICE.
Click below to watch the video and learn what Calvin's been up to at ICE.
By Caitlin Raux
“The future of food is cooking — is all of us cooking,” said Melissa Clark on Monday night to a roomful of guests ranging from food industry pros to zealous foodies at the Institute of Culinary Education. The occasion was the third annual “The Next Big Bite” event presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, and the question on everyone’s mind: what is the future of food? The prolific New York Times food writer was joined by fellow panelists Padma Lakshmi of Bravo’s Top Chef, Kerry Heffernan, executive chef of Grand Banks; Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation; Missy Robbins, ICE graduate and chef-owner of Lilia, and Pascaline Lepeltier, Master Sommelier, all moderated by Dana Cowin, chief creative officer of Chefs Club and former editor-in-chief of Food & Wine. Heads nodded and occasional waves of laughter rippled through the crowd as the panelists explored the future of food.
Keep reading to find out what these culinary thought leaders said about the future of food.
By Michael Laiskonis—Creative Director
In ICE's Chocolate Lab, students get to take part in the bean-to-bar chocolate process, giving them a firsthand education on the importance of ingredient sourcing, refining and selection. Below, I’ve compiled some surprising facts about the different stages of the chocolate making process. These observations may be old hat to professional chocolate makers, but they are rarely — if ever — considered by chefs and consumers.
Read on to learn surprising facts about the chocolate making process.