By Cindi Avila


Where do celebrities come when they need help from culinary visionaries? The Institute of Culinary Education of course! This month, you may have noticed ICE on part one of the season finale of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. The season’s winner, Trace Atkins, was among those who came to our professional kitchens to whip up a winning ice cream recipe. Helping the finalists develop their winning recipes were Gary Busey, Joan Rivers, Marilu Henner, Latoya Jackson, Dennis Rodman and many more. We were thrilled to host the cast and help them mix together something sweet.


As if that wasn’t enough star power for one month, we were also featured prominently on the season finale of E!’s Married to Jonas. Kevin Jonas’s wife, Danielle, needed to test some family recipes for a feature in Cosmo, but wanted some expert opinions and help. That’s where ICE stepped in. Our own Director of Culinary Development, James Briscione, served as the family’s host at ICE. Brothers Kevin and Nick Jonas were among several members of the family who got their hands dirty testing recipes in ICE’s kitchens.

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Chef James used his vast culinary knowledge—including his experience writing a cookbook—to help guide the family through the recipe testing process. “I talked with Kevin and Danielle a lot about the importance of presentation. When you present a recipe in magazine or book, it has to be something that people look at and immediately say ‘Oh, I have to try that!’ I helped them dress up their plates and gave them some guidelines on color, texture and of course, taste!” Kevin, in particular, took James’ valuable tips to heart. In the episode, he pauses to remind the family, “Guys, remember presentation is important!”

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Several other ICE staff members were recruited as taste testers. We got to sample about a dozen dishes, and were very impressed with the quality of the dishes, not to mention the Jonas’ family’s hospitality.


The segment first aired Sunday, May 26th and has since been re-broadcast several times. We’re excited to see the Jonas’ and our chefs’ hard work pay off on the small screen and can’t wait to see the recipes in print.

If you have visited ICE recently you may noticed our brand-new ovens and stoves on the 12th floor recreational classrooms. If you’ve participated in a culinary class or cooking event in this space, you’ve used one of the top pieces of culinary equipment available on the market today. The ranges and ovens were custom made for ICE by BlueStar, a pioneer and manufacturer of high-quality, reliable, custom cooking equipment. ICE is proud to announce that BlueStar is the exclusive provider of stoves and ovens for its 12th floor recreational kitchen classrooms.

The new BlueStar equipment at ICE includes seven 30-inch four-burner ranges and three 36-inch six-burner cooktops, all at 22,000 BTUs, as well as two double-wall ovens. Each BlueStar range is hand-crafted in Reading, Pennsylvania. ICE Director of Education Richard Simpson said, “The quality and durability of the BlueStar line is amazing. The ranges and ovens are ideal for our wide variety of classes and we are proud to showcase them in our kitchens.”

Independent studies have shown that BlueStar outperforms leading high-performance stoves when tested for boiling, simmering, deep frying, stir-frying and searing.   All BlueStar ranges, ovens and ventilation hoods are available in 190 color options (check out the photos of our new blue ovens!). More…

Last night, ICE took a primetime starring role in an episode of what has been a tumultuous season of the Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. For this challenge, the remaining celebrities were tasked with creating a live cooking demonstration for Omaha Steaks, in front of executives for the company as well as a live audience at ICE. Ivanka Trump tasked them, “The cooking demonstrations will take place tomorrow in front of a live studio audience at the prestigious Institute of Culinary Education.”

As they prepped for the demonstration, each team worked with a Chef Instructor from ICE — the women with Chef Instructor James Briscione and the men with Chef Instructor Mike Schwartz — perfecting their menus and techniques for the demonstration. The men struggled under project leader Gary Busey’s seemingly unfocused leadership style, while on the woman’s team, former Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk took on her first challenge as project manager. After a day of prep, the teams came to ICE and worked in our professional kitchens to give their demonstrations. Both presentations were certainly memorable — it’s not often that stars like Meat Loaf and La Toya Jackson cook a steak dinner in ICE’s kitchens! Who was sent home? Watch the video to find out! More…

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