By Carly DeFilippo

Originally formed in 1985 to celebrate James Beard’s 82nd birthday, Monday night marked the 29th annual Chef’s Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels. More than 40 of the country’s top chefs kicked off the summer season at Rockefeller Center with a wide range of seafood-centric dishes.

ICE students help Chef Stephanie Izard of Chicago's Girl and the Goat serve hundreds of esteemed guests.

ICE students help Chef Stephanie Izard of Chicago’s Girl and the Goat serve hundreds of esteemed guests.

ICE was proud to have 37 volunteers help staff the event—the only culinary school whose students had the chance to cook alongside such culinary leaders as Jean Georges Vongerichten (Jean Georges), Michael Anthony (Gramercy Tavern), Michael Voltaggio (ink), Francois Payard (Payard Patisserie), Marc Forgione (American Cut), Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat) and Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto).

Celebrated chefs like Gramercy Tavern's Michael Anthony offered creative takes on refreshing summer fare // An ICE culinary student helps plate Chef Leah Cohen's green curry.

Celebrated chefs like Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony offered creative takes on refreshing summer fare. // An ICE culinary student helps plate Chef Leah Cohen’s green curry.

As one culinary student volunteer, Elio LaPaix, explained, it was an exceptional opportunity to meet some of the industry’s culinary leaders and network with potential employers. “For me it was a great experience to work with Stephanie Izard and learn from her experience as a restaurant owner. She said it always is good to work in other chefs’ kitchens before you strike out on your own, and invited me to extern at her restaurant in Chicago.”

Chef Michael Voltaggio of LA's Ink offered one of the most innovative dishes of the night, featuring cauliflower, roe and chicharrones.

ICE students helped Chef Michael Voltaggio of LA’s Ink prepare one of the most innovative dishes of the night, featuring icy cauliflower, roe and chicharrones.

Culinary greats like Jean-Georges worked the line along with their staff and ICE students.

Culinary greats like Jean-Georges worked the line along with their staff and ICE students. (Did you know? Jean Georges provides more externships to ICE students than any other NYC chef!)

It was also a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about Citymeals-on-Wheels and how they can continue to support their local community as culinary professionals. The non-profit helps to ensure that no elderly or mobility-challenged New Yorkers go without food or human company. For a school who trains our students in the art of service, that’s a cause close to our hearts!

It was an exceptional opportunity for our current students to learn from the industry's best chefs and connect with potential employers.

An ICE student works alongside Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen, now Executive Chef of NYC’s Pig and Khao.

Overall, the elegant evening was an outstanding celebration of innovative chefs from across the nation, and we’re proud to have helped support Citymeals’ admirable mission.

To learn more about how student volunteer opportunities at ICE, click here.

Originally formed in 1985 to celebrate James Beard’s 82nd birthday, Monday night marked the 27th annual Chef’s Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels. This annual al fresco event kicks off the summer season in New York City and is held at Rockefeller Center. While James passed away a few months prior to the first event, the gala now salutes America’s harvest and American talent as a tribute to him.

Monday night’s event was a celebration of food and film as renowned chefs gathered and served dishes inspired by their favorite movies. Over 40 students from ICE volunteered at the event and worked with some of the greatest chefs in the nation. We are so proud of their hard work – see below for highlights from the evening. Hats off!

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ICE Student Volunteers with Chef Bill Telepan

Last night, the Institute of Culinary Education celebrated at Rockefeller Center at Citymeals-on-Wheels’ A Taste of Home benefit. The yearly culinary event brings together many of the country’s most acclaimed chefs to celebrate the heritage and legacy of James Beard and food in America.

The event dates back to 1985 when twelve devotees of James Beard came together to celebrate his life and love of cooking, all while giving to Citymeals-on-Wheels. Beard co-founded Citymeals-on-Wheels along with Gael Greene to feed homebound elderly New Yorkers.

With a long history of bringing together the country’s greatest chefs for one amazing evening, the event did not disappoint this year. The roster of chefs included Daniel Boulud, Dominique Ansel, Larry Forgione, Marc Forgione, Bryan Forgione, Nobu Matsuhisa, Bill Telepan, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Tom Colicchio, Scott Conant, Aaron Sanchez, Charlie Palmer, David Burke and Alfred Portale, among many others. More…