Yesterday, 20 high school students from across New York City gathered at ICE for a competition for scholarships to attend culinary school. The two-hour challenge was part of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), a program teaching high school students the skills they need for a career in the culinary industry. ICE President Rick Smilow was a long-standing member of the program’s board of directors.

Within a two-hour time limit, each competitor prepared, from memory, a two-course French meal —Hunter’s Chicken with Turned, Sautéed Potatoes and Crepes with Pastry Cream and Chocolate Sauce. The students presented plates of each dish to the judges including ICE Director of Culinary Arts Mike Handal, author and TV personality Sara Moulton, Executive Sous Chef David Chavez of Bouchon Bakery, Executive Chef Matt Hoyle of Nobu 57, Chef Kevin Lasko of Park Avenue Winter, C-CAP Founder and Chairman Richard Grausman and C-CAP President Susan Robbins. More…

Last night The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF) held A Slice of Latin America, their twelfth annual gala. CHCF provides programs and services such as childcare and education for Latino children and their families. The gala is a great party with lots of food, drink and music from some amazing local chefs.

As part of their programs, CHCF also encourages careers through the culinary arts for Latino high school students. Last month, they held their annual Latin Legacy Culinary Competition at ICE and after a cook-off between three very talented high school students, awarded a $15,000 partial ICE scholarship to Katherine Cruz. ICE Director of Student Affairs Andy Gold, who was one of the Gala’s Co-Chairs, presented her with the award last night during the gala. More…

This week, one of ICE’s many star alums returned to give a demonstrations for career training students. Ivy Stark graduated from ICE’s Culinary Arts program in 1995, and has often returned to ICE to help current culinary students. At yesterday’s demo she demonstrated how to make a variety of Mexican sauces from her vast repertoire.

Stark is the New York corporate executive chef of Dos Caminos, the acclaimed Mexican restaurant with four locations in the city, a position she obtained after being the executive chef of Dos Caminos Park. Her passion for international cuisines has led her to hold key posts in restaurants from New York to Los Angeles. She has worked as executive sous-chef and executive chef in the kitchens of Match Uptown, Cena and at Rosa Mexicano. More…

Last night, four ICE students competed in the Chefs of Grey Poupon Student Competition. ICE students have won the competition for the last two years consecutively, winning culinary scholarships to further their education. This year, the students were challenged to create a “health-inspired fish dish” using Grey Poupon mustard.

At the semifinals in March, six ICE students competed for the chance to advance to the next round. Marc Giroux’s Grilled Dijon-Glazed Striped Bass with Asparagus and Spring Vegetables; Brandon James’s Spice Encrusted Swordfish Loin with Fennel-Citrus Salad, Sautéed Greens and Warm Dijon Sauce; Maridania Collado’s Country Mustard Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Soy-Dijon Baby Bok Choy, Cockles and Spicy Lemon-Dijon Rice Noodles in Dijon-Miso Broth; and Richard Chan’s Smoked Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Beets and Pea Purée were selected as the finalists. The students cooked during afternoon to prepare their judges for the esteemed panel of judges. Each student prepared five plates of their dish during their allotted time and then presented the dishes to the judges and answered questions about their experience creating the dish and using Grey Poupon. More…