When ICE President Rick Smilow and Anne E. McBride wrote Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food they discovered a plethora of food jobs they had never heard of before. Since the book’s release, they have been discovering even more interesting career paths in the food world. DICED shares some of them with you in a reoccurring feature, “Unique Culinary Careers.”
ICE alum Allison Fishman is the author of the new book, You Can Trust a Skinny Cook. After graduating from ICE, she went on to work in test kitchens at Saveur, Martha Stewart and Food Network. She has also worked in TV and graduated from NYU’s food studies program. Her classes at ICE focus on healthy, delicious cooking using simple techniques. Fishman says, “It can be a bit confusing, this hodge podge food career. My dad is always trying to explain what I do in one sentence, but it doesn’t work that way. When you come down to it, I cook at home, write about home cooking, take pictures of food and teach others how to cook. I guess that’s my sentence.” We asked her to tell us some more about her career and the process of writing a cook book and working as a teacher in the industry.
What has your career path been like?
When I met with ICE Admissions Rep Linda Simon in 2001, prior to enrolling at ICE (then Peter Kump’s), she asked me why I wanted to go to culinary school. I told her that I was a terrible cook and I had no kitchen confidence, and many of my friends felt the same way. We were well educated, moving up in the corporate world, but had no idea what to do when it came to the kitchen. I knew there were a lot of women out there like me, and I wanted to help my generation become comfortable in the kitchen, and have fun doing it.
When I graduated, I went to work in the test kitchens that home cooks turned to, like Saveur, Martha Stewart and Food Network. I wanted to be a part of the kitchens were setting the tone for home cooking in America. As I worked in these kitchens, I was teaching in people’s home kitchens. This was the key part — the home kitchen is where the knife meets the cutting board, or more accurately the garlic meets the press. I taught, but I learned far more. I observed what home cooks needed and wanted. More…