Anthony Jackson Altamarea Group
By Carly DeFilippo
 

Like many Culinary Arts students, alum Anthony Jackson turned to ICE in pursuit of a new, creative career. Combining his prior public relations experience with his newfound kitchen skills, he quickly found a position as the social media manager & communications associate at Chef Michael White’s celebrated Altamarea Group. Read on to learn how Anthony found a culinary career full of more variety and excitement than he ever expected.

What was your education or career prior to enrolling at ICE?
After graduating from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism in 2009, I moved to New York and worked in corporate public relations for three years. I was miserable—I didn’t feel creatively challenged or passionate about the work I was doing at the time. I’ve always felt like you do your best work when it’s something you believe in.

Food was always one of my interests, but I wasn’t exactly sure where in the industry I wanted to go. I thought food media would be a great fit for me because of my journalism background, so I began looking into what kinds of jobs were available. Several required formal culinary training, so I enrolled at ICE to earn that additional level of credibility.

Why did you specifically choose ICE for your culinary program?
ICE was the perfect combination of everything I was looking for in a culinary school. It’s a credible institution that has produced some of the industry’s leading innovators and authorities. It also offered flexible scheduling. I enrolled in the part-time program, which allowed me to keep my job during the day while working toward my diploma at night.

When did you transition away from PR to work full time in the food industry?
Around the time I enrolled at ICE I started working for the Altamarea Group, spearheading all of their social media efforts while supporting their brands and communications team through public relations and photography. I was able to complete my hands-on ICE externship within our company, working two weeks in the kitchens of each of our Manhattan restaurants: Marea, Ai Fiori, Osteria Morini, Nicoletta, Costata, The Butterfly and Ristorante Morini.

Since we have both fine dining and casual concepts within our group, it gave me a unique perspective to work at each property and use that experience to communicate what we do to our social media audience. Moreover, I was able to get to know many of the talented chefs within our company, several of whom are fellow ICE grads!

Anthony Jackson Altamarea Group

Anthony often photographs new dishes for Altamarea Group restaurants including Osteria Morini.

 

How has having a culinary diploma furthered your career?
I feel so fortunate to have found a job that I love that combines so many of my different interests. I believe in our company and am so proud of the quality of food and the level of hospitality we provide. Having a culinary diploma has helped me gain a better understanding of the care we put into our product and how to better articulate that to our audience.

What are your proudest professional accomplishments?
Chef White released a cookbook called Classico e Moderno in November of 2013, and I conducted the majority of the recipe testing for the book. I was in my second month of culinary school at the time, and I was blown away that he would ask me to do it. It was a challenging experience, unlike anything I’d ever done, but incredibly rewarding at the same time. I learned so much about Italian cuisine. I’m so grateful he trusted me with the project, and I’m incredibly proud of how it turned out.

Briefly describe a day in your current working life.
One of the great things about my job is that no two days look the same, so I’m never bored. I photograph new menu items, accompany Chef White to media appearances, travel around the NYC area to promote our participation in various industry events, and work on strategic marketing campaigns and collaborative social media promotions. It’s all a nice balance.

chef michael white altamarea group anthony jackson

Behind the scenes on a video shoot with Chef Michael White

What might people be surprised to learn about your job?
I’m responsible for keeping the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for 18 restaurants active and engaging all on my own!

Where would you like to see yourself in the future?
I might like to have a restaurant of my own one day, but anything of that magnitude is several years down the road. Right now I’m just focused on finding new ways to promote the various dining experiences guests can enjoy at the Altamarea Group.

Ready to boost your food media skill set? Get started with a diploma in Culinary Arts.

Last Saturday, New York City carnivores gathered at Meatopia, Josh Ozersky’s famed celebration of all things carnivorous. This celebration of meat joined together over forty-five chefs and half a dozen farmers from all over the country and displayed the most delicious exhibit of meat known to man.

From pulled pork to roasted goat and beef cheeks to sausage, chefs like Nate Appleman of Chipotle served chorizo tostadas and Michael Psilakis with Greek lamb offal, lined Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park for a night that only true meat-lovers could enjoy. ICE Students were also on site to lend a hand to the hungry. And what’s a plate full of meat without something to wash it down? The event also included two Amstel Light Beer gardens! More…

ICE Senior Career Services Advisor Amy Quazza and Director of Career Services Maureen Drum Fagin with Outstanding Chef Award Winner José Andrés

As we welcome spring, food lovers and passionate diners everywhere look forward to the annual James Beard Awards. Celebrated close to the anniversary of James Beard’s birthday in May, the awards are given to the best chefs, restaurants and media in the country. ICE founder Peter Kump helped launch the James Beard Foundation and ICE is proud to maintain close ties to the organization and their hard work to promote and celebrate food in America. The Awards are regarded as the most prestigious awards in the culinary industry, often referred to as the “Oscars” of food.

This year, the awards ceremonies and festivities were spread over the entire weekend as the food world gathered in NYC for a celebration of all things culinary. On Friday night, the foundation held their Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards, hosted by Ted Allen of Food Network’s Chopped and ICE alum Gail Simmons of Bravo’s Top Chef. In fact, Top Chef, took home the award for best Television Show, In Studio or Fixed Location. ICE alums Dominique Andrews and Marie Ostrosky were also nominated for the second year in a row in the Television Special category. More…

At the end of January, Maxim magazine came to ICE for a special sandwich showdown between top New York City chefs from six hot restaurants. The high-charged and creative chef contestants included Marc Forgione of Restaurant Marc Forgione, Michael Psilakis of FishTag, Michael White of Marea, Ratha Chau and Ben Daitz of Num Pang, Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone of Torrisi Italian Specialties and Sara Jenkins of Porchetta and Porsena.

Each chef came to ICE and prepared their own newly-created ultimate sandwich for a panel of judges including ICE Chef Instructor James Briscione, Maxim editor Maria Fontoura, as well as a surprise celebrity judge from the New York Jets! You’ll have to read the “Battle for the Ultimate Sandwich” article in the April issue of Maxim to find out more! Or go to after the jump to see an awesome video of the chefs working on their sandwiches and the judges tasting them before declaring a winner. More…

Last night, ICE participated in Careers through Culinary Arts Program’s (C-CAP) annual benefit at Pier Sixty on the Chelsea Piers. Over 36 chefs from around NYC came out to support this unique charitable program. C-CAP is designed to encourage high school students who show interest and aptitude in the culinary arts to turn their young passion into a long-term career. ICE President Rick Smilow is on the program’s board of directors.

Maurice DuBois of CBS served as the evening’s emcee, introducing President/Founder of C-CAP Richard Grausman who spoke about C-CAP’s mission to provide culinary employment opportunities for youth. After Grausman, the event’s honoree, Michael Lomonaco gave an inspiring speech about life in the industry. Lomonaco has worked in many of New York’s top restaurants, including Le Cirque, Windows on the World and Wild Blue. Now, he heads up the kitchen at Porter House New York. He has also appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC, Travel Channel and Food Network and contributed to numerous publications such as Gourmet, Food & Wine, New York Times and Travel & Leisure. His support of C-CAP dates back to his time at the 21 Club and Windows on the World, where he hosted Awards Breakfasts where C-CAP students are awarded culinary scholarships. More…