At ICE, we make it our mission to help students find their culinary voice — that creative drive within each of us that determines how we express ourselves through food. Whether it’s a career training program, a recreational course in pie crusts or a special event featuring handmade pasta, we’ll give you the tools to hone your culinary creativity. Join us as we ask some of today’s leading food industry pros to share their culinary voice.

Like choosing a favorite child, it’s not easy to choose a favorite restaurant. Still, when taken to task, top chefs consistently pick Marea, Chef Michael White’s Michelin-starred mecca for Italian seafood that sits pretty on Central Park South. Bobby Flay describes it as “probably my favorite restaurant in the city — from perfect crudo to pasta with sea urchin, Michael White brings his A-game always.” Asked for his preferred Big Apple eateries, Anthony Bourdain named not one but two Michael White restaurants: “I’ll go to [Osteria] Morini for a bowl of pasta, or if I really want to blow it out I’ll go to Marea, but just for the pasta. Not that the fish isn’t magnificent, but I’ll go in and eat three or four different pastas. If I am carb-loading that would be a good choice.” Even the James Beard Foundation chose Marea as the Best New Restaurant in 2010. Other restaurants from Chef White’s Altamarea Group, like Ai Fiori, are time-tested New Yorker favorites, too.

So what does the king of elegant seafood and craveable carbs think about when he’s in the kitchen? What is his culinary voice? It begins with something he likes to call “taste memory.” Watch the video and discover what that means for Chef Michael White.

Find your culinary voice with ICE — learn more about our career training programs.


The food industry agrees: ICE graduates enter the workplace with an edge. But what exactly is ICE’s recipe for success? We chatted with some of NYC’s top chefs and restaurateurs to find out. Scroll down to watch Marcus Samuelsson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Daniel Boulud, Danny Meyer and more praise ICE in the video below (plus: get a peek inside ICE’s facilities).

ICE’s light, airy facilities overlooking the Hudson River make it a unique and inspirational learning environment. Zac Young, ICE graduate and Pastry Director of Craveable Hospitality Group, said, “It’s completely state-of-the-art. It’s like no other culinary school that I’ve seen, in terms of the technology, the space, the layout…” Indeed, the space affects the energy of the entire ICE community. As Bill Telepan, Executive Chef of Oceana, observed, “You can just see everybody’s walking a little differently and moving a little quicker.”

ICE chef instructors share with students both technical expertise and the type of professional insight that can only be gained through years of experience. Said David Burke, restaurateur behind NYC mainstays like David Burke Kitchen, “The instructors at ICE are chefs that have worked in some of the greatest restaurants in the country, so they’re bringing that homegrown intensity to the students.” Innovators themselves, ICE chef instructors teach students the latest culinary techniques — offering truly forward-looking training. According to Michael White, chef and owner of the Altamarea Group, “There are so many new techniques in the kitchen, whether it’s sous vide cookery or immersion circulators — things that have not always been taught are now being taught at ICE.” Bill Telepan noted, “They’re doing a lot of the new molecular cooking; they’re expanding their horizons beyond the classics… The fusion of cuisines is much more refined than it was 20 years ago and they’re really looking at that.”

The real champions of ICE — who inspire us through their ambition, their curiosity and their tenacity — are the students. Marcus Samuelsson, restaurateur and chef of Harlem’s celebrated Red Rooster, said, “I love working with ICE graduates… They’re very passionate and determined because they very often left another field to come into culinary.” In the same vein, Alex Guarnaschelli, the culinary brains behind Butter and former ICE instructor, said, “When you get people that have life experience on top of starting a new career, then you get those layered and complex people that really enrich the food industry.” And you can be sure: ICE graduates hit the ground running. Said Marc Forgione (of the eponymous restaurant), “New York City is the city that never sleeps. It will chew you up and spit you out if you’re not ready for the pressure. Because they were trained in New York, [ICE graduates] don’t get too star struck when they get into a fast-paced kitchen.”

So when it comes time for hiring, what does the industry think about ICE graduates? As prominent restaurateur Danny Meyer aptly put it, “My sense about alumni of ICE is that they should all work for us instead of only some of them working for us.” The food industry loves working with ICE.

Ready to launch your culinary career with ICE? Click here to learn more about our career programs.

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…

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