By Stephen Zagor — Dean of Restaurant & Culinary Management 

Picture this: You’re a new sous chef clocking 55 hours a week and bringing in $40,000 per year. Suddenly, as of January 1, 2017, abracadabra! You’ve magically found yourself with an additional $450 per week (approximately $23,000 per year) in your pocket. Holy Wolfgang Puck! Did you just win the lottery? Were you an heir of a distant aunt who just died? As it turns out, you have just benefitted from an amendment to the New York Wage Order that raises the New York exempt level (that is, exempt from overtime) from $35,100 to $42,900. This means that anyone being paid less than $42,900 per year in 2017, whether salaried or hourly, is entitled to overtime pay of time-and-a-half for every hour worked over 40 per week. The new law stands to affect restaurant workers at every level, from dishwashers to sous chefs to managers. Diners can expect to feel the impact too.

restaurant burger

To clarify, this is a New York State regulation. The federal government passed a similar regulation that would have increased the exempt threshold to $47,500. However, at the last second, an enlightened federal judge froze the implementation of that rule. Nevertheless, by 2019, the New York threshold is scheduled to climb to a whopping $58,500 — way ahead of the proposed federal figure. Again, this means that anyone paid less than $58,500 will be eligible for overtime. That is a whopping 67% increase from the 2016 base.

If you are a floor manager or sous chef, don’t run out and put a down payment on a beach-front condo in Costa Rica just yet. Do you think a restaurant owner will pay this increase? Not likely. Instead, what may happen is a reduction in hours, so the overtime burden will decrease or even disappear. Otherwise, if the distance to the new base from current salary is minimal, the base salary will be raised to $42,900 — a nice extra stipend, but probably only enough for a cabana rental in South Florida.

That’s one side. Now let’s look at it from the restaurant’s perspective. First off, it’s likely that most owners haven’t even heard of this new law. Unless they are a member of a trade association and regularly read their bulletins, they’re probably blissfully in the dark. That is, until they are discovered to be noncompliant and fined tons of back penalties and taxes.

Next, if our restaurant owner is paying salaries at the old $35,100 threshold, one option is to increase those salaries to $42,900. That’s a 33% increase. If more than one salaried employee falls into this range, the total increase could be financially unsustainable. The only other option is to reduce hours. Then, the issue becomes: Who will do the work? The answer: wage-earning employees. Either way, this could be a big labor cost burden on the restaurant. Combine this with highly publicized minimum wage increases and the changing tip landscape, and the new labor world will be oppressive.

So who benefits in this equation? For starters, the state — with higher payroll taxes from higher wages plus the penalties from non-compliers. The restaurant owners? Not likely; just another challenge for a business model that is already on the ropes. The guests, then? Definitely not. Who is going to pay for these extra labor costs? You got it: the diner. If you thought burgers were getting expensive last year, get ready for even pricier patties. This change is just one of multiple wage increases occurring in 2017 and 2018. Buckle your seat belts, diners, there is more to come.

Want to take a deeper dive into food business studies? Click here for more information on ICE’s Restaurant & Culinary Management program. 

“Do you have what it takes to work in my kitchen?” asks Marcus Samuelsson, celebrated chef of NYC’s Red Rooster, in the newly released 2017 #CULINARYVOICE Scholarship Challenge video from the Institute of Culinary Education. The video, which also features food heavyweights Ted Allen, Duff Goldman and Donatella Arpaia, marks the launch of the second-ever #CULINARYVOICE Scholarship Challenge. It also signals ICE’s continued commitment to finding the next generation of culinary and hospitality talent.

Launched in 2015, the first #CULINARYVOICE Scholarship Challenge was a roaring success. Over 1.1 million votes were cast and eight lives were changed — by scholarships that opened up a world of opportunities for the winning individuals. For the 2017 #CULINARYVOICE Scholarship Challenge, ICE is upping the ante and giving away $212,000 in scholarships so that 18 ambitious individuals can study at ICE and pursue a career in food or hospitality.

Entering the challenge is simple — upload an original one-minute video to the Scholarship Challenge website that demonstrates your creativity, your passion for food or service or your entrepreneurial flair. In the video, explain who you are, who or what inspires you and what you hope to achieve in the culinary or hospitality industries. Tell the world why you deserve one of 18 scholarships and the chance to study at ICE.

The top 50 #CULINARYVOICE Scholarship Challenge finalists in each category will be determined by public vote, and for every vote, ICE will make a donation to Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) to fund even more scholarships. One full scholarship and two partial scholarships will be awarded for each of ICE’s six award-winning career training programs: Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management, Hospitality Management, Bread Baking and Cake Decorating.

Check out the video below and head to the Scholarship Challenge website to enter today.

Ready to share your culinary voice with the world? Click here for more info.

By Stephen Zagor — Dean of Restaurant & Culinary Management Program

“Is New York Too Expensive for Restaurateurs?” read the recent New York Times headline. What’s going on here? Are we about to experience a restaurant Armageddon? To read recent well-written and thoughtful stories in The New York Times and New York Post about the extremely challenging New York business environment for new and existing restaurants, one would think we are on the threshold of a cataclysmic event. Will our lives be mostly composed of delivered meal kits and food courts?

New York City flatiron building

Well, skyrocketing rents are very problematic; the new labor laws and wage and hour policies are challenging; food and ingredient costs are never a bargain; and burdensome laws and regulations targeting food businesses appear in an endless stream. Each of these is a serious issue on its own. Now add doing business in New York City with its unique issues and sprinkle in intense competition from the most restaurants per capita anywhere in the United States. The result makes you wonder why anyone would be in this business. Let’s open a dry cleaning business – it must be easier.

But wait. Is this the whole picture? Maybe there is still one hugely important critical piece missing from the story and it could tilt the balance between feast and famine: Do most owner/operators really know how to run their businesses? To be a popular chef or even a restaurant owner doesn’t necessarily mean someone really knows the “how-tos” of the business of restaurants. After all, in calm or even choppy waters, the restaurant business is challenging but doable. Yet when the economic storms roll in, if you don’t really know the operating side of restaurants, there is no surviving. Read between the lines – all of the forces mentioned above (rents, higher wages, new laws and competition) are forces imposed from outside, tossing operators around like a ship in a storm. What’s missing here is what is going on inside the ship. Does the captain know what he/she is doing?

I was recently shown a space by a woman who is an experienced restaurant GM and budding restaurateur. It was a closed, fully built restaurant on a busy street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It could seat 40 guests plus a handful more at the tiny bar. She was in love with the space; it had the bones to become the cute café she had always dreamed of; it looked great and had a low investment and easy conversion; she even lived nearby. Then I saw the rent — it was astronomical. It required strong, seven-figure sales to survive just the landlord. If she had signed, she might have lasted a year. She would have been working for the landlord, not herself. It would have been just the beginning of not knowing how.

As a former owner/operator myself and a long-time consultant and educator, I have had the incredible opportunity to see behind the curtain of some of the most respected and famous chefs and operators in America. I also have an army of students who, after learning the “how-tos,” have gone on to work at major and minor food businesses only to discover that many restaurants survive on magic and luck. Words like recipes (knowing the true production cost of products), retailing (understanding the true purpose of your business), yields (how much is left to serve after trim and cooking), Q Factor (cost of the “free” items like bread basket, ketchup, mustard, etc.), and purchasing strategy (proper buying and receiving procedures) are unknown. I can name numerous celebrity chefs whose business acumen either doesn’t exist or is pushed to the side in the name of creativity. This doesn’t include those who play with the cash, and keep loose systems and accountability so as not to get caught.

restaurant-kitchen-8-copy

This is not to say that the new wage laws, tip rules, rents, etc., aren’t major challenges. They definitely are. One celebrity chef recently noted in The New York Times that the way we operate now will not be the way we operate in the future. Still, it’s amazing the number of operators and chefs I have seen who appear successful but are really marginally profitable or not profitable at all. Some don’t even know how much they make. They are simply marketers hoping that “volume covers all sins.” When the going gets rough, it’s easy to look outside and blame everything else but yourself – especially when you may not know better.

Is proper culinary education helpful? It certainly could be. In the words of a student who came to ICE already the owner of a successful restaurant, “After I graduated, I put to use what I learned and made a lot more money with no more effort.” But maybe more knowledge will definitely help some. It won’t relieve the pains of a bad lease signed too quickly. But managing costs and maximizing revenues all present opportunities for change. It’s just knowing how.

Are NYC restaurants in a challenging time? Definitely. The way we have operated in the past will probably not be the way of the future. Being a great operator will require knowing how to run a successful business.

Want to study restaurant & culinary management at ICE? Click here for more info. 

By Michael Laiskonis ­– Creative Director

As we look back at the latter half of the 19th century, continuing the results of historical research I’ve posted here and here, we arrive upon what might be considered the “golden age” of chocolate manufacturing in Manhattan. We see what began as a localized industry concentrated in lower Manhattan shift from small-scale “independent” makers to the greater reach of regional and nationally known brands, whose sizable factories often took up the length of a city block, moving uptown as the city continued to grow in size and influence.

Henry McCobb chocolate advertisement

With the industrial revolution of the 1800s, chocolate and cocoa made an interesting transition from the beverage served at coffeehouses and pharmacies into the realm of confections. The innovation of pressing ground cocoa beans into its cocoa butter and powdered components (a process perfected by Dutchman Casparus Van Houten Sr. in the 1820s) allowed for a number of new applications and refinements. We first see this shift in early advertisements extolling the virtues of “digestible” cocoa — lower in fat and thus lighter and easier to prepare. Extra cocoa butter from this pressing would soon be added to bars of “eating” chocolate, leading to the smooth refined textures of the bars we consume today. Of course, the range of traditionally sugar-based confections expanded with the introduction of sweet chocolate products. While I tried to limit my own research to manufacturers who produced chocolate from the cocoa bean itself, those lines between chocolate-maker and confectioner began to intersect even 150 years ago — a distinction that continues to confuse most consumers today. Indeed, many of the most prominent chocolate companies in New York City branched out into chocolate candies in addition to manufacturing plain bars and cocoa powders.

I’ve come to think of the latter half of the 19th century as New York’s “golden age” of chocolate, in part because of the growth in number of chocolate makers in the city, from a handful in the early 1800s to a dozen or more before the turn of the 20th century. Much of what we know of chocolate culture during this period is preserved in the form of ornate tins and whimsical advertisements of the day. One might also imagine the role these chocolate makers played in the daily life of the street, tempting passersby with colorful displays, and perhaps a view of the chocolate-making process itself. One contemporary account describes the shop run by Felix Effray at 64 East 9th Street, whose stone melangeur was prominently positioned in the store’s window:

December 10, 1849

On the corner of Broadway and Ninth Street is a store kept by Felix Effray, and I love to stand at the window and watch the wheel go ‘round. It has three white stone rollers and they grind chocolate into paste all day long… (Diary of a Little Girl in Old New York, by Catherine E. Havens)

Effray was among a group of small, independent chocolate businesses in the city; we first see him at Broadway and Grand in the early 1840s, then at his shop near Astor Place, which he operated until at least 1880. Eugene Mendes, whose chocolate career spanned the same period, began on William Street and later moved to Fulton Street in lower Manhattan, then to Leonard Street in Tribeca, and finally to Broadway near Bleecker Street — one of the few chocolate-related buildings of its time that still stands, at least in part, to this day. New York poet Walt Whitman was known to have frequented an adjacent bar during the time of Mendes’ chocolate operation. Maine-born Henry McCobb’s Owl Brand chocolate was short-lived and the site of his 1880s shop on East 22nd Street near Gramercy Park is now a modern apartment building. McCobb was among the first to use photography in his advertising. Claude Crave made chocolate at the same location in the years after McCobb, and with him we see not only the transfer of existing chocolate companies, but also an example of shifting partnerships in New York’s chocolate “community.” Crave started making chocolate in SoHo at 16 Grand Street in the 1870s and at 176 Chambers Street in the 1880s. Though the relationship between Crave and McCobb is unknown, Crave partnered over the years with Philander Griffing and Alfred Martin, who at various points were independent themselves. Martin was also a partner of Mendes years prior. Other similar professional relationships I’ve uncovered suggest a tight-knit community and exchange of ideas and skills that mirror the craft chocolate industry today.

645 Broadway, Mendes chocolate factory

645 Broadway, site of the Mendes chocolate factory

In contrast to the small independent makers, likely limited to serving the local or regional consumer, larger companies with broader reach emerged, with large factories that no doubt employed the latest in chocolate-making machinery. Henry Maillard emigrated to New York in the 1840s and built an empire that culminated in a massive factory along Sixth Avenue, as well as a flagship retail store that stood nearby at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue across from Madison Square Park (the current site of Eataly). Herman Runkel began making chocolate at Maiden Lane and Broadway downtown in the 1870s and eventually operated out of a block-long facility on West 30th Street near today’s Penn Station. Huyler’s was another well-known brand that continued into the early 1900s, with a modest factory at Irving Place and 18th Street that opened in the 1880s. John Hawley and Herman Hoops, two independent confectioners, would join forces to create the Hawley & Hoops brand that would later be acquired by Mars; their factory on Lafayette Street just below Houston Street now houses fashionable condos. Of note is the fact that many of these companies used chocolate making equipment manufactured by Jabez Burns (a pioneer in both coffee and cocoa roasting) at his factory at 43rd Street and 11th Avenue.

Henry Maillard Chelsea factory

Henry Maillard’s Chelsea factory

hawley-and-hoops-cigars8

Advertisement for Hawley & Hoops

Other companies, both domestic and foreign, would at various times set up shop in New York for retail and for limited manufacturing. The Massachusetts-based Walter Baker Co. was perhaps the most prominent brand of its day, with offices in lower Manhattan, and at a later date, ownership of the East 22nd Street factory previously occupied by McCobb and Crave. English import Cadbury ran its New York operation out of 78 Reade Street in Tribeca, and Emile Menier opened an outpost of his French company nearby at Greenwich and Murray Streets. One surprising discovery was the brief existence of a Hershey factory at 21st Street and 6th Avenue around 1920; it is a bit ironic that I began this project looking for chocolate near the current downtown location of ICE, when it existed just a block away from our former facility!

After the turn of the 20th century, virtually all of the chocolate-makers in New York faded or were simply absorbed by larger companies that eventually moved either to the outer boroughs or out of the city altogether as density (and property value) increased. As these final remnants of chocolate manufacturing disappeared, there remained a decades-long void, bridging little gap between iconic brands of their day and the current crop of craft chocolate makers in the city. Once again, we find the number of New York-based chocolate makers fairly small (and admittedly, located primarily in Brooklyn). Walking into the ICE Chocolate Lab each day, I feel honored to play a small role in the city’s rich chocolate history and as I wander the neighborhoods from the Financial District to SoHo to Chelsea to the East Village, I’m now constantly reminded of the names and places of chocolate-makers past.

Want to study with Chef Michael? Click here to learn about ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program.


By ICE Staff

Even for veteran New Yorkers, finding an apartment in New York City can be a daunting task. That’s why the Institute of Culinary Education created its student housing program—to take care of the stressful parts of the housing process and leave you with the fun parts: making friends and exploring your new home. With dorm, apartment and homestay options, we’ll help you find a living situation that fits your budget and lifestyle. We can match you with a roommate—even a fellow ICE student—or you can live alone. Need furniture? Our housing coordinators can set you up with furnished digs. Whatever your needs, ICE’s student housing program is ready to make your transition to New York City as seamless as possible. Check out the video below to learn more about what we offer.

Ready to make your move? Click here for more information on ICE’s student housing program.


By Caitlin Gunther

With the heart of a globe-trotter and a passion for lifelong culinary education, Lourdes Reynoso (“Chef Lorrie”) is always up for an adventure. Whether she’s stationed in St. Petersburg for a three-month teaching residency or exploring the best parrillas in Buenos Aires, Chef Lorrie is continually feeding her voracious appetite for foods and cultures of the world. She shares both her global perspective and her expertise in international cuisines with the culinary arts students at ICE.

chef_lorrie_reynoso_9-16-16-2

Chef Lorrie comes from a big, food-loving family in the Philippines. Seven of the nine Reynoso siblings, including Chef Lorrie, work in some facet of the food industry. In fact, her sisters, pioneers of their time, founded a culinary school in Manila in the 1960s. Today, the Sylvia Reynoso Gala Culinary Art Studio counts among the most well-known culinary schools in the Philippines. As Chef Lorrie explains, “In Manila, my family is more or less synonymous with culinary school…and good food.” After receiving a bachelor’s degree in world history, Chef Lorrie earned the prestigious Grand Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She remained in Paris to study the French language at Le Sorbonne and art history at the Louvre museum, before returning to Manila to join the teaching staff at her sisters’ culinary school. Her ultimate career path came as no surprise to her family. “Even when I was in high school, I was teaching children’s baking courses during the summer,” says Chef Lorrie. Teaching in the kitchen was her calling from a young age.

Drawing upon the classical French techniques she learned at Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Lorrie taught culinary arts in Manila for several years. When she wasn’t in the kitchen classroom, she was traveling—feeding her second passion for discovering new foods and cultures. The opportunity arose to teach at the New York Restaurant School (now The Art Institute of New York City) and Chef Lorrie jumped on it. Asked about the intercontinental move, Chef Lorrie recalls, “I wanted to be in New York. At that time, it was just becoming the food capital of the world and a true melting pot.” She continued to teach there for twenty-one years, helping to train such prominent chefs as the current executive chef of Nobu, Ricky Estrellado, who considers Chef Lorrie a mentor.

chef_lorrie_reynoso_9-16-16-4

In 2008, when The Art Institute announced that it would discontinue its culinary program, Chef Lorrie immediately thought of ICE. Since 2009, she’s been part of the ICE teaching staff and has continued her own culinary education by traveling when not in the kitchen classrooms. Her most recent adventure has been her multiple teaching stints in St. Petersburg, Russia at Swissam, a top hospitality and culinary arts school that partnered with ICE in 2012. Though she was hesitant to go at first, Chef Lorrie quickly fell in love with St. Petersburg. “The food culture is extremely advanced. That’s why Swissam was opened. Before it opened, Russia had new wealth and great chefs like Alain Ducasse and Jaime Oliver were going there. But they still had communist-style hospitality schools. The owner decided to establish the best culinary and hospitality school he could.” Chef Lorrie has enjoyed being one of the ambassadors of the ICE curriculum, all while taking in Russian art and culture.

chef_lorrie_reynoso_9-16-16-1

From sampling the spices in the souks of Morocco to exploring the best parrillas in Argentina, Chef Lorrie has had her fair share of culinary voyages recently. For this lover of international cuisines and passionate teacher, ICE is the perfect place to call her permanent home.

Want to get in the kitchen classroom with Chef Lorrie? Click here to receive more information on ICE’s career programs.

By Carly DeFilippo

In 2014, when Saveur ranked Brooklyn as their #1 food destination worldwide, guess which of the neighborhood restaurants became the “cover girl” for the borough’s inimitable flavors? That’s right—Emily. The brainchild of ICE Culinary Arts grad Matt Hyland and his wife Emily, this new Clinton Hill eatery has captured the creative minds and palates of the world’s most discerning pizza lovers—and the pair has just added a second restaurant, Emmy Squared, to their pizza empire. So we knew we had to talk to the man behind the pies and learn a little bit more about his path to becoming a professional pizzaiolo.

Matthew and Emily Hyland in from of their pizza shop. Photo courtesy of pizzalovesemily.com.

Matthew and Emily Hyland in front of their pizza shop. Photo: pizzalovesemily.com. Photo credit: Jill Futter.

What were you doing before you enrolled at ICE? What motivated you to enroll at that time?

I had just finished my information science degree at Roger Williams University, and I was working as a part-time garde manger cook in a fine dining restaurant. I was commuting a long way everyday for this job and knew I wanted to be in the culinary world, but I hadn’t pulled the trigger on going to school. Through my research, I knew I wanted to be at ICE. One day, I was wearing my chef pants on the train, and the man who sat down across from me asked if I had gone to culinary school. I said no and he gave me his card. It turned out he was a recruiter for ICE. I really took that as a sign and enrolled just a few days later. I’m so glad I had that encounter!

Where was your externship? Did it help you make any particularly meaningful connections in the industry?

My externship was at Public. I worked the hot appetizer and garde manger station, and after my externship, they hired me for the pastry station. It was a solid foot in the door and a great restaurant to have on my resume. They also wrote me a great recommendation letter, which was helpful as I started looking for other jobs.

What have you been up to since graduating? 

I have worked in various capacities in the culinary world over the past decade. I have done everything from pastry, to salad, to cooking on the line, to working on the administrative team for the opening of April Bloomfield’s The Breslin. (As a current business owner, the experience of working on the opening of someone else’s restaurant was a great learning experience.) I was also on the opening team of Sottocasa— the pizza place in my neighborhood—which was where I got my hands in the dough and realized it was the path I wanted to take.

Are there any professional milestones, accomplishments or awards of which you are particularly proud?

Taking the chance to open my own establishment. First, I opened a pizza spot called Brooklyn Central, in Park Slope, with other partners. Yet, once we opened, we learned we had very different visions. I left there just six weeks after the opening, which felt like a real defeat. However, it afforded me the chance to try again on my own—and with a ton of experience under my belt. I now own EMILY restaurant with my wife, so I have full creative control of the menu. This time around, the vision is easier to implement because we share it together.

ICE Alumni Interview: Matthew Hyland of Emily Pizza – Pizzas from @pizzalovesemily Instagram – ice.edu

Eyes on the pies: a collection of photographs from Emily’s Instagram, @pizzalovesemily.

Briefly describe a day in your current working life.

Normally, I get to work around 11AM and get a big project started, like duck ragu. Then, I check in with my daytime porter on the orders we anticipate receiving. I do computer/administrative work from around 12PM-4PM, and then I get ready for service, as employees start to filter in over the course of the afternoon. Finally, I run the staff meeting during family meal (20 minutes before service begins), and then I expedite and cook pizza during service.

What might people be surprised to learn about your job?

This is an easy one. The most surprising thing culinary students who aim to be chef-owners of a restaurant might learn is that, daily, I do more administrative tasks than cooking. I am the executive chef and oversee all aspects of the kitchen, but my main job during service is to expedite, and my focus during the day is to pay bills, fight with vendors and work on spreadsheets.

Where would you like to see yourself in the future?

I would like to see my restaurant sustain itself. I realize very much that this is a day-to-day journey and that all restaurants have life spans. I hope EMILY can continue to be a strong fixture in NYC’s pizza scene and allow my wife and I a little more balance in our lives as time goes on. We are also really hopeful that we can expand or open another concept in the future. But the first year of opening a restaurant is such a whirlwind that it’s hard to think of what comes thereafter!

ICE President Rick Smilow (right) greets Matthew at the 2014 City Harvest Bid Against Hunger, where Emily was one of the featured restaurants.

ICE President Rick Smilow (right) greets Matthew at the 2014 City Harvest Bid Against Hunger, where Emily was one of the featured restaurants.

How would you describe your “culinary voice” – in other words, your culinary perspective or style?

I really believe in simple, real ingredients. Almost all of our produce comes from farms we know across New England, and all of our meat comes from trusted, small farms and butchers. I think it is important to be true to the integrity of the ingredients and create dishes that highlight them. We mix all of our dough by hand and make our mozzarella and ricotta fresh, in house, everyday.

My culinary voice, I suppose, is that there has to be love, passion and integrity in the preparation of food. In terms of pizza, my perspective is that it should be fun! Everyone in this city is so particular about pizza—sometimes in a really intense way. To me, there are no wrongs or rights in terms of toppings or styles, as long as you have a fun dining experience.

Last but not least, what’s your current favorite pizza at Emily?

Our secret off-menu pizza, “The Matt,” is my favorite. I won’t reveal anything about the toppings—you’ll have to come and see for yourself!

Don’t wait for a stranger on a train; click here to find out more about ICE’s Culinary Arts career program.

By Carly DeFilippo

In 2014, when Saveur ranked Brooklyn as their #1 food destination worldwide, guess which of the neighborhood restaurants became the “cover girl” for the borough’s inimitable flavors? That’s right—Emily. The brainchild of ICE Culinary Arts grad Matt Hyland and his wife Emily, this new Clinton Hill eatery has captured the creative minds and palates of the world’s most discerning pizza lovers. So we knew we had to talk to the man behind the pies and learn a little bit more about his path to becoming a professional pizzaiolo.

Matthew and Emily Hyland in from of their pizza shop. Photo courtesy of pizzalovesemily.com.

Matthew and Emily Hyland in front of their pizza shop. Photo: pizzalovesemily.com. Photo credit: Jill Futter.

What were you doing before you enrolled at ICE? What motivated you to enroll at that time?

I had just finished my information science degree at Roger Williams University, and I was working as a part-time garde manger cook in a fine dining restaurant. I was commuting a long way everyday for this job and knew I wanted to be in the culinary world, but I hadn’t pulled the trigger on going to school. Through my research, I knew I wanted to be at ICE. One day, I was wearing my chef pants on the train, and the man who sat down across from me asked if I had gone to culinary school. I said no and he gave me his card. It turned out he was a recruiter for ICE. I really took that as a sign and enrolled just a few days later. I’m so glad I had that encounter!

Where was your externship? Did it help you make any particularly meaningful connections in the industry?

My externship was at Public. I worked the hot appetizer and garde manger station, and after my externship, they hired me for the pastry station. It was a solid foot in the door and a great restaurant to have on my resume. They also wrote me a great recommendation letter, which was helpful as I started looking for other jobs.

What have you been up to since graduating? 

I have worked in various capacities in the culinary world over the past decade. I have done everything from pastry, to salad, to cooking on the line, to working on the administrative team for the opening of April Bloomfield’s The Breslin. (As a current business owner, the experience of working on the opening of someone else’s restaurant was a great learning experience.) I was also on the opening team of Sottocasa— the pizza place in my neighborhood—which was where I got my hands in the dough and realized it was the path I wanted to take.

Are there any professional milestones, accomplishments or awards of which you are particularly proud?

Taking the chance to open my own establishment. First, I opened a pizza spot called Brooklyn Central, in Park Slope, with other partners. Yet, once we opened, we learned we had very different visions. I left there just six weeks after the opening, which felt like a real defeat. However, it afforded me the chance to try again on my own—and with a ton of experience under my belt. I now own EMILY restaurant with my wife, so I have full creative control of the menu. This time around, the vision is easier to implement because we share it together.

ICE Alumni Interview: Matthew Hyland of Emily Pizza – Pizzas from @pizzalovesemily Instagram – ice.edu

Eyes on the pies: a collection of photographs from Emily’s Instagram, @pizzalovesemily.

Briefly describe a day in your current working life.

Normally, I get to work around 11AM and get a big project started, like duck ragu. Then, I check in with my daytime porter on the orders we anticipate receiving. I do computer/administrative work from around 12PM-4PM, and then I get ready for service, as employees start to filter in over the course of the afternoon. Finally, I run the staff meeting during family meal (20 minutes before service begins), and then I expedite and cook pizza during service.

What might people be surprised to learn about your job?

This is an easy one. The most surprising thing culinary students who aim to be chef-owners of a restaurant might learn is that, daily, I do more administrative tasks than cooking. I am the executive chef and oversee all aspects of the kitchen, but my main job during service is to expedite, and my focus during the day is to pay bills, fight with vendors and work on spreadsheets.

Where would you like to see yourself in the future?

I would like to see my restaurant sustain itself. I realize very much that this is a day-to-day journey and that all restaurants have life spans. I hope EMILY can continue to be a strong fixture in NYC’s pizza scene and allow my wife and I a little more balance in our lives as time goes on. We are also really hopeful that we can expand or open another concept in the future. But the first year of opening a restaurant is such a whirlwind that it’s hard to think of what comes thereafter!

ICE President Rick Smilow (right) greets Matthew at the 2014 City Harvest Bid Against Hunger, where Emily was one of the featured restaurants.

ICE President Rick Smilow (right) greets Matthew at the 2014 City Harvest Bid Against Hunger, where Emily was one of the featured restaurants.

How would you describe your “culinary voice” – in other words, your culinary perspective or style?

I really believe in simple, real ingredients. Almost all of our produce comes from farms we know across New England, and all of our meat comes from trusted, small farms and butchers. I think it is important to be true to the integrity of the ingredients and create dishes that highlight them. We mix all of our dough by hand and make our mozzarella and ricotta fresh, in house, everyday.

My culinary voice, I suppose, is that there has to be love, passion and integrity in the preparation of food. In terms of pizza, my perspective is that it should be fun! Everyone in this city is so particular about pizza—sometimes in a really intense way. To me, there are no wrongs or rights in terms of toppings or styles, as long as you have a fun dining experience.

Last but not least, what’s your current favorite pizza at Emily?

Our secret off-menu pizza, “The Matt,” is my favorite. I won’t reveal anything about the toppings—you’ll have to come and see for yourself!

Don’t wait for a stranger on a train; click here to find out more about ICE’s Culinary Arts career program.

By Carly DeFilippo

October is always an exciting time for food events in New York City, and this year, ICE was at the forefront of all the biggest gatherings. From the NYC Wine & Food Festival to StarChefs International Chefs Congress to City Harvest’s annual Bid Against Hunger, our alumni, faculty and student volunteers were rubbing elbows with industry leaders and showing their ICE pride.

ICE's chefs, students and alumni took the city by storm this season. Scroll down for more photos of the festivities the school participated in this fall.

ICE’s chefs, students and alumni took the city by storm this season. Scroll down for more photos of the festivities the school participated in this fall.

At this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival, not only did 55 student volunteers help headlining chefs serve thousands of festival attendees, but ICE’s own Director of Culinary Development James Briscione was among the featured presenters at the festival’s Grand Tasting event. With the help of three Culinary Arts students, Chef James wowed the crowd with his ancho chili lamb—and more than 2,500 cheddar biscuits.

James also led the charge at StarChefs annual industry conference—with ICE as the event’s official culinary school partner—serving as the opening day emcee for talks with such celebrated chefs as Dan Barber and George Mendes. Alumnus Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats led a “Whole Hog” workshop at the savory stage and wowed the crowds with his harissa smoked chicken, while fellow alumni Marita Lynn of Marita Lynn Catering (and the recently opened restaurant Runa in Red Bank, NJ) was on hand representing the cuisine of Peru. On the sweet side of things, ICE alumnus Tiffany MacIsaac, served the signature macarons, cookies and hand-dipped candy bars from her new D.C. bakery Buttercream Bakeshop. Five additional alumni—Angela Maris, Denise Latella, Dave Nagel, Emily Peterson and Hadar Aviram—worked behind the scenes as prep cooks for the conference’s culinary presenters. Finally, student volunteers were on hand to provide additional help to industry leaders and also enjoyed the opportunity to listen in on the conference’s innovative panels.

“Thank you for the amazing opportunity of working at this year’s StarChefs ICC. It was definitely a great experience and I was able to network with a lot of people who have been in this industry for many years!” – ICE alumnus, Angela Maris 
 

Last but not least, at City Harvest’s annual Bid Against Hunger charity gala, ICE was proud to stand among the organization’s primary supporters. Moreover, we were thrilled to see such alumni as Marc Murphy (Benchmarc Restaurant Group), Ivy Stark (Dos Caminos), Matthew Riznyk (Great Performances), Kamal Rose (Tribeca Grill), Rick Mast (Mast Brothers) and Matt Hyland (Emily) donating their time and talents to the cause. Our current students also enjoyed the opportunity to network with these inspiring alumni and other successful chefs, all while helping raise $1.4 million for the charity.

 

For more information about these and other exciting volunteer opportunities for students, click here.

 

 

 

By Virginia Monaco

At ICE, we’re always thrilled to celebrate the successes of our graduates, and, in particular, to invite them “back to school” to share their stories and expertise with our current students. Most recently, we invited two outstanding alumni—Miguel Trinidad and Kamal Rose—to demonstrate some of their signature dishes and impart industry advice from their years of experience after ICE.

miguel kamal

Chef Kamal Rose started working at the famed Tribeca Grill after graduating high school, enrolling at ICE as a way to further advance his technical skills. As the years went by, he worked his way up the ladder—and through every station in the kitchen—until he was named the restaurant’s Executive Chef in 2012. His culinary voice combines his Caribbean heritage with Tribeca Grill’s new American style, as in one of his signature dishes, crab cakes with avocado mousse and black bean pineapple salsa.

ICE - Alumni - Kamal Rose - crabcake

Students were treated to very different dishes by ICE alumni Miguel Trinidad when he demonstrated Filipino street food, or pulutan. Miguel is the chef/owner of Jeepney Filipino Gastropub and Maharlika Filipino Moderno, both of which feature the foods he fell in love with while backpacking across the Philippines. The dishes he presented were chicken “cracking,” beef skewers and barbecued pork, all paired with a vinegar sauce called suka.

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In addition to introducing the audience to new techniques and flavor combinations, Chefs Kamal and Miguel also shared valuable career advice based on their own professional careers. Both stressed that ICE provided them with a solid culinary foundation, but that learning never stops when you work in the kitchen. For students nervous about trailing or beginning their externships, they recommended three tips: write everything down in a notebook, work enthusiastically and be inquisitive but humble. While admitting that kitchen work can be very demanding, they stressed the pride in a job well done and the sense of satisfaction they feel at the end of the day. Their final take-away? Success is in the hands of each student, and a culinary career is one where you get out what you put in.

ICE - Alumni - Kamal Rose

For more ICE alumni stories, click here. And if you’re an ICE graduate, don’t hesitate to reach out and share your success story by emailing alumnilisting@ice.edu!