Classes with Michael Laiskonis
In March 2012, ICE welcomed award-winning pastry chef Michael Laiskonis as its first-ever Creative Director. Laiskonis has long been one of the culinary industry's most creative and talented chefs.
During his eight-year tenure as executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin, Laiskonis helped the restaurant earn four stars from the New York Times and three Michelin stars.
He was named to America's Top Ten Pastry Chefs by Pastry Art & Design in both 2002 and 2003, and was Bon Appétit's Pastry Chef of the Year in 2004. Best known for his use of modern techniques to reinvent classic desserts, he was also awarded the coveted James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2007 and IACP Culinary Professional of the Year in 2014.
As creative director, Laiskonis works with the ICE educational leadership team to direct new projects in curriculum development and research, teach culinary classes, mentor ICE students and faculty, and serve as an industry ambassador for ICE. Bringing his talent, insight and experience to ICE, Laiskonis' classes are an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the industry's most respected professionals.
Groundbreaking Chocolate Research
At ICE's lower Manhattan facility, Laiskonis oversees the bean-to-bar Chocolate Lab, a veritable wonderland for current and aspiring chocolatiers, and an ideal space for Laiskonis to hone his expertise in artisanal chocolate production. He leads a variety of students — from ICE career students and recreational cooks to established pastry chefs and professionals — in a diverse batch of educational courses covering a broad spectrum of hands-on skills and techniques. Watch the video below to learn more about ICE's bean-to-bar chocolate production.