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10/19 - ICE Alumni in the News!

By: Institute of Culinary Education
October 19, 2016

Zeynep Ozdemir (Pastry Arts ‘11): Zeynep was featured in the Asbury Park Press for the decadent French pastries she creates as co-owner and executive chef at Antoinette Boulangerie in Red Bank, NJ. The bakery is known for their macarons; popular fillings include dark chocolate ganache, Bavarian cream and vanilla buttercream with strawberry jam. Check out the article to watch a video of Zeynep demonstrating how to make a strawberry crepe cake in the bakery.

Jeff Hunter (Culinary Arts '11): As chef de cuisine of Buck Hill Brewery and Restaurant, Jeff is serving up anything but the usual bar food. In a recent review by, reporter Cody Kendall assures his readers “there’s obvious expertise in the kitchen.” The menu at Buck Hill has an American feel with some flair with menu items like poutine, the French-Canadian favorite featuring fries, cheese curds and rosemary gravy. Entrée options include short rib ragu with torchio pasta and tender braised meat; Kendall says it’s a dish of simplicity but still “one that satisfies.”

Tim Tuohy (Culinary Arts ‘12): Tim is the ultimate connoisseur when it comes to food preservation. Recently featured in 435 Magazine, Tim speaks about Kansas City Canning Co., a canning company he founded with his wife Laura. Their core mission is to give harvested produce a second chance at life, which in return also eliminates food waste.

KC Canning Co. products are sold in 27 shops across Missouri, Kansas and even some in California, New York and Virginia. You can also find KC Canning Co. products on the menu at 13 different area restaurants — including the cocktail lounge at Tom’s Town Distilling Co., where the entire food menu belongs to Tim.

Marissa Drago (Culinary Management ‘04): Marissa's  new eatery Main Road Biscuit Co. was featured on The dine-in menu features eggs Benedict “on a biscuit, of course,” fried chicken and mac-n-cheese. Marissa describes the space as “a breakfast and lunch spot serving comfort food, refined.” For Marissa, this new business adventure is like a dream come true.

“I’ve had a gratifying career in food. Straight out of the Institute of Culinary Education’s Culinary Management program, I’ve worked at established, well-known food establishments, and alongside incredible talent. I've learned a lot along the way. But there's something that's been missing. Here was an opportunity to 'do my own thing,' to put my knowledge to the test, but also give something to the community here that I felt we all need," she said.

Wirt Cook (Culinary Arts ‘04): Wirt and his wife Karen are serving up a bountiful menu of simplistic, yet delicious dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients at their new restaurant Tillie’s in Short Hills, NJ, which was recently featured on After receiving a diploma from ICE and working in Alex Guarnaschelli’s kitchen at Butter in New York City, Wirt felt it was time to take the leap and open his own space, with menu items including shrimp and grits, chicken liver pate and Maryland crab cakes. The philosophy at Tillie’s, named after Wirt’s grandmother, is seasonal cooking and “letting the seasons steer the direction of the menu and the flavors on your plate.” Wirt states on the website, “We cure and smoke, jar and can to make the best possible use of what each season brings us.”

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