Find your cullinary voice

Classes with Michael Laiskonis

Classes with Michael Laiskonis PastryIn 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.

Fresh off of an eight-year tenure as Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin, Laiskonis is well known for helping 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.

As Creative Director, Laiskonis joins 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. He is bringing his talent, insight and experience to ICE students in this new and innovative role. His classes are an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the industry's most respected professionals.

Additionally, with the opening of our brand new, state-of-the-art facility at Brookfield Place, Laiskonis has taken on the role of overseeing ICE's Chocolate Lab, honing his expertise in bean-to-bar, artisinal chocolate production. He will lead 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 applications. Watch the video below to learn more about ICE's bean-to-bar chocolate production.

Take professional development classes at ICE with pastry chef and Creative Director Michael Laiskonis


Professional Continuing Education Classes

Students and alumni should register with customer service at 212-847-0770 or email

The Art of the Entremet

Sunday, October 9, 10am-4pm
$60 students/alumni • $100 general public • 1 session
Contemporary cakes, or entremets, as they have come to be known, represent one of the highest art forms to emerge from the pastry kitchen. In this extended class, we will consider the architecture of textures and flavor profiles that make up these multilayered creations, with carefully balanced mousses, creams, and cake components, as well as modern methods of décor.

Click here to register, or contact customer service at 212-847-0770 or email

Baking and Pastry Technology

Sunday, November 6, 1-5pm
$60 students/alumni • $120 general public

Each ingredient we incorporate into basic batters and complex doughs supplies its own unique composition and function. In this class, students will become acquainted with the inner workings of baking and pastry staples, from cereals, grains, and sweeteners to eggs, dairy products, and leaveners. We'll work through a range of preparations, including Breads, Cakes, Laminated Doughs, and Cookies.

Click here to register, or contact customer service at 212-847-0770 or email

Composition and Structure: The Humble Complexity of Milk

Friday, December 2, 6-10pm
$60 students/alumni • $120 general public

Milk and its constituent dairy products are among the most widely used products in both the sweet and savory kitchen. In this class, students will see this seemingly simple yet chemically complex ingredient broken down into its most basic components, in order to better understand how they behave when applied to any number of cooking methods. Demonstrated recipes and methods will include: Cultured Butter, Fresh Ricotta, Financiers, Brown Butter Ice Cream, and Roasted White Chocolate.

Click here to register, or contact customer service at 212-847-0770 or email

In the Chocolate Lab

Artisanal Chocolate Workshop

Sat-Sun, September 17-18, 10am-4pm
or Mon-Tue, November 14-15, 10am-4pm
$400 • 2 sessions

Experience ICE's Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Lab in this two-day chocolate experience. In this workshop, open to pastry and culinary professionals, Creative Director Michael Laiskonis will be offering an exclusive hands-on look at the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process. Attendees will roast, winnow, grind, formulate, and refine artisan-quality couverture, in addition to pressing cocoa butter, tempering, and molding. By applying the finished chocolate to a range of applications, attendees will gain insight into the many variables that each processing step presents. In this workshop, you will cover:

• The history of chocolate
• Cleaning and sorting two bean origins
• Roasting, winnowing, and grinding
• Refining process
• Cocoa-butter pressing
• Extract, sift, temper, and mold finished chocolate
• Comparative identification and tasting of chocolate products

Tasting, discussion, and hands-on postproduction applications will follow, as will the packaging of chocolate to take away.

Click here to register.

A Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Experience

Saturday, October 29, 10am-2pm
or Thursday, January 12, 6-10pm
$195 • 1 session

Let James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis give you a complete, one-of-a-kind overview of the entire chocolate-making process. In this lecture/demonstration class, he will start with a discussion of the entire process, broadly covering agricultural aspects, post-harvest treatment, and a preview of the processing steps covered during the session. Roasting of beans will have begun by Chef Laiskonis at the beginning of the session, timed to finish at the end of the introduction. You'll then observe how to winnow the freshly roasted beans; grind the winnowed nibs into chocolate liquor; discuss the formulation and refining process; extract and sift the bean bath in the refiner; and temper and mold the finished chocolate into bars. Chef Laiskonis will close with a guided tasting of several chocolates of varying origin and formulation. Finished, prepackaged bars will be used to supplementwhat is produced during the session for you to take home.

Click here to register.

Bonbons 101

Friday, December 9, 6-10:30pm
$125 • 1 session

Any time is the right time to brush up on your chocolate skills! In this class with James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis, students will review the basics of chocolate tempering and formulating chocolate centers, with an array of fillings and confections for use in truffles, molded chocolates, and candies. This part hands-on and part demonstration-based class will feature recipes that include Bonbons with Simple Ganache, Nuts, and Caramels, such as Banana, Star Anise, Pistachio, Passion Fruit, Raspberry, and Hazelnut.

Click here to register.

Recreational Classes

Home Patisserie: Laminated Doughs

Monday, September 19, 6-10:30pm
$125 • 1 session
Amateur cooks often leave the world of delicate laminated doughs to professional bakers, but with a pinch of patience and a dash of confidence, these light and flaky preparations are easy to master. This part demo, part hands-on class will uncover the mysteries of Simple Puff Pastry, Yeasted Croissants, and Danish Pastry, as well as unique specialties such as Caramelized Kouign-Amann and Savory Pain au Lait.

Click here to register.

Easy Autumn Desserts

Friday, November 18, 6-10:30pm
$125 • 1 session

The slow transition from summer to fall reveals a bounty of market-driven inspiration. In-season fruits and vegetables at peak flavor require little of the cook, allowing our imagination to create timely dishes that evoke the cooler, shorter days. In this class, we’ll harness the beauty of just-picked produce in service of spontaneous seasonal desserts. Based on market availability on the day of class, this demonstration-based class will feature recipes that may include: Sweet Potato Tart; Apple Confit; Parsnip Cake with Goat Cheese Fondant; and Sweet Corn Custard with Blueberries and Maple Syrup.

Click here to register.

Classic Candies at Home

Monday, December 12, 6-10:30pm
$125 • 1 session

Candy is cool again, thanks to a revival of artisan confectioners, whose creations manifest both a nod toward our nostalgic favorites and an insistence on quality ingredients. In this class, students will learn some of the secrets of chocolate and sugar cooking, as well as the underlying science that will help to demystify our favorite sweets. This demonstration-based class will feature recipes including: Soft Caramel; Nougat; Marshmallow; and Gianduja.

Click here to register.

Foundations of French Pastry

Thursday, January 26, 6-10:30pm
$125 •1 session

Many of today's most basic of pastry preparations were either born or refined in the kitchens of France. However, despite the centuries-old techniques, home cooks can (rightfully) still find them intimidating. Join ICE Creative Director and James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Michael Laiskonis in this class, where he breaks down classic bases such as: Pâte à Choux, Brioche, Pain de Gênes, and Puff Pastry. Each fundamental skill will then be applied to create finished desserts.

Click here to register.