Barry Tonkinson is the VP of culinary operations at ICE.

Barry Tonkinson

VP of Culinary Operations

"I always tell staff and students to keep pushing; push yourself further each day, whether to organize the perfect station, perfect a technique or push a recipe further."


Chef Barry Tonkinson is from the United Kingdom where he studied English literature, media studies and sociology at Backwell Sixth Form College in Bristol, followed by culinary arts at Westminster Kingsway College in London.

He began his career at the prestigious five-star Lanesborough hotel in London under the tutelage of executive chef and mentor Paul Gayler MBE (Member of the British Empire, honoring distinguished service in one’s field). Barry worked across all sections and kitchens at The Lanesborough, learning a broad spectrum of food styles. He worked closely with Paul Gayler in recipe testing and outside events before honing his interest in a fine-dining restaurant setting.

In 2008, Barry moved to one-Michelin-starred The Bath Priory, which used a more modern and technical approach to food. The following year Barry rejoined The Lanesborough to open Apsleys, under Chef Heinz Beck of three-Michelin-starred La Pergola. Chef Barry also developed and tested recipes, and executed all operational structures at the one-Michelin-starred restaurant.

In 2011, Barry moved to Connecticut, where he developed a catering company as head of operations and partner. Chef Barry’s interest in recipe development and modern cuisine continued, as he led all areas of operations.

Today, Chef Barry innovates and inspires as ICE's vice president of culinary operations. He implemented the school's first fermentation lab and embraces a modernist approach to savory cooking in the culinary technology lab. Chef Barry teaches food as a science and encourages student ideas with the freedom to fail and discuss how to constantly push for improvement.

Chef Barry invites prominent chefs from around the world to our campus for demonstrations as part of ICE's Elite Chef series, he teaches sous vide and fermentation to professionals across food and health sectors, and he trains students for national competitions, such as the United States of Umami Culinary Competition, which Amanda Lee won in 2019.

Work History

  • Owner/Head of Operations, Spring Summer Associates, 2011 to 2018
  • Senior Chef de Partie, Apsleys a Heinz Beck Restaurant at The Lanesborough, 2009-2011
  • Chef, The Bath Priory, 2008-2009
  • Senior Chef de Partie, The Lanesborough, 2005-2008

Awards and Honors

  • Winner, Vegetarian Chef of the Future, Vegetarian Society, 2009

Specialities/Areas of Interest

  • Recipe development and cross testing
  • Menu design and planning
  • Budgeting and cost control
  • Inventory management
  • Fishmongery
  • Butchery

Affiliations & Memberships

  • HAACP Certified
  • ServSafe Certified

Barry Tonkinson on the Blog