ICE instructors walk down a culinary school lobby decorated with framed ICE awards

Honoring Excellence: ICE Awards & Honors

From award-winning restaurant chefs to media moguls and entrepreneurs, an ICE education places you among amazing company. Learn more about the many awards and honors ICE has received.

An Award-Winning Education

The Institute of Culinary Education and its faculty, alumni and administration have been proudly decorated with the industry's top honors. Among the highest ICE honors is the school's consistent ranking across the internet as one of the best culinary schools. From Chef’s Pencil and Best Choice Schools to College Rank, PrepScholar and more, ICE is repeatedly ranked as a top school from which to receive a culinary or hospitality education. 


Best Culinary Schools in the World
Best Culinary Schools in the World, Chef's Pencil

Best Culinary Schools in the U.S.
Best Culinary Schools in the US, Chef's Pencil
Best Culinary Schools in the US, College Gazette
20 Best Culinary Schools in America, College Rank
Top 12 Culinary Schools in the US, College Reality Check
The 10 Best Culinary Schools in America, Hospitality Management Degrees
13+ Best Culinary Schools In America, Logic Publishers
2024 Best Colleges for Culinary Arts in America, Niche
The Top 15 Outstanding Culinary Schools in America, Premium Schools
The 9 Best Culinary Schools in the US, PrepScholar
Best Culinary Schools in the US, Best Choice Schools
The Top 48 Best Culinary Schools, Intelligent
Top 9 Culinary Schools, Restaurant Clicks

Best Culinary Schools in New York
Best Culinary Schools in New York, Chef's Pencil
Best Culinary School in New York, College Aftermath
Best Culinary Schools in New York, Best Choice Schools

Best Culinary Schools in California
Best Culinary Schools in California, Chef's Pencil
Best Culinary Schools in California, Best Choice Schools

Best Value Schools
25 Best Culinary Schools, Best Value Schools
Top 15 Culinary Arts Degree Programs 2022, Best Value Schools
30 Beset Affordable Culinary Schools, Best Value Schools

Among the other numerous awards, the school has also taken home the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award for "Culinary School of Excellence," and won “Best Vocational Culinary Institute” and “Best Recreational Cooking School" multiple times. 


ICE was also named a “School of Distinction” by our accrediting agency, the ACCSC, and ICE’s Career Services Department received an ACCSC commendation for excellence.

ICE honors all of the faculty, alumni and students who strive for excellence every day. Read more about their accomplishments below.

ICE’s faculty has received a number of noteworthy distinctions from leading culinary publications and organizations in the nation.

Noteworthy ICE honors include:

  • Dessert Professional’s 2017 “Top Ten Pastry Chefs” — Chef-Instructor Kathryn Gordon.
  • 2015 IACP “Culinary Educator of the Year” — Chef-Instructor Chris Gesualdi.
  • 2014 IACP “Culinary Professional of the Year” — Creative Director Michael Laiskonis.
  • 2008 James Beard Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef in America” — Creative Director Michael Laiskonis.
  • Dessert Professional’s 2010 “Top Ten Pastry Chefs” — Chef-Instructor Michelle Tampakis.
  • First ever two-time "Chopped" Champion — Director of Culinary Research James Briscione.
  • 2011 IACP Cookbook Award for "Wedding Cake Art & Design" — Chef-Instructor Toba Garrett.
  • In 2011, ICE President Rick Smilow received an IACP Award of Excellence for "Culinary Entrepreneur of the Year”.
  • Rick Smilow was also designated as an honoree by the New York Association of Culinary Teachers.

ICE students have won numerous scholarships, medals and awards from organizations such as Les Dames d’Escoffier, the U.S. Pastry Competition and Allagash Brewing Company’s “Cookin’ With Allagash” contest.

Additional highlighted ICE awards:

  • Culinary Arts student Amanda Lee won the United States of Umami Culinary Competition in 2019.
  • Pastry & Baking Arts student Fernando Diala won the national Ritz Crushed Crackers Recipe Contest in 2020.

Read more about student ICE honors.

From James Beard Foundation and IACP awards for outstanding achievements in the industry to media honors including Peabody Awards, Emmys and more, ICE alumni are regularly named among the most influential leaders in food.

Recent alumni ICE honors:

  • Six ICE alumni were named as 2023 James Beard Foundation semifinalists:
    • Mary Attea (Culinary Arts, '11) for Best Chef: New York State.
    • Shenarri Freeman (Health-Supportive Culinary Arts, '21) for Best Chef: New York State.
    • Sohui Kim (Culinary Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management, '02) for Best Chef: New York State.
    • Ayesha Nurdjaja (Culinary Arts, '07) for Best Chef: New York State.
    • Mashama Bailey (Culinary Arts, '01) for Outstanding Restaurant
    • Zoe Nathan (Culinary Arts, '01) for Outstanding Restaurant.
  • Mashama Bailey (Culinary, ’01) won the 2022 James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef.
  • Mashama Bailey (Culinary, ’01) won the 2019 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast.
  • Rachel Yang (Culinary, '01) was nominated for Best Chef: Northwest.
  • Miguel Trinidad (Culinary, '07) co-authored "I Am a Filipino," which was nominated for the International Book Award.
  • Semifinalists included Sohui Kim (Culinary/Management, '02) of Insa and Ann Redding (Culinary, '02) of Uncle Boons for Best Chef: New York City, and Missy Robbins (Culinary, '95) of Lilia for Outstanding Chef.
  • Three ICE alumni won James Beard Awards in 2018:
    • Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn won Best Chef: New York City.
    • Stacy Adimando, author of “Nopalito” won Best International Book.
    • Vivian Howard, author of the Black Bean-Glazed Salmon with Ginger Cabbage recipe on won Best Video Webcast.
  • In 2018, Gail Simmons (Culinary, ‘99) emceed the International Association of Culinary Professionals Awards. Stacy Adimando (Culinary, '10) of Saveur brought home the award for Instructional Writing on Food or Beverage with Recipes for her piece, "Masa Appeal," while Clare Langan (Culinary, '11) accepted the award on behalf of the team behind the FYI Network series, "Scraps." Other nominees included Emily Peterson (Culinary/Management, '09) for her Edible Philly personal essay on scrapple, "Mystery Meat," and Gail Simmons (Culinary, ’99) for her latest book, "Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating."
  • The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges honored Kerry Brodie (Culinary, ’17) with the 2018 ACCSC Outstanding Graduate Award for her work at Emma's Torch.
  • In 2018, Adrienne Cheatham (Culinary, '07) made it to the final elimination challenge of "Top Chef" season 15.
  • The Diner Bar at The Grey, with chef/partner Mashama Bailey (Culinary, '01) at the helm, was named one of the 2018 Best Bars in America by Esquire Magazine.
  • In 2017, Greta Anthony (Culinary, ’95) took home a James Beard Media Award-Video Webcast, Fixed Location and/or Instructional for her role as producer of "Kitchen Conundrums with Thomas Joseph," which aired on Other finalists included Missy Robbins (Culinary, '95) of Lilia for Best Chef: New York City, Rachel Yang (Culinary, '01) of Joule in Seattle for Best Chef: Northwest, and Vivian Howard (Culinary, '03) for "Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South" in the American Cooking cookbook category.
  • In 2016, Vivian Howard won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Food Personality or Host for her PBS series, "A Chef's Life." In 2014, Vivian became the first graduate in our history to receive a prestigious Peabody Award for the same.
  • Two ICE alumni were named among StarChefs list of 2015 NYC Rising Stars: Mina Pizarro, pastry chef at Juni, and Ann Redding, chef/co-owner of Uncle Boons.
  • Culinary Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management alumni Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nikos Roussos received two Michelin stars in 2014 for their restaurant, The Funky Gourmet, in Athens, Greece, where it is one of only two establishments with two stars in the country.

ICE honors all of our graduates, and the above is just a snapshot of all of the incredible things our alumni are doing. Visit our Alumni News page for an updated list of our graduates’ most recent accomplishments.

ICE Chef Michael Laiskonis prepares a dish for Fox Five

ICE honors in the Media

ICE staff and Chef-Instructors appear in the media frequently, lending their expertise and knowledge on various culinary topics to a wide variety of outlets including The New York Times, Today Show, Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Epicurious, Dessert Professional magazine, New York Magazine and more.