ICE culinary students work together in a kitchen classroom

My Culinary Voice

We Asked Industry Food Leaders: What's Your Culinary Voice?

At ICE, we make it our mission to help students find their culinary voice — that creative drive within each of us that determines how we express ourselves through food.

Whether it’s a career training program in Plant-Based Culinary Arts, a continuing education course in modernist cuisine or a special event featuring handmade pasta, we’ll give you the tools to hone your culinary creativity. We asked some leading food industry pros — including Duff Goldman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Rick Bayless, Marc Forgione, Vivian Howard, David Burke and more — to tell us about their culinary voice; below, see what they had to say.

NOTE: The titles/credits shown below are the titles/credits for each person at the time they were interviewed. The information may have since changed.

What's your culinary voice?

Duff Goldman - Food Network Star & Chef-Owner of Charm City Cakes

Duff Goldman’s slogan is simple: If you can dream it, we can create it. The Pastry Chef and Owner of the Baltimore-based, Charm City Cakes bakery and star of Food Network’s "Ace of Cakes" is up for any confectionery challenge. "I’m not too serious about how I put my food out there, but don’t confuse that with not being serious about what I do."

Alex Atala — Netflix "Chef's Table" Star and D.O.M Chef

Could chefs lead the charge in the effort to save our planet? Chef Alex Atala certainly thinks so. The Brazilian chef’s commitment to his native cuisine goes beyond cooking delicious food and is well documented in his featured episode of the Netflix series “Chef’s Table.” Atala envisions that — through connecting with each other and sharing knowledge, flavors and experiences — this generation and generations of chefs to come will harness their unique power to inspire and unite people to bring lasting, impactful change to our food systems. 

Alex Guarnaschelli - "Iron Chef" & Executive Chef of Butter NYC

Alex Guarnaschelli started young. As the daughter of a busy cookbook editor, she spent her childhood surrounded by a smorgasbord of food and culinary trends. Since then, she’s honed her culinary voice by cooking alongside the best — like Guy Savoy and Daniel Boulud — and by leading the charge in her own kitchen, the acclaimed NYC restaurant Butter, as Executive Chef. Watch the video to discover why Alex is embracing a quieter culinary voice and learning to say more with less.

Marc Forgione - "Iron Chef" and Restaurateur

Restaurateur and chef Marc Forgione savors a challenge. Since winning "Iron Chef" and earning the first Michelin star for his eponymous restaurant, he has continued to wow diners with his bold and delicious take on local ingredients. Marc — who, according to The New York Times, “excels at simplicity” — shares the five straightforward ingredients of his culinary voice.

Eden Grinshpan - Judge, "Top Chef Canada" and "Chopped Canada"

If you’re trying to figure out where the cool kids in New York are eating or just looking for delicious, DIY home-cooking inspiration, look no further than the Instagram feed of Eden Grinshpan (Restaurant & Culinary Management graduate), aka @edeneats. With a voracious appetite and a contagious sense of humor, the "Chopped Canada" judge and ICE graduate has a unique culinary voice, inspired in large part by her experience delving into food cultures around the globe.

Ignacio Mattos — Chef, Estela, Flora Bar, Cafe Altro Paradiso

When it comes to his culinary voice, Chef Ignacio Mattos is all about the palate — and less about fussy presentation. The Uruguayan-born chef cut his teeth alongside Francis Mallman and Alice Waters — chefs who embody the principle of choosing simple, honest ingredients at their prime. As chef and co-owner of Estela, Café Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar, Ignacio opts for bold, direct flavors that are instantly recognizable and yet feel fresh and new. As he explains, “there has to be some element of surprise.”

Chef Duff Goldman shares his culinary voice with the Institute of Culinary Education

"My culinary voice really comes from a place of humor and surprise. I really like to make people smile, I like to make them laugh, and I always like to make them think."

Duff Goldman
Food Network Star / Chef-Owner, Charm City Cakes

What's your culinary voice?

Chef Michael White – Michelin-Starred Chef-Restaurateur

Michael White’s Michelin-starred mecca for Italian seafood, Marea, sits pretty on Central Park South. In its first year, the James Beard Foundation chose it as the Best New Restaurant. Other restaurants from Michael’s Altamarea Group, like Ai Fiori, are time-tested New York favorites, too. What is his culinary voice? It begins with something he likes to call “taste memory.” Watch the video to discover what that means for Michael White.

Donatella Arpaia – Restaurateur and “Iron Chef” Judge

Donatella Arpaia made a name for herself through her award-winning restaurants that combine classic, delicious cuisine with modern surroundings. The talented restaurateur helped earn her restaurants serious food world acclaim, including a James Beard Award nomination for Best New Restaurant. Asked to describe her culinary voice, Donatella confided that it’s very much a reflection of her own personal style. Watch the video to see what that winning combination means for this talented hospitality expert.

David Burke – Chef and Restaurateur

David Burke is one of the most prominent chefs in New York City, for good reason. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America and Ecole Lenotre Pastry School in Plaisir, France, David built his career by asking "why?". The acclaimed chef believes that answering the simplest culinary questions, like “why do we serve apples with pork…oranges with duck, and put a pickle on a hamburger,” creates the necessary foundation for cooks and chefs to explore their culinary curiosity saying, "my culinary voice is a voice of reason."

Ashley Merriman – Co-Chef, Prune

Ashley Merriman's culinary career began at the dish pit. Before competing on "Top Chef" and graduating from ICE’s Culinary Arts program, she worked as a dishwasher after school. One afternoon, the restaurant’s chef asked Ashley to season a batch of tuna salad with white pepper instead of black. Ashley really tasted the difference — a brief moment in tasting that had “a big influence on” her. As the co-chef of NYC’s acclaimed restaurant Prune, she couldn’t imagine her life going any other way. Watch the video to hear Ashley dish on her unique culinary voice.

Bill Telepan - Former Executive Chef of restaurants Oceana and Telepan

When we asked Bill Telepan, Former Executive Chef of acclaimed restaurant Oceana and Executive Chef and Board Member of national non-profit Wellness in the Schools, to share his culinary voice, his answer couldn’t be more simple: he likes cooking with real products. He's a leader in the sustainability movement who educates America’s youth on cooking and eating nutritiously. Watch the video to see Bill Telepan explain his unique culinary voice.

Anthony Ricco – Executive Chef, The William Vale

Anthony Ricco, ICE alum and Executive Chef of The William Vale, has a passion for feeding people — very well. The Brooklyn native and former Executive Chef at Jean Georges’ Spice Market combines his culinary training and his unique style in every delicious dish that he creates. Though his roots are Italian, his culinary voice comes from a different part of the globe. Watch the video to discover the inspiration for Anthony Ricco’s culinary voice.

Greg Proechel – Executive Chef, Ferris

The chef behind such creations as a whole, crispy Sasso chicken served on a bed of smoldering hay, ICE alum Greg Proechel (Culinary ’09)  has a proclivity toward bold, flavor-forward dishes with the occasional touch of whimsy. Asked to describe his culinary voice, Greg says it comes down to balance — a simple balance between acid, fat, texture and salt, plus one more essential element. Watch the video and discover the final ingredient in Greg’s culinary voice.

Chef Vivian Howard – PBS Star and Chef-Owner of Chef and the Farmer

While continuing to lead critically acclaimed Chef & the Farmer and the beloved neighborhood oyster bar Boiler Room, Vivian Howard (Culinary Arts graduate). opened a third eatery, Benny’s Big Time, a family-friendly pizza and pasta restaurant in Wilmington, North Carolina. Vivian has also racked up an impressive four IACP awards and a James Beard Award nomination for her book “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South.” Here, the ICE alum and star of the Peabody Award-winning PBS documentary series “A Chef’s Life” explains her culinary voice, and how she found that a return to her roots was exactly what her cooking needed.

Miguel Trinidad – Chef-Owner, Jeepney and Maharlika

If mild flavors are your bag, then Miguel Trinidad’s cooking is not for you. The ICE alum and Chef-Owner of critically acclaimed East Village restaurants Jeepney and Maharlika is all about bold, flavorful cuisine. It’s no surprise that Miguel was drawn to the cuisine of the Philippines. “Filipino food is like a punch in the mouth. It’s big, it’s loud and it takes you on a journey,” explains Miguel. At his restaurants, Miguel takes diners on a flavor-packed journey with his modern take on traditional Filipino dishes like kare kare (oxtail stew) and pata confit (crispy pork leg). Says Miguel of his preferred cuisine, “[even] when you’re stuffed, you still want to take another bite because it’s so delicious.” Here, Miguel shares his culinary voice and how being a chef is like being an artist.

Rachel Yang – Chef-Owner, Relay Restaurant Group

“My culinary voice is my Korean style,” begins ICE alum and James Beard Award nominated chef Rachel Yang. The Co-Owner of four hit restaurants in Seattle and Portland — Joule, Revel, Trove and Revelry — offers diners a unique experience, combining the culinary traditions of her Korean roots with a sense of place — the Pacific Northwest. In this video, Rachel explains how she tempers Korean cuisine to her guests’ palates, and the result is addictively delicious dishes like geoduck fried rice. Watch now as Rachel Yang shares her culinary voice.