special event at institute of culinary education

Where Can You Host an Amazing Culinary Event + Learn to Cook with Hydroponic Herbs?

(Hint: ICE, ICE, Baby!)

When you host a special event at ICE, you can have your seasonal, delicious meal — and cook it, too! ICE’s Special Events department hosts over 400 culinary events every year, and with each, we turn an event or celebration into a fun, memorable cooking experience.  

ICE cooking event

This month, we’re rolling out our summer menu, incorporating the season’s best produce, and offering a brand new hydroponic garden option, which allows you and your guests to take a guided tour of our onsite hydroponic garden and then whip up a tasty meal using fresh-picked herbs. We caught up with Philipp Hering, ICE’s Special Events Lead Chef, to get the lowdown on this fresh new menu.

Everything on the new seasonal cooking menu looks SO good — which are your favorite dishes?

Thank you! I love to incorporate new, trending ingredients and to make them accessible to the general public, who either don’t how to use them or wouldn’t give them a second thought. That being said, my current favorites on the menu are our pastas — specifically, the Tagliatelle with Summer Vegetables. It’s a simple preparation, but the flavors and colors pop — perfect for the season. I also have a soft spot for our Tuscan Chicken “Under a Brick.” I love roasting chicken and this method puts a new spin on it.

It seems like the dishes draw influences from around the globe — how do you go about creating the menu? Where do you look for inspiration?

The menu is a collaborative effort between the members of the Special Events department. We discuss our favorite trends, taste a lot (probably too much!) and then build out the recipes.

california cuisine plated plating

We chat with other chefs at ICE about what they are currently doing. I also draw upon my experience cooking at Barbuto. It was really a chef’s restaurant, so I was lucky to meet lots of great local chefs and gain inspiration from them as well.

Once the recipes are created, I test them to make sure that they work in our hands-on format. The goal is for the recipes to be fun and intricate, but also easy enough for guests who have little-to-no culinary experience to be able to grasp the techniques and create the dishes by themselves. It’s amazing to see what people can do when they put their minds to it!

The new menu includes herbs from ICE’s hydroponic garden — can you name a few herbs that you might be using, and the dishes you’ll use them for?

The hydroponic garden is a luxury that I’ve never had anywhere else in my culinary career. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the team that manages and cares for the garden to see what I can incorporate into our menu. They have beautiful mustard greens that we will be using in our vegetarian Poke Bowl — it’s reminiscent of the freshest wasabi you could get. We also get super fresh and aromatic basil to garnish our ravioli. Herbs, such as marjoram and thyme, are used for our aioli and sauces.

What do you hope attendees take away from the hands-on cooking portion of the event?

Like I said, I want them to learn a couple tricks, but ultimately have a great meal and some fun while they’re at it. I like to teach a variety of skills, from basic knife skills to rolling out pasta and making ravioli, to grilling and pan-searing meats. People are always hesitant in the beginning, but once they see how fun and easy it is, they get really into it.

We have guests who are extremely interested in cooking and will ask me all sorts of culinary questions, sometimes completely unrelated to our menu, which I love. It’s so rewarding to see people have a great time, leave full and have learned a thing or two.

Interested in hosting an event at ICE? Space is limited, so click here for more information and to book your event today.

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