Meet the International Culinary Center alum.
Polo Dobkin, co-founder, owner and executive chef at Michelin-starred Meadowsweet, graduated with honors from the International Culinary Center (ICC), then The French Culinary Institute, in 2000.
From there, Dobkin’s culinary career led him to some of New York City’s finest restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, the Screening Room and the Dining Room, where he had the opportunity to work under renowned chefs Tom Colicchio and Mark Spangenthal. Dobkin went on to become executive chef at Dressler in 2006, where he became Brooklyn’s third chef to earn a Michelin star.
In 2014, Dobkin joined the ranks of ICC’s other food entrepreneurs when he co-founded Meadowsweet with his wife, Stephanie Lempert. The pair decided to open their new restaurant at the site of the former Dressler, which closed in 2013 due to lease conflicts. In an interview with The Village Voice, Dobkin described the cuisine at Meadowsweet as “contemporary American food with a Mediterranean current.”
Preferring to let the ingredients speak for themselves, Dobkin emphasizes “execution over elaboration” in his cuisine. Meadowsweet was awarded a Michelin star in both 2015 and 2016. Michelin stars, introduced in the U.S. in 2006, are awarded by the prestigious Michelin Guide and considered the hallmark of fine dining around the world. As of 2016, ICC graduates have earned a total of 104 Michelin Stars (137 including ICC deans).
Dobkin and his restaurants have been featured in a variety of publications, including Art Culinaire, New York Magazine, Food Arts Magazine, The New Yorker, Travel & Leisure and GQ. His refined cooking style at Dressler also earned a two-star review from The New York Times. In 2006, Dobkin was awarded Food Arts Magazine’s Emerging Tastemaker Award, and he was also a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award Best Chef: New York City in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
Polo Dobkin graduated from the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. ICC’s culinary education legacy lives on at ICE, where you can explore your own future in food.