ICE Student Profile: Robert Esselborn

The diverse student body at ICE attracts many different people. With a wide variety of age, experience, and goals, no two ICE students are alike.

We like to share snapshots of life inside the classrooms with a look at ICE students. Robert Esselborn came to ICE after a career as an active duty weapons instructor in the Army. Though ICE may seem a far way from the military, Robert always loved watching food prep as a kid and exploring restaurants with his wife and trying different foods. He decided to follow his passion to the kitchens at ICE and enrolled in the Culinary Management program. We asked him to tell us more about how his interest in food developed and his goals after culinary school.

Where do you come from?

I come from Staten Island in New York.

What is your dream once you finish culinary school?

To open a restaurant and have my family there for my pre-opening.

What are your pastimes?

I love to drive and work on my Corvette, remote control gas car “Jato” and play golf.

What do you cook when you're home alone?

I experiment with marinating meats, and I cook pasta, meat sauce, and soups. Also, I love to make beef jerky.

What's your least favorite food?


Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

My wife and I were cooking for the first time together in Manhattan, Kansas and we were frying up chicken cutlets. I started heating up the oil and told her to watch it while I was breading the cutlets. Suddenly, she started to scream. I turned around to see three-foot flames and the house quickly filling up with smoke. I threw a lid over it and the fire went out. We decided to go out to eat. The next day I had to paint the whole kitchen.

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