Chefs working in a kitchen.

New York Times Best Restaurants 2024 Sees ICE Alumni Thriving

New York Times’ restaurant critic Pete Wells just dropped the second installment of his 100 Best Restaurants in New York City.

"I should have seen it coming last year when my editors put the following headline on my attempt to name the city’s greatest places to eat...That '2023' implies doing it again in 2024," Pete Wells, Restaurant Critic for the New York Times, quipped in this year's edition of the list.

Over the last year, Wells revisited the original 100 restaurants to see if they still held up. Twenty-two new restaurants made the cut, including Hillary Sterling's darling Ci Siamo, Carlo Mirachi's two-Michelin-starred Blanca (also at the number two spot) and Trinciti Roti Shop, a Trinidadian and Tobagonian institution a stone's throw from JFK Airport.

Just like last year, this list represents the diversity found in all five boroughs.

"This list is a tour," he says.

ICE alumni can be found leading and in the kitchens of many of the establishments on the list — in fact, 35 of the 100 restaurants serve as externship sites for our current students. 

Congratulations to all of the teams supporting the 100 Best Restaurants in New York City. Job well done. Here are some highlights from ICE alumni:

3. Le Bernardin

Orlando Soto, Executive Pastry Chef
ICE graduate Orlando Soto speaks at a podium at ICE New York's 2023 commencement ceremony
Orlando Soto as the alumni speaker at ICE NY's 2023 commencement ceremony.

Eric Ripert and Maguy Le Coze's three-Michelin-starred mainstay remains at number three on the 2024 list. Orlando Soto, a dual diploma graduate of ICE's Pastry & Baking Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management programs, oversees the pastry kitchen as Executive Pastry Chef. Whimsical confections on the dessert menu include an exotic fruit vacherin with guava sorbet and a Peruvian dark chocolate tart with Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

More About Chef Orlando

41. Misi

Missy Robbins, Chef & Owner

A graduate of the Culinary Arts program, Chef Missy helped the now-shuttered A Voce earn its first Michelin star in 2008; it's no surprise that both her restaurants, Misi and Lilia, gained an immediate following shortly after opening.

"There’s intelligence at work in Missy Robbins’s menu, too," Wells says of the number 41 spot, Misi. "It focuses almost solely on vegetables and pasta, yet the ingredients and seasonings are so appealing you never feel that anything’s missing." 

42. Frenchette 
& 58. Le Rock

Michelle Palazzo, Director of Pastry Operations
ICE alumna Michelle Palazzo smiles
Michelle Palazzo at Frenchette.

There appears to be no stopping Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, Co-owners of the wildly successful Frenchette and Le Rock restaurants. Helming the pastry program at both locations is Chef Michelle Palazzo, a 2009 graduate of ICE's Pastry & Baking and Restaurant & Culinary Management programs.

Both restaurants offer bold desserts; you'll find a massive Profiterole served with buckwheat honey fudge at Le Rock, and a stunning Paris-Brest à la pistache (Chef Michelle's claim to fame), at Frenchette.

Michelle Palazzo's Path to Frenchette Bistro and Bakery

48. Gage & Tollner

Sohui Kim, Chef & Partner

A Dual Diploma graduate from ICE's Culinary Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management degrees, Chef Sohui Kim reopened the glitzy Gage & Tollner with her husband Ben Schneider in 2021 to much-lauded fanfare.

"Now the place has a reputation again, and those who are lured by its oysters and Parker House rolls, fried chicken, crab cakes and baked Alaska are likely to be return customers," Wells says of the restaurant. 

52. Yoon Haeundae Galbi

Bobby Yoon, Owner

After graduating from ICE with dual diplomas in Culinary Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management, Chef Bobby Yoon went to work at popular New York City restaurants including Danji and O Ya before opening Yoon Haeundae Galbi in 2018. The restaurant pays homage to his grandfather's restaurant Haeundae Somunnan Amso Galbijip in Busan, South Korea, which has been in operation since 1964.

"It used to be possible to argue in a good-natured way about where to get the best Korean barbecue in K-town," says Wells. "Since Yoon’s short rib appeared, though, it has really been the only answer."

71. Shukette

Ayesha Nurdjaja, Chef & Partner
ICE alumna Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja

"Your first impulse as you take in Ayesha Nurdjaja’s menu, which bounds from dips to four or more kinds of bread straight from the oven, from salads and pickles to the table-dominating Fish in a Cage, maybe to ask for one of everything," Wells writes.

Indeed — you'll find it still hard to get a reservation at Shukette, the retro sister of Chef Ayesha's (Culinary Arts, '07) Shuka restaurant that opened in Soho in 2021. Our advice? Get there early, nab a seat at the bar and dive right in.

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