An ICE student holds a pizza on a pizza peel in front of ovens

Everyone Loves Pizza Day at ICE

ICE students make pizza and share their work with everyone on this much-beloved day

Everyone (staff, faculty and students alike) loves pizza day.

Pizza, whether viewed as a refined classic flatbread or vehicle for meat, cheese and sauce, is a cornerstone of the culinary landscape in the United States.

Fittingly, it also serves an important role in the Pastry & Baking Arts curriculum at the Institute of Culinary Education. 

Pizza has been enjoyed in Italy and beyond in different shapes and forms for thousands of years. Nothing brings people together like pizza, and at ICE, students make pizza from scratch in order to learn about the timeless art that goes into this crowd favorite.  

The leavened flatbread has been topped with a variety of cheeses, garlic, herbs and dates since the age of antiquity. In ancient Persia, it is even said that these flatbreads were baked atop warriors’ shields between battles. 

Surprisingly, tomatoes were not incorporated in the dish until the Spanish brought tomatoes to Italy from the Americas during the 16th Century. The classic Neapolitan pizza was first made with fresh basil, mozzarella and sweet and acidic tomato sauce during the 18th Century for the arrival of the Queen of Italy in Naples. Its creator, Raffaele Esposito, wanted to present a dish that represented the colors of their country — green, white and red.

Related Reading: Homemade Pizza Tricks 

Today, this delicious flatbread is being taught and reimagined at ICE Los Angeles. In order to simulate a day in a busy pizzeria or restaurant, students prepare and bake made-to-order pies for the ICE faculty and staff. 

Working on the line, students cut and prep ingredients, shape dough, cook pies and then deliver them to the staff. On pizza day, the ovens are occupied for hours as students continually prep and bake — sometimes more than 50 orders per class block. Topping options often include meats such as prosciutto, bacon, pepperoni, and vegetables like jalapeños and bell peppers.

Two ICE students shape pizza dough on a metal table

Once service has ended, the students have the opportunity to award themselves with a pie of their very own. They just have to make it first.

Through this process, ICE students are shown that cooperation, cleanliness and organization in the kitchen and a personable customer experience are key to the success of any chef or restaurant.

Plus, everyone gets their own custom pizza. ICE LA loves pizza day.

RECIPEChef Sim's Pro Pizza Dough

Two ICE students make pizza A pizza sits in a brown cardboard box


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