Student Profile: Julia Heffelfinger

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. Julia Heffelfinger came to ICE to pursue her dream of working on the Food Network — a long way from early morning hockey practice in Minnesota! We asked her to tell us more about how her interest in food developed and her goals after culinary school.

Where do you come from?

I come from Minnesota but was at college at Wesleyan University in Connecticut for the past four years.

How did your interest in food develop?

I am from a big foodie family! After a long day, my mom and I would catch up and spend time making dinner together. I owe my knowledge and passion for food to her! What really solidified my passion for food has to be my after school dates with the Food Network. As young as nine or 10, I would come home, make a snack, and sit and watch Ina Garten and Giada De Laurentis while I did my homework. Even today there is nothing more soothing to me than the sounds of the Food Network.

What did you do before coming to culinary school?

I was a film major in college and played college ice hockey. Between my film classes and hockey schedule, I always found time to cook! After school, I decided to focus on food television and have been working in that sector for the past year.

What is your dream once you finish culinary school?

My dream job is to become a culinary producer for the Food Network. It is very exciting that I can tie my two passions for food and film together and make it my career!

What are your pastimes?

Aside from the large amount of time I spend experimenting in the kitchen and feeding my friends and family, I love to be active! In addition to college hockey, I was also a varsity soccer and lacrosse player in high school. I am still looking for opportunities to play hockey in New York City, but love yoga and kickboxing!

What do you cook when you’re home alone?

My favorite thing to make is soup from scratch! There are so many possibilities and room for experimentation. I am not good at cooking for just myself. I always end up making enough food for an army!

What’s your least favorite food?

Tuna, especially tuna salad; I had a bad tuna incident when I was a kid. I thought it was chicken and it ruined it for me!

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

One night I was attempting to make ravioli with a balsamic brown butter sauce. I let the butter get too hot and when I added the cold vinegar there was an explosion of very hot melted butter all over the kitchen and myself!

What’s your desert island meal?

Definitely my mom’s lasagna. Even though it would be pretty hot to eat on a desert island, it would be worth it!

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