"Happy faces and delicious food smells greeted me as I first walked the halls of ICE. I knew instantly, this was the place for me."
12 Reasons to Pursue Your Future in Food at ICE
You know it's in you — the ambition to pursue a rewarding career in food. Attending culinary school is one of the best ways to begin the journey. ICE is ready to help you find your culinary voice.
Students may wonder: how do I choose the best culinary school for me? Below are 12 reasons why more than 14,000 students have started their culinary careers with an ICE education.
1. One of the best culinary schools in America.
In 2016, ICE was named “The Best Culinary School in America” by The Daily Meal, a leading food and lifestyle website. ICE was awarded the same title by The Best Schools and EDinformatics, and listed as one of America’s top culinary schools by FSR Magazine. ICE was named Culinary School of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) in 2015, 2011, 2008 and 2003.
Over the past 40 years, we've educated more than 14,000 satisfied and successful alumni, and our New York City cooking school has a stellar reputation among chefs, restaurateurs, food writers, hoteliers and culinary professionals around the world. Our courses, connections and unique focus on the student experience make ICE one of the country's best places to start a career in culinary arts or the hospitality industry.
2. Don’t take our word for it. Check our references.
The food industry agrees: ICE graduates enter the workplace with an edge. Watch the video below to see what food industry leaders Marcus Samuelsson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Daniel Boulud, Danny Meyer, Marc Forgione, Bill Telepan and more have to say about ICE.
That's not all. Click here to read what culinary leaders including Daniel Boulud, Danny Meyer, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Anthony, Marc Murphy, Gail Simmons, Ivy Stark, Michael Laiskonis and Maxime Bilet have to say about ICE.
We also receive rave reviews from our students: in a 2015 survey of ICE graduates, 93% of alumni would recommend an ICE education to someone looking to launch a career in the culinary or hospitality fields*. And as for our graduation rate, in 2017 ICE’s official ACCSC graduation rate** was a stellar 87%.
3. A state-of-the-art facility in America's culinary capital.
Located in lower Manhattan, ICE's New York facility was designed with community and creativity in mind. From our bean-to-bar Chocolate Lab to our Hydroponic Garden, our Mixology Center to our Culinary Technology Lab, ICE students experience unparalleled opportunities for culinary discovery and innovation. What's more, our New York location is mere steps from acclaimed international restaurants, gourmet markets and leading food media outlets. Ask any food professional and they’ll agree: employers value hiring culinary and hospitality staff who have trained at ICE. Opening in early 2018, ICE's Los Angeles facility is located in Pasadena's historic Playhouse District, and features spacious, modern teaching kitchens and ample space for socializing and studying between class. What's more, ICE students have access to LA's vibrant food scene, providing meaningful opportunities for culinary exploration.
4. Chef instructors and faculty of the highest caliber.
Michael Laiskonis, former Executive Pastry Chef at the famed Le Bernardin. David Waltuck, chef owner of the beloved restaurant Chanterelle for three decades. These are just a couple of the esteemed chefs that teach in ICE's kitchen classrooms. It isn’t easy to earn a position teaching at ICE. We set an extremely high standard for skill, knowledge, expertise, passion and — of course — a love for teaching. Our modern approach to culinary education reflects current trends in the culinary field. In our management programs, all of the instructors are active consultants and have held the title of general manager or other executive positions. Whether they’ve worked in the top kitchens, front of house teams or in senior management, the experiences our instructors share are as real as can be, not just based on textbooks.
5. An externship program envied by other schools.
In the past few years, we arranged paid and unpaid externships for over 1,500 students in more than 300 establishments. ICE's Career Service Advisors support students in the process of identifying potential externship sites, to ensure each externship fits your personal and professional goals. This in-the-field training consistently proves to be an exceptional opportunity for hands-on experience and networking at the heart of the industry. In fact, many students are hired directly out of externship!
6. Stellar career placement services.
82% percent of ICE graduates who want a job in the field, get a job in the field!*** The ICE Career Services department has a full-time staff dedicated to making sure your career stays on track, even long after graduation. Their work is so outstanding that they even received a commendation of excellence from our accreditor, the ACCSC, for their consistent hard work and dedication to alumni and ICE’s community.
To keep your career search on the cutting edge, the ICE Career Services department sends weekly emails to the ICE alumni network with an average of 175 job openings for ICE graduates. Plus, we offer career fairs with leading chefs and employers looking to recruit ICE students and alumni, as well as numerous networking and volunteer opportunities.
7. Global perspective and the highest quality ingredients.
While an ICE education is grounded in classical French technique, it also offers the opportunity to explore food globally, including the cuisines of Italy, Spain China, Thailand, Mexico, India and more. What’s more, our strong emphasis on quality ingredients means that you’ll cook these dishes with ingredients sourced from the same local purveyors who cater to the city’s finest restaurants—or our own hydroponic farm!
8. The best way to learn the business.
ICE's Restaurant & Culinary Management diploma program is an innovative food business school. Simply put: there is no other program like it in New York City. Students learn how to write a business plan, core principles of public relations, marketing and sales strategies, how to navigate the basics of current human resources law and more. Our interactive class format also includes field trips and lectures with successful culinary entrepreneurs. Additionally, we carefully schedule our programs—and offer double diploma discounts—so that students can pair Restaurant & Culinary Management with Culinary Arts or Pastry & Baking Arts to earn two diplomas at ICE in under a year.
9. An alumni network with a track record of success.
For decades, ICE alumni have won numerous regional and national awards gaining recognition from a broad range of organizations, magazines and trade groups. The list includes the James Beard Foundation, Food & Wine magazine, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, Forbes magazine, the American Culinary Federation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). In 2017, ICE alumnus Vivian Howard raked in IACP Cookbook Awards for her book, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South (Little, Brown and Company). The book won honors in multiple categories: Chefs & Restaurants, Julia Child First Book, General, as well as Cookbook of the Year.
Click here to see what renowned ICE alumni Gail Simmons, Marc Murphy, Maxime Bilet and Ivy Stark have to say about their ICE experience.
Click here for the ICE Alumni Hall of Achievement.
Click here for a list of awards, honors and recognition.
10. The possibility to save time and money...on your schedule.
The right price, at the right time: Among New York’s most respected culinary diploma programs, and now with a second campus in Los Angeles, ICE is one of the most value-driven options. From our in-depth curriculum to opportunities for networking and volunteering, to externships that gain you experience and firsthand connections in the food and hospitality industry, we pride ourselves on our comprehensive approach to culinary education. And when it comes to course schedules, no school has more options than ICE. We have convenient morning, afternoon, evening, weekend and even late night classes starting each month throughout the year. There is even a three-day weekly schedule that meets Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night. These unique schedules are designed to make it as easy as possible for you to fit culinary school into your busy life. (Watch one student discuss her experience balancing a full-time job and school.)
11. A rich menu of extracurricular options.
ICE students and alumni benefit from a rich menu of extracurricular classes, guest chef demonstrations and ongoing professional development opportunities. From molecular gastronomy to modern pastry techniques, we believe in exposing our students to every aspect of the culinary universe. Wine education is an essential part of that universe, and all students are given the opportunity to take our highly regarded six-session Wine Essentials course. What's more, every week there are several opportunities to volunteer with chefs at external events or venues like the James Beard Foundation townhouse.
12. Focus and personal attention are in ICE’s DNA.
Both our 74,000 square foot New York facility and our 38,000 square foot Los Angeles facility feature small, hands-on classes with attentive, distinguished chef instructors. From admissions to financial aid, to choosing an externship or job placement with our career services team, ICE prides itself on personal attention to our students. Teaching people like you about the world of culinary and pastry arts, restaurant management and hospitality is the only thing we do. You’ll benefit from being part of an institution that is so finely focused!
Ready to find your culinary voice? Click here for more information on ICE's career programs.
*According to a 2015 survey.
**Graduation rate is based on 574 students graduating out of 657 students available for graduation, as filed in ICE's 2017 ACCSC annual report.
***2017 ACCSC (accrediting) annual report employment rate is 82% of 524 students available for employment. The remaining 18% includes students who were employed in an unrelated occupation, unemployed and whose outcomes were unknown to ICE at the time of filing. For individual program completion and placement rates, please see that program's "Gainful Employment Disclosure" information.