The ICE Los Angeles Admissions team

Meet the ICE Admissions Staff

Your ICE Admissions representative is your first introduction to the ICE community, and one of your greatest assets in planning your future in culinary arts. 

Whether you're planning your new career or first career, you'll be matched with the ICE Admissions representative that best understands your background and needs. They're your advisor and guide, helping you determine which path is best for your aspirations and the steps to take to get there.

 

Our Admissions Team

Gabriela Arzate

Gabriela Arzate, Director of Admissions

Hometown:​ Los Angeles, CA
 
Working at ICE since: 2020
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: The energy and enthusiasm of the staff, faculty and students at ICE!
 
Best thing you ever ate: Mole Chilaquiles

Tammy Polanco

Tammy Polanco, Assistant Director of Admissions

Hometown:​ San Diego, CA 
 
Working at ICE since: 2018
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: The culture at ICE and everything it stands for!

Best thing you ever ate: Ogorkowa.
 

Jeff Haines works on the admissions team at the Institute of Culinary Education

Jeff Haines, Senior Admissions Representative

Hometown:​ Orange County, CA
 
Working at ICE since: 2017
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: As a Culinary School graduate myself, I like the full circle element of being able to help prospective students with the process of following their true passion. As well as the people I’ve met and friends I’ve made. 
 
Best thing you ever ate: Brown Sugar Butter Cake, created by my Pastry Chef mentor, Chef Maren.

Melissa Rentas

Melissa Rentas, Senior Admissions Representative

Hometown:​ La Puente, California 
 
Working at ICE since: 2019
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: It’s one of the top schools in the nation…I love that I’m a part of that.

Best thing you ever ate: EVERYTHING at Laduree in Paris!! 
 

Angelica Graciano, Senior Admissions Representative

Angelica Graciano, Senior Admissions Representative

Hometown:​ Eagle Rock, CA

Working at ICE since: 2022

Favorite thing about working at ICE: The ability to serve as a compass for our students.

Best thing you ever ate: Pulpo a la Gallega and Pan con Tomate at Barceloneta in Miami.

Brandon Stevens, Admissions Representative

Brandon Stevens, Admissions Representative

Hometown:​ Birmingham, Alabama
 
Working at ICE since: 2020
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: I enjoy helping students make their dreams a reality.
 
Best thing you ever ate: Cornbread at  Manuela’s.

Andres Manzano, Admissions Representative

Andres Manzano, Admissions Representative

Hometown:​ San Dimas, CA
 
Working at ICE since: 2021
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: Being an alumni of the school, I am able to help students that are embarking on the first steps of their culinary journey and show them the potential they have by pursuing their passion with hard work and a willingness to learn.
 
Best thing you ever ate: Lamb Curry from Himalayan Café.

Miriam Martinez, Admissions Representative

Miriam Martinez, Admissions Representative

Hometown: ​Whittier, CA    
 
Working at ICE since: 2022
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: I love food and enjoy seeing our students grow as they hone their skills.
 
Best thing you ever ate: All of my mom’s cooking, best Mexican food ever!! 

Juan Tabanera, Admissions Representative

Juan Tabanera, Admissions Representative

Hometown:​ North Hollywood, CA 
 
Working at ICE since: 2022
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: I enjoy helping others figure out their path to a fulfilling future. 
 
Best thing you ever ate: Chinese Pan fried Noodles at various locations in Downtown Los Angeles. 

Stephanie Contreras, Receptionist

Stephanie Contreras, Receptionist

Hometown:​ Duarte, CA
 
Working at ICE since: 2019
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: Meeting the students and getting to hear about their passion when they start school and their journey throughout the process.  
 
Best thing you ever ate: Prime Rib at Lawry’s

Stephanie Asavapibhop, Admissions Support Coordinator

Stephanie Asavapibhop, Admissions Support Coordinator

Hometown:​ Arleta, CA
 
Working at ICE since: 2022
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: The people I work with and the students I meet.
 
Best thing you ever ate: Mangosteen Fruit from Thailand 

Admissions Support Coordinator Leslie Jimenez

Leslie Jimenez, Admissions Support Coordinator

Hometown:​ Los Angeles, CA
 
Working at ICE since: 2022
 
Favorite thing about working at ICE: The staff is very welcoming and helpful. It is very motivating to see the staff and students enthusiastic about pursuing their passion. 
 
Best thing you ever ate: The best food I’ve tried is a risotto with scallops.