Culinary school students working in the kitchen at the Institute of Culinary Education

About ICE

America's Best Culinary School*

The Institute of Culinary Education has launched more than 16,000 careers in the food and hospitality industries.

More than 40 years of culinary excellence.

Founded in 1975 by Peter Kump, the Institute of Culinary Education offers highly regarded six to 13-month career training programs in Culinary ArtsPastry & Baking Arts, Plant-Based Culinary Arts (formerly known as Health-Supportive Culinary Arts), Restaurant & Culinary Management, and Hospitality & Hotel Management, professional certificate programs in The Art of Cake Decorating and Artisan Bread Baking, and other continuing education programs for culinary professionals. Our campuses in New York and Los Angeles offer ICE students the opportunity to develop their careers in two of the nation's most exciting food cities. With a global curriculum, dedicated instructors, a strong record in job placements and a clear entrepreneurial focus, ICE is recognized by top chefs and hospitality professionals as a leading pathway to begin or continue a wide range of careers.

Discover our award-winning community

Contact & Directions


Bonus%20Misc-030-72dpi_375x375.jpgICE is dedicated to inspiring our students to reach their full potential through an education that emphasizes technique and professionalism. We will accomplish this in a passionate, disciplined environment that fosters excellence, critical thinking and creativity in students, faculty and staff. ICE is committed to ongoing assessment and institutional improvement for the benefit of our students, staff, faculty and administration.

As one of the largest and most diverse culinary schools in the world, ICE has helped thousands of students to find their “culinary voice.” Each year, over 30,000 people come to ICE for culinary career trainingrecreational cooking lessons or special events. For some, their dream is to open a restaurant, for others, it is to learn advanced cake decoration or how to make traditional handmade pasta. Still others come to us to further their professional development with masterclasses in restaurant management, advanced pastry studies or modernist culinary methods.

Finding one’s culinary voice is an evolutionary process, and formal training is a natural step towards that goal. We are confident that an ICE culinary education helps students fuel their passions, extend their talents and broaden their horizons — all while having fun.

The best way to learn about life at ICE is to schedule a personal tour. You can also watch our video tour below for a taste of what’s happening every day at one of NYC’s premier centers for culinary education:

ACCSC_1x1.jpgThe Institute of Culinary Education is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), which is a recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education.


ICE’s New York location is licensed by the New York State Education Department, Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision. [1]

Bonus%20Formal%20Portraits-030-72dpi_Rick_375x375.jpgSince our founding in 1975, America and New York City’s importance and influence in the culinary world has progressively grown. So has ICE. Today, we are widely recognized as one of America's leading destinations for anyone who wants to explore their passion for all facets of the culinary arts and hospitality, from cooking, baking and wine studies to restaurant and hospitality management.

As a school and an institution, we are vibrant, focused and driven by ideals. ICE students are diverse, and have unique talents and individual quests. Our role at ICE is to help our students develop and find their culinary voice. As New York City’s leading culinary school, ICE’s influence will expand further still in the first half of 2018, as we officially open the doors of our new branch campus in Los Angeles.

The foundations of ICE are our career programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts, Plant-Based Culinary Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management and Hospitality & Hotel Management. Whether our students’ goals are to become four-star chefs, restaurateurs, food journalists, artisan bread bakers or hotel general managers, our programs provide a comprehensive foundation. ICE’s programs are sophisticated, intensive, student-centric and can be completed in less than one year.

It’s no surprise that over the years, ICE and its alumni and faculty have won top industry awards, reviews and accolades, including the 2015 IACP “Culinary School Award of Excellence." More recently, in fall 2016, both The Daily Meal and Edinformatics named ICE as the #1 culinary school in America! ICE’s externs and graduates have been recruited by New York City’s and the country’s most celebrated chefs. The same will be true for students and graduates of our Los Angeles campus. The network of ICE alumni, employers and friends throughout the nation is truly impressive. On the specific measure of student retention and placement, we have remarkable success: 87% of students who start our career programs go on to graduate [2] , with 82% employed within the industry after graduation [3].

Moreover, we are one of the only schools in the nation that has designed an in-depth educational program for aspiring culinary entrepreneurs — be they future food startup founders or restaurant operations directors. Our innovative Restaurant & Culinary Management program is taught by an experienced group of former restaurant owners and consultants who use the real-world as their classroom. We have also structured our schedules, curriculum and tuition to facilitate “double majors,” whereby students can easily combine business and culinary training.

The school’s New York City campus at 225 Liberty Street is open day and night, seven days a week, and hosts career training, a dizzying array of recreational and professional development courses, special events and guest speakers. As 2018 rolls forward, many of these same programs will be introduced at our west coast campus.

Beyond the awards and facilities, we know that ICE has a spirit and atmosphere that you won’t find in many other schools. Walk through our halls and you will see students, staff, chef-instructors and faculty whose attitudes are serious, dedicated, focused and fun. It’s difficult to characterize a school or business in a few words, but at its core, ICE is about its students. Whether they are with us for a day, a week or a year, students tell us that our school is an exciting, joyful place where they are inspired to learn and succeed. Being part of that success is our passion.  


Rick Smilow, President

Richard Simpson, Vice President - Education

Facility-029-72dpi_375x375.jpg"For anyone in the food service business, or even thinking about it, this is a must have guide." - Tim Zagat

Cooking, baking, managing, producing, distilling, brewing, distributing, planning, marketing, writing, editing, photographing, filming, selling, designing — the career opportunities in the food industry today are seemingly endless. "Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food, with Advice from Top Culinary Professionals" (Clarkson Potter, May 2010) is the only career book to offer candid portraits of dozens and dozens of coveted jobs at all levels to help you find your dream job.

Because so many career paths are possible, it can be hard to find out exactly what job would best suit oneself, or how to go about obtaining it. In Culinary Careers, ICE President Rick Smilow and co-author Anne E. McBride talked to people in all aspects of the industry about their education, career path and day-to-day activities. They conceived Culinary Careers as a comprehensive guide to help students, career changers and prep cooks looking to move up, weary chefs in need of a new way to use their skills, budding food writers, or aspiring winemakers go about their job search and learn more about the industry as a whole. In this book, readers will:

  • Get the ultimate in advice from those at the very pinnacle of the industry, including Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Lidia Bastianich, David Chang and Ruth Reichl.

  • Read about the inspiring — and sometimes unconventional — paths individuals took to reach their current positions in 89 in-depth profiles.

  • Learn what a food stylist’s day on the set of a major motion picture is like, how a top New York City restaurant publicity firm got off the ground, what to look for in a yacht crew before jumping on board as the chef and so much more.

  • Find out what employers look for, and how you can put your best foot forward in interviews.

Culinary Careers opens with three chapters that cover three different career-building stages: Getting Started features information on educational needs for beginners and career changers alike, describing programs and schools around the country, along with some top international programs. This chapter also offers tips for resume writing and job interviews. Career Development and Growth gives advice on advancing one’s career, from developing a palate to acquiring additional education and credentials. It also discusses how to change jobs, which organizations to join and trade shows to attend, and networking both in person and online. The third chapter, Ownership and Entrepreneurship, addresses the many entrepreneurial opportunities that the food industry affords, from owning a restaurant or a food product company to a public relations firm or a catering company. It covers the pros and cons of ownership, the components of a business plan, permits and certifications and investors.

The most unique feature of Culinary Careers are chapters 5-15, which include the exclusive interviews with both food-world luminaries and those on their way up, allowing readers to discover what a day in the life is really like in diverse areas of the culinary world. They also offer their thoughts on salaries in their field and what they look for in a new hire, for up-to-date, frank information on what one can expect to earn when working in the food industry. Those job category chapters are:

  • Lessons from the Stratosphere
  • Cooking
  • Pastry and Baking
  • Catering, Events, Personal and Private Chef Work
  • Management
  • Wine and Beverages
  • Food Artisans
  • Retail, Distribution, Sales
  • Media, Marketing, Public Relations
  • Assorted Business Services
  • Nutrition and Nonprofit
  • Education

The 89 interviews include chefs such as Thomas Keller (California, New York, Las Vegas), Daniel Boulud (New York, Palm Beach, Las Vegas, Vancouver, China), Dan Barber, David Chang (New York), Rick Bayless, Graham Elliot Bowles (Chicago), Joseph Wrede (Taos, New Mexico), and Kelly Liken (Vail, Colorado); pastry chefs such as Gale Gand (Chicago), François Payard (New York, Las Vegas, Brazil), Mindy Segal (Chicago), Erin McKenna (New York, Los Angeles), Michael Laiskonis (New York), and cake designer Elisa Strauss (New York); people from the media world such as Ruth Reichl (author, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet), Michael Ruhlman (author), Gail Simmons (Food & Wine , Top Chef ), Molly Wizenberg (the blog Orangette, Bon Appétit ), and Susan Spungen (food stylist, former food editor, Martha Stewart Living); food artisans such as Zingerman’s Ari Weinzweig, Chef’s Garden Lee Jones, Allagash Brewing Company’s Rob Tod, and Savannah Bee Company’s Ted Dennard; as well as sommeliers, caterers, company owners, media producers, stylists, photographers, publicists, consultants, educators, and more.

Culinary Careers (352 pages, $16.99) is available for sale at bookstores nationwide, online at, and at ICE.

Consumer Reviews from and More

“I went to an event at ICE where Rick and Anne were discussing this book. Its a great book. I've been considering going to culinary school for some time now. I'm in the midst of a career change. I've don't some research within the industry for salaries, growth etc. BUT this book breaks everything down for you. I read this book in 3 days. It made me feel better about the path i would like and plan on taking. The book tells it like it is. Working as a chef is hardwork and long hours but the rewards in the end are all worth it. I think TV has romanticize what being a chef is - it doesn't give you the good, the bad and the ugly. This book definitely does. I highly recommend it to anyone considering a career in culinary.”
—Barb C.

“I am considering a career in the culinary field and this book has been an immense help in providing some insight into what different jobs and career paths are like. It's interesting because you can read interviews straight from well-known and lesser known people in the industry. Sometimes their interviews reveal information you never would have guessed.”
—A Kid’s Review

“Culinary Careers met expectations, proving an insightful and helpful read. Mainly due to the many interviews from experts, novices and career changers that work in the culinary industry. I suggest this book to anybody considering a career change or a leap into the culinary industry.”

This book is a plethera of who's who in the industry and the many different career considerations to ponder. The book is like a menu that really opens one's eyes to the many opportunities in the culinary world. Rick and Anne have been in a unique position to meet and interview the many different people in this book over the past 15 years. The indepth research and dedication of getting this book right for the public really shows. Many of the individuals interviewed and featured really opened up and shared some key ingredients for the recipe for success. The book, Culinary Careers, is an excellent starting point for someone pondering a culinary career.
— Shadowbulldog

As a culinary arts career student, this book is not one to pass up. Rick Smilow knows his information and generously expresses it in an approachable fashion.
— Melanie Moss

I am still working my way through Culinary Careers, but already I am blown away. For so long culinary education and the food service field in general have intimidated many, myself included. Books like this, that make the profession accessible and point those of us searching for answers in the right direction, I believe will make a positive difference in the future of our industry.
— Nikki Mickman

About the authors:

Rick Smilow is the president and CEO of the Institute of Culinary Education. During his tenure, ICE has grown to become one of the nation’s leading culinary education centers, winning two coveted awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Smilow has an MBA from the Kellogg School and has held corporate and entrepreneurial marketing positions prior to acquiring ICE in 1995 and landing his dream job. He is also a director of Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Restaurant Group and a board member of City Harvest and Careers through Culinary Arts Program.

Anne E. McBride is a food writer and editor. With famed pastry chef François Payard, she wrote Chocolate Epiphany (Clarkson Potter, 2008) and Bite Size (William Morrow, 2006), and is formerly the senior cookbook editor at Hippocrene Books. McBride is the director of the Experimental Cuisine Collective, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, chefs, media personalities, academics, and food enthusiasts that examines the connections between food and science. She is working towards a Ph.D. in food studies at New York University, where she also teaches, and sits on the board of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance.

Hoi An, Viet Nam – STREETS International
STREETS is a nonprofit culinary and hospitality training program for orphans and disadvantaged 17-21-year-olds in Hoi An, Viet Nam. The founder is former ICE management instructor Neal Bermas. STREETS uses ICE's curriculum to teach fundamental cooking techniques, which the students use to gain hotel and restaurant employment.

Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Culinary Institute
Founded in 2008, Istanbul Culinary Institute’s curriculum for global cuisine was licensed from ICE. Our chef-instructors visited and taught at IstCI, which operated in association with Kadir Has University.

Get to Know ICE

James Beard

The School's History

In 1975, Peter Kump, an educator and entrepreneur with a great love of food, taught five students the basic techniques of cooking in the cramped kitchen of his Upper West Side, New York City apartment. Not long after, The New York Times wrote favorably of the fledgling school. As a result of that article, Kump received numerous phone calls from potential culinary students asking to study with him, and Peter Kump's New York Cooking School was born.

Grand opening

2015 Downtown Move & Grand Opening

2015 was a momentous year for the Institute of Culinary Education. In May, the school moved from its long time home in the Flatiron District to a sparkling new facility at Brookfield Place. The construction was executed in two phases, and as of October 2015 a whole new ICE was fully up and running. This coincided with the school's 40th anniversary.

Hall of fame

2018 West Coast Expansion

After 42 years in New York City, in January 2018 the Institute of Culinary Education opened the doors to a second location in Los Angeles — an urban oasis for food and restaurant lovers and without a doubt one of the most exciting food cities in America. Having taken over the facility previously occupied by Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, we’ve reimagined the space as a center for learning, innovation and creativity, staying true to the vision embodied by our New York campus.

ICC to close, and ICE will integrate the best elements

ICC and NGI at ICE

In 2019, ICE announced an agreement with the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI). As the plant-based school’s Flatiron campus closed, ICE introduced the Natural Gourmet Center, where we offer a fifth diploma program, Plant-Based Culinary Arts (formerly known as Health-Supportive Culinary Arts), at our New York City and Los Angeles campuses. The following year, ICE entered into a similar collaboration with the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI), which plans to close its campus in New York's SoHo neighborhood. ICE will integrate the best elements of FCI/ICC into our award-winning experience and welcome ICC’s 15,000+ alumni network to our community.

IACP award

Awards & Honors

ICE and its faculty, alumni and administration have been proudly decorated with the industry's top honors. From award-winning restaurant chefs to media moguls and entrepreneurs, an ICE education places you among amazing company. In 2015, ICE was awarded the "Culinary School Award of Excellence" by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Facilities at Institute of Culinary Education

Facilities & Technology

Both ICE's New York campus and Los Angeles campus provide students with access to equipment from leading food industry brands and facilities that represent the highest professional standard in culinary creativity and technology.

ICE Advisory Council

Chef's Advisory Council

Our Chefs’ Advisory Council is made up of a wide range of noted professionals, all of whom are committed to excellence in culinary education. The group includes some of the most respected and creative working chefs and hospitality professionals in the nation. They’re an invaluable resource, because they ensure that our education meets their high standards and that our students receive training that properly prepares them for the challenges of the industry.

Big Against Hunger

ICE Gives Back

As a leader in the culinary and hospitality training field, we think it is important that ICE does more than our share to give back. We hope to be role models and inspire our students, customers and other schools and companies in this regard.

Find Your Culinary Voice

Our mission is to help students find their culinary voice. Whether it’s a career training program, a recreational course or a special event, we’ll give you the tools to hone your culinary creativity. We asked some of today’s leading food industry pros — including Duff Goldman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Rick Bayless, Marc Forgione, Vivian Howard, David Burke and more — to share their culinary voice. Click below to watch what they had to say.