ICE instructors walk down a culinary school lobby together

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.

An Award-Winning Education

In 2016, ICE was honored to be named the best culinary school in America by The Daily Meal, a leading food and lifestyle website, as well as EDinformatics and The Best Schools, leading resources for campus and online education.


In 2015, ICE was proud to take home the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award for "Culinary School of Excellence". ICE has previously won IACP awards in 2003, 2008 and 2011, including “Best Vocational Culinary Institute” and “Best Recreational Cooking School."


ICE was named a “School of Distinction” by the school’s accrediting agency, the ACCSC, in 2006, and ICE’s Career Services Department received an ACCSC commendation for excellence in 2010.

ICE’s faculty has received a number of noteworthy distinctions from the leading culinary publications and organizations in the nation. Noteworthy honors include:

  • Dessert Professional’s 2017 “Top Ten Pastry Chefs” — Chef-Instructor Kathryn Gordon.
  • 2015 IACP “Culinary Educator of the Year” — Chef-Instructor Chris Gesualdi.
  • 2014 IACP “Culinary Professional of the Year” — Creative Director Michael Laiskonis.
  • 2008 James Beard Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef in America” — Creative Director Michael Laiskonis.
  • Dessert Professional’s 2010 “Top Ten Pastry Chefs” — Chef-Instructor Michelle Tampakis.
  • First ever two-time "Chopped" Champion — Director of Culinary Research James Briscione.
  • 2011 IACP Cookbook Award for "Wedding Cake Art & Design" — Chef-Instructor Toba Garrett.
  • In 2011, ICE President Rick Smilow received an IACP Award of Excellence for "Culinary Entrepreneur of the Year”.
  • Smilow was also designated as an honoree by the New York Association of Culinary Teachers.

ICE students have won numerous scholarships, medals and awards from organizations such as Les Dames d’Escoffier, the U.S. Pastry Competition and Allagash Brewing Company’s “Cookin’ With Allagash” contest.

In 2019, Culinary Arts student Amanda Lee won the United States of Umami Culinary Competition, and in 2020, Pastry & Baking Arts student Fernando Diala won the national Ritz Crushed Crackers Recipe Contest. Read more here.

From James Beard Foundation and IACP awards for outstanding achievements in the industry to media honors including Peabody Awards, Emmys and more, ICE alumni are regularly named among the most influential leaders in food. Most recently:

  • Mashama Bailey (Culinary, ’01) won the 2019 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast.
    • Rachel Yang (Culinary, '01) was nominated for Best Chef: Northwest.
    • Miguel Trinidad (Culinary, '07) co-authored "I Am a Filipino," which was nominated for the International Book Award.
    • Semifinalists included Sohui Kim (Culinary/Management, '02) of Insa and Ann Redding (Culinary, '02) of Uncle Boons for Best Chef: New York City, and Missy Robbins (Culinary, '95) of Lilia for Outstanding Chef.
  • Three ICE alumni won James Beard Awards in 2018:
    • Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn won Best Chef: New York City.
    • Stacy Adimando, author of “Nopalito” won Best International Book.
    • Vivian Howard, author of the Black Bean-Glazed Salmon with Ginger Cabbage recipe on won Best Video Webcast.
  • In 2018, Gail Simmons (Culinary, ‘99) emceed the International Association of Culinary Professionals Awards. Stacy Adimando (Culinary, '10) of Saveur brought home the award for Instructional Writing on Food or Beverage with Recipes for her piece, "Masa Appeal," while Clare Langan (Culinary, '11) accepted the award on behalf of the team behind the FYI Network series, "Scraps." Other nominees included Emily Peterson (Culinary/Management, '09) for her Edible Philly personal essay on scrapple, "Mystery Meat," and Gail Simmons (Culinary, ’99) for her latest book, "Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating."
  • The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges honored Kerry Brodie (Culinary, ’17) with the 2018 ACCSC Outstanding Graduate Award for her work at Emma's Torch.
  • In 2018, Adrienne Cheatham (Culinary, '07) made it to the final elimination challenge of "Top Chef" season 15.
  • The Diner Bar at The Grey, with chef/partner Mashama Bailey (Culinary, '01) at the helm, was named one of the 2018 Best Bars in America by Esquire Magazine.
  • In 2017, Greta Anthony (Culinary, ’95) took home a James Beard Media Award-Video Webcast, Fixed Location and/or Instructional for her role as producer of "Kitchen Conundrums with Thomas Joseph," which aired on Other finalists included Missy Robbins (Culinary, '95) of Lilia for Best Chef: New York City, Rachel Yang (Culinary, '01) of Joule in Seattle for Best Chef: Northwest, and Vivian Howard (Culinary, '03) for "Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South" in the American Cooking cookbook category.
  • In 2016, Vivian Howard won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Food Personality or Host for her PBS series, "A Chef's Life." In 2014, Vivian became the first graduate in our history to receive a prestigious Peabody Award for the same.
  • Two ICE alumni were named among StarChefs list of 2015 NYC Rising Stars: Mina Pizarro, pastry chef at Juni, and Ann Redding, chef/co-owner of Uncle Boons.
  • Culinary Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management alumni Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nikos Roussos received two Michelin stars in 2014 for their restaurant, The Funky Gourmet, in Athens, Greece, where it is one of only two establishments with two stars in the country.

This is only a snapshot of our graduates’ accomplishments. Visit our Alumni News page for an updated list of our graduates’ most recent accomplishments.