James Beard and ICE founder Peter Kump

History of the Institute of Culinary Education

Over Four Decades of Culinary Instruction

It all began with five students in a tiny Upper West Side studio apartment...

Peter-kumps-logo-top-no-year.jpgIn 1975, Peter Kump, an educator and entrepreneur with a great love of food, offered to teach a small group of 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.

Within five years, the school was flourishing. In 1979, an article in Bon Appétit quoted Kump as saying he hoped his students would "develop taste":

"I want them to become free to improvise, to work without recipes. They should learn principles, the reasons for mixing and blending this with that. And techniques."

After a few years, the school had grown in reputation — and had outgrown its original apartment space. Looking for something that better reflected the school's professional aspirations, Peter Kump's moved to a new space on 92nd street in 1979, with three kitchens full of commercial equipment, including a demonstration kitchen. A fourth kitchen and roof garden was added later, as was a separate dedicated pastry kitchen located two doors down the street.

In 1983, Kump inaugurated the culinary career training program to train aspiring chefs. He himself had learned from the best, and former teachers of his such as James Beard, Simone Beck, Marcella Hazan and Diana Kennedy all later came to teach classes at the school. Illustrious food leaders such as Julia Child, James Peterson and David Bouley were frequently guest instructors. In 1986, Chef Nick Malgieri, former executive pastry chef at Windows on the World, and the James Beard award-winning author of five books, was brought on to launch the school's professional baking program.


Among his other activities, Kump, along with Julia Child, went on to establish the James Beard Foundation in 1985. The organization inspires and showcases American chefs through dinners, publications, food events and its prestigious awards program. The school's ties to the James Beard Foundation remain deep, with ICE students regularly volunteering alongside the nation’s top chefs at James Beard House dinners, as well as the JBF annual awards gala.

The evolution of culinary schools in New York and LA