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 awarded 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 in 2010 ICE’s Career Services Department received an ACCSC commendation for excellence.

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

  • 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 Reserach 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

Each year, ICE students win numerous NYC scholarships and culinary awards from organizations including Les Dames d’Escoffier, the James Beard Foundation, Allagash Brewing Company’s “Cookin’ With Allagash” contest and more.

From James Beard 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:

  • In 2017, Greta Anthony (Culinary Arts ’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 airs on Other finalists included Missy Robbins (Culinary Arts '95) of Lilia for Best Chef: New York City; Rachel Yang (Culinary Arts '01) of Joule for Best Chef: Northwest; Vivian Howard (Culinary Arts '03) for "Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South" in the American Cooking cookbook category.
  • In 2016, Culinary Arts graduate 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 elite 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—ranking them as one of only two 2-star establishments 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.

  • Industry leaders in fields ranging from sports to technology have partnered with ICE for innovative brand activations. For a full list of brand partners — including IBM, the New York JetsAmerican Express and more — click here.
  • ICE’s Special Events division hosts over 700 culinary events and parties each year for executives at top technology companies, law firms, food industry insiders and press events, as well as bridal showers, bachelor parties and more. Among our noteworthy guests, former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg chose ICE as the site for his 2012 spring staff party.
  • Three international schools have licensed ICE’s curriculum as part of their professional training programs:
    • Russian restaurant powerhouse Dve Palochki chose ICE as the international education partner for the opening of SwissAm culinary institutes in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
    • The Istanbul Culinary Institute (IstCI) selected ICE’s curriculum for global cuisine as the basis for their culinary program. Since 2008, our chef-instructors have visited and taught at IstCI, which operates in association with Kadir Has University.
    • STREETS International, a nonprofit culinary and hospitality training program for disadvantaged youth in Hoi An, Vietnam, uses ICE's curriculum to teach fundamental techniques, allowing these students to successfully gain hotel and restaurant employment.
  • Dessert Professional has hosted its annual “Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America” awards ceremony and party at ICE for more than ten years.
  • The U.S. State Department has chosen ICE chef-instructors to perform trade missions in Indonesia and Vietnam to promote the export of American ingredients.