ICE students, instructors and staff pass through the lobby of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City

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

Hillery Wheeler is the Director of Admissions at the Institute of Culinary Education

Hillery Wheeler

Director of Admissions

Hillery grew up traveling around the world. Once stateside again, she graduated from the University of Missouri and started working as an assistant to the ICE admissions team in 2009. She has since been promoted to Director of Admissions and works directly with students to help them realize their culinary dreams. “My culinary voice is an echo. Students that come to me are eager to start their training and absorb all the information and techniques they can," Hillery says. "From there, I spend time visiting the restaurants where they extern and work to enjoy their creations. As Director of Admissions, it's up to me to help students find the program and classes that are a good fit for them, so they're able to experience and learn everything the instructors have to offer, and then filter it through their own lens as they move forward to have full careers as chefs, pastry chefs and restaurateurs.”

Fred Cesarano is the Senior Associate Director of Admissions at the Institute of Culinary Education

Fred Cesarano

Senior Associate Director of Admissions

Fred has been working at ICE for over 14 years. Even before that, he has been an integral member of admissions teams for various schools. Originally, Fred trained to be an aircraft technician and worked as a sample cutter for a menswear company. His experience in fashion led him to the admissions team for a private fashion design school in New York City. Today, Fred is glad that his career led him to the culinary world, where he can explore his culinary voice. He says, “With my Italian background, I would say family is a big part of my culinary voice. Food tastes so much better when it's prepared and enjoyed as a family.” When working with students, Fred helps them get started in exploring their culinary voice by talking about how food is the great common ground that brings us together — “I help them realize that food will help build bridges here at home and across the rest of the world.”

Ama Adusei is the Associate Director of Enrollment Management at the Institute of Culinary Education

Ama Adusei

Director of Enrollment Management

While studying at Howard University in Washington D.C., Ama began working at Phillips Foods restaurant. She wore many hats during her tenure at Phillips, working in sales, on the restaurant floor, interacting with customers and in management, acquiring the many skills that those positions demand. After relocating to New York City, Ama found her calling in higher education. With a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing and a diverse professional background, Ama is well-versed in the interpersonal skills associated with encountering and working with new people. Says Ama: "I love what the Institute of Culinary Education is doing for the industry and its students by inspiring them to be great in the culinary world and giving them the skills they need to achieve that. I love what I do. It's very rewarding to help guide people in accomplishing their goals and planning their careers.”

Jock Grundy is an Associate Director of Admissions at the Institute of Culinary Education

Jock Grundy

Associate Director of Admissions

The culinary world is in Jock Grundy’s blood. His father was the comptroller at the legendary Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Street in the Garden District of New Orleans, where Jock would watch the Mardi Gras parades roll by. In 1982, Jock landed his first bartending gig at The Sheraton on Canal Street in The French Quarter. Following his musical ambitions, he moved to San Francisco and landed a job at the Marriott on Columbus and Bay in Fisherman’s Wharf. Soon after, New York City was calling Jock's name and he’s been here ever since — eating his way through every neighborhood. Jock has been working in culinary education for more than 15 years, helping students realize their culinary dreams. “My wife has worked in the industry as a copy chief for a food magazine – we are a food power couple!"

Ron Toomer is an Associate Director of Admissions at the Institute of Culinary Education

Ron Toomer

Associate Director of Admissions

Ron is a graduate of Pratt Institute with sales and creative recruitment experience and worked at Everest Institute as a senior admissions recruiter for more than four years before joining ICE. “Working in Admissions has been a very exciting experience," he says. "It’s a great feeling to be able to help students shape and determine the details of their career path. It’s also a great feeling to have students reach out and share great stories about their externships and experiences networking in the field. What is most rewarding is seeing each student complete their program, graduate, get hired and start living their dreams. My intention is to be an integral part of that process for the student and to help those with a passion for culinary arts find their culinary voice."

Adam Truelove is an Admissions Representative at ICE.

Adam Truelove

Admissions Representative

Adam has been a part of the culinary industry for more than 20 years, from finding his passion as a short order cook all the way to Europe. He worked at some of the top restaurants in New York City and Southern Connecticut and spent time as a culinary instructor. Adam understands the importance of proper training and enjoys helping students start the journey that has given him so much. He has a young family and enjoys traveling, dining and spending time with family and friends. 

Margarita Rivera is an Admissions Representative at ICE.

Margarita Rivera

Admissions Representative

Margarita has worked in higher education for the last 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing management and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Baruch College. Margarita began in student affairs as an academic advisor/coordinator and in the admissions department at two schools before joining ICE in 2018. "It’s great to be part of a process that will help people pursue an interest that they love, provide the necessary training and gain the skills to help them be successful in the industry," she says. "It’s very rewarding to see your students graduate, as they embark on their new careers." She loves spending time with her family and friends, and traveling and learning about different cultures while trying wonderful food.

Danika Wiegand

Danika Wiegand

Admissions Representative

Danika has had a 20-year career in Higher Education and Corporate Recruiting. Danika’s career started on Long Island assisting students with finding positions in their field of study which included, Paralegal’s, Software Developers and Office Support to assisting Medical students find their next big jobs. She then transitioned to corporate recruiting so that she could continue to form relationships with clients and candidates.  “I love working with people in all different backgrounds and seeing them move forward into their dream jobs. When the Culinary Academy of Long Island reached out looking for an Admissions Representative Danika jumped at the opportunity!  After working at the Culinary Academy of Long Island I had a greater appreciation and a fondness that grew for the food world and all its culture. It was the perfect fit!  I enjoy helping families and assisting them through the enrollment process. It is always amazing to watch students come from all over the world to attend the Institute of Culinary Education. It means that the job we do here is worth coming half way around the world for!