Raised in the Bronx and Puerto Rico, Carmine Arroyo credits his grandmother with providing him with his first culinary education. “It was from my grandmother that I truly learned to love and understand what being in an Italian kitchen was all about. She grew practically everything in her own backyard — figs, squash, basil, beans, zucchini and, of course, tomatoes — and cooked at home every day.”
Upon graduating from high school, Arroyo joined the Army. He alternated between active and reserve duty as a paratrooper, and when he wasn’t active, he learned as much as possible about baking through seasonal projects in bakeshops. After military duty, Carmine enrolled in the Art Institute, where he earned a diploma in Pastry & Baking Arts. He worked as a pastry chef at Amy’s Bread and Citarella before moving to Puerto Rico to develop a deeper understanding of Caribbean flavors and techniques.
In 2006, Arroyo returned to New York City and worked as pastry chef in several restaurants including Tabla, Ellabess and, most recently, The Chocolate Room, where he worked as their executive pastry chef. During this time, Carmine directed a student mentorship and work-study program for a vocational school for at-risk students. His experience with the educational aspect of pastry arts inspired him to seek further teaching opportunities, and in 2017 he joined the ICE community as a Pastry & Baking Arts chef instructor. Says Carmine, “I find immense pleasure in helping others to achieve their goals and successes.”