"Use the freshest food you can find, prepare it skillfully and simply, and savor it with family and friends."
Chef Fraya Berg studied biology, chemistry and secondary education at Washington University, St. Louis, and worked as a biochemist for several years before attending the Culinary Institute of America, where she earned an AOS degree in culinary arts, graduating first in her class.
The biochemist’s first job in the restaurant world was in high school, and she continued working in kitchens every summer during her college years. After graduating from the CIA, Chef Fraya held several kitchen positions, culminating in her stint as a chef in the café at Chez Panisse. After moving back to New York, she started her own eponymous catering company in Valhalla, New York. Chef Fraya has worked in food editing and recipe development for more than a decade at publications like Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook Magazine, Parents Magazine and Women.com. She applied her science background at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute in 2007 and wrote and edited content for Meredith Xcelerated Marketing from 2005 to 2018.
In 2013, Chef Fraya worked on the cookbook, “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: All the Good Cookies,” developing and testing the recipes, and she’s supervised the culinary aspects of the annual Chefs for Kids’ Cancer Gala Fundraiser since 2014.
Chef Fraya trained students at two Culinary Institute of America restaurants as an assistant instructor from 1985 to 1986, and taught recreational cooking classes for group tours, private clients and charity events at The Silo (now Hunt Hill Farm) in New Milford, Connecticut, from 1990 to 1995. She began as the lead chef for ICE’s recreational program in October 2018.
"My desire to teach recreational cooking at ICE is longstanding," says Chef Fraya. "Peter Kump offered me this job in 1994, but at that time I chose to pursue a career in the magazine world. Teaching here at ICE now is the capstone of my career."
When asked what her plans are for ICE's 1,700 annual recreational classes, Chef Fraya said, "I want every student to get some personal attention in every class, and leave with at least one new-found skill. My goal for the program is improving the curriculum for existing classes and creating new courses that are vibrant, timely and on trend with what our guests are experiencing in restaurants. While doing this, I hope all of our guests experience first-class hospitality and pick up a few tips about hospitality that they can take home along with the recipes they learn to cook."
Awards and Honors
- CIA, No. 1 in class
- Fellowship, Beringer Vineyards School for American chefs, studied with Madeleine Kamman
- Fellowship, CIA American Bounty Kitchen
- Fellowship, CIA Caterina de ’Medici kitchen
Specialties/Areas of Interest
- Food editor
- Culinary educator
- Writer and recipe developer
- Restaurant, catering and test kitchen chef