Students gather in the student lounge at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City

Student Experience

An Inside Look at Student Life at ICE

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The Most Critical Connections of Your Career Are Often Right Next to You

Tour the classrooms at ICE and you'll see a diversity of ages, experiences, backgrounds and goals. Your classmates will come from all over the United States and around the world. Some are at the start of their careers, studying to become executive chefs and managers in the nation's top restaurants. Others have come to ICE to train for the next chapter of their lives, be they carpenters, lawyers, bankers, advertising executives, journalists or actors. Still others have already worked in the food industry and want to sharpen their skills in pursuit of better opportunities.

Although your classmates come from different backgrounds and have different aspirations, they share a common goal for their experience at ICE: to turn their lifelong passion for food or hospitality into a rewarding career. This forms the friendships and basis for your professional network, lasting for many years and experiences ahead.

ICE is committed to providing a well-rounded experience to its student body. Throughout the year, ICE students enjoy a variety of special events and exclusive classes to help enrich their culinary school experience.

Get involved

Students in class at the Institute of Culinary Education

Elective Programs

Every ICE career program student is entitled to participate in a broad variety of classes and educational programs, above and beyond their chosen career program curriculum. Students can choose from over 1,700 annual courses from our School of Recreational Cooking, and students are invited and encouraged to attend the Professional Demonstrations and Lectures by special guests from the world of food. 

Pastry arts students pose with their awards medals at their graduation ceremony

Student Awards

At the end of each of our Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking ArtsPlant-Based Culinary Arts (formerly known as Health-Supportive Culinary Arts), Restaurant & Culinary Management, and Hospitality & Hotel Management programs, students have the opportunity to win awards voted on by both their fellow students and instructors. These honors recognize the exceptional potential of our most hard-working graduates and establish a meaningful goal for ICE students to work toward.

The three medals presented at each class' ceremony — the Top Toque/Top Student, Leadership Award and Most Likely to Succeed Award — recognize the students who have demonstrated technical excellence in their areas of study, leadership within their program and industry preparedness.

Guest Speakers - Entrepreneurs

Throughout the year, ICE is fortunate to bring in great culinary and hospitality entrepreneurs from around the nation. From California winemakers and New Orleans chefs, to food website founders, specialty food company presidents and executives at hotels, these resources are eager to share their knowledge. ICE's management students are invited to intimate lectures with these industry pros, and have the chance to pose questions to them directly — an invaluable learning opportunity. 

Networking & Volunteer Opportunities

ICE offers students new opportunities to get involved with some of the biggest names in the food industry through a range of on-campus and local events. Each week, students receive updates on upcoming volunteering and networking events — from high-profile cookbook launches and charity galas with acclaimed chefs to highly anticipated culinary awards ceremonies and panel discussions with award-winning restaurateurs. ICE is a hub of networking activity and every day presents new ways to get involved. 

A student smells wine in the Wine Essentials class at the Institute of Culinary Education

ICE's Wine Essentials Course

All ICE career students have access to the school’s Wine Essentials course. Structured around the most important grape varietals and wine-growing regions, this six-session course gives students a deeper understanding of the full wine spectrum. In today's culinary industry, possessing a foundation of wine knowledge is an unquestionable boost to one's resume. ICE students enter the job market with yet another skill set. 

Student Housing Program

ICE's Student Housing program connects students with the resources to find safe, comfortable and convenient housing in some of New York City's exciting and vibrant communities. Our vendors offer a variety of housing options — from dorm-style living to shared or private apartments. Our Student Housing program allows students to focus their time and energy on exploring New York and launching an exciting new culinary or hospitality career. 

Chef Marc Murphy shares his experience as a student at the Institute of Culinary Education

"ICE helped lay the foundations of my education as a chef. It was there that I learned the basics, and those lessons have stayed with me throughout my entire career."

Marc Murphy (Culinary, ‘90)
Chef, Restaurateur & TV personality