Salad with beets, cheese and specialty oils, made by Institute of Culinary Education chefs in partnership with Direct Eats

ICE + Direct Eats

We've partnered with Direct Eats to bring you great recipes using organic, natural and specialty foods from their online marketplace. Direct Eats' mission is to provide consumers with the most convenient and economical means of shopping for natural and organic foods.

direct%20eats_375x375.jpgTheir website gives customers access to 20,000 better-for-you products, including unique items from small-batch food purveyors - the kind of products that you’d normally only be able to find at local specialty markets or farm stands. All products on Direct Eats are shoppable by 17 different dietary needs and taste preferences, including various allergens, gluten free, kosher, paleo and more. Check out our culinary explorations of their specialty ingredients below, and learn more about the products used in these videos at

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Tea Powder Exploration

ICE Chef Jenny McCoy shows you three dishes using instant tea powders. First, Chef Jenny demonstrates how to make Tropical Tea Ice Cream Sandwiches with Pineapple and Macadamia Nut Cookies. Then, with her Chai White Hot Chocolate with Chai Marshmallows, she takes hot chocolate to a whole new level by adding a few teaspoons of chai to the mix. Finally, Chef Jenny shares the secret to making Green Tea Cake with Raspberries using green tea powder, adding a sweet and aromatic quality to the dish.

Oil Exploration

ICE Chef Robert Ramsey demonstrates unique recipes using lesser-known, flavorful, heart-healthy cooking oils. He starts with a smoked olive oil carbonara, adding thinly sliced guanciale and topped with freshly grated pecorino cheese. Then Chef Robert shows us how to infuse walnut flavor into his roasted beet salad using a walnut infused olive oil and walnut oil powder. Finally, it's time for dessert — Chef Robert highlights the exotic flavor of tigernut oil in his tigernut oil ice cream with roasted apples and oat crumble. 

Butter Exploration

ICE Chef James Distefano gives us decadent dessert recipes using alternative butters, healthy alternatives to traditional butter-reliant desserts. Chef James starts by sharing step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect crepes for his Maple Butter Crepe Cake. Then, he teaches us a twist on the classic blondie using cashew butter as the star ingredient, while sunflower seed butter becomes a great allergy-friendly alternative to peanut butter in his Sunflower Seed Finaciers.

Spice Exploration

When ICE's Director of Culinary Research James Briscione needs a little extra inspiration, he heads straight to where he stores his culinary secret weapons: the spice cabinet. Here, Chef James demonstrates three recipes highlighting aromatic and flavorful spices. First, Chef James takes us through his "Ber-B-Que" Roast Chicken Pizza using berbere, an Ethiopian blend of 12 different spices. Next, he uses za'atar and sumac for his Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Za'atar and Sumac Yogurt Dressing recipe. Lastly, he shows you how to take advantage of whole cardamom seeds in his recipe for Roasted Pork Tenderloin.

Flour Exploration

Watch ICE Chef Sarah Chaminade as she explores three alternative flours that you can use in your own cooking. Combining coconut sugar and banana flour, Chef Sarah demonstrates how to make a gluten-free Banana Flour Angel Food Cake everyone can enjoy. Then, she uses Merlot Grapeseed Flour in her Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to create a gluten-free and vegan take on everybody's favorite classic cookie; basically, the best of both worlds in one bite - wine and chocolate! Lastly, Sarah turns to chickpea flour, which is made from ground garbanzo beans, to add a sweet and creamy texture to her Chickpea Canapes.