In March 2012, ICE welcomed award-winning pastry chef Michael Laiskonis as its first-ever Creative Director. Laiskonis has long been one of the culinary industry's most creative and talented chefs.
Fresh off of an eight-year tenure as Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin, Laiskonis is well known for helping the restaurant earn four stars from The New York Times and three Michelin stars. He was named to America's Top Ten Pastry Chefs by Pastry Art & Design in both 2002 and 2003 and was Bon Appétit's Pastry Chef of the Year in 2004. Best known for his use of modern techniques to reinvent classic desserts, he was also awarded the coveted James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2007.
As Creative Director, Laiskonis joins the ICE educational leadership team to direct new projects in curriculum development and research, teach culinary classes, mentor ICE students and faculty and serve as an industry ambassador for ICE. He is bringing his talent, insight and experience to ICE students in this new and innovative role. His classes are an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the industry's most respected professionals.
Additionally, with the opening of our brand new, state-of-the-art facility at Brookfield Place, Laiskonis has taken on the role of overseeing ICE's Chocolate Lab, honing his expertise in bean-to-bar, artisinal chocolate production. He will lead a variety of students—from ICE career students and recreational cooks to established pastry chefs and professionals—in a diverse batch of educational courses covering a broad spectrum of hands-on applications. Watch the video below to learn more about ICE's bean-to-bar chocolate production.
Professional Continuing Education Classes
Students and alumni should register with customer service at 212-847-0770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craft Chocolate Camp
Mon-Thu, February 5-8, 6-10pm
$1,250 • 4 sessions
This intensive four-day study offers hands-on experience as we explore, in depth, the numerous variables involved in each step of the chocolate-making process. In this workshop, open to pastry and culinary professionals, ICE Creative Director Michael Laiskonis will guide students through the underlying art and science of chocolate. Attendees will roast, winnow, grind, formulate, and refine multiple batches of artisan-quality couverture. Special attention will be given to the science of tempering and molding finished bars. Building upon our popular two-day workshop, you will cover:
• A historical overview of chocolate and current industry trends
• Sorting and analysis of cocoa beans according to genetics and origin
• Roasting, winnowing, and grinding, along with various equipment options
• Refining processes for dark, milk, and white chocolate products
• Cocoa-butter pressing
• Multiple tempering processes, and molding of finished chocolate
• Comparative identification and sensory analysis of chocolate products
• Batches of dark, milk, and white chocolate will be made.
Click here to register.
Chocolate 102: Fundamental Techniques
Friday, December 8, 6-10pm
$195 • 1 session
Chocolate forms the backbone of many of our most beloved desserts and confections, yet the complex techniques required for success often elude most home cooks. Building upon our introductory bean-to-bar class, students will further utilize our exclusive house-made chocolate in finished preparations with a range of origins and flavor profiles. In this demonstration and hands-on class, students will be learn basic tempering, molding, and decoration techniques, as well as finished confections and desserts that best showcase craft chocolate’s alluring properties. Recipes covered in class will include Single-Origin Bonbons; Chocolate Caramels; Spiced Hot Chocolate; and Chocolate Crémeux.
Click here to register.
Artisanal Chocolate Workshop
Sat-Sun, November 18-19, 10am-4pm
or Thu-Fri, January 18-19, 10am-4pm
$400 • 2 sessions
Explore ICE's Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Lab in this two-day chocolate experience. In this workshop, open to pastry and culinary professionals, ICE Creative Director Michael Laiskonis will be offering an exclusive hands-on look at the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process. Attendees will roast, winnow, grind, formulate, and refine artisan-quality couverture, creating a one-of-kind batch from start to finish. Additional discussion will include tempering, molding, and further applications of the finished chocolate. In this workshop, you will cover:
• An introduction to the world of craft chocolate
• Cleaning and sorting of cocoa beans
• Roasting, winnowing, and grinding
• Refining process for single-origin dark chocolate
• Tempering and molding of the finished chocolate
• One batch of dark chocolate will be made.
Click here to register.