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Classes with Michael Laiskonis

(New York Campus)

Classes with Michael Laiskonis PastryIn 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 in downtown Manhattan, 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.

Take professional development classes at ICE with pastry chef and Creative Director Michael Laiskonis


Professional Continuing Education Classes

Students and alumni should register with customer service at 212-847-0770 or email


Verrines: Dessert in a Glass

Friday, March 16, 6-10:30pm
$125 • 1 session
"Verrines"—which simply translates to "glasses" from French—serve as a vehicle to present elegant yet easy-to-prepare desserts. This hands-on class with James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis will explore the creams, mousses, curds, and more that make up these layered compositions, along with textural elements for added complexity. Finished verrines will include tantalizing and impressively complete dishes like: Mango, Coconut, and Milk Chocolate; Raspberry, Pistachio, and Apricot; and Yogurt, Basil, and Strawberry.

Click here to register.

Simple Spring Tarts

Monday, April 9, 6-10:30pm
$125 • 1 session

The promise of spring and summer fruits is a great excuse to hone our dessert skills, and simple tarts are the perfect vehicle for showing off their delicious simplicity. In this class with Chef Michael Laiskonis, we will break down classic tart bases such as Pâte Sucrée; Pâte Sablée; Puff Pastry; and more; each foundation will then be used to support an array of large-format and individual-size tarts utilizing in-season fruits from the market, as well as creams, mousses, and a touch of chocolate.

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The Art of the Sundae

Monday, May 14, 6-10:30pm
$125 • 1 session

A good ice cream sundae transcends the seasons, offering an array of flavors, textures, and even contrasting temperatures. Coming from Le Bernadin's former executive pastry chef, Michael Laiskonis, you know this class will more than elevate your sundae game! This hands-on class will explore an inventory of crunchy toppings and sweet sauces to bolster your sundae skills. Students will also pick up some basics on the stars of the show: ice cream and sorbet.

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Churros vs. Bomboloni: A Dessert Duel

Monday, June 4, 6-10:30pm
$125 • 1 session

In this hands-on class with creative director and award-winning Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis, students will tackle two classic dessert traditions, from both Spain and Italy. Head-to-head dishes will include Fried Churros and Bomboloni; Creamy Panna Cotta and Crema Catalana; and a battle between two tarts, Pastel Vasco and Torta Della Donna. With this sweet lineup, everyone wins!

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Chocolate 102: Fundamental Techniques

Thursday, April 19, 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
housemade 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. Recipescovered in class will include Single-Origin Bonbons; Chocolate Caramels; Spiced Hot Chocolate; and Chocolate Crémeux.

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Artisanal Chocolate Workshop

Sat-Sun, May 5-6, 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.

Chocolate 101: A Bean-to-Bar Experience

Tuesday, March 13, 6-10pm
$195 • 1 session

Let James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis give you a complete, one-of-a-kind introduction and overview of the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process. In this lecture/demonstration class, he will start with a discussion of chocolate production, broadly covering agricultural aspects, post-harvest treatment, and a preview of the processing steps covered during the session. Students will observe each stage of production, from roasting of the cocoa beans, winnowing, and grinding the winnowed nibs into chocolate liquor, to refining, sifting, and final production of finished bars. Chef Laiskonis will close with a short guided tasting of several chocolates of varying origin and formulation. Students will leave the class with samples of the
chocolate produced, plus an assortment of exclusive bars available only at ICE. 

Click here to register.

For research, partnership and event opportunities at ICE's Chocolate Lab, please contact Stephanie Fraiman at


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Find your cullinary voice