Culinary School Begins its Next Course in Lower Manhattan

The city's oldest culinary school is getting an upgrade - and a new address - just in time for its 40th anniversary. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

The Institute of Culinary Education just moved into its new home in Lower Manhattan.

"We jokingly call this the Disney World for chefs," said James Briscione, director of culinary development for the Institute of Culinary Education. "I mean, it truly is. We have everything we want here."

The space in Battery Park City is nearly double the size of the 40-year old school's former location in Chelsea. The new home has 12 teaching kitchens with all of the latest equipment for cooking and baking.

"Everything from induction burners, grills, planchas, tandoor ovens, rotisserie ovens," said Steve Zagor, dean of the Institute of Culinary Education. "We have a full tricked-out chocolate lab."

The timing couldn't be more perfect for the move. Last year, ICE, as it is known, received 22,000 inquiries for 750 spots in its profesional programs. It's no surprise, considering how popular the culinary arts have become through cooking shows that have turned celebrity chefs into household names.

Briscione has experienced this firsthand. He was the first two time winner on the Food Network show "Chopped." 

"We know more about food than we ever have, and we see food everywhere we look. On billboards, on TV. The top shows on TV are cooking shows," he said.

The Institute of Culinary Education isn't only about developing the big-time chefs of the future. But there is a recreational, too, where folks like me can learn to make more than just toast.

"Say you and your wife want to go and take sushi for couples, or you want to learn how to do Indian cooking because you have friends that are going to be coming over in a few months," Zagor said.

But for aspiring chefs like Wilber Roman, it's bigger than impressing pals at the next dinner party.

"I'm trying to change the world. Feeding the world one stomach at a time is how you got to change the world," he said.

For more information on the program and classes available, visit ice.edu.

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