ICE Recreational - Institute of Culinary Education NYC

74
14
Joined Aug 10, 2013
Has anyone graduated, from the above mentioned culinary school? Did you think it was a good move, would you repeat it again ?
Do you think you would be able, to handle a restaurant of say 100 seating capacity? As a chef owner, with obviously hired help.
Or do you think? that would be too big of a jump ?
 
1,021
606
Joined Mar 1, 2017
I suppose the only question that matters is whether or not you have any experience whatsoever working in a restaurant? The advice that I would otherwise give depends on your answer. :)
 
74
14
Joined Aug 10, 2013
Yes I did work six years in, a restaurant as a line cook. Prior to that, I worked 6 years in another food related business, not a restaurant however. How I got off the path, is a very convoluted story.
I you are asking me, do I know what I am in for, yes I do. The question is the school ICE, is it a
quality school? Or is time and money, spent better else where?
 
526
191
Joined Sep 17, 2018
Honestly never heard of it. Depending on the type of restaurant/cuisine I don't know if you necessarily need to go to school to operate a 100 seat restaurant effectively.
 
2,052
559
Joined Oct 31, 2012
Too many questions to know if anyone can handle any size restaurant. Experience, temperament, menu, clientele, etc.
As for school, I wouldn't recommend it if the price is as high as other schools. I think school is important/helpful but not at the tuition most charge. Experience will/has taught you how to work in a kitchen presumably. Most cooking like sauces, baking, and other related topics can be learned outside of school but of course what you need to know depends on what your menu offers and what you want it to offer.
Perhaps you could provide a bit more detail on your situation so we can provide more helpful advice.
 
1,021
606
Joined Mar 1, 2017
I don't know much about that school. But, to me it doesn't matter. In more than 40 years of being an owner/operator who has trained dozens of top notch chefs, I don't think there's a culinary school out there that's worth the tuition they charge. When hiring new cooks, I never placed any stock on a piece of paper. I gave them a set of tasks to test their knowledge of technique and I observed them over the course of a busy service, always on a Friday or Saturday. If they survived these two tests, I sat them down and had a talk to get a sense of whether or not they would fit in with my staff. I don't like drama and I don't like conflict. There's no time for it in a kitchen and rooting it out is one of the most neglected duties of any Chef. Gordon Ramsay himself could come to my kitchen looking for a job but, if he's going to upset the apple cart, he's not going to get a job.

Do they teach this in culinary school? Nope. I'm willing to bet that you have amassed gobs of knowledge from your years in a kitchen as well that aren't taught in culinary schools. If so, then you're asking the wrong question. The question isn't whether or not ICE is a good school. The question is: "Is culinary school right for you?"

A pro kitchen run by a good chef is the finest learning institution you will ever find on this planet, my friend. And it has the extra added benefit of paying you while you learn. How much you get out of it is directly and solely up to you.

Good luck. :)
 
4,662
882
Joined Aug 21, 2004
It is a good school. It can expand your knowledge and skill level. So can working in a restaurant. Before spending the money (pretty hefty tuition) and time, I would suggest having a clear understanding of what exactly you expect to gain from attending and be very specific and detailed. Weigh that against an equal time investment spent working in the industry and how time working in the industry would compare in helping you towards achieving the previously detailed and specific expetations you set for attending culinary school.

The decision to attend (or not attend) culinary school is unique and dependent upon each individual as to whether it turns out to be a good decision or not.

I will tell you this though. I had been working in the industry for 20 years in every capacity (FOH/BOH/mangement) and had graduated from culinary school 10 years earlier when I opened my own restaurant. I thought I was locked and loaded, a done deal, rock solid. Nothing prepares you for being an owner like being an owner. The learning curve was immense. I was an owner for over 10 years and became a pretty good owner over time. Since that time, I have gone back to being a worker bee and have now been in the industry for over 40 years. I would be a much better owner today.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
 
45
15
Joined Oct 2, 2016
There are managers, there are leaders. With your 12 years of experience, I do not think that you learn to be a leader on a school desk, do not waste your time with a general training, if you lack know-how, simply learn the skill that you miss or hire the right people to help you progress.
 
Last edited:
74
14
Joined Aug 10, 2013
I understand what you guys are saying, this is good advice. I did learn allot, on my own over the years.
I just felt that having real knowledge, In a school setting, would kind of reinforce the things I know.
And eliminate what I don't know. I guess maybe, I am not going at this correctly .
 
4,662
882
Joined Aug 21, 2004
School can be a positive depending upon your expectations and what you hope to gain by the experience. I went to school back in the dark ages when restaurants had their same menus for years with no changes. I wanted to get exposure to a lot of different techniques and cuisines in a short amount of time. I was only going to get that exposure in the industry by job hopping and moving to a major city, neither of which fit in with my goals and plans, so that was why I decided to attend culinary school.

School met those expectations very well for me because I chose a school with an 18 month program and a school that also let me forgo the internship segment due to my previous qualifying work history in the industry, and instead take electives in different cuisines. Also for my senior term, because I had gotten my electives out of the way early as well as the required classes, I was given the opportunity to be a PM production apprentice in the schools fine dining restaurant under the chef who I considered to be the best of the best on staff, and this was the final icing on the cake in what was an outstanding overall educational experience for me. By the same token, I had done my research well, had very well laid out plans and detailed expectations, and made sure that school was the vehicle to get me to my destination, before deciding to attend. For me it dovetailed well.
 
Top Bottom