Students in white chef coats work in an ICE kitchen

Our Story

ICE: A Legacy of Excellence, Innovation and Expansion

Since its founding as Peter Kump’s Cooking School in 1975, the Institute of Culinary Education has garnered praise and acclaim as one of America’s best training grounds for those looking to pursue a career in the hospitality and culinary fields.

Decades worth of awards and accolades reflect the real commitment ICE has made to its students, community, and to the culinary world at large. With a reputation for excellence and a vast network that includes some of the best and the brightest in the field of food and beverage, ICE has a tireless devotion to helping professionals and enthusiasts alike Find their Culinary Voice – that creative drive within each of us that determines how we express ourselves through food.

Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting


What started with five students in an Upper West Side studio apartment has grown into one of the industry’s most respected institutions. Culinary icon Peter Kump launched his cooking school with a vision for teaching people not just to follow a recipe, but to internalize technique so they could reach their highest culinary potential. When current ICE CEO and Chairman Rick Smilow took over, he continued that commitment. He grew the school into what it is today, a revered bi-costal tour de force that keeps a finger on the pulse of the culinary and hospitality world’s ever-changing landscape by developing new programs and learning environments to meet the needs of today’s marketplace.

Paris Gourmet Student Winners

Awards & Honors

Being ranked as “No. 1 Culinary School in America*” was an honor, but this distinction is just one in a long line of awards and honors ICE and its faculty and administration have amassed throughout the years. From the recognition of major media companies, to distinctions of ‘excellence’ from culinary societies and top accolades from school accreditors, ICE, it’s faculty, students and alumni are continuously recognized as leaders in the both the culinary and education fields.

Plating in Kitchen

Culinary Voice

Though our students and faculty come from different backgrounds, cultures, experiences and locations around the globe, they all share the desire to express themselves through food and hospitality. This creative drive is their Culinary Voice, and ICE is committed to helping every student find theirs. From industry professionals, to aspiring culinary students and hobbyists, their culinary voice is uniquely theirs and we’re here to nurture it.

Cesare Casella, Eric Ripert, and Rick Smilow at Bid Against Hunger

ICE Gives Back

The world of food and hospitality is, at its core, about caring for others and ICE looks to embody that mentality through our commitment to giving back to our local, national and international communities. With a focus on hunger relief, disaster relief, education, training and general community enhancement, ICE prides itself on giving back.