The Food Network Magazine Cooking School Experience

Written by Kait Freeberg
ICC Food Writing Student

This past weekend, I had one of the most incredible experiences of my professional career.

My dream of one day becoming a food writer has led to cooking recipes that come to me by way of cookbook or recommendation, and then writing about the experience in my notebook for practice. Over the last few years, I have grown a fondness and drawn inspiration from Maile Carpenter, editor-in-chief of Food Network Magazine. As an ICC graduate and someone who is constantly improving her writing career, she has become a figure I look up to in the culinary world.

So, when I discovered I had an opportunity to meet her, I jumped at the chance. Food Network was hosting its very first cooking school and created a foodnetworkmag1partnership with ICC to bring it together. There were two sessions being offered, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. After signing up for the afternoon class, I arrived 30 minutes early in hopes of being at the front of the line. However, there were many guests already lined up. Some had even purchased their tickets months ahead of time to guarantee themselves a space. After speaking to a number of these guests, I discovered that the majority were house moms who read Food Network Magazine in their downtime. Once I was allowed inside ICC, we received our itinerary and I was assigned in Group D. After the ICC hosted lunch, guests would go to their assigned classrooms. I would learn how to make pie dough and then move along to an “everything turkey” demonstration, ending with a hands-on appetizer creating experience. But for now, it was time to mingle with the others.I found myself a drink and took my time looking around the room at everyone who was attending.

There was a buzz of excitement in the air. Some participants were lining up to take photographs with Chopped Judge and restaurateur, Marc Murphy. Others were piling their plates high with sandwiches, sides and cookies, and making their way to a space at the belly bars. And then, she caught my eye. Maile Carpenter was standing off to the side of the room, behind a very large November edition of Food Network Magazine. She was alone, scanning the
room and taking in the scene. Knowing this would be my one and only chance to speak to her, I immediately gathered up my courage and went straight over.

What followed was a conversation I won’t soon forget. Maile was so kind and took a genuine interest in what I had to say. She gave me some very useful career advice about pursuing my food writing dream, and even accepted my business card when I asked if we could email further. I am so happy that I pushed out of my comfort zone, took a risk and put myself out there. Now I have a great memory to share with my friends and hopefully one day, I could be working for Maile.

From the beginning, the event was very well organized. I learned how to make flaky, buttery pie dough, and taste a version of apple and pumpkin pies that the student helpers made. Our pastry foodnetworkmagazinecookingschool2016moqwtwltyikxchef, Lindsay Busanich, allowed us to take our creation home. Knowing my pie dough wouldn’t survive the flight back to California, I offered mine to David, a dad from Long Island whose children sent him to this event as a birthday gift. He was very thankful.

The turkey demonstration was by far the most informational and educational aspect of this day. I took so many notes that I ran out of paper! Chef John Cumming allowed the audience to ask questions, and he patiently answered them while showing us the best techniques to use on Thanksgiving Day. I am currently testing my newfound knowledge on a chicken, to get the brining method just right before the big turkey.

Our last course ended making appetizers with Chef Herve Malivert. He taught us how to create meatballs, cheesy potato skins and fresh hummus, which were all big crowd-pleasers. Our group was treated to a tequila cocktail, and we snacked on our tasty creations to end the afternoon.

foodnetworkmagazinecookingschool2016qywqjsiyoipxAfter our class concluded, we collected our items from the coat check and were handed gift bags from the Food Network staff. They were filled with items that would definitely come in handy for Thanksgiving day-aluminium foil, chicken stock, olive oil, kitchen utensils, coupons and more. At the end of it all, I am incredibly grateful that ICC sent me to this event. Not only for the people I was able to meet, but for the experience of being in the professional kitchens. It reignited a fire inside of me and now I can’t wait to eventually be a student at ICC. This was more than an awesome experience- it was a day that furthered my career and my dreams.




Connect with Kait on social media via @afreebirdlife or on LinkedIn via Kait Freeberg 

All photos provided by Getty Images 


The International Culinary Center in Campbell, California

Cooking School in Silicon Valley: International Culinary Center

The International Culinary Center’s California campus is the ideal place to pursue a culinary education. Supplying more than half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, California’s breadbasket boasts long growing seasons, world-class wineries, and a savvy and sophisticated population that supports innovation in the culinary arts. At ICC California, you’ll develop a strong foundation of fundamental culinary techniques that will help you build a successful, life-long culinary career.

Attend Cooking School in California’s Silicon Valley

Located in sunny Campbell, California (part of Silicon Valley), ICC’s California campus is nestled midway between the lush Napa Valley vineyards and the bountiful waters of Monterey Bay. Downtown Campbell is home to a variety of restaurants, bars and boutiques, as well as healthy supermarkets like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. On Sundays, you can also explore a bounty of locally-grown fresh produce and meat at the Campbell Farmer’s Market.

Less than an hour’s drive from ICC California is San Francisco, one of the nation’s top culinary capitals. Voted “Best Culinary Destination” by Saveur magazine readers in 2014, San Francisco’s restaurant scene, with its amazing local produce and fresh seafood, attract foodies from around the world. Among other things, San Francisco is known for its highly creative chefs, adventurous and inventive cuisine, passionate farm-to-table culture, lively street-food scene, and legendary farmers’ markets.

ICC California is also ideally situated near old California wine country, with easy access to hundreds of wineries in the Napa Valley and Sonoma regions. Known worldwide as a premier wine-growing region, Northern California’s wine country and its more than 400 wineries attract millions of wine enthusiasts every year.

Real-World Experience

As part of ICC California’s Professional Culinary Arts program, you’ll get the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the culinary industry through a paid externship in an established restaurant or food business. In California, our externship sites include:

  • Aubergine
  • Bon Appetit @ Google
  • Chez TJ
  • Cockscomb
  • Dio Deka
  • Michael Mina
  • Pebble Beach Resorts
  • Pizzera Delfina
  • Plumed Horse
  • Quince
  • Rich Table
  • Rosewood Sand Hill (Madera)
  • The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay
  • The Village Pub

Culinary Programs at ICC in Silicon Valley

ICC’s California campus includes nine professional kitchens with generous individual workstations for each student. Plus, our low student-to-teacher ratio and unique Total ImmersionSM teaching method guarantee you’ll receive an unrivaled culinary education that will put you on the fast track to success. ICC is proud to offer the following culinary programs at our California campus:

One of ICC California’s most exciting culinary programs is the Professional Culinary Arts + Farm-To-Table program, which gives students a unique opportunity to experience the farm-powered kitchen movement firsthand in a state that was among the first leaders of the initiative. With an emphasis on sustainable local agriculture, including how food is grown, raised, packaged and distributed, ICC California’s Farm-To-Table program connects your culinary education to the beginning of the food chain and gives you a competitive edge in the industry after graduation.

No matter which path you pursue, the International Culinary Center’s expert chef-instructors and world-renowned curriculum will prepare you with the education, skills and connections you need to forge your own path in the culinary industry.

professional development advanced chef training

Professional Development: Advanced Chef Training

In the fast-paced and ever-changing culinary industry, the key to gaining a competitive edge is to stay on top of current trends and techniques—and that’s exactly what ICC’s Professional Development classes are designed for. Our Advanced Chef Training classes will keep you on the cutting edge of the culinary industry so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Gain a Competitive Edge with New Culinary Skills

You’ve broken into the culinary industry—now it’s time to break away from the pack. Fast-track your training and refine your skills with ICC’s Advanced Chef Training classes:

  • Culinary Technology for Professional Development
  • Gluten-Free, Vegan and Dairy-Free Baking
  • Up Your Game: Advanced Chef Training Intensive
  • Intensive Sommelier Training
  • Culinary Entrepreneurship
  • Food Styling for Media

Take Your Culinary Career to the Next Level at ICC

If you’re ready to up your game and take your culinary career to the next level, explore our Professional Development classes or fill out the form on this page to get more information.