International Culinary Center

The International Culinary Center’s dedication to cultivating talent in its students begins with the passion and commitment of its renowned faculty and staff. Among those on the ICC Team driving student success is a long list of esteemed culinary professionals serving as deans and master chefs.

Meet Deans Jacques Pépin and Jacques Torres

At the heart of ICC’s culinary instruction is a curriculum carefully designed by world-renowned deans and taught by a core of accomplished chefs hailing from all corners of the culinary world. Among the other famous names filling these roles as deans are Jacques Pépin and Jacques Torres.

Jacques Pépin: Dean of Special Programs

Jacques Pépin began his culinary career at the famous Le Pavilion restaurant when he came to New York by way of Paris, France, where he had received his training at Plaza Athénée under Lucien Diat. In the years before joining the ICC staff in 1988, Pépin served as the personal chef to French head of state, Charles de Gaulle, and earned a master’s degree in French literature at Columbia, all while honing his own culinary technique.

Pépin’s culinary prowess and charm have also made him a superstar of culinary television. He launched his series The Complete Pépin in 1997 and went on to receive a daytime Emmy award for Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, a series he hosted alongside Julia Child. He has since been a guest judge on Top Chef and has aired several other of his own cooking series.

A living legend among culinary professionals and foodies, Pépin has received countless accolades, including the Chevalier de L’Ordre du Mérite Agricole, Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, several James Beard Foundation awards — including the Lifetime Achievement Award — and an induction into the foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame.

Known for his humorous and vibrant demonstrations, Pépin not only assisted in creating the curriculum for ICC students, but has long supported the culinary school’s focus on helping students find success by building technique from the ground up as the firm foundation of any cuisine.

“Before you can express your talent, you have to learn basic technique. You have to become first a craftsman.” – Jacques Pépin

Over the years, Pépin has released dozens of cookbooks, with his newest, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, released this year and accompanied by a television series, Jacques Pépin: Heart & Soul, airing nationwide this fall.

With decades of unparalleled culinary experience, Pépin’s zest for cooking is as unyielding and as deeply personal as ever. In a recent piece he wrote featured in the New York Times, “Jacques Pépin’s Food Memories,” Pépin conjures a philosophy of food that is magical, familial and sentimental:

“For most people, the dishes that matter are the dishes that have been cooked with love. …Those dishes remain much more embedded in our taste memory than the recipes and dishes of great restaurants, even for a professional cook like me.”

Jacques Torres: Dean of Pastry Arts

Master pastry chef Jacques Torres  started his journey into the pastry world at age 15 as an apprentice. In addition to being named Pastry Chef of the Year by both the James Beard Foundation and Chefs of America, Torres is the youngest title winner of the esteemed Meilleur Ouvier de France. After joining the ICC faculty in 1993, Torres helped design the curriculum for ICC’s Pastry Arts program, becoming the dean of the program in 1996.

ICC Dean of Pastry Arts Jacques Torres

He starred in the Food Network series Chocolate with Jacques Torres, and he has been featured on countless other television programs, including as a judge on Cake Boss: Next Great Baker.

Beyond his role at the culinary school, Torres has earned a name for himself — he is often referred to as “Mr. Chocolate,” a name he shares with the website for his well-loved chocolatier that operates many locations throughout New York City as well as a state-of-the-art factory.

Featured in countless articles by publications including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, the French-native was recently dubbed “Brooklyn’s Wonka” by Newsday. In the article, Torres explains his philosophy on dessert and on life: “You have to play big if you want to make it big,” he said.

Torres often shares his expertise with ICC students during hands-on demonstrations, evidence of which can be seen on his Instagram, and he remains an important part of passing on his real-world expertise to ICC culinary students.

“Making chocolate is a way of life, not a profession.” – Jacques Torres

Learning Technique Helps Gives You Confidence

Fundamentals are the cornerstone of the ICC experience. By learning classical techniques from our chef-instructors and some of the greatest culinary minds in the world, students gain the foundational skills needed to begin a journey to any place on the culinary map.

“We just concentrate on the cooking itself. That’s why we can do in six months what other people take two years to do.” – Jacques Pépin

ICC Distinguished Alumni Christina Tosi, Bobby Flay, David Chang and Dan Barber

International Culinary Center’s more than 15,000 alumni are making headlines around the globe in cities big and small, working in virtually every facet of the culinary industry, including restaurants, management, catering, food styling, business, TV, publishing and more. Some of our trailblazing alumni include pastry innovator Christina Tosi, Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Bobby Flay, restaurateur David Chang and farm-to-table activist Dan Barber.

Christina Tosi: Chef, Owner and Founder of Milk Bar

You may know ICC Pastry Arts alumna Christina Tosi as one of the newest judges on Fox’s MasterChef and MasterChef Juniors, but this rising star has been making waves in the culinary industry since graduating from the International Culinary Center in 2004.

 ICC Pastry Arts Alumna Christina Tosi

When restaurateur (and fellow ICC alumnus) David Chang hired Tosi to write the food safety plan for his restaurant Momofuku, Tosi impressed Chang so much that he ended up hiring her as his pastry chef. At the time, there were no desserts on the Momofuku menu—something Tosi would soon address by founding Momofuku Milk Bar in 2008.

Named “one of the most exciting bakeries in the country” by Bon Appétit magazine, Milk Bar is the sister bakery to the Momofuku restaurant group and provides baked goods for six retail locations (with another opening soon) as well as other restaurants in the Momofuku group. As the founder of Momofuku’s dessert program, Tosi helped Momofuku Ko earn two stars from the Michelin Guide and Momofuku Ssäm break into Restaurant Magazine’s list of the top 100 restaurants in the world.

In 2012, Tosi received the James Beard Rising Star Chef award, and she was a finalist for the James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef award in 2014—an award she went on to win in 2015. In addition to being an award-winning professional chef and television personality, Tosi is also a published cookbook author. Her first book, Momofuku Milk Bar, was met with widespread praise and paved the way for her second book, Milk Bar Life.

Tosi and Milk Bar have been featured on television shows and in publications around the world, including The Today Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America, Conan, The New York Times, Vogue, Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

Bobby Flay: Chef, Restaurateur and Television Personality

“Every day I cook in my restaurants, I’m using techniques that I learned at ICC. Every day. And I always will for the rest of my life.” – Bobby Flay

 ICC Culinary Arts Alumnus Bobby Flay

Celebrity chef and serial restaurateur Bobby Flay graduated from ICC’s very first class in 1984. Since then, Flay has gone on to open multiple restaurants (including Mesa Grill, Bar Americain, Bobby Flay Steak, Gato and Bobby’s Burger Palace) and appear on countless cooking programs and specials on Food Network and Cooking Channel, including:

  • Beat Bobby Flay
  • Bobby’s Dinner Battle
  • Boy Meets Grill
  • Brunch at Bobby’s
  • Emeril Live
  • Grill It! With Bobby Flay
  • Iron Chef America
  • The Best Thing I Ever Ate
  • The Main Ingredient with Bobby Flay
  • The Next Food Network Star
  • Throwdown! With Bobby Flay

Flay has won three Emmys for his shows Boy Meets Grill, Grill It! With Bobby Flay and Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction. In June 2105, Flay became the first chef to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The accolades don’t stop there. In addition to multiple Emmy wins and nominations, Bobby Flay was named the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year in 1993 and received the James Beard Foundation’s National Television Food Show Award in 2005. In 2007, Flay was featured in the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, and he went on to be inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame in 2013.

David Chang: Restaurateur, Author and Television Personality

“One of the biggest pros that the International Culinary Center has is its network of alumni and restaurants.” – David Chang

 ICC Culinary Arts Alumnus David Chang

Restaurateur and innovator David Chang is perhaps best known as the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, which includes the NYC-based Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Milk Bar and Má Pêche, as well as restaurants in Australia and Canada.

A best-selling cookbook author, Chang also publishes a quarterly food magazine called Lucky Peach, which he created with former New York Times writer Peter Meehan. Contributors to the publication include Anthony Bourdain, Christina Tosi, Wylie Dufresne, Ruth Reichl, Harold McGee and Daniel Patterson. When he’s not opening restaurants or publishing books, Chang appears on television programs such as HBO’s Treme, Top Chef: All Stars, MasterChef Australia, and the 16-part PBS series The Mind of a Chef.

Since graduation from ICC’s Culinary Arts program in 2001, Chang has won multiple awards and accolades, including maintaining 2 Michelin Stars for Momofuku Ko:

  • 2009-2015 Two Michelin Stars for Momofuku Ko
  • 2013 James Beard Outstanding Chef
  • 2010 Named one of the world’s most influential people by Time Magazine in the Time 100
  • 2009 James Beard Best New Restaurant for Momofuku Ko
  • 2008 James Beard Best Chef New York City for Momofuku Ssäm Bar
  • 2007 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year
  • 2007 Bon Appétit Chef of the Year
  • 2006 Food & Wine Best New Chef

Dan Barber: Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

ICC Culinary Arts graduate Dan Barber has always been an advocate for sustainable agriculture and the connection between farm and table. His writings on food sustainability, agricultural policy and the farm-to-table movement have been featured in The New York Times, Food & Wine and Saveur, among other publications. Appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition by President Barack Obama, Barber has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the effects of everyday food choices.

 ICC Culinary Arts Alumnus Dan Barber

Barber’s views on the connection between local, sustainable farm systems and great tasting food come to life at his Blue Hill restaurants. Blue Hill New York and Blue Hill at Stone Barns feature local food and wine selections whose ingredients come from local farms that respect timeless artisanal techniques (including Blue Hill Farm and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture). Both Blue Hill restaurants have received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in the U.S.

In 2002, Barber was named one of the “Best New Chefs” by Food & Wine magazine. He also received the James Beard Best New Chef: New York City award in 2006 and the Outstanding Chef award in 2009. Time Magazine named Barber as one of the world’s most influential people in the Time 100 in 2009.

Barber went on to partner with International Culinary Center to create the Farm-To-Table extension of their Professional Culinary Arts program. ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts + Farm-To-Table program builds upon students’ foundational chef training by connecting it to the beginning of the food chain. By exploring how food is grown, raised, packaged and distributed, students gain a better understanding of how quality ingredients make it to the kitchen and are equipped to make informed choices for their own dishes.

A loyal ICC alumnus, Barber also likes to hire ICC graduates for his own food businesses.

Join ICC’s Trailblazing Alumni Today

The road to success begins with a first-rate education from a world-class culinary school. The International Culinary Center’s award-winning Total Immersion curriculum and intensive, fast-track programs prepare graduates with the skills and credentials they need to forge their own path in the culinary industry. And with more than 15,000 alumni making headlines in nearly every facet of the culinary industry, ICC is well-connected and will work with you throughout your career. To learn more about how ICC can help put you on the path to professional success, please complete the form on this page.