Credentials, Confidence, Connections
In 1984, Dorothy Cann Hamilton founded The French Culinary Institute with a singular goal in mind: to provide superlative French culinary training in New York City in an immersive six-month program. Inspired by the technical school her father created and the premier vocational schools she visited in Europe, she accomplished what many deemed impossible. After 30 years, we are now the International Culinary Center. We count Jacques Pépin, André Soltner and Jacques Torres among our deans and our 15,000+ alumni include Wiley Dufresne, David Chang, Christina Tosi and Bobby Flay, who graduated in the very first class. With locations in New York’s Soho, Northern California and Parma, Italy, and programs that range from Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts and Cake Design to Italian Culinary, Spanish Studies and Intensive Sommelier, ICC is now the global expert in culinary and wine education.
You Won’t Just Learn to Cook; You’ll Learn to Succeed
ICC students learn the equivalent of a two-year internship in as little as six months. Often imitated but never duplicated, our Total ImmersionSM teaching method offers intensive instruction and puts you in the kitchen from the very first day. Right from the start, you work with professional equipment, learning and developing essential techniques through cumulative practice. The curriculum is rooted in the fundamentals of French cooking, building blocks from which all Western cuisines can be explored.
The rest of our highly accomplished deans include chefs José Andrés, Cesare Casella, Alain Sailhac, Emily Luchetti, David Kinch, award-winning journalist Alan Richman and master sommeliers Larry Stone and Scott Carney. Under their direction, our highly-trained chef-instructors–expressly trained to help individual students succeed–provide a first-rate education designed for real-world achievement.
Small Class Sizes and Solid Support
Premium facilities and resources ensure each student gets generous kitchen space and individual support not found at other schools. Our low student-to-teacher ratio, a hallmark of ICC, assures you get the attention needed to flourish. A vast library, substantial job and internship placement program, and an extensive “chef demo” program–including luminaries like Dominique Ansel, Seamus Mullen, Francois Payard, John Besh and Massimo Bottura–enhance the experience, as do nearby housing, supportive student advisors and informed financial aid specialists. The school’s 91% graduate rate and 0% student default with Sallie Mae is a testament to our commitment to success.
Career students receive a diploma in three areas: Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts and International Bread Baking. In addition to The Italian Culinary Experience and Spanish Studies programs, advanced studies include Intensive Sommelier training (a remarkable 12 master sommeliers are on staff and the Master Court of Sommeliers test is conducted on-site, with an outstanding pass rate), Restaurant Management, Cake Techniques & Design and Food Writing. Most programs offer day and evening classes with several start dates throughout the year. Culinary Arts culminates with real restaurant experience in the award-winning L’Ecole in New York and externships in first-rate restaurants in Northern California.
We also offer an extensive variety of classes for home cooks and professionals looking to brush up on their skills. Classes take place in the same pristine facilities and offer hands-on training by the same chef-instructors who teach our career students.
Beyond the Classroom
The ICC experience reaches far beyond the kitchen; set in the culinary capital of New York City’s Soho and California’s lush Silicon Valley, you’ll have access to some of the very best restaurants, vineyards and chefs in the world. Students of our Spanish program can conclude their training with a week in Spain, while those in the authentic Italian Culinary Experience spend more than three months in Italy through a special ICC arrangement with the Italian government.
Those looking to get to the roots of ingredients can find an innovative week-long Farm-to-Table extension to Professional Culinary Arts. In New York, the course is based on the Farm-Powered Kitchen™ program of Dan Barber (an ICC graduate), his staff and Stone Barns Center’s farmers. The California course, created by Karen Karp, one of the ambassadors of the “good food” movement, explores farming, production, distribution, social and environmental sustainability and policy.
If college is in your future, ICC students can transfer as many as 60 credits toward a Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree at The New School, a highly respected NYC university known for its prestigious Parsons School for Design and Mannes College for Music. You can also receive credits towards a Master’s Degree in Food Studies at New York University.
Excellence and Innovation
ICC has been recognized with multiple awards and honors, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals School of Excellence in the professional training category in 2014, 2012 and 2010 (awarded every two years) and the coveted School of Excellence Award from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges in 2012 and 2013. Never resting on our laurels, we constantly seek to improve by integrating new technologies and industry trends into the classic curriculum without losing sight of our core principles. Both Culinary and Pastry Arts include an emphasis on locality, sustainability and nutrition as well as training in cutting-edge techniques such as sous-vide and hydrocolloids.
Distinguished alumni include Dan Barber of Blue Hill, Josh Skenes of Michelin-rated Saison, Hooni Kim of Michelin-rated Danji and TV chef Daisy Martinez. Our graduates work in just about every facet of the food industry including television, publishing, food styling, business, interactive media, catering and, of course, restaurants. Hailing from over 80 countries, they create a powerful hiring network. Many return to cook for students and to take advantage of our lifetime career services and all are invited to attend the annual commencement ceremony at the landmark Carnegie Hall to applaud the next generation of talent.