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NYC’s Two Largest Culinary Schools Are Merging Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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The International Culinary Center is shutting down in Soho by the end of the year

Emily Hyland the “Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One - Pizza Master Class with Pizza Loves Emily” at the Institute of Culinary Education on October 13, 2018 in New York City.
Emily Hyland of Pizza Loves Emily guest-teaching a pizza-making class at ICE
Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for NYCWFF

One of NYC’s top cooking schools, the International Culinary Center, is permanently shutting its doors in Soho and merging with the Institute of Culinary Education, the New York Times reports. The two schools have been planning collaborations for some time, according to the report, but ICC’s move to completely fold into ICE was brought on by the pandemic. Many NYC businesses have struggled to survive amid the city’s months-long shutdown due to COVID-19.

ICC — formerly the French Culinary Institute — will open up classrooms again when the city moves into phase four of reopening, and it plans to remain operational until the end of the year so that current students can finish classes. Afterward, the location will shut down and all programs moving forward will be held at ICE’s campus downtown in Battery Park City.

According to the Times, there are no formal agreements in place yet to bring ICC’s headlining instructors, including Jacques Pépin and renowned pastry chef Jacques Torres, over to ICE’s classrooms. The CEO of ICE tells the Times that he “hopes to have their involvement” with future programming at the school. There are no set plans to integrate ICC’s specific courses into ICE programming yet, either. Costs for programs at either schools can run up to $45,000, depending on the length and type of program.

ICC launched in 1984 in NYC under its former name, the French Culinary Institute. Over the years, alumni have included now-prominent names in NYC’s dining scene, including Blue Hill’s Dan Barber, David Chang, Angie Mar, and Christina Tosi.

Both ICC and ICE’s NYC campuses has been largely shut down since the pandemic hit the city, with the exception of some virtual training classes. Once ICE’s location reopens, the school has no plans to expand its physical space for the merger, the Times reports.

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