Friday, February 13, 2009

ICE brings award-winning culinary program
to Istanbul

The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) recently announced the start of an alliance with the Istanbul Culinary Institute (IstCI) in Turkey. This collaboration brings ICE instruction, methodology and teaching resources to this newly formed culinary school in Istanbul. The alliance marks a first foreign venture for ICE, further establishing its position as one of the leaders in America's culinary-education sector.

ICE has licensed IstCI to use and teach a large portion of its Culinary Arts curriculum starting with the January semester in Turkey. Additionally, an ICE chef-instructor is now in Istanbul to assist in the roll-out of the curriculum. The program also will include material from IstCI curriculum, including Turkish cuisine and an externship to be completed in either an outside restaurant or the school's on-premise restaurant. After the 28-week, 760-hour program, which will be conducted in English and Turkish, graduates will receive a Certificate Program of Culinary Arts. The third institute involved in this venture, Istanbul-based Bilgi University is providing registrar, admissions and housing services for the program.

"By offering ICE curriculum in other parts of the world and specifically, in a growing food and restaurant culture like Turkey's Istanbul, we're further participating in what has become a global culinary melting pot," says Rick Smilow, ICE president.

Located in the historic and trendy Pera section of Istanbul, IstCI is based in a new eight-story building that was completed in late 2007. The founder of the program is Turkish businesswoman/chef Hande Bozdogan, who has a diverse business background, including a stint as CEO of a major foodservice company, and an educational background that spans three U.S. programs at New York University, the Culinary Institute of America and the French Culinary Institute, respectively. In 2004, Bozdogan's book Flavours of the Street: Turkey won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award. Turkish ICE alum Lizet Gediciyan made the initial introduction between the two schools.

Going forward, ICE plans to expand their collaboration with IstCI by facilitating student and alumni trips to Istanbul and through the development of guest-chef programs that would allow ICE chef-Instructors to visit the school in Istanbul. Also in development is a 'study abroad' program that will allow students to begin their culinary training in Istanbul and complete it at ICE's New York City campus.

The connection between ICE and Turkey is not entirely new. Students from 44 countries have attended ICE in recent years and several have been from Turkey. The most notable example is graduate Nilufer Goodson. After a series of jobs in America, she went back home to become Turkey's first female executive chef at the Divan Bebek Brasserie in Istanbul.