Institute of Culinary Education Launches Natural Gourmet Center in Pasadena

Published : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 | 7:55 PM

The Institute of Culinary Education has signed a licensing agreement with the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts (NGI) that will allow the Institute to offer NGI’s full range of career training and recreational courses through a new Natural Gourmet Center at both of the school’s Pasadena and New York City campuses.

The Institute opened its Los Angeles campus in Pasadena at 521 East Green Street early last year, taking over a portion of the lease previously occupied by the former Le Cordon Bleu Pasadena. It is known informally as ICE.

The new curriculum will lead to a diploma in Health-Supportive Culinary Arts, the Institute of Culinary Education said. The first classes in the Pasadena Institute’s campus are scheduled to begin April 30.

The agreement is a strategic initiative that complements ICE’s existing portfolio of career training, continuing education, and recreational programs now currently being offered in Pasadena, the statement said.

NGI is the first nationally licensed and accredited plant-based, health-supportive and nutrition-focused culinary school. The institute has been offering a unique, intensive, six-month Chef’s Training Program as its core curriculum, which has graduated more than 2,600 students from 33 countries over its 40-year history.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Annemarie Colbin, NGI has adhered to a health-supportive cuisine based on Colbin’s Seven Criteria of Food Selection, which state that food should be whole, fresh, traditional, balanced, local, seasonal and delicious.

“We are excited that the NGI curriculum has found a new and dynamic home at ICE,” NGI Chair Kaila Colbin said. “ICE’s ability to take the program national by introducing it at ICE’s Los Angeles campus means that our mother’s culinary ethos and legacy can grow and positively affect many more people.”

In addition to the career program, the Natural Gourmet Center in Pasadena and New York will offer a robust menu of healthy cooking and baking recreational classes, including multi-day immersion courses, such as vegan and gluten-free baking and vegan umami, and two-week certificate programs, including food therapy and culinary nutrition, according to the statement.

“We have always thought it important and smart to offer a plant- and nutrition-oriented culinary training program, and the opportunity to have that based on NGI’s highly respected curriculum is fantastic,” Rick Smilow, ICE’s President and CEO, said. “ICE’s mission is to help everyone who comes through our doors to find their culinary voice. We’re thrilled to now offer a program that expands upon the meaning of that mission.”

ICE Vice President Richard Simpson said the NGI curriculum has a plant-based foundation that includes a comprehensive exploration of ingredients and technique, always with a health-supportive angle.

“Given our longstanding commitment to excellence and student success, we know the new Natural Gourmet Center at ICE will be a good complement,” Simpson said.

The campus features 38,000 square feet of educational and administrative space, with seven fully equipped teaching kitchens filled with modern kitchen equipment. The kitchen classrooms range between 1,500 and 1,800 square feet, with 80 linear feet of fire-resistant hood-space for stoves and ovens.

The campus also features a dedicated academic classroom and an impressive 2,000 square foot Learning Resource Center, plus additional tutoring rooms, providing students with community spaces to gather and study or to socialize between classes.

Established in 1975, ICE offers award-winning six to 13-month career training programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry and Baking Arts, Health-Supportive Culinary Arts, Restaurant and Culinary Management and Hotel and Hospitality Management. It also offers continuing education programs in Artisan Bread Baking and the Art of Cake Decorating, with more than 14,000 successful alumni, many of whom are leaders in the industry.

Notable alumni of ICE’s programs include Gail Simmons, Missy Robbins, Marc Murphy, Mashama Bailey and Steve Samson.

ICE also offers continuing education for culinary professionals, hosts more than 500 special events each year and is home to one of the world’s largest recreational cooking, baking and beverage programs with 26,000 students annually.

For more information, visit www.ice.edu/losangeles.