The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) will celebrate the achievements of the 2023-2024 graduating class at commencement ceremonies for its New York City and Los Angeles campuses later this month. Graduates have completed at least one of ICE’s in person or online diploma or Associates degree programs in various fields of study, including Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts, Plant-Based Culinary Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management and Hospitality & Hotel Management.

“I’m proud to host another ceremony to honor all the excellent and hard work our students have completed and achieved during their programs,” says ICE chief executive officer Rick Smilow. “This next generation of chefs is talented and ready to tackle the industry. We're thrilled that they will be inspired by such culinary icons as Mashama Bailey and Evan Funke, who are sure to motivate them as they embark on their careers.”

Honorary speakers include culinary trailblazer Mashama Bailey and alumni chef Gabrielle Chappel at the New York City ceremony, and renowned chef Evan Funke and graduate Megan Fogarty at the Los Angeles commencement.

Bailey is a culinary visionary and graduate from ICE's Culinary Arts program in 2001. She is the Executive Chef and Co-Founder of The Grey, The Grey Market, Diner Bar and the forthcoming restaurant in Paris; the Vice Chairman of the Edna Lewis Foundation and the winner of two James Beard Awards (Best Chef Southeast and Outstanding Chef in America). She is also the author of Black, White, and The Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as the keynote speaker at this year's ICE commencement ceremony,” Bailey says. “These students are the next generation of great chefs and it is my privilege to welcome them to the industry and impart some of the knowledge and advice that I've gained along my own journey from ICE's kitchens to where I am today.”

In addition to Bailey, the New York City ceremony will feature alumni speaker Gabrielle Chappel. The Plant-Based Culinary Arts graduate is the winner of FOX's cooking competition show Next Level Chef, hosted by Chefs Nyesha Arrington, Richard Blais and Gordon Ramsay.

At the Los Angeles ceremony, graduates will hear from distinguished chef Evan Funke. He is the Executive Chef of Funke, Mother Wolf, Felix Trattoria, and Tre Dita at the St. Regis Chicago; co-executive producer on projects such as the documentary Funke and the docuseries Shape of Pasta, and is the author of the award-winning cookbook American Sfoglino.

“Strong foundation is everything,” Funke says. “The leadership at ICE provides a rich environment for students to extract the necessary skills to start their journey towards becoming a professional chef.”

Megan Fogarty, the west coast graduate speaker, completed both the Culinary Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management programs for a dual diploma in 2021. She is a sous-chef at Walter and Margarita Manzke's award-winning République.

The New York campus graduation will take place at Borough of Manhattan Community College's Tribeca Performing Arts Center on May 22 at 9 am EST, while the Los Angeles campus commencement will happen at the Beckman Auditorium at Caltech on May 20 at 5 pm PST.