ICE Alumni Earn Michelin Guide Acclaim
The 2019 Michelin Guide features nine restaurants with ICE grads as chefs, pastry chefs, owners and managers.
Michelin made its calls to notify New York City restaurants of stars this week, following its Bib Gourmand announcement on Oct. 30. Here’s where to dine with Michelin-recommended ICE alumni in 2019.
Restaurant Daniel earned two Michelin stars with the help of Michael Lawrence (Culinary, '91), executive director of operations for The Dinex Group. Lawrence has worked with the group since 1998 through a roster of accolades and in August 2018, Food & Wine named Daniel one of "the 40 most important restaurants of the past 40 years."
Among one-starred restaurants, Anthony Sasso (Culinary, '04) is the executive chef at Casa Mono in Gramercy; David Schneider (Culinary, ’02) is the director of Ai Fiori in Midtown; and Karen McGrath (Pastry/Management, ‘02) is the pastry chef at The River Café Restaurant in Brooklyn.
Uncle Boons maintained its Michelin star for a fourth year, where Ann Redding (Culinary, ‘02) and her husband Matt Danzer are co-chefs and owners. Michelin celebrates the creativity, “magic” and “vibrant flavor” at the Thai restaurant in Nolita. A more casual, counter-service version of the restaurant, Uncle Boons Sister, opened in December 2017.
To the west, one floor below ICE’s New York campus, L’Appart is tucked inside Le District in Brookfield Place. The intimate French restaurant, intended to evoke dining in Chef Nico Abello’s apartment, earned its third one-star designation — one for each year the eatery has been open. The guide highlights “creamy jasmine rice pudding kissed with pear sorbet” from Pastry Chef Mina Pizarro (Pastry, ‘02).
A Bib Gourmand designation indicates value: Michelin recognizes “high-quality food” at establishments where diners can “order two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included).” Bunker, The Good Fork and Prune are among this year’s 129 picks.
The guide lauds “killer Vietnamese street food” from Bunker Chef/Owner Jimmy Tu (Culinary, ‘97), recommending shrimp, oxtail stew and more. Tu opened the colorful, spacious Bushwick location (of the original Ridgewood restaurant) in January 2017, and Michelin named it first among its five “best Vietnamese restaurants in NYC” in June 2018.
Sohui Kim (Culinary/Management, ‘02) should frame The Good Fork description, which celebrates “umami wonder” in her scallion pancakes and calls her coconut milk-scented mussels “true happiness.” Kim runs the staple Red Hook eatery with her husband Ben Schneider and released her second cookbook, “Korean Home Cooking: Classic and Modern Recipes” in October.
"It is a great honor to be included in the Michelin Guide" Kim said. "We have held onto the Bib Gourmand for many years now and being on it means that our hard work of providing great food and service is being recognized by those who appreciate great restaurants. It's an amazing vehicle for smaller, independent restaurants to get noticed."
Across the East River, another neighborhood favorite, Prune, is recognized for “adventurous food” and a well-rounded guest experience in the East Village. Ashley Merriman (Culinary, ‘03) is co-executive chef with owner Gabrielle Hamilton, and Michelin recommends “perusing” the nightly specials.