The ICE Hydroponic Garden: Farm to Classroom Cuisine

The ICE Hydroponic Garden: Farm to Classroom Cuisine


James Briscione: Restaurants today are all
about farm to table cuisine. Chefs want to work with the best, local ingredients
they can. Well here at ICE we get to have farm to classroom
cuisine. Sabrina Sexton: From a chef’s perspective,
one great thing about the farm is our ability to work with the farm manager. Whether it’s just how something taste or something
we might want to see and grow. So, it’s a really wonderful collaborative
and creative process and we also get to share that with the students, which is a wonderful
benefit. David Goldstein: Farm One is excited to partner
with ICE. A culinary school is really the best environment
to do exploratory hydroponic growing for culinary use, which is exactly what we’re doing. Having access to world class culinary talent
gives us immediate feedback on the flavor profiles of the crops that we’re growing. James Briscione: It’s one thing to learn how
to cook but when you get to actually watch your food grow and know where it comes from
and taste it fresh from the source, that’s a whole new experience as a chef. David Goldstein: We’re demystifying the growing
process so students have a better understanding of what produce is supposed to look like when
they enter the industry. Students have access to plants that are fresher,
have better color, higher nutritional value and more flavor than what’s available in the
store. Sabrina Sexton: From the first day of class,
our students get to spend time in our farm here at ICE. Not only working with the farm manager but
also with their chef instructors to try a lot of the produce that we grow here, to harvest
the products and also to use them in some of the dishes that we prepare here at the
school. James Briscione: So much of our food is harvested
and then shipped thousands of miles before it gets to the chef. Here we take it straight from the source and
bring it directly to the kitchen to cook, it’s the best possible product as a chef you
could ever wish for. David Goldstein: One of our most interesting
discoveries thus far has been the use of herb flowers. Many of the culinary herbs that we’re growing
produce beautiful flowers that carry a hint of the essence of the herb, a little bit of
sweetness and a ton of plate appeal. Sabrina Sexton: Our farm sets us apart from
other culinary schools because this is a program that is so innovative and 21st Century. David Goldstein: Certain components of these
systems were 3D printed custom for this room. One of the other innovations on the farm has
been our cultivation of micro greens. Using materials that are already on hand at
ICE, we developed a micro green planter. It helps us to eliminate food waste in the
school in its own self-serving unit. We’re experimenting with different nutrient
and light recipes to manipulate things like leaf size, color and flavor profile. James Briscione: One of the most amazing things
about this garden is that, there’s no seasons in here and there’s no localities. We can grow food from anywhere. We have strawberries from the South of France
growing right here in the garden, that’s something that people could never dream of tasting. Now, we have it growing fresh for us to take
right into the kitchens and eat. Sabrina Sexton: As we move forward with the
farm, I just really look forward to working with all the new, exciting products that our
farm manager is continuing to grow and experiment with and I just think this is such a unique
opportunity and the fact that we can bring this to the students and constantly try out
all these new products makes it really exciting.

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