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Chef's Profile

Tracy Zimmermann

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Teaching has always been in Tracy Zimmerman’s blood: “My mother was a teacher, so I come by teaching honestly.” In her twenties, she worked at restaurant jobs across the country before attending the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating, she worked at esteemed restaurants like Picholine, Bouley and The Cub Room. She transitioned to teaching culinary arts when one of her best Cub Room customers hired her to teach his wife cooking skills on her days off from the restaurant. From there, Zimmerman became a lead instructor at Chef Works, a cooking school in Westchester, then moved to nearby Monroe College to participate in the creation of its new culinary education program,​ becoming the chairperson of its culinary and pastry arts department. Simultaneously, she earned her master’s from Monroe in hospitality management. This prepared her to found and run her own meal-prep company, while also teaching hospitality at the New York City College of Technology for five years. But she found herself missing the research, writing and teaching components: “I love looking at cuisine both historically and geographically. Why do certain cultures cook the way they do? I want my students to see there's more to it than just food. My grandparents were from Italy, so I was brought up with food being very central to family. Today it's not as central to families, but you see people try. There are so many important ways that food and the dinner table tie together with life.” When the recreational lead chef position opened at ICE, she jumped at the opportunity: “ICE combines all of my favorite parts of the culinary world — menu creation, recipe development, research, food writing, instruction. As a cook, everything you make is fleeting. But when you're creating classes, there's something that lives on. You make a beautiful meal, but you're also teaching students to do it for themselves. That skill lives on after you.”

Courses by Chef Tracy Zimmermann


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