ICI Alumni
your success, our pride…

The Italian Culinary Institute is represented in over 40 countries by professional organizations, cooking academies, corporations and the Culinarians who hold key positions in the foodservice and hospitality industries.

Thank you to all of our great alumni. You are the reason why the Italian Culinary Institute continues to be Italy’s premier gastronomic learning center since 1997.

Most importantly, you are the achievers that set higher standards for our industry by preparing and presenting the absolute best Italian regional cuisine in the world!

“You’re surrounded by azure blue skies and the sea as you taste, discover and learn about Italian food, history and cooking techniques. You’re not only served up incredibly tasty food every single meal, you get generous hospitality and so much shared knowledge! Definitely a trip to make in this lifetime…”
Lace Zhang
Chef, Author, Singapore
“Traditional Italian charcuterie course was one of the richest experiences I’ve had in my life, not only because of all the knowledge and practice you get at the ICI but also because of the people you meet and share with. Additional to this, the facilities, location and landscape are wonderful and make this experience an unforgettable one. Chef John Nocita and staff are great people, always helpful and full of joy of having you there and sharing their experience.”
Andrés Cubides
Salumist, Colombia
“The Italian Culinary Institute was the best professional life decision that I have made. Master Chef John Nocita is a true mentor and culinary artist. ICI opened my eyes to a world of cuisine, culture and history that has shaped my culinary career.”
Mark McDonald
Chef, Co-Owner, Sommelier: Old Vine Kitchen & Bar, Costa Mesa, CA, USA
“I am a private chef and I had the chance to come twice to the ICI, once for the charcuterie course, and earlier in 2019 for the Italian Culinary Exploration program. All the courses are great, I am planning to go back. The ICI team is amazing and the all experience very inspiring.”
Jackie Lelievre
Private Chef, France
When I started my career in cooking, I wasn't sure if this course was for me. But it was one of the best culinary decisions! One-week course with Italian cuisine convinced me that Italian cuisine is magic. Chef show ours step by step the best Italian products: oil, spices, meat, chesse and then showed what can we prepare with this products. I remember every culinary workshop day. I often go back to the cours book which I get. And I learned a little bit Italian language! You must visit ICI.
Agnieszka Jasińska
Chef, Author, Actress, Katowice, Poland
“I was in ICI for the Traditional Italian Charcuterie course. The attention received from all ICI staff was spectacular, Chef John Nocita is a true master of teaching the art, technique and science of Charcuterie. The opportunity to exchange experience with people from all over the world is another advantage of being at ICI. I had the opportunity to learn a lot about Italian culture and gastronomy.”
Daniel Risch
Chef, Salumist, Brazil
ICI set the bar for how I want to live the rest my life. Each day was a carefully crafted vision of perfection spent creating immaculate dishes with new friends turned family, all while overlooking a sea view that heaven itself is competing with. The heart of the program comes from Chef John in the way he delivers his endless knowledge in the most entertaining and charismatic way. I’ve returned yearly, just for a chance to be in the energy and bubble of magic that Chef John creates. Truly an invaluable experience.
Hannah McKitrick
Founder of My Intuitive Health, Boston, USA
Those 3 months spent at ICI were just out of the world amazing! Being exposed to new cultures, thoughts and techniques with regard to not only the culinary arts but also the Italian way of life made me realize that it just isn't about pizzas and pastas but about how you take a traditional recipe and evolve it into a world class restaurant quality dish with a lot of passion and love! The best of the best instructors are there for each and every question or doubt that arises. The Italian Culinary Institute has definitely transformed the way I think about Italian cuisine and has definitely made me a better chef and a better person on the whole! Forza ICI!
Siddhanth Sawkar
Chef, Actor, Entrepreneur, Bangalore, India
The passion of the team at ICI for food, for education, and for hospitality really showed through in how much they cared about every aspect of the program and how much they cared for each student. The classes were high quality, with detailed instruction and recipes provided, and delved deeply into the science behind the techniques, which is rarely taught in other cooking schools. They also incorporated local residents and restaurants into the program, for example, an outstanding wine class with an Italian sommelier that taught blind tasting techniques that I have never seen in the US. The team went above and beyond to make everyone feel welcome, to organize group activities, and to even to help students with personal tasks like tracking lost luggage and booking tours. I had an incredible experience, made friends from all over the world, and would recommend ICI to anyone!
Valerie, Peng
Sommelier, New York City, USA
I have attended ICI a total of two times and each experience has been quite rewarding. I attended a two week immersion class exploring Italian cuisine and culture and the charcuterie course. I also plan on attending a cheese making class in 2015. The courses are filled with information and hands on cooking. As an instructor for the Culinary Program at the Art Institute in Tucson, Arizona I particularly like these programs as they help me with my teaching technique. The instructors I have encountered at ICI have been quite knowledgeable and what I particularly like is that they go not only into how to prepare something, but they delve into the history of the dish. In my opinion the history of the dish is just as important as knowing how to prepare it.
Tom Kresler
Retired Chef/Instructor, Art Institutes, Tucson, AZ, USA
That I, as one who has come to the years and from a completely different industry (IT), dared to take the step of registering for 3 months with the course Master of Italian Cuisine was positively life-changing. It is a decision I have never regretted. And that I, as a dedicated home chef, got a very deep insight into how a professional kitchen works, learn the whole of Italian cuisine but above all got to take part in ICI and Chef John's and his colleagues' knowledge. Invaluable! When I got home a pursued my journey to learn more so I fulfilled my ambition to learn more as a sommelier.
Rolf Lyden
Home Chef and Sommelier, Stockholm, Sweden
"My time at ICI was life changing. The Masters Program changed my outlook of not just Italian cuisine, but of cuisine in itself. The holistic approach with which the course has been planned and implemented gave me the best three months I could have ever experienced in Italy. Thanks to ICI and their most amazing team, I now have deep regard for regionality in Italian cuisine, a much greater understanding and respect for ingredients, and the most amazing combination of knowledge, skills and experience to take back with me.”
Saumya Marhawa
Chef, Baker, Patissier, India
I attended ICI for the advanced culinary and pastry immersion that I had heard about. The director and the chef instructors gave me the opportunity to discover new cooking methods that today has given me the power to use them in many versatility dishes. I participate in culinary competitions and so am able to measure my skills against the competition and so I know that after attending I became a better chef.
David Giani
Executive Chef, Tuscany, Italy
"ICI was the best thing I could have ever done for myself personally and professionally. Chef John is a true master of his trade and a genuine example of a leader. His passion for cooking and hospitality are inspiring. I constantly find myself reflecting on my times spent at ICI, using what I learned about Italian cuisine and culture to inspire others".
Rachel Barnett
Chef, Food Writer, USA
The Legacy of ICI is the success of its students brought about by the highest level of excellence combined with the best culinary educators in the world. Chef John Nocita and the ICI team inspires us to reach our culinary potential and beyond! I am proud to be an alumni of ICI!
Ernest Reynoso Gala
Owner, GalaStars Culinary, Instructor, Sylvia Reynoso Gala Culinary, Manila, Philippines
For years we had been dreaming about starting a small, artisan ice cream shop. We dove head-first into literature on the theory and science behind ice-cream making and took culinary courses around the world to prepare for our venture. The Intensive Gelato Course at ICI was undoubtedly the best course we took. It was also the only course that was truly independent and unbiased - ICI does not advertise using sponsored ingredients or machines. Instead, they teach you about everything on the market, and let you decide for yourself what is best for your business. It was so valuable to learn how to balance recipes by hand, on paper. Understanding the science behind ice cream ingredients, and how to control them has been essential to refining a recipe without the use of industrial bases. We know what's in our product - and our customers do too. Anyone can make ice cream with industrial ingredients, but it takes a special skill-set to balance your own recipes using only natural ingredients. Thanks to ICI we were able to master these techniques. We are now happy to announce that we opened our first store in May 2014. We are really grateful to Chef John and the team at ICI for their continued support and we truly look forward to returning in the near future for more culinary courses!
Rony & Davina Utz
Owners, True & 12 Artisan Ice Cream, Munich, Germany
Attending the ICI was one of the best decisions you will ever make. Not only will you experience and learn regional Italian cuisine at its finest, you will learn how to taste and work with some of the best raw ingredients in the world. At the ICI you work in a hands on environment with some of the top chefs in the world to learn advanced techniques that can be applied to all aspects of cuisine. Located in one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Italian Culinary Institute is a truly unique experience you can't find anywhere else. If you wish to further your gastronomic prowess, the ICI is the place to go.
Carmen Ricciardi
Gelatician, Chef, Master Baker, Owner Carmen's Gelato, Anchorage, AK, USA
Studying at ICI was one of the most fun and rewarding culinary experiences I have ever had in my life. I enjoyed so much but, at the same time, gained so much knowledge and skills about traditional regional Italian cuisine. What I appreciated so much were also all the extra things I learned which were originally not part of the course, such as all the extra recipes and even an extra day of class learning about different offal dishes and bottling/conserving truffles and mushrooms and making truffle honey. Chef John was so flexible that when we would ask questions and he had the ingredients, he gladly showed us how these extra dishes were cooked. The hands-on culminating activity was very rewarding and gave me more confidence that I had learned new skills and new ways of doing things. The ICI staff also went out of their way to provide us with an extra free tour of surrounding historical places in Calabria when they found out we wanted to see more of the area. This was aside from the official trip to Sicily which was part of the course. I hope that I will be able to save enough money to go back and join the other ICI courses someday.
Pauline Lagdameo
Advisory Chef, Fonterra Brands, Inc., Manila, Philippines
“Dear Chef John: As every orchestra has it’s conductor, my words are addressed to you, but it is obviously meant for all of your amazing team members for their dedication and support. A few months ago, I was apparently fortunate to be at the right place at the right time, to choose wisely in order to be here today. Three main characters are required in order to teach a profession. 1. Extensive knowledge and pure talent. 2. The passion for knowledge and the will to teach it and spread it to others. 3. The unique capability of doing so. You have the three of them and even more. Like a “prima ballerina” juggles between his love for cooking and his passion to teach his love to others, like a magician keeps on pulling more and more rabbits from his hat as an ever lasting fountain and thanks to your love of life and human beings, you are able to be such a natural master to your students. I wish you that in the next ten years wherever you lay your finger around the world, you will discover an enthusiastic student of yours, excited to meet you and assist you spreading your knowledge. From my point of view, despite our short acquaintance, you will always remain a master professor and a teacher for life, and I can clearly state I have a new friend in Italy. Words can not express my gratitude.”
Tal Galili
Salumist, Israel
My decision to choose ICI from all other Italian culinary schools was my best solution ever. I had two miracle weeks. I met interesting people from different countries fond of Italian cuisine and we all lived in an amazingly beautiful place, each day we felt the hospitality of all ICI team and high quality knowledge shared by Chef John Nocita first of all. If You are looking for modern Italian cuisine and how to reach a real Italian taste in your plate, this is where you want to be. The inspiration that I got from Chef John Nocita made me believe that I can do it too: that I can open my own small restaurant in Lithuania. The most amazing thing was that in ICI I met a professional chef from Baku, Azerbaijan. Today he is working in one of the best restaurants in Lithuania and in a few months we will start together in a new restaurant. So thank you to ICI!
Jurate Samusiene
Owner, Patissier. Lithuania
“The course was excellent for professional Italian cuisine and advanced techniques for every type of cuisine. As well, we had a wonderful with the beauty of Calabria and the marvelous hospitality throughout. We also made friends for life.”
Stavros Manousakis
Executive Chef, Lindos Royal Hotel, Lindos, Greece
I'm not a professional chef but I love cooking. For me, cooking is an activity that lets the mind meet happiness. I wanted an experience that would teach me skills and also bring me 'behind the scenes of a professional atmosphere. I got both and much more. I found great facilities, chefs, staff, ingredients and healthy delicious dishes. Every day of the course I experienced perfect Italian food and drinks and made friendships that will last a lifetime.Thank you to Chef John Nocita and ICI!
Nalin Chaiburanavit
Home Cook, Bangkok, Thailand
I had the privilege to attend the ICI in 2005. After all these years I still reflect on the time as one of the most educational and inspiring experiences I have ever had with food. Aside from the fact the instructors are top-notch, there is nothing that can replace the experience of being totally immersed in the culture you are learning about. The hospitality and warmth of the staff was unparalleled. Since my stay I find myself constantly referring to my time there when I am trying to relate to other chefs and my students a standard of excellence, beauty and passion. I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone to make the time and monetary investment to pursue a continuing education at ICI if they are truly interested in Italian cuisine and culture.
Geoff Bragg
Chef/Culinary Instructor at Community Culinary School of Charlotte, NC, USA
The first thing I remember is the view. As I arrived at the campus, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the southern Italian coast; it felt like home to me. The first day we had an olive oil tasting, and I remember thinking to myself how little I know about the things surrounding me (coming from the Mediterranean myself) and how much I’m going to learn. Every day was a new adventure. We got to work with unbelievable products, learn about Italian culture, history, and educate ourselves hands-on with a very warm, family-like, educational staff. I was lucky enough to have wonderful classmates, which made the experience even more special. As the years go by and with every professional challenge I face, I realize how deeply educational the course at ICI was for me. I highly recommend everyone with a passion for cooking to give themselves this gift of knowledge.
Mika Elkayam
Chef, Tel Aviv, Israel
“My experience in the program at the ICI was one of excellence, teachers were experts in their fields and chef John Nocita does not let you to leave this beautiful place with doubts. He delivered all his gastronomic knowledge along with other experts that accompany him. Also you get to meet in a beautiful place and know people from all over the world, all ready to learn. No doubt a great experience that combines learning with the beauty of Italy.”
Orlando Márquez
Chef, Owner, Mexico
“Attending ICI was the best investment I have ever made for my future. Not only did we learn everything about authentic regional Italian cuisine and become better industry professionals, I learned how to taste and trust my palate. Chef John is a true master and will always be a mentor to me.”
Mike Reale
Wine Merchant, NY, USA
ICI sells experience, not mere classes; the gift of a more discerning palate not just knowledge and cooking skills. A more wholistic approach to culinary arts involving an understanding of culture, enhanced by exploration, and best practice under an environment so conducive to learning. It certainly doesn't feel like school to me, but more of a home around friends and family which removes the pressure from it all, and brings about a more fun and enjoyable experience one would want to come back to. Lucky to have a caring and talented ICI team composed of masters who inspire and push limits.
Annie Lim
Chef, Baker, Patissier, Manila, Philippines
Being in the industry for the last 17 years and being an Executive Chef for the last 5, I have seen my share of professional kitchens , culinary schools and Chefs ... In that context , I was absolutely amazed by the professionalism , the extensive detailing in the course structure, the pro activeness and the kindness of the Chefs and the staff at the ICI, In my book, it would rank as one of the best anywhere in the world, the small size of the batches, the individual attention and the little details at the ICI have left me greatly impressed. I hope and do believe that more and more Chefs from my organisation and other professional kitchens will benefit from the extensive culinary programs at the ICI. I would like to mention a special note of thanks to the versatile and very knowledgeable Chefs John and Nic who went to great lengths to teach us the true essence of real Italian cuisine and were always at hand to answer all our questions and doubts, of which there were plenty of. Lastly, the way I would sum up my brief stint at the ICI is by saying that I come back with a load of new learnings, experiences and friends that I have made for life. I am sure if given another chance, ICI will be my first choice for any other Italian Culinary Program that I might seek. Bravo Chef John, you inspire us greatly and your words: "In Italy my friend, we never eat on an empty stomach!! " will be with me for a very, very long time...So long...
Vikas Kumar
Executive Chef, Flurys Restaurants, Calcutta, India
“In addition to the innovative techniques and recipes at ICI, Chef John’s honorable point of view and passion about food still overflows my heart with joy.”
Youngjoo Go
Owner, Chocolatier, Cacaoboom, South Korea