New York’s Institute of Culinary Education, is opening the nation’s first educational bean-to-bar chocolate lab, and it looks delicious.

The lab is just one of the delectable features in ICE’s new, 74,000-square-foot Lower Manhattan facility, which also includes a “modernist” culinary technology lab and an indoor hydroponic farm. But the school felt it was important to include a small-batch artisanal chocolate-making facility, due to the explosion of bean-to-bar operations in the U.S. the past 10 years.

“I once read an article where a chocolatier stated, ‘The most important step in making chocolate is every step,’” says Michael Laiskonis, ICE’s creative director, who is at the helm of the chocolate lab. “I’m excited to show pastry chefs who aren’t chocolate makers how quantitative aspects of the process — roasting time and temperature, milling particle size, etc. — can affect the end flavor, and to explore the best applications of every type of chocolate.”

Do they take applications for taste-testers, too?


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