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Cleveland's Top Chefs

Join us for an unforgettable culinary experience where you will indulge in a variety of tasting plates prepared by some of the most talented chefs in the area. Sunday, Aug 25, 2024, 4-7pm at ICASI 8700 Mayfield Road, Chesterland, OH 44026

Over a dozen chefs will be donating their time and talent to help raise much needed scholarship funds for students to pursue their dream of becoming a chef in the Culinary and Pastry Arts, despite their economic status.  This is an all-volunteer event benefiting The International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute Scholarship Fund, Inc. which is a 501 (c) (3) Public Charity with a Tax ID for deducation purposes. 




ICASI Student Cafe'

Enjoy a fine-dining experience prepared just for you for only $45 per person by our senior students under the direction of their chef instructors. Help our students by becoming a restaurant critic and completing a short review of your meal. Your feedback is invaluable to enhance the education of our advanced students as they pursue their dreams of a career in the Culinary and Pastry Arts! The lunch includes two options for each course of a five-course meal. Seating is limited! Register today!

Saturday, April 13, 20 & 27

Saturday, May 4, 11, 18 & 25

Saturday, June 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29

11:00 am and 1:30 pm seating available

Register on-line ( or by phone (440-729-1110) 


ICASI Program Pairs Students With Staff-Challenged Restaurants

"So Paganini has played matchmaker and devised a program in which students work in local kitchens as they attend ICASI programs and their food-service employers will help pay their tuition..."

International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute program pairs students with staff-challenged restaurants – News-Herald

Nutritional and Healthy Eating Classes...ICASI is leading the way.

Where are the trends in the food service industry going?  As a society we want to know where our food comes from, but what is it doing for us, or more importantly to us?  Here are some future classes being taught at ICASI in conjunction with the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking to help you feel better, deal with dietary restrictions, and produce a better you:





Check out the website - to search out more classes, and learn to cook not just to consume, but to grow.


Partnership with Kent State University Geauga

ICASI and the Kent State Geauga Campus now have an articulation agreement to where the credits earned here at ICASI can transfer over to Kent State Geauga towards and associates degree, then to a bachelor's.

"The Parchment Paper" Issue 1 November '18

(An ICASI/Loretta Paganini School of Cooking News Letter)


Holiday meal planning


                Waking up today, I realized it was that time of year where we face food comas and holiday hangovers whether it be social, stress, or perhaps the adult beverage kind.  I joke in my classes coming up to Thanksgiving that we need to eat a lot to stretch our stomach to be ready for the big game of eating that is Thanksgiving.  This morning I looked at the fridge and was wondering how am I supposed to eat again after all that food?  The memory of all that delicious food and family lingered on my mind, and I was already thinking about food plans for dinner, the weekend, and the holidays to come.  The life of a chef.


                Whether you host, attend, or perhaps bought an ICASI Heat and Serve Thanksgiving (We will be doing a Heat and Serve Christmas meal, so call and reserve yours soon) food was and is at the central point of the holiday.  And yes, I am thankful for many things in my life, but preparing an abundance of food is a sign of our thankfulness for abundance that is blessing our lives.  Yet we must be responsible with all the food we prepare, because making food to throw away is not being appreciative off all that goes into our meal planning.  Just because we made it once, does not mean we can’t repurpose our food.  A little ingenuity and Thanksgiving can become a soup or stew, pot pie, shepard’s pie, sandwiches, or dare I say even dog food.  Make the most of your food, be thankful for all you have, and generous in all that you can do.




Winter Quarter at ICASI


                Our Fall classes here at ICASI are coming to a close in the next 2 weeks, and our students are out on break, though if you are joining us for a recreational class, you may find the students assisting your chef instructor with their teaching duties.  We had many a new students start this Fall, and will be flowing into their second quarter of education in the Winter, many already finishing a certificate by the end of March.  The senior students who started last Fall are nearing the end of their class time here in the ICASI building.


                Winter Quarter starts on January 7th, with a new set of students: We are still enrolling and accepting applications for our Winter Quarter.


                Student Café is back.  This is where you as a guest can attend a 5 course meal prepared by our senior students for $30.  There are two seating for the luncheon 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM, reservations are a must, so call (440)729-1110 for you and your group.  Besides a delicious and gourmet 5 course meal, you become our food critic.  We look to you to tell us what your thoughts were on the meal.  You will have the opportunity to fill out a pamphlet with your thoughts on your selection from each course.  Did I mention you will choose between two options for each course?  We can accommodate dietary restrictions if notified in advance.  Then we send the student chef out to greet each table and talk more about the meal that was prepared. 


                Enrollment for the Spring Saturday Only Quarter begins.  This is for future chefs who are looking to attend a culinary or pastry education but need a weekend option.  Your education may take a little longer, but have you not been putting it off for too long anyway?




The New Class Catalog


                The chefs at both the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking and ICASI have been working on the newest cooking class ideas for the months of February thru July, and those options are now available online for your perusing pleasure at  and look to your mail box for the paper copy to ear mark the classes you wish to join.  You may also stop by and pick up the new catalog.  We also welcome your suggestion for class ideas.  Share them with us, and we may already have an option that could fit your need, or let us create that idea for you.


                Gift Cards, the quick easy gift for the foodie in your life.  Good towards a class, merchandise in our store, or even a meal at Sapore.



Culinary School…the unrealized dream


                Who goes to culinary school?  Am I too old?  Do I need experience?  Not sure it is for me.  Some of the many questions we receive from prospective students about attending culinary school.  There is no answer that describes the typical student, but here is my story…


                I grew up as one of 5 boys in my family.  My mother cooking was an everyday occurrence unless it was pizza or left over night.  Mom would take out all the food she could from the fridge and say make a plate.  So with 5 boys, you better hurry or you were eating the left over leftovers :P  On the rare occasion my parents would brave taking all 5 of us out to dinner, Denny’s and that style of restaurant seemed to be the only place that could handle all of us boys being boys. 


                I remember cooking with my mom.  During the holidays making at least 100 pounds of chocolates and cadies, and what seemed like 1000s of cookies that we had to decorate.  I always enjoyed cooking and was fascinated by the idea of it.  But the idea of it for a career never entered my mind.  My dining experiences were limited.  I once took a date to Olive Garden and thought I was in the fanciest restaurant ever. 


                There were no TV shows about cooking except PBS.  What was the internet?  It took a friend of mine to show me the side of food I had not seen.  I was all ready to head off to college to become a biomedical engineer, when she said, “Why not become a chef?”  I thought, my parents would kill me if I said I wanted to work at Denny’s the rest of my life.  Jessica then handed me a magazine, that would change my life.  I don’t remember the name, but I just remember the pictures, the food, the idea of someone I could become that I did not know existed.  It was then I was ready to change my mind and figure out how to become a chef.  4 years of high school, and I never found myself doing as much research on being a chef as I did for any other paper in high school.  It took a lot of courage to tell my father I wanted to be a chef, as my father was a doctor, mother a case manager, a brother that was a teacher, another a Naval Academy graduate, and another in IT, I did not see this going well.  Yet he saw my passion, and was proud I was looking to do something I love.


                I was accepted into school, and received early admission.  I had never seen the place, but I drove up there to start none the less.  Day 1 I waited in line for dinner, and was served by some of the senior students to a 4 course meal.  Everyday, every class dealt with food or the restaurant industry.  Food was my life, and is my life.  Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for having food and cooking being part of my life and true to my soul.  I have traveled all over the US with my education, created food masterpieces that have made great memories for my guests, and know there is not a lack for job opportunity out there for me.  I chose passion and happiness over doing what I knew was “safe” .  The life of a chef is not always glamorous, easy, or the best hours.  But I see each day as a blessing, and know this is what I was meant to do, what I am good at, and the part of me that I can share with the world while wearing a smile.


                So what is your story?



The Parchment Paper is a monthly news letter published by ICASI to keep our customers informed and entertained.   You have an idea for an article, send it to

ICASI Director Featured on Morning News

Chef Stefanie Paganini was featured on Fox 8 news presenting a farm fresh Summer Corn Chowder.  Way to go Chef Stefanie!

Chef Stefanie's Blog

Check out Chef Stefanie's ICASI Blog! 

Chef Stef's Blog

Cooking with a Partner Classes

Couples, friends, and family members divide into chef-coached teams that each create and plate one course in a multi-course meal enjoyed by the entire class. While dining, participants share the tips and secrets that lead to successful execution of each recipe.

Upon completion of the meal, diners vote by popular acclaim the favorite dish of the evening. This is our most popular class format – be sure to sign up early to enjoy it with your favorite cooking partner!

ICASI Graduates featured on TV!

Congratulations to ICASI grads:

Lynn Roth




Kathleen Robinson 


Both featured on New Day Cleveland segments for Fox 8

ICASI Student Graduation

Congratualtions to all our recent grauates!  We look forward to hearing about and sharing your success stories.  Keep us posted, as we are always looking for places to try.

ICASI Students participate in Farm to Table Charity Event

What a great night at the #FARMAFARE event at Holden Arboretum last night. Not only did some of our own ICASI students help pass out food and assist at the event, but ICASI alumni all over the place. Kyle Grant rockin' his #ICASInation t-shirt representing #TheSmithRestaurant with a fantastic Smoked Brisket slider. Not pictured yet Scott Burgun of Ahuja Medical Center showing us healthy food is tasty too. And Jason Levine from #Brim in Willoughby could not attend, but I appreciated sampling his caramel apple dessert!!

Federal Accreditation Granted

Accrediting Commission of the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) voted to grant accreditation to The Loretta Paganini School of Cooking, Inc. d/b/a The International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute