Ice sculpture or ice carvings can make or break the look of any event. Pristine, beautiful and picture perfect, these carvings are no simple task! Imagine if you will, 8 hour shifts in -5 degree temperatures whilst you carve out your next creation using chain saws, chisels, angle grinders and other bizarre tools. Sounds a little freaky but we think its tons of fun when you get the hang of it!
The fun side of ice
Similar to fruit or butter carving, we think every young Culinary Arts students should give it a try. Start small of course and use what you can find from your chef toolbox to get going – but you never know how big you can go. The Ice Box in London carved a life-size VW Polo, an entire Guinness pub, functioning ice bars and more. Locally in South Africa, Ice Art can install your very own ice lounge (where you can ‘chill’ out with mates) or even carve you a little party trick called a Shooter Luge. The Shooter Luge is the perfect party piece because you can carve any sort of sculpture (the more creative the better) and then drill a hole through the entire sculpture so that when the shooter is poured through the top, the shooter comes down perfectly chilled, straight into the waiting mouth below.
Working with ice to make money
Fun aside; ice carving is an amazing skill to acquire as a chef. Detail, detail, detail…it can make such an impact to the client you are representing if you are able to produce quality sculptures that aren’t just pretty to look at, but that capture the essence of the brand. It’s a unique way to create additional revenue too. Say you’re the manager of a bar or club and you want to spoil your guests with a Vodka Luge every Friday night – the shooter sales will rocket and the guests will enjoy the effort you made for that evening. Or maybe you’re a chef who would like to add an ice-carved table sculpture to the banqueting or wedding options available at the hotel your work at?
But are there any downsides to ice carving? Well, let’s face it, your creation will melt! That in itself is perhaps the key to having fun with your brand. Place a branded product in an ice sculpture and leave it somewhere public where it can get noticed. Ask the passersby to guess how long the sculpture will take to melt – the winner can walk away with the product that eventually melts from the ice. That’s a ‘cool’ way to get potential customers to engage with you or your client’s brand.
Will ice carving get you further in your culinary career? Maybe, maybe not. But if you can rock an ice sculpture in the place where you work, chances are, you’ll be a chef in hot demand! Give it a bash, why not!