As we are entering the month of February I thought it would be only appropriate to discuss the very thing many of us experience in this blizzardy winter month — ICE!
Do I like it ? Yes, I do.
Do I think from a culinary perspective that it gets a bad rap? Yes, I do.
Do I think we from a banqueting perspective could use it for more show and pizzazz? Yes, I do.
Is there more than just the dreaded “wedding” swan or ice bar that can be done with ice? Yes, there is.
With that being said, I am getting out my own personal ice pick to dig a little deeper into this subject. For starters: No matter what type of ice display you are using, people always get a kick out of ice sculptures.
There are many companies that can do a color logo, using company colors and font to embed it right into the ice. This always gives people a “wow” effect.
I like to take ice carvings and integrate them into the food presentation. When working for The Coca-Cola Company, we carve holes into the ice to embed glass bottles of Coca-Cola. With other clients I have used glasses made of ice to serve cold soups and various vodka drinks.
Ice also can be effectively used for marketing purposes. You can give the ice company nearly anything you want emblazoned on the ice and they can use those materials to create a custom-branded display.
The possibilities are endless, and I feel that we, as an event industry, discount the value that a cool ice presentation can bring to the event when used properly. For example: If you want to do an action station, have the chef do an ice carving during the reception and then use the ice for a meal the next day. Let your folks assist in carving a piece of ice and — voila — it becomes an instant action station.
One last note: Don’t forget to light your ice properly. If you don’t, you lose a lot of the effect.