Ice Carving: Beyond the Swan

The eye-catching centerpiece to any event can be a true work of art

Ice Carving

If you're ever at an event where an ice sculpture is present, we hope you have your camera handy. And if you ever hold an event that you've commissioned an ice sculpture for, be prepared for lots of, "How did they do that?" questions. It's hard for anyone to remain indifferent to the spectacles created by water solidified, as much as we take it for granted in everyday life; the level of skill shown by carvers is top-notch and endlessly creative.

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Ice carving is an attention-catching branch of the culinary arts that has developed far beyond an icy swan sitting serenely in the center of a buffet. Over the years, this art form has developed into a thriving industry of its own, with a multitude of ice-carving companies offering impressive portfolios and an array of products both practical and decorative. Frozen water transformed into a piece of art indicates extravagance, however temporary. Ice sculptures are striking tools for innovative food presentation and dining décor, and much of their appeal comes from the fact that they can be customized to the customer's wishes.

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Though these sculptures were fleeting moments of art, keep your eye out for their counterparts, as carvers reincarnate them and dream up new pieces as well. Here we present different examples showing the versatility of ice and the many ways it can be enjoyed in food presentation and dining.