Culinary Ice Carvers Celebrate Groundhog Day

Posted on 2/1/2017 1:01:11 PM

Ice Carving Club Punxsutawney Phil CarvingIce carving is cold, wet and tiring work. But can we share with you that it is also fun? IUP Academy of Culinary Arts students were excited to create ice carvings featuring Punxsutawney Phil emerging from Gobbler’s Knob to greet his visitors.

On Phil’s right side, representing six more weeks of winter, are six ice pillars holding finely detailed snowflakes. To Phil’s left, six daisy-topped ice pillars represent an early spring prognostication.

In addition to the ice display in front of the Academy of Culinary Arts, for the second year in a row, IUP students were proud to create the ice carvings placed on stage at Gobbler’s Knob.

Culinary Arts faculty member Martha J. Rupert has served as the club advisor for 19 years. She welcomed new faculty member Thomas Barnes as co-advisor last year.

A student organization sponsored by the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts, the Ice Carving Club is open to all culinary and baking students. The club carves for all culinary admissions’ open houses and many community events including the Ebensburg Dickens of a Christmas and the Brookville Victorian Christmas Celebration.

Students who participate in the club learn introductory carving skills and have the opportunity to progress to intermediate ice sculpting by the end of the first year.

The club was first organized in 1992 by Culinary Arts alumnus Jeremy Critchfield ’93. Today, the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts is one of a limited number of culinary schools in the United States to offer ice carving instruction.

In the hospitality industry, the ability to carve an ice sculpture for that special occasion or the holiday buffet table sets a job applicant apart from the competition. The carving experience gained through the IUPACA Ice Carving Club provides culinary graduates an edge in the job market.

The IUP Academy of Culinary Arts was opened in 1989 and is fully accredited by the American Culinary Federation. The academy’s programs are recognized nationally for high quality, and graduates are working in four- and five-diamond resorts and restaurants all across the nation.