Our Adventure in Italy continued…
Suddenly we were under the gun. The trip was less than 2 months away and we had a ton of things to do. I was in for a really steep learning curve. And most of it had nothing to do with ice carving. First there was the menu. It had to be distinctly Canadian. Sea salt gelato, bison and foie gras.
What’s that? You’re kidding, people eat that? I’m supposed to taste test that? Where’s the meat and potatoes? I had never seen stuff piled up so high, like kindling, not resembling any plate of food I had ever sat down to. There we were, me in the company of some real chef celebrities all gathered together at the Five Sails to taste all the concoctions that we had cooked up. I should have known I was in for the experience of a life time. Did you know that every fresh tidbit that you sample (and there were dozens) requires a fresh spoon? My contribution was a styrofoam mock up of a salmon blowing bubbles and a real carving of a sunflower complete with bumble bee made out of gelato.
No, I had never carved anything out of gelato. The experiment was enough to convince me and then the rest of them that gelato isn’t a good medium. The high sugar content inhibits freezing. Unless you freeze it at super cold temperatures and then it turns rock hard. The plan was to display the gelato dish on the upturned tail of the fish.
Fortunately there were much more experienced heads than mine and plans started to come together. First I had to learn a few things about mixing up gelato. After all it was becoming apparent to everyone that the ice feature was really quite brief. So making me useful to the team would mean making me an overnight expert doing things I had never done before. Then came the trial run where one of our guys grabbed a hot iron while cooking, lots of tension trying to beat the clock and more last minute meetings. Did I say that I was also trying to run my business while all this was going on? Then came packing where we shared supplies alongside our own belongings. I couldn’t believe it when we all arrived there at the airport. We really were flying by the seat of our pants.
Stay tuned for the continued story next Monday…
Thanks for reading! #theicemen