A Cool Night in the Desert – Ice Bars

THE PATRIOTS ARE NUMBER 1! Eighteen and 1 that is, after their first loss of the season. The New York Giants prevailed in this incredible upset of an almost perfect season. In the midst of all the glitz and glamour of the most anticipated and watched Super Bowl of all time, iMi takes you behind the scenes of the food and beverage operations where the afternoon all began.University of Phoenix Stadium is headed by Steve Trotter, general manager, for Centerplate. Trotter did an outstanding job overseeing the stadium operations from start to finish including all food and beverage outlets in general admission, club level, suites and the NFL Experience on-location. This task of monumental proportions was not without the help of several key Centerplate personnel.

1-skyySean Kavanaugh, executive chef, Judy Moline, assistant general manager and director of catering, and Robert Valdez, beverage manager, all showed up ready to play on game day. Kavanaugh was responsible for feeding over 70,000 attendees, not to mention staff, crew and media. He goes on to explain how this is all possible, “…[in] some of the different on location and action stations I have 44 more people than I normally have just to man those stations. I also have 12 visiting executive regional chefs from Centerplate to assist me, total about 80 people in this kitchen.” Moline oversaw the premium services, including suites, catering, and NFL staff and crew meals.

Trotter was instrumental in working with John Vingas, VP of Operations for Centerplate, to coordinate the entire specialty bars brought in for this extraordinary event. The theme for the club level was simple; Ice in the Desert, but the reaction from the attendees was nothing short of unbelievable. Valdez made sure that the correct product was available and the bar staff functioned as a team. Read more for a play-by-play on each of the featured Centerplate partners who contributed to the success of this theme.

Challenges of working with Ice Bars

The lifespan of an ice bar is short, but probably longer than you would imagine. From concept and carving to melting and striking, these particular bars took as long as three months to create. Some of the ice we used at this year’s Super Bowl came all the way from Hensall, Ontario. It takes between 3 and 4 days to manufacture the ice blocks using a process that freezes from the bottom up and circulates the cold water as it freezes. Once all of the impurities in the water are forced to the top of the block, a band saw is used to cut that thin layer which is then removed to create a crystal clear block.

3-patron4-keteloneOnce a block is ready for carving there are several techniques used to give a desired effect. A computerized router is used to cut the logo or design to an almost perfect replica. Colors are added one at a time, depending on the depth of the router cut, and back-filled with fine sand or injected rubber. Items frozen in the ice like footballs and bottles are placed at the exact time the ice has frozen to the desired depth. It all comes down to timing, and in working with ice there is no time for mistakes.

5-moet2-jackFor this event, not only was the ice transported from Canada to Arizona, all of the ice had to be on location 3 days prior to the event. Once setup commences, the clock starts ticking and any last minute adjustments are made. Most of these bars will last between 6 to 8 hours in cool, non-windy environments. These bars lasted from 10am to 10pm – must have been “secrets of the trade”.

6-absolutFor further information on ice bars, / /

Written By: Adam Billings