Deron Little brings next-level aesthetics to the culinary scene. Little is the part-owner of Seasons Innovative Bar & Grill in Turkey Creek and Kitchen 919, located in the former Orangery building. Little has been doing ice carvings for the last 42 years and teaching courses to students at UT’s Culinary Institute for 20 years. “I try to teach kids to never settle for second best. Ice is like life: it’s not perfect, it’s what you make out of it.”
He begins with a 320-pound block of ice and meticulously carves away, using a chainsaw, chisels, and special auger bits to create an intricate visual. Important to ice carving is the use of light. Certain cuts and angles will catch the light to produce prisms that add to the piece’s mystical beauty. Although Little still carves by hand, many modern ice sculptures are created with CNC (computer numerical control) machines. Sadly, this unique art form is slowly melting away, but Little is doing his part to keep the practice alive for future generations.