The Ranch Country Club’s Executive Chef Steve Weber is an expert ice sculptor whose dazzling creations have competed on the world stage — and certainly can enhance any special events hosted here at the club.

His ice sculpting prowess, honed over many years, took him to the 2014 World Ice Art Championship in Fairbanks, Alaska. This annual contest is the largest of its kind, drawing sculptors and spectators from around the globe. The championship is divided into three divisions: Single Block Classic, Multi-Block Classic and Fairbanks Open. Each of those divisions is further separated into the categories of “realistic sculpture” and “abstract sculpture” categories.

Working in the Single Block Classic category, Chef Weber carved a grizzly bear reaching into a stream in an attempt to catch salmon — a concept he thought was fitting for the competition’s Alaskan environment. Contestants were given 60 hours to transform a 5-foot-by-8-foot-by-3-foot block of ice weighing more than four tons into a masterpiece.

Unlike the more than 40 teams competing against him, Chef Weber worked alone, receiving support and assistance only from his wife, Beth. He toiled in temperatures that plummeted to 25 degrees below zero, taking short breaks only to eat and sleep. While he didn’t take home a win, he left with a great deal of personal satisfaction and even more knowledge about how to incorporate ice sculpture with his fantastic dining events.