Saturday, April 05, 2014

Spice On Ice - Photos

I attended Spice On Ice at the Eccles Ice Center this year.  Spice On Ice is the annual culinary fundraiser hosted at the Ice Center, for the Ice Center.  Our indoor ice rink is the only nonprofit ice arena in the intermountain west area.  The low prices it charges are subsidized by donors and participants in fundraising events like SOI.

SOI has been the culinary event in Cache Valley since its inception.  I've attended every couple of years and have always enjoyed the evening and the food.  Spice On Ice is first and foremost a food tasting experience, with appetizers, entrees, dessert, and coffee/hot chocolate service provided by many different restaurants and caterers from around the valley.  In addition to the food they host a door prize giveaway, silent auction, raffle, and the culmination of the evening...a live auction featuring the talents of auctioneer Lane Parker of Smithfield Livestock Auction and Logan River Ranch.

Tomato macaroni soup from Juniper Take Out in Logan
Chicken skewer and taquito from The Cracker Barrel Cafe in Paradise
This year there was one major change, they eliminated the competition element.  The food used to be voted on by the attendees, as well as a panel of judges.  The winning restaurants were awarded a trophy and bragging rights.  You may have noticed these in a few eateries around the valley.  The change hadn't been advertised and many people were looking for the ballots and asking when we were going to be able to vote.

Hot wings provided by Buffalo Wild Wings in Logan
BBQ slider from Firehouse Pizzeria in Logan & Smithfield
Orange chicken from Lee's Marketplace in Logan & Smithfield
The evening began with an appetizer buffet held in the lobby with the silent auction and raffle tables.  Everyone was mingling and the people watching was great fun.

Mexican appetizer platter by El Toro Viejo in Logan
Frickles in spicy dipping sauce by Savannah's BBQ in Logan

After appetizers they opened the doors to the ice sheet and let everyone in to find their seats.  This year I was seated at a table with one of our state senators, Lyle Hillyard, and our auctioneer Lane Parker, as well as their guests.

The ice sheet was covered with a protective rubber flooring...protecting the ice from us, and us from the ice

Our table
I've known the Parker family for years through the Junior Livestock Auction at the Cache County Fair.  Lane's father Dean was also an auctioneer, as is Lane's son Jared.  Dean used to begin each auction by singing the refrain from "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" from the musical Oklahoma.    The conversation was fascinating and covered a wide range of topics from the food (of course), to the flood pumps on the Great Salt Lake, to farm legislation, to health care, to local culture, to cattle breeds, etc.

Bread provided Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread

Pollo Durango from Cafe Sabor in Logan
BBQ brisket, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts
In a way I was glad we didn't have to vote.  There were so many good entries it would have been difficult to choose.  All the entrees were well thought out and well executed, if a little similar.  There wasn't an announced theme but it felt like maybe the theme could have been either "Elevated Bar Food" or "Backyard Party" or maybe "Beef, it's what's for dinner".  The offerings were heavy on the red meat and BBQ options.  I had hoped for a little more variety, and maybe more local products like pork, trout, lamb, pheasant, etc.

Smoked brisket slider with spicy slaw by The Bull's Head in Logan
Spicy smoked meatball ciabatta sandwich with coleslaw by Savannah's BBQ in Logan
Cauliflower mac and cheese by USU Cafes/Dining Services
Avery Island shrimp croissant & Italian focaccia sandwich on a bed of shoestring potatoes from USU Cafes/Dining Services
I enjoyed all the plates presented but my favorite was the BBQ brisket from Beehive Grill, served with skin on mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts.  My second favorite was the last entree presented, the Island Beef from USU catering services.  The only problem of the night was pacing myself, by the end I was uncomfortably full and knew I'd probably have a food hangover the next day.

Pacific Island Beef with asparagus and mango salsa from USU Catering
Coconut curry rice from USU Catering
Fruit filled puff pastry with vanilla ice cream and raspberry compote by USU Dining Services

Have you ever attended Spice On Ice?  Did you go this year?  What was your favorite dish?

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