Bring on the ice!

Last updated January 23, 2019

OAKLAND COUNTY, MichiganEquipped with chainsaws and the title of National Ice Carving Champions for 10 of the last 11 seasons, OCC Ice Carving Team sharpened their competitive edge last weekend at the Plymouth Ice Festival.

OCC carvers use the Plymouth Ice show as a practice for nationals, where they swept first and second place in both the individual and team competitions last winter, and swept first place in both divisions this year.

For the past 10 years, OCC ice carvers have had more than 50 first place finishes in ice carving competitions and went on to win the National Ice Carving Championships in Frankenmuth.

The team is led by Chef Doug Ganhs, chair of the OCC Culinary Studies Institute, who himself has won two championships on Food Network Challenges as well as several culinary medals from the American Culinary Federation (ACF). His students are perennial winners while several of his graduates have also gone to secure their own accolades and open their own ice carving and culinary businesses.

Ice Carving ChampsOCC’s Ice Carving Team can be seen at these 2019 competitions:

Plymouth Ice Festival - Jan. 12-13
RESULTS: 1st Place Single Division - Gillian Tennant | 1st Place Team Division - Gilliam Tennant & Tica Paraday

Fire & Ice Festival - Jan. 19
RESULTS: 1st Place - Gillian Tappenden | 3rd Place - Tica Paraday

Zehnder's Snowfest - Jan. 25-27
RESULTS: 2nd Place Team Division - Gilliam Tennant & Tica Paraday

About the OCC Culinary Studies Institute

OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute is Michigan’s premier hospitality school. The largest of the Institute’s programs, Culinary Arts, gives students a combination of classroom and hands on experience. In addition to extensive time in kitchen labs cooking and baking, specialties such as ice carving and wine and spirits are offered. Students participate in events such as the annual Wassail Feast at the student-run Ridgewood Café, a restaurant on the Orchard Ridge Campus.

About OCC

With multi campus system in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid. Mission statement: OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community. Learn more at


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