About The Artist

Jimmy Chiappa began his career at the age of 13, the day before he started eighth grade. He worked at a local Italian restaurant in Lyndhurst making pizza, prepping food, and washing dishes.

During his Senior year in High School, Jimmy participated in the Work Study Program. He took classes in the morning and worked in the afternoon. In between jobs Jim turned to his influential instructor, Mr. Burns for help looking for a position at a restaurant. Mr. Burns found one and Jim went on the interview.

The next day Jim was approached by Mr. Burns and he asked him “Why didn’t you go for the interview that I set up for you yesterday?” Jim replied, “Mr. Burns, I did go for the interview, I introduced myself and told the owners your name and that you sent me, I start tomorrow.” Mr. Burns gave a sign of relief and was very pleased and could not have been happier. It would have been out of character for Jimmy to not have gone on that interview.

It turned out Jim went to the wrong restaurant and got the job anyway. This very special mishap where Jim had the pleasure of working with the owners, Nick and George Gagis. The restaurant later become The Rutherford House in East Rutherford, NJ, which Jim worked at for 4 years. Jim has kept in contact with the owners and families even now. Everyone affiliated with the restaurant still holds a special place in Jim’s heart; especially Nick’s wife, Artemis Gagis.

At the age of 20, Jim landed an apprenticeship position at the exclusive Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City. This proved to be a great opportunity for Jim as well as an extraordinary experience. Jim spent 10 years at the Four Seasons during his tenure he acquired more responsibilities while working six even seven days a week. Preparing meals for countless celebrities such as Dolly Parton, Joan Rivers, Barbara Walters, Paul Newman, Liza Minnelli, Henry Kissinger, and Malcolm Forbes just to name a few.

In 1987 Jim met his teacher and mentor, who hailed from Thailand and was given the opportunity to learn the fine art of ice carving from the most prestigious ice carver in the United States, whom he met through an associate from the Four Seasons. After meeting, Jim studied the art of ice sculpting for over 175 hours of hands-on training and countless hours of practice.

While living the high life of his career in 1989 Jim flew out to California to visit family and friends when Jim survived the infamous 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Two and a half months later, he accompanied, a Japanese chef, friend, and colleague to the beautiful country of Japan. Traveling overseas on this trip would pay off in many ways with Jim’s future as an ice carver. Jim says experiencing the Japanese culture offered him a deep understanding of such Asian influences as focus and discipline.

With no art classes or prior experience, Jim worked diligently to learn his craft and would soon display his beginner pieces in front of his friends’ houses.

This opened up new doors as he began his new career of ice carving and eventually started his own business, Jimmy’s Artistic Creations, mastering in the artistry of food, ice, fruit, cheese, vegetables, chocolate, and of course pumpkins.

During the early days of his business, Jim delivered ice sculptures from the back of his 1989 four-door Toyota Corolla and borrowed his brother’s van every weekend. Today he has three delivery trucks and a staff of delivery employees. Jim rarely makes deliveries these days and says he misses the “oooohs and ahhhs” as the ice sculptures are unveiled.

Jim had been hired to do carvings for parties on popular Television sets including The Soprano’s, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Spin City, Oz, and such films sets as Men in Black. He also carved sculptures for various backstage concerts for Bruce Springsteen, Motley Crue, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard.

Most notably in 1998 Jim was honored to be given a full-page article in the New York Times, where he was featured as Person of the Week as well as made several television appearances on such shows as Cake Boss and The View. He also graced the covers of countless local newspapers.

Another one of Jim’s special experiences came when he was chosen from an entire group of nationwide carvers to make 4,000 pounds of sculptures for the retirement party and final event on the JFK Aircraft carrier in Boston. It was there Jim met Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, and the creator of the Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was very instrumental in Jim’s desire to start a similar organization.

Jim’s enthusiasm and perseverance with the food service and hospitality industry is immeasurable from the generosity of his sculptures to countless charity events. At your next special event nothing can match Jim and the brilliance of an ice sculpture designed by Jimmy’s Artistic Creations.