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RALPH DITUCCI ELEVATES THE ART OF ICE MAKING





Ralph DiTucci is the owner and craftsman of Cristallino Premium Ice in Rochester, NY. He grew up in East Rochester, lived in Los Angeles for 20 years where he learned the art and science of making and carving clear ice for a large hospitality organization, then re-rooted back in his hometown in 2016.


When Ralph returned, he didn’t intend to run an ice company. His focus was opening a bar. But he felt it was imperative to have quality ice, as it’s considered a best ingredient to have in cocktails. He asked some respected local establishments where they were getting clear ice and they said they weren’t but expressed a desire to have it. Ralph proposed if they would buy the ice from him, he’d make it available here. He also sculpts ice and freezes objects for display, including flowers, balloons and mementos.  


People love clear ice because they get the beautiful visual of this clear, spectacular thing… Small details make a huge difference because bars and restaurants sell very similar products, but what's different is the feeling you're able to give people and the memory you're able to help people capture. I think clear ice helps capture memories and helps make each moment a little bit more special.”

 “Clear ice connects us to the greater cocktail community at large. The Greater Rochester community has been incredibly supportive of our business.”

Networking with other hospitality businesses in Greater Rochester and at events like the annual Rochester Cocktail Revival has helped Ralph expand his business.

 

“I love our food and bev scene. I love the fact that people connect with one another to make each other's business important. That's a special thing that you don't get in bigger, different cities that Rochester does exceedingly well… The people make it go. We make things and we take them to one another and we weave the fabric of our community together.


That close-knit support is what also enabled Ralph to open the bar he initially planned on. Grace & Disgrace, located in downtown Rochester, is an intimate lounge that offers a bespoke menu of small bites, beer, wine and select cocktails artfully made with those signature cubes of clear ice.


It’s pretty darn cool if you ask us. Or IYKYK.   

 

Next up: We’ve got more Greater profiles on the way spanning fine cuisine, dance, sailing and agricultural technology to showcase our region’s momentum makers in action. Keep checking our website for updates and continue to connect with us Instagram, Facebook, X and LinkedIn.

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