Willy Tuz: Creating Edible Art in the Grand Valley
Willy Tuz moved from Cancun in 2003 and has lived in Grand Junction for the past 17 years. He was actually headed to Las Vegas and stopped to visit some friends in Fruita and never left. He took a bike ride on the Monument and just knew he didn't want to leave.
Willy has a 13-year-old son who goes to Grand Mesa Middle School, whose name is also Willy. Both of them love making art and being creative together. He hopes that his son's interest in art will inspire other kids his age to get creative and make art too. Willy (senior) has always loved being creative when it comes to food. He likes to make food more fun and was known for stealing vegetables and fruits at home to practice carving as a kid.
Although his mom used to get frustrated with him for 'playing with his food' now she's one of his biggest fans because Willy now owns Willy's Wild Carvings. He started as a banquet manager at a hotel in Grand Junction and added his own twists to items with ice carvings and fruit carvings. Because of his beautiful creations, Willy had lots of people asking him about his art and that's how WIlly's Wild Carvings was born.
Willy says that this started as something fun. He still enjoys it and says it's very therapeutic. He had no idea where it was going to take him. He says it all started with the carvings and his menu has expanded from there. Here are a few of the things Willy has created before:
- Ice carvings
- Snow carvings
- Pumpkin carvings
- Watermelon carvings
- Chocolate covered bouquets (think strawberries, apples, pineapples + more)
- Balloon art
Willy has been a part of the X Games, golf tournaments, the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge and people from all around the world have requested edible art from Willy.
Willy says carving ice or snow is just like carving a watermelon, only bigger. Instead of little knives, he uses a chainsaw. He's loved working with different artists with different mediums. Since perfecting your art takes a long, long time, Willy says that patience is one of his best qualities.
We've had the pleasure of working with Willy numerous times at events like Country Jam, Kidabaloo and Willy gives us a fruit bouquet for all of our Teacher of the Month deliveries. We're happy Willy never made it to Vegas and has called Grand Junction home for the past 17 years and we can't wait to see what kind of crazy cool piece of art he'll come up with next.