Sometimes, items made for one purpose turn out to be suited - unexpectedly and perfectly - to another. Take this fish tank-cum-drinks cooler, which I recently used to keep an array of bottles on ice. At first glance, no one would ever know that it once housed an underwater menagerie: Clean-lined and transparent, it has a minimalist elegance to it. Moreover, it can hold a large number of bottles and cans, the labels of which are easily identifiable to guests. My de facto cooler was recycled (and well-cleaned). But if you're hosting a couple of big outdoor parties this summer, you could pick up a new 55-gallon box at your local aquarium supplier for less than $150. Whether or not you serve seafood is entirely up to you.
Chef Michael Tong is the owner of Toronto's Sublime Catering.