We all scream for ice cream, but new twists and trends in summertime treats actually impact equipment and supply needs, too.
Concept Closeup: FRÍO Gelato
Gelato seems to be making a comeback. With more consumers looking for high-quality, super clean and fresh food, including in the form of treats and desserts, some turn to authentic gelato places to indulge. FRÍO Gelato in Evanston, Ill., focuses on artisanal, Argentine-style gelato similar to what one might find in Buenos Aires. The gelato-making process starts by hand-mixing a high-quality milk base with sugar and natural ingredients like fresh fruits and even avocado. Classic gelato makers churn the product before staff use spatulas to spread it into containers that are then chilled and topped with additional ingredients like caramel for the classic Dulce de Leche. Scooped gelato can also be dipped in warm chocolate wells for a rich coating or topped with coffee for FRÍO Gelato’s signature Ahogato. The multi-unit shop also offers alcohol-infused flavors like fig with Cognac, Limonazo (lemon with vodka), and Sambayón (egg custard with Marsala wine).
Bartenders around the country continue to get creative with booze-fueled shakes for sweet drinks as bars become the setting for brunches and all-day (and all-night) imbibing. Benjamin Schiller, beverage director for The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group and bartender at The Sixth cocktail bar in Chicago, serves up creations such as the French Toast, a cake shake with cognac, vanilla soft serve ice cream, white cake and baking spices (pictured) and Broken Resolution with Jim Beam Rye, chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, smoked salt and Nutella cream. Photo courtesy of The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group
Urban gardens now support pastry and ice cream creations. At Nico Osteria in Chicago, Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky plucks edible flowers and unique herbs like lemon verbena, Mexican hyssop and pineapple mint to make different pastries. She often pairs them with frozen, seasonal accompaniments like rhubarb sorbet and strawberry-ricotta gelato. Photo courtesy Nico Osteria
- Ice cream makers for creating from-scratch creations
- Gelato makers
- Smaller ice cream makers and soft-serve machines behind the bar for boozy shakes
- Tall, parfait glassware for boozy shakes
- Small outdoor and hydroponic gardens for growing herbs, edible flowers and for unique ice cream and pastry creations
- Unique vessels, bowls and plateware for house-made ice cream desserts
- Storage tubs and extra walk-in cooler space for house-made ice cream
- Paddles for scooping and shaping gelato, Thai-rolled and other ice cream