Gelato Workshop at Gelato Mio

Last night I was invited to a Gelato workshop run by Gelato Mio! Carlo who runs Gelato Mio is a real entrepreneur and is planning on launching these workshops soon. Check back on his website for details.

I took so many pictures while I was there click here to see them all.

Carlo, like me, used to work at Lehman Brothers and when it went under he started Gelato Mio. We didn’t know each other before this meeting though.

There’s me and Carlo
Gelato Mio has locations in Fulham, Holland Park, St. John’s Wood and Notting Hill. The workshop was in the Fulham shop in their large kitchen.

Dressed in my Gelato Mio uniform and ready to eat make Gelato!

Our first lesson was in vanilla. I didn’t know this but apparently you can’t buy real vanilla in a supermarket. The stuff in the supermarket ranges from watered down real vanilla to really watered down vanilla to chemicals that smell like vanilla.

The vanilla pod Carlo is holding is a real vanilla pod. It’s hard to see but it’s not like the ones you buy at the store. The ones at the store are smooth on the outside. The one Carlo is holding has white stuff on the outside which is part of the vanilla flavor.
The stuff at the supermarket is pretty much made of the washings of a real vanilla pod!

This is a 5kg bar of chocolate! They use this to make the dark chocolate gelato. Carlo made a few shavings for us to taste. So rich and not bitter.

Carlo showed us how to make pistachio gelato first. They use this paste made purely from pistachios. It tastes like pistachio peanut butter! I’ve never tasted anything like it before.

These are the machines that they use to make the milk mixture (milk and a combination of different sugars)  for the gelato and then it rests for 24 hours before the flavor is added.

Getting enough milk to make one batch of pistachio.

Adding the pistachio paste

Hopefully this video works. It’s like a giant Bamix that forces the milk to blend with the ingredients.

Pouring the milk and pistachio mixture into the machine that churns it and makes it cold.

When the ice cream machine is running it sounds like a washing machine!

The machine beeps when the ice cream is ready. It only takes about 10 minutes for it turn from a milk mixture into cold delicious gelato!

They let me have a go at scooping

The machine after the gelato has been scooped out

Most effective way to clean the machine!

Water goes in the machine for a cycle to get the rest

Fresh fruit for a fraggola sorbet

2kgs of washed strawberries for a tub of strawberry sorbet

After it’s been blitzed with some water

This part is really cool. This instrument measures the sugar level in the fruit. Different fruit from different seasons and places can have different levels of sugar.

The reading tells Carlo that this time this batch doesn’t need any more sugar. I looked through it. It was all pink with a scale of some sort.

Giant whisk to add the lemon juice to the strawberry mixture

Into the ice cream machine for 10 minutes

10 minutes later a fresh batch of strawberry gelato

Carlo must be crazy because he let me and Andrea in the freezer with spoons!

So much gelato! There were so many flavors in there. Just a few of the ones I tasted. Mango, peanut butter, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut and tiramisu.

I wish I had a bigger spoon!

Using the fresh ingredients makes a major difference in taste. I’ve never been a fan of pistachio ice cream before but I think that’s because I’ve never tasted real pistachio ice cream before. Carlo bought a cheap tub of pistachio ice cream from the supermarket to show us the difference. It didn’t have any flavor at all! The nut sprinkling on top wasn’t even pistachios.
The pistachio gelato and strawberry sorbet we made
Before going for this workshop I knew nothing about ice cream making. It’s such a science getting the balance right and the way different sugars will react and the freezing process.
Carlo and his staff were really friendly and made the evening so enjoyable. His gelato/pastry chef was kind enough to let us into her kitchen and for all of them to give up their Friday night to show us all about gelato making.
I hope that Carlo rolls out the workshops and makes them a regular occurrence. It was really fun and anyone that loves ice cream will really enjoy this experience. I’ll never eat ice cream the same way again. I’ve been spoiled now.
Last scoop for the road even though I felt so sick already!

Click here for some gelato cupcake action!

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