Sushi Gelato Anyone?

A talented 30-year-old pastry chef created a new gelato concept mixing design and exotic flavors

  • Sushi Gelato Anyone?
  • Sushi Gelato Anyone?
  • Sushi Gelato Anyone?
  • Sushi Gelato Anyone?

Imagine opening a perfect sushi box, grabbing your chopsticks, tasting the food and finding out that there is no rice or fish but just excellent uramaki-shaped Italian artisan gelato with funky flavors such as lemon, basil, ginger, and black sesame.
Welcome to the world of Ilaria Forlania thirty-year-old pastry chef who experiments with artisan gelato and food design crossing the boundaries of traditional ice cream taste and pairings. The inspiration was born out of her love for the aesthetics of oriental food, that she discovered when traveling between Australia and Southeast Asia.
The result is Glacé, Ilaria’s own ice cream parlor in Palazzolo, a town halfway between Brescia and Milan, from which she has developed a gelato concept that mixes design and natural ingredients, art and the art of food – just as oriental cultures do. At Glacé there are no boundaries between sweet and savory, nor between hot and cold. On the contrary, opposites coexist and complement each other to offer a distinctive taste experience. We spoke to Ilaria to learn more about her journey through taste and where it is going. 
SJ: Why did you choose gelato as the raw material to experiment in food design?
IF:Gelato has always fascinated me and it reminds me of some of the happiest moments of my childhood. Over time, I got to know the complexity behind it and the endless possibilities that it offers to those who – just like me – strongly rely on creativity and inspiration.
SJ: Where did the idea of ​​combining Italian gelato with oriental aesthetics come from?
IF:It all started during a long stay in Sydney, Australia. My friends were all Asian and this allowed me to get in touch with cultures that are very different from mine. As a result, even food appeared to me under a new light, and this constant contamination has definitely influenced my professional training and the choice of my next travel destinations. South-East Asia did the rest: countries like Thailand won my heart and still inspire me today.
SJ: What are the most versatile gelato flavors and why? Did you come up with special tastes to enhance your creations?
IF:I love all the classics, although I personally like to create new (and even daring) combinations and shapes to offer a different experience to those who try my products. Places, moments, trends, people and moods: everything influences the creation of my desserts and gelato. Even exchanging ideas and experiences with other chefs or restaurateurs allows me to grow and improve myself day after day.
SJ: Glacé is come sort of a culinary tromp-l'oeil: the look says ‘sushi’, yet the
palate says ‘gelato’. What role does aesthetics play in your creations?
IF:A crucial role. The quality of the product and the choice of the ingredients are essential, but the emotion that design can convey is my main focus. First the sight, then the palate. It is my mission. My passion.
SJ: What are your plans for the near future?
IF:First of all, to consolidate the amazing partnerships I established with tourism, food, catering and fashion companies, of which I am very proud. The future will start as soon as this September, when my Glacé - Sweet Concept Store will open in Milan. I also dream of opening my own Academy – in the meantime, I am taking part in various training projects from well-known industry players and collaborating as a columnist with the trade magazine GELATO Artigianale.  

Author : The Slowear Journal


Artisan gelato  | Ilaria Forlani  | sushi  | Ernst Knam  | Glacé  |

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