Queen St ice­cream the world’s best?

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KARINA ABADIA

An Ital­ian ex­pat reck­ons his ice­cream is among the best in the world and he’s ready to put it to the test.

Gian­paolo Grazi­oli owns the pop­u­lar Queen St ice­cream shop Gi­apo.

He’s con­fi­dent his tiramisu­flavoured ice­cream will put him above the other 15 com­peti­tors se­lected to com­pete in the Aus­tral­asian leg of the Ge­lato World Tour in Mel­bourne from Oc­to­ber 25 to 27.

The event is be­ing held in eight cities across five con­ti­nents, with the top three con­tes­tants from each city’s event go­ing on to com­pete for the ti­tle of World’s Best Ge­lato at the grand fi­nal in Ri­mini, Italy in Septem­ber next year.

Mr Grazi­oli says it wasn’t easy to chose just one flavour.

He went for one of his top sellers in­stead of some­thing more un­usual be­cause he wanted to ap­peal to the judges as well as the 50 mem­bers of the pub­lic who will cast their vote.

But the 34-year-old isn’t play­ing it safe.

Dur­ing the past two months he’s been ex­per­i­ment­ing with the ba­sic in­gre­di­ents of the clas­sic dessert. He’s taken what he was al­ready sell­ing to the next level by creat­ing two den­si­ties with two dif­fer­ent cus­tards.

One re­sem­bles a foam and the other has the tex­ture of ice­cream. The idea is to im­i­tate the sen­sa­tion of eat­ing mas­car­pone and the re­sult is a multi-lay­ered, multi-tex­tured flavour, he says. How does he do it? ‘‘It’s un­der­stand­ing and work­ing with the chem­istry of the in­gre­di­ents so they come out the way you want them to,’’ he says.

The dish will be dusted with co­coa pow­der and served with a mini­truf­fle and a white choco­late cig­a­rette.

This is the first time the trained pas­try chef has taken part in the com­pe­ti­tion.

When he and his wife came to New Zealand 11 years ago they thought about open­ing a fine din­ing res­tau­rant but be­cause of their love of ice­cream they opened Gi­apo in 2007 in­stead.

He and his team are ob­vi­ously do­ing some­thing right – the busi­ness has more than 27,000 likes on its Face­book page.

He puts his suc­cess down to a num­ber of fac­tors. Be­ing born in the coun­try where ice­cream orig­i­nates and grow­ing up in fine din­ing res- tau­rants run by his ex­tended fam­ily gave him an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for qual­ity, he says.

There’s still some fine tun­ing to do to get it just right but he’s con­fi­dent his ice­cream will wow the judges.

Photo: KARINA ABADIA

Driven ar­ti­san: Gian­paolo Grazi­oli hopes his tiramisu-flavoured ice­cream comes out on top in the fi­nals of the Ge­lato World Tour com­pe­ti­tion.

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