Walking into the new Gelato Festival Gelateria on Melrose Ave., I met with Master Gelato & Pastry Consultant Filippo Cianciosi to learn about Gelato Festival’s concept store. Recently established in West Hollywood on Melrose Ave., the purpose is to celebrate and share the craft of making gelato with the community.
Inside the 3,000 square foot scoop shop, is also a museum, gelato lab and classroom in lively bright colors, fun Instagrammable moments, interactive touches, and a rotating contemporary art installations. The first is a wall of enormous giant, recycled plastic spoons created by celebrated Italian artist Simone d’Auria.
There are four different delectably indulgent areas to the inspire creativity:
- The ROTATING MENU of award-winning, artisan gelato includes 15 flavors. Visitors can come in an try 10 of the flavors that are from recipes created by master gelato chefs from around the globe. These chefs won awards at Gelato Festival’s worldwide championships, including Strawberry & Red Pepper and Pecorino Cheese with Caramelized Pear & Honey. The store’s in-house gelato chef creates five additional flavors, as well as gelato cakes, gelato popsicles, Italian coffee and affogatos.
- Visitors can come in and view the process of making fresh gelato daily in an open-concept LAB equipped with state-of-the-art machinery.
- Take a class inside the CLASSROOM for fun, weekly interactive gelato and coffee workshops open to the public. This space is also available for private events and parties.
- Along the wall is a GELATO MUSEUM highlighting the history of gelato with gelato cone lights displaying an array of gelato history, starting with its founding in the 16th century in Florence, Italy. Florentine architect, Bernardo Buontalenti in 1559 added milk, cream, and egg yolk to sorbet at the Medici Court. Learn that the first public place to consume gelato was in Paris in 1686. Display cases include artifacts such as a famous spoon, and an antique Florentine gelato maker.
- The calendar of lively COMMUNITY EVENTS, including special visits by award-winning gelato chefs, kids’ juries, and all-you-can-eat gelato challenges.
This weekend local and visiting International gelato artisans are gathering at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Every ticket-holding guest gets a vote and opportunity to participate in gelato eating contests, scoop stacking, and other fun family games. The gelato artisan who earns the most votes, wins the coveted gold medal and continues the journey towards the industry’s ultimate stage, the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gelato-festival-america-west-hollywood-2019-tickets-61930715437#pdc.
Gabriele Poli, Founder & President of Gelato Festival is enthusiastic about the upcoming two-day festival. Gelato Festival has partnered with Project Angel Food to create a number of initiatives that will launch next month to support the organization. To start, Gelato Festival created an exclusive, limited edition flavor for Project Angel Food’s 30th Anniversary Angel Awards on September 14. It is available in the store. Proceeds from the sale of each scoop will go directly to the organization, which prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to feed people impacted by serious illness throughout Los Angeles County.
Gelato Festival’s flagship store is open Sunday through Thursday 12-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 12-12 p.m. Visit gelatofestival.com/store and follow along on Instagram @gelatofestival. (424)249-3966.