Gelato Festival Tasting Party at Home

The 2020 Gelato Festival is hosting COVID-friendly and socially distanced competitions, as well as adding a new coffee making competition.

#SaferAtHome families and individuals have the opportunity to purchase a sampling box and be the judge of the world’s best gelato. These cool gelato boxes are filled with 12 different artisan gelato flavors, and are available for purchase for $69 until December 9th. Boxes will be shipped to your door shortly thereafter.

Each box includes four QR codes that allows gelato fans to have a gelato taste testing party at home and vote for their favorite flavor, and ultimately take part in picking the winner of this year’s tournament, to be announced in January.

Here are the 12 flavors I received and who created them:

1. Figs Pecan and Chocolate – created by Carlo Piccinini of Gelato Italyano – Fiordilatte with figs, pecans and dark chocolate.
2. Fior di Mandorla by Fabio Vota of Guess & Marciano Family Private Kitchen – almond gelato and lemon zest
3. Dama Pistachio Vegan by Joseph Maatouk of Paradise Ice Cream made with Oat Pistachio Gelato, orange blossom and rose water
4. Hazelnut and Honey Truffle Stracciatella made by Luca Moriconi of Culina Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Hazelnut with truffle and Acacia honey
5. Lavender Honey by Peter Macias of La Peer Hotel
6. Banana Pudding Gelato by Theresa Black of Amore Congelato
7. Mimosa Siciliana by Vincenzo Grasso of Likery – Blood orange and almonds (vegan)
8. Drunken Chai by Vinn Brooks of Coffee Manufactory – oat vanilla chai gelato drizzled with chocolate and caramel
9. Gianduia Gelato and Amarena Cherry by Michael Miranda of Gelato D’Oro – Giandula gelato with crushed hazelnut and whole Fabbri Amarena cherries
10. Cardamom and chocolate pear gelato by Samantha Santiago Torres of Saint Clair Inn – Cardamom, pear and crunchy chocolate
11. Blueberry Basil by Mike Guerrero (American Champion in 2019) – organic blueberries, fresh basil leaves, a squeeze of lemon and water (vegan)
12. Texas Pecan Salted Caramel by Diego Comparin of Paciugo Gelato Cafe (Silver Award Americano Championship 2019) creamy salted caramel gelato with swirls of organic pecans roasted in Dallas, Texas.

Gelato Festival is open for purchases of gelato at 8906 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles (424)249-3966.

Gelato Festival box of flavors delivered to your door

Here’s a fun idea for the holidays- Order a gelato tasting box and enjoy a variety of different cool and creamy gelato flavors for dessert. The 2020 Gelato Festival is a little different this year due to the pandemic.

The 2020 American edition Gelato Festival is hosting three COVID-friendly and socially distanced competition events, as well as a newly added coffee making competition. Families and individuals will be given the opportunity to purchase a sampling box for $69 and be the judge of the best gelato, along with Honorary Judge, Giada de Laurentiis.

The gelato boxes are available until December 9th, and will be shipped shortly thereafter. Each box includes four QR codes that allow consumers to vote for their favorite flavor and ultimately take part in picking the winner of this year’s tournament, to be announced in January. Gelato Festival is also be offering a vegan gelato box made with Califia Farms plant-based milks. 

Executive Chef Luca Moriconi

The winners will move on to compete in the World Finale which is set to take place in September 2021 in Italy. One of my favorite Italian Executive Chef’s, Luca Moriconi from Culina Restaurant at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, just won the Gold Medal in the first round of technical competitions with his Hazelnut Truffle Stracciatella gelato.

Luca’s winning flavor was able to edge past competitors NYC based Chef Vincenzo Grasso’s blood orange and almond sorbet “Mimosa Siciliana” followed in third place by Chef Joseph Maatouk’s vegan pistachio and orange blossom “Dama Pistachio” by receiving high marks in the Flavor, Appearance, Structure, Creativity and Verbal Presentation categories.  Luca was also able to snag a top spot in the coffee competition, placing third behind Chef Carlo Piccinini from Gelato Italyano, and Chef Peter Macias from La Peer Hotel, scoring points based on Flavor, Appearance, and Speed of Production.

Luca’s first place winning flavor will be soon available for purchase at Gelato Festival’s flagship store on Melrose Avenue.

The other eleven competitors still have the opportunity to advance to the world finale by winning their week’s Popular Jury competition. For the Popular Jury round of competition, competitors will amass votes based on the QR codes scanned by at home participants who have purchased one or more of Gelato Festival’s Gelato Boxes, which are available to order from their official website  until December 9th.

The Chefs and Jury Members

 In 2019 Gelato Festival opened its Flagship store on Melrose Avenue serving the world’s best gelato, in the heart of West Hollywood. A community-oriented concept and experience dedicated to artisanal gelato and coffee, and recently opened its second location at Hollywood & Highland at the Dolby Theatre.

Gelato Festival Opens in West Hollywood

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.

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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.

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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.IMG_5058.jpg

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.

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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.

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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.