Have you ever tasted truly authentic Italian gelato? Sure, there are gelato shops in some of the malls and downtown districts in the Valley, but for many of us, we’ve never eaten truly artisanal Italian unless we’ve visited Italy and surrounding European countries.
Well, that’s about to change this autumn, when The Gelato Festival comes to America! The national Gelato Festival will be in Scottsdale on October 27-29, preceded on the calendar with a Gelato Festival in Boulder, CO (Sept 29-Oct 1) and Santa Barbara, CA (Oct 20-22), and followed a week later in Tucson, AZ (Nov. 3-5). Plenty of amazing gelato will be available at these public events. Tickets are available at the website.
In Tucson, the Gelato Festival will happen November 3-5 at La Encantada (2905 E. Skyline Dr, Tucson, AZ 85718). In Scottsdale, the Gelator Festival takes place at the Scottsdale Waterfront (7135 E. Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251).
The festival organizers are working with gelato artisans and chefs in a gelato competition to create a one-of-a-kind gelato flavor specially for the Gelato Festival. If selected, these artisans and chefs will compete at one of these four city stages, with the winners at each entered in a grand finale with other stage winners.
Gelato and Ice Cream
For the uninitiated, gelato is different than ice cream, and it’s created using the exact ingredients as the American ice cream that we know and love. But gelato’s secret sauce is in its proportions, and that’s what gives it the softer, smoother feel compared to richer, heavier American ice cream. Here’s how it’s done:
- Artisan Italian gelato contains 70% less air than ice cream, giving it that smoother, creamier texture
- Gelato has 1/3 of the fat content and calories of American ice cream
- Gelato is served at a warmer temperature to bring out the delicious flavors
- Gelato, like craft beer, is produced fresh on a daily basis, and sold directly to customers, rather than middlemen. That gives it a fresher, more distinct taste.
Famous Gelato Chefs
Gelato artisans from across the U.S. will compete in the Gelato Festival competition; here are a few of them:
- Walter and Marta Bergamaschi, Gelato Dolce Vita, Mesa, AZ
- Joel Gonzalez, Tio Frio, Phoenix, AZ
- Peter Miller, Tazzina di Gelato, Tucson, AZ
- Andrea Racca, Bobboi Natural Gelato, La Jolla, CA
- Giancarlo Macchiarella, Cafe Mercato, Denver, CO
- Darrell Nurse, Chip in a Bottle, New Haven, CT
- Suzanne Batlle, Azucar Ice Cream, Miami, FL
- Ezequiel Gomez, Gelato Gourmet, LLC, Weston, FL
- Pam Wolfert, The Inn Spot, Hampton Bays, NY
- Michele Brown, Brook Hollow Golf Club, Dallas, TX
- Juliann ‘Jules’ Stoddart, Parkside Projects, Austin, TX
- Thomas Marinucci, Marinucciìs Gelato, Fairfax, VA
- Maurizio Melani, Heladeria Véneta, Valencia, Spain
- Joel Yunen, Fragola Gelateria, Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo
The partners and sponsors of Gelato Festival America include
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