Gelato master in Vancouver

CNC
Added On August 30, 2014

If you've ever visited Italy, you probably got a taste of Gelato, the Italian word for ice cream. 

But if you'd like some of the best and some of the most unique gelato in the world, you have to travel nearly 9,000 kilometers away from Italy.

Our correspondent Evan Duggan explains.

STANDUP (ENGLISH): EVAN DUGGAN, CNC correspondent 

"We are a long way from the gelato hotspots of Venice, Rome or Florence, but when it comes to the creamy dessert here in Vancouver, we are about as close as you can get to one of the world's most famous — and award-winning — gelato masters."

James Coleridge's gelato shop and cafe, Bella Gelateria, has become one of Vancouver's best places to cool off during the summer. Coleridge has recently been named 2014's International Gelato Master of the Year for his unique recipes and list of flavors. 

Trained in Italy, the chef has also won the title of North America's best gelato at the Gelato World Tour championship in Texas this year for a gelato he created with salted pecans, cherries and vanilla. 

He insists that gelato is not just the Italian word for ice cream but there is a big difference.

He says ice cream has about 30 percent fat while gelato has only around 7 percent of fat. In addition, gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it's denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture. 

As for the rich flavor, since there's not as much fat, gelato doesn't coat the mouth the way ice cream does. So the flavor is more intense. 

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): JAMES COLERIDGE, Owner of Bella Gelateria

"I grew up eating cheap ice cream. But at the end of the day, we wanted to be more healthy, we wanted to eat better foods. so gelato is a lot healthier than ice cream. So, I grew up on cheap ice cream but now I'm making the world's best gelato."

Coleridge says that although it's not in the birthplace of gelato, the proximity to many orchards and farms in the nearby Fraser Valley has made Vancouver a perfect place to be a gourmet gelato kitchen. 

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): JAMES COLERIDGE, Owner of Bella Gelateria

"Well I think its really important about local ingredients, it's really important to connect to your local farmers, because your farming community really reflects the season."

Coleridge has built a reputation around Vancouver for using some rather curious ingredients such as white truffles, black caviar, tomatoes, basil and even whiskey. He said you could use pretty much anything.  

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): JAMES COLERIDGE, Owner of Bella Gelateria

"I've actually taken red beets and mixed it with raspberry so you get the earthiness of the beet and the beautiful bouquet of the raspberry.” 

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): Customer

"I'll actually invent little desserts just pair them with ice cream that I get from here even if I serve it at home. So, it's fantastic. 

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): Customer

"It's so nice. It's a full mouth feel to it, and it's not bitter, by any means.  I mean it's an espresso gelato and it's so creamy, it's like shaving cream. Amazing." 

Coleridge says his best flavor is yet to come and he loves to change the menu to keep his customers surprised.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): JAMES COLERIDGE, Owner of Bella Gelateria

"From Beijing to Vancouver, we get what great food is all about. We just happened to take the culinary style of some of the greatest chefs in the world and brought it to gelato and nobody has really done that."