Churning and scooping in the lab: Uno Gelato launches hands-on Gelato 101 seminars

Weekly classes answer everything you were afraid to ask about the Italian frozen dessert

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      Ever wondered why gelato won’t give you brain freeze? Or what the hell the difference between gelato and ice cream is anyway?

      Vancouver’s Uno Gelato has just launched Gelato 101 seminars, which answer these questions and more.

      Uno Gelato's Andrés Bermudez has years of experience making the frozen dessert from scratch.
      Gail Johnson.

      Taking place right in the kitchen and lab of the company’s flagship Kitsilano location, the classes give participants the chance to see how seasonal Italian gelato and sorbetto are made from scratch. Gelato maestro Andrés Bermudez, formerly of La Gelateria Parmalat in Miami Beach, among other places, guides people through the steps, from mixing and measuring to deftly scooping the frozen dessert out of a churning Italian mixer with a giant paddle.

      There’s even a chance to make your own waffle cone. (It’s all in the wrist.)

      Gail Johnson.

      Then, of course, it’s time to enjoy your DIY frozen dessert, but not before sampling several of Uno Gelato’s flavours, akin to a wine tasting. Maybe it’s White Coffee or Very Cherry gelato that catches your fancy, or maybe you’re more of an Akbar Mashti person (the Persian flavour consisting of saffron and rosewater) or Buffalo Milk Lemon fan. Vegan sorbettos run the gamut from Midnight Chocolate (made with Valrhona and Guittard cocoa) to passionfruit to yuzu.

      Flavours for the classes change monthly and align with the seasons. Wrapping up October are pumpkin-pecan cheesecake gelato and passionfruit sorbetto. November offers roasted-hazelnut gelato and banana-chocolate chip gelato, while in December, look for Tahitian vanilla with roasted pistachio gelato.

      Uno Gelato takes a farm-to-cone approach, partnering with local producers and suppliers such as Berry Haven, Fraser Valley Hazelnuts, Tesfa Farms Water Buffalo, Avalon Dairy, Vancouver Island Sea Salt, and Quesnel’s maker of birch syrup, Sweet Tree Ventures. The company has three locations in Vancouver, with a fourth opening soon at YVR.

      The Gelato 101 seminars run about 90 minutes on Thursday evenings and cost $50 per person, which includes a freshly made cone, samples, and a pint to take home.