Festival America Honors
Fat Free Gelato Masters in Santa Barbara
first ever Gelato Festival was held in Florence in 2010, and
the first ever American stage continued in Santa Barbara on
October 20 through October 22. With the support of SIGEP and
Carpigiani, the Gelato Festival America welcomed Gelato Artisans
from around the world who competed with their special flavors,
created for the three-day Festival. These flavors were healthy
fat free alternatives compared to other frozen desserts and
were made from fine carefully selected ingredients and blended
in imaginative and delicious combinations. Purely Sedona provided
water and West Central Food Service provided fresh organic fruit
and vegetables for use by the 2017 Santa Barbara competition
was such a fun addition to a balmy weekend in Santa Barbara
that brought a very European flavor, literally and figuratively,
to one of the most popular tourist destinations in California.
Despite wind warnings, and it was Chicago style windy out there,
these amazing gelato chefs really brought it!
Shades of Rose Honorable mention Gelato
by Salvatore Bonomo LA
prepared their product in a laboratory tent with clear plastic
siding to allow visitors to watch, and then served it from chic
gelato booths. Special tastings and classed were held in the
stage tent where a bevy of guest gathered to learn, taste and
vote on their favorite flavors.
winner Maurizio Melani was selected by two panels, each of which
accounted for 50% of the vote: a panel of technical experts
composed of journalists, media members, and sector experts,
along with a panel comprised of all the members of the general
public who took part in the Festival. I was honored to be a
selected member of the juried panel of journalists, and media
members to taste and vote on the winning gelato to be awarded
this prestigious award. Technical jury standings were determined
by points of each judge for gelato presentation, flavour and
structure. The judges' votes represented 50% of the score, with
the peoples choice votes representing the additional 50%.
was a difficult judging due to the number of outstanding gelato
chefs participating. They all created recipes of exceptionally
healthy and imaginative ingredients that were presented so artistically.
The versatility of each gelato was impressive, and the healthy
focus of the recipes which were made with no dairy or fat was
totally appreciated by the talented collection of California
judges on the panel, including a few from Santa Barbara.
1st place Gelato Sicily Orange Sunset by Marizio Melani
Best Gelato Festival America 2017 Gold Medal went to Maurizio
Melani from Heladeria Veneta in Spain, who spent years in Milan
perfecting his skills as a Gelato Master before moving to Spain.
His Sicily Orange Sunrise Gelato was fantastic in taste and
presentation. The Silver Medal went to Michele Brown from Brook
Hollow in Dallas Texas. Michele is an executive chef at a local
country club in Brook Hollow and her chef son worked with her
on their outstanding Roasted Green Tea with Crunchy Mango gelato.
The Bronze Medal & "Stack it High" Award went
to Robert Sigona for his Blood Orange recipe. Th Spin Mlynarik
for his Tropical Blast recipe. My personal favorite was a gelato
created by Salvatore Bonomo from Nonna Rosa Gelato in Los Angeles,
which received a Special Mention. Bonomo's Shades of Rose recipe
made with a blend of roses, water, lemon, ginger and fresh peaches
was to me absolutely outstanding; I could eat this one every
10 competitors for the Gelato Festival in Santa Barbara included:
GOLD MEDAL - Sicily Orange Sunrise by Maurizio Melani from Heladeria
Véneta, in Spain. His limited-time flavor featured Sicilian
KIDS CHOICE Tropical Blast by Spin Mlynarik from Black Market
Gelato in Hollywood, CA, will be a fresh tropical flavour.
Spicy Green Paradise by Mattia Ortelli from Gelato-go in Miami,
FL, will bring a unique creation.
"Ode to Autumn" by Noël Knecht from Colibrì
Gelato in San Clemente, CA, captured all the warm and flavorful
sensations of the autumn weather. Chef Knecht received a special
BRONZE MEDAL & "Stack it High" Award Blood Orange
by Robert Sigona from Gelotti in Paterson, NJ.
Fresh Love by Bruno Couto de Matos from Frio Gostoso in Brazil.
Vegan Pink Pear & Ginger by Antonio Carrozza from Latteria
Italiana in Miami, FL.
SPECIAL MENTION Shade of Rose by Salvatore Bonomo from Nonna
Rosa in Los Angeles, CA.
Maíz Dulce Borracho by Marcello Mennone from Gelati Gioia
in Tampa Bay, FL.
SILVER MEDAL to Roasted Green Tea with Crunchy Mango by Michele
Brown from Brook Hollow in Dallas, TX.
Gold Medal Winner Maurizio Melani with wife & daughter
and Gelato Experience CEO Daniele Palazzoni
Gelato Festival was held at the La Cumbre Plaza Mall in Santa
Barbara. Everyone in attendance was able to taste all the gelato
and cast their vote for their favorite flavor. There were also
some unique flavors by PreGel America and WhyGelato.com, authentic
flavors by Carpigiani Gelato University and gastronomic sorbet
by Sogno Toscano for everyone to sample.
enjoyed talking with John McCabe, Regional Area Manager of Carpigiani
North America, who said, "Artisan gelato, known as fresh
food produced daily by skilled gelato chefs, is gaining an international
recognition over the last few years as a distinctive element
of Made in Italy like pizza, pasta and espresso. The partnership
with Gelato Festival and its development in the U.S. as a strategic
market strengthens our long-term plans to provide the best support
possible to the gelato artisans and their creativity."
Finale Photo Gelato Festival America in Santa Barbara
activities featured fun for all ages including a kids judging,
and educational opportunities in the Gelato School were guest
learned what it takes to become a Gelato Chef. Sogno Toscano
was offering discounted prices on fantastic Italian products
that included everything from fine olive oils to a lovely skincare
line. Show presenters stated that on Monday morning after the
event all left over food was being donated to the Santa Barbara
cities on the tour for 2017 include: Tucson and Scottsdale,
AZ. Tickets are available online with discounts up to 10% in
advance. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit gelatofestivalamerica.com/ticket.
#GelatoMasters, #SantaBarbara, #MaurizioMelani, #FatFreeGelato
By Bonnie Carroll
About Bonnie Carroll
Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since
1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll's
Life Bites News - www.lifebitesnews.com,
does travel and food reporting on KZSB1290 radio, and contributes
to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle
publications. Her first children's book C.C. Charles was published
in 2002 and she is currently working on a second book. Contact
her at Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.