Tag Archives: The Gelato Spot

Gelato War Spoons

The scoop on this year’s Gelato Wars

The Gelato Spot’s annual Gelato Wars are back! Through August 31, patrons of Gelato Spot can try 10 flavors whipped up by local chefs and vote for their favorite.

Gelato Wars is a month-long competition for bragging rights, a customized copper trophy and $500. It’s also a fund raiser with the goal of donating at least $5,000 to Make-A-Wish Arizona.

“Our mission is to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy…and what’s more joyful than gelato,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona.

Gelato Spot owner Tommy Plato said getting 10 chefs — 5 new and 5 returning — to all come together and create unique gelato flavors was like “herding cats into a cold bathtub.” But we’re here to tell you that the delicious results will beat out a cat bath any day.

Scottsdale Living’s Social Media and Digital Manager Perri Collins taste-tested all 10 flavors and ranked them from best (No. 1) to less-best (No. 10) — come on, there’s no such thing as bad gelato. To even the playing field a little, Associate Editor Amanda Ventura weighed in, too.

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Blueberry Buttermilk Pie
Justin Beckett and Jeff Schoening, Beckett’s Table
This creamy and sweet gelato flavor is a delightful mix of marion berries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries from the northwest, where Jeff Schoening hails from.
Where I ranked it: No. 9
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was like a cheesecake wrapped up in sweet ribbons of berry mixture. I think it was simple, delicious and something I’d eat a few more scoops of, but it’s not novel enough to stand out among the competition.]

Camelback Crunch
Tracey Dempsey, Tracey Dempsey Originals
The 2013 defending champion, Tracey Dempsey, made a dessert homage to her residence near Camelback Mountain. This gelato is a nice balance of flavors and textures that don’t seem to have much in common at first, but they blend really well together.
Where I ranked it: No. 1
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three, but that’s in large part due to the fact that Tracey Dempsey used all of my favorite flavors in one gelato.]

Honey Toasted Almond Biscotti
Gio Osso, Virtu
“I grew up eating with toasted almond bars from the neighborhood ice cream truck, so I used that as my inspiration and added salt for a more sophisticated taste,” says Osso. If you like sweet, then this flavor is for you. It was tasty, but the sugary sweetness overwhelmed the nuts.
Where I ranked it: No. 3
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was actually a bit too salty for me — though I do love some almonds and salted caramel.]

White Chocolate Stracciatella
Josh Hebert, Posh
The cherry and chocolate combination was nothing new and exciting. It was subtle and refreshing, but rather middle of the road.
Where I ranked it: No. 6
[Editor’s Note: I agree here. I think the flavor was delicious but lacked the novelty of the other competitors.]

Sage Brown Butter & Candied Cashew
Josh Bracher, The Second Story Liquor Bar
The candied cashews had an amazing flavor. It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
Where I ranked it: No. 5
[Editor’s Note: Yep. This was a balanced cup of sweet nuttiness.]

Carrot Cake
Keenan Bosworth, Pig & Pickle
This was a good idea with bad execution. It tasted nothing like carrot cake, although you could really taste the goat cheese in the gelato.
Where I ranked it: No. 7
[Editor’s Note: Maybe I built this flavor up more in my head because I love carrot cake; I eat it every year for my birthday. However, I did like the incorporation of the goat cheese. It was in my top five.]

Chocolate Sorbet with Smoked Almonds and Caramel
Walter Sterling, Ocotillo (set to open later this year)
A chocolate gelato won last year’s competition, so Walter Sterling chose something with chocolate in hopes of stealing the trophy, but we think his dreams are about to be dashed. The chocolate was very bitter, the caramel wasn’t as pronounced as it should have been and the nuts were too large and crunchy.
Where I ranked it: No. 8
[Editor’s Note: This vegan dark chocolate sorbet was delicious. You really do have to like bitter chocolate, though. When I was vegan, I learned to really love dark chocolate so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. If anything, this is one of the more decadent flavors better enjoyed in small portions.]

Mole
Michael Dowd, Urban Vine
Mole is an ambitious flavor with 17 different spices and nutella folded into this gelato for a spicy explosion on your tongue. It tasted like a kid grab handfuls of every spice he could find in a middle-eastern market and mixed them together with chocolate milk.
Where I ranked it: No. 10
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three. It reminded me of eating peppery German gingerbread, Lebkuchen, as a kid.]

Sweet Corn with Truffle Honey
Matt Carter, The Mission & Zinc Bistro
It was hard to taste the corn or honey over the overpowering thyme in this gelato flavor. The layers of corn and blueberry would have made a better impression
Where I ranked it: No. 4
[Editor’s Note: I agree, but the sweet corn ice cream is a must-try. I can still kind of taste it as I type this.]

Smoked Banana Pudding
Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ
“We’re a BBQ place, we had to smoke something!” says Scott Holmes. This is a simple idea with complex flavors and a delightful finish. Well done!
Where I ranked it: No. 2
[Editor’s Note: Yes! Remember those vanilla wafer and banana puddings your mom made for pot lucks? This is the next level of that. There could have been a bit more caramel to balance every bite into perfection, but overall this was a top three flavor.]

Gelato Spot Locations:

Biltmore/Arcadia
3164 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ  85016
602.957.8040

40th St. & Greenway
4010 E. Greenway Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
602.494.4010

Old Town Scottsdale (Wood Fired Pizza & Gelato)
4166 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ  85251
480.425.8100

Meet the Models of Scottsdale 16: Grace Koval

Grace Koval

Grace Koval

Scottsdale 16, part of Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations, is an elite group of young, beautiful women in Arizona who can be booked for a variety of events. These outgoing ladies provide a professional yet fun vibe to any atmosphere, whether they’re hosting corporate parties, special events, modeling for promotional events or walking at runway shows.

Meet Grace Koval, who recently gave us tips on the best ways to “sweat pretty” this summer.

How did you start modeling?
Opportunities started right after I moved to Scottsdale and started with Scottsdale 16.

What type of modeling do you like the most and why?
Print modeling is easier for me because I walk way too fast on the runway!

What is your favorite shoot you’ve done?
So far, working with Michael Franco has been my most favorite. He is absolutely amazing at what he does and he is going places!

What’s your favorite modeling photo?
Of course, it is one by Michael Franco.

What advice would you give someone interesting in modeling?
What is meant to be will happen. Work hard, stay healthy and keep your body in great condition. The confidence will show!

What is your favorite place to eat in Scottsdale?
There are a few spots: I love Sushi Roku at W Scottsdale. I also love to go to the Gelato Spot for dessert! They have the best gelato!

What is your favorite bar/nightclub in Scottsdale?
If I am going to be dancing, Maya! If I want to relax, Casablanca or W Scottsdale!

Olive oil with lemon zest stracciatella by Cullen Campbell at Crudo.

Valley’s hottest chefs battle in Gelato Wars

As the temperatures soar outside, look for the competition to heat up inside The Gelato Spot as 10 of the Valley’s most popular chefs head into the freezer to create their one-of-a-kind gelato concoction for Gelato Wars.

Held at all three Valley Gelato Spot locations, and at participating chefs’ restaurants, the 2nd Annual Gelato Wars will take place from August 1 to August 31.

The rules are pretty simple. The chef who sells the most gelato at all three Gelato Spots combined — wins!

Along with bragging rights, the winning chef will also receive a custom molded gelato cone trophy, $500 cash and have a $5,000 check presented on their behalf to Make-A-Wish Arizona.

Chefs participating in the 2nd Annual Gelato Wars include:

  • Keenan Bosworth, Pig & Pickle
  • Gio Osso, Virtu
  • Chris McKinley, The Local
  • Matt Carter, The Mission & Zinc Bistro
  • Josh Hebert, Posh
  • Tracey Dempsey, Tracey Dempsey Originals (2013 Gelato Wars Winner!!)
  • Josh Bracher, The Second Story Liquor Bar
  • Justin Beckett & Jeff Schoening, Beckett’s Table
  • Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ
  • Walter Sterling, Ocotillo (Opens Late 2014)

“Expect the flavors to be super outrageous, funky and cool,” said Gelato Spot owner Tommy Plato. “These are 10 of the most talented chefs in the Valley right now and there is really no sweeter way to celebrate our love of gelato and the end of the summer.”

The 10 chef flavors will be available at the following Gelato Spot locations:

Biltmore/Arcadia
3164 E. Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602.957.8040
Sunday – Thursday noon – 11pm
Friday & Saturday noon – Midnight

40th St. & Greenway
4010 E. Greenway Rd.Phoenix, AZ 85032
602.494.4010
Sunday – Thursday noon – 9pm
Friday & Saturday noon – 10pm

Old Town Scottsdale (Wood Fired Pizza & Gelato)
4166 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
480.425.8100
Sunday – Thursday 11am – 11pm
Friday & Saturday 11am – Midnight

To get a sneak preview of the flavors and celebrate the kick-off of Gelato Wars, a VIP Reception and Tasting night will be held on Thursday, July 31. To get more information or be added to the VIP list please contact Jennifer Parks at Jparks@rosemoserallynpr.com or call 480.495.3806.