A boutique ice cream maker from Queenstown who moved to New Zealand to work as a hang-gliding pilot has taken out the country’s top ice cream accolade.
Patagonia Chocolates’ Hazelnut Cremino was named Formula Foods Supreme Champion Boutique at the NZ Ice Cream & Gelato Awards 2023.
Hazelnut Cremino received two trophies – the Boutique Champion and the PACT Packaging Champion Standard Ice Cream Award.
Chief judge Jackie Matthews noted that the base of NZ-grown nuts, which are hand roasted, “provided a delicate and truly authentic flavour which, combined, with a superbly crafted and well-made ice cream, is simply stunning, deserving of the Supreme Award”.
Patagonia Chocolates founder Alex Gimenez moved to Queenstown in 2002 and in 2005 the chocolate-loving Argentinean and his wife Lorena Giallonardo started their business.
Despite the challenges of covid-19 closures and ongoing staffing issues, the couple run four stores in the Southern Lakes.
This year their entries were recognised with five Gold Medals and three Silver Medals as well as two trophies.
Their accolades were among 16 trophies revealed at the NZ Ice Cream & Gelato Awards 2023 in Auckland on August 31.
A newcomer to the trophy winners’ podium was Americold Supreme Champion Commercial, Allied Faxi New Zealand Food Co with its G’nature Vanilla Ice Cream.
It was also awarded the IMCD & Givaudan Champion Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Award.
It was a favourite with the judging panel, who said: “This classy ice cream has an uncompromising depth of flavour, is rich and creamy and succeeds perfectly in its mission to deliver a super smooth vanilla flavour.”
Matthews said it was a great example of a classic flavour and “perfectly produced, with wonderful texture and balanced flavour”.
Allied Faxi is a Chinese-owned maker that reopened the Kerepehi cheese factory in Paeroa in 2016 to make the G’nature brand, which is sold in Beijing and Shanghai as well as NZ.
A full list of NZ Ice Cream & Gelato Awards Trophy and Medal winners can be found on the NZ Ice Cream Association’s website: www.nzicecreamandgelato.co.nz