How it all started…

Coming from a bartender and chef background, I like to play host by cooking curated meals for my family and friends accordingly to their favourite palates. Having exposed to various cuisines from Chinese, Japanese, Thai, French, Italian and Spanish, I take a profound interest to slightly fused the food from its original recipes with a slight twist of different ingredients from another country.

In those occasions when I hosted feasts for my guests, I faced a challenge. After the appetisers and main courses, my guests are usually too full for heavy desserts. As such, I tend to keep it simple by serving off-the-shelf ice-creams.

It wasn’t until the Christmas of 2022 where my beloved wife asked for an ice-cream maker machine so that she can have fun making her own matcha dessert (not my favourite flavour by the way). Not long after the gift was open, we were exploring and shopping for flavours to create our first ice-cream with the machine. That’s when I start my research and it has become an ongoing academic subject for me.

When it comes to making drinks or cooking, a bartender or chef always aims to identify the main or key flavours, the secondary flavours followed by the pairing flavours. With this mindset, I begin to see if I can introduce that to my ice-creams. As my research goes deeper, I realised most ice-creams in the market are typically made of either 1 or 2 flavours the most. Examples such as chocolate chip and mint, butter and pecan, rum and raisin. These flavours are generally key or compliment to each other, there is no secondary nor pairing flavours unless you add separate toppings. Having said that, you can already make really good ice-creams with the fresh ingredients with just a single flavour.

The other aspect is that for most ice-creams, because of its limited flavours, tends to be overwhelming sweet in order to be distinctive. As such, it can too heavy on the palate even though it is a dessert. In my case, I feel that ice-creams can be made lighter and easier to enjoy. On the other hand, being an avid chef who always aim to please, I won’t settle for simple dishes. Having said that, I am also not a person who is into complicated cooking. I prefer techniques that can be consistently maintained, food that must taste incredible nice while also well-remembered for the flavours.

Bearing those thoughts, I begin to study the possibilities of introducing 3 dimensions of flavouring for ice-creams. That’s where I go back to the basics: the body, the heart and head notes. In simple explanations, the body note is where the main flavour stays throughout. The heart note is where in the midst of the body, flavour comes tingling, giving it a punch, or a kick without overtaking the main flavour. It is like a co-star that supports the lead actor but not trying to steal the thunder or take the focus away. It supposes to give beats to the body note. Lastly, the head note is where the flavour comes and goes, serving a little reminder of the body and heart notes. It is like a texture, a little tickle, a mild sensation to bring back everything together.

After setting the foundation right to establish my ice-cream gamebook, I begin my experiment with all kind of concoctions. It is not as easy as it seems in the beginning. Much that I like to create amazing flavours and getting the perfect mixing ratio, I need to ensure I have easy access to the fresh high-quality ingredients, competitive costs to ensure it can be reasonably priced in the market. You can imagine how many sorbets and ice-creams I have made and tasted, sharing with friends to get their feedbacks. I don’t settle for a score of 7 or 8 out 10 rating, I need at least a 9 and if possible, a 10. That’s my expectation to set the stage right in designing the recipes. After a few months of intensive work, I have derived around 50 recipes, though some still need some fine tuning to perfection.

So here we are, this is how it all started, I wanted you to enjoy the new experience in my artisanal sorbets and ice-creams and I yearn that the flavours you tasted will be something you will remember and draw you back for more.

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