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Best chocolate ice cream? Give the floor to Gambero Rosso ice cream champion Stefano Dassie

Best chocolate ice cream? Give the floor to Gambero Rosso ice cream champion Stefano Dassie

Stefano Dassie

Maestro Gelatiere

Academic Gelato Maker from Treviso and Italian Gelato champion. In July 2013 he published his first book “Il mio Gelato nasce col sorriso” (My ice cream is born with a smile). In the same year, he was appointed as ambassador of Artisan Ice Cream in Tokyo. In 2018 his chocolate ice cream was awarded by Gambero Rosso as the best one in Italy and in 2020 he won the Three Cones Award.

Best chocolate ice cream? Give the floor to Gambero Rosso ice cream champion Stefano Dassie

What is the philosophy and secrets of the Gelato Maker who won the Gambero Rosso Best Chocolate Gelato award?

I would talk more about philosophy than secrets in our world since everything is now all out in the open, and if it were a secret, it would be something hidden by choice. We don't have to hide anything. On the contrary, we are proud of our partners, the quality we offer, and if we were to employ secret changes, it would detract from the importance of the partner itself.

Of course, it is not about taking any chocolate and simply following a recipe. There is respect for the raw material, a study of it, to create a mix of various origins based on the final exaltation that I want to give to my chocolate, a balance of all the ingredients that enhance the main component. 

Temperatures cover an essential aspect of the production process.

The best chocolate ice cream awarded by Gambero Rosso

In the last 3 years, my Gambero Rosso award-winning ice cream has involved 3 chocolate partners without losing its quality, always leading to an appreciation on the palate. 

And now, with Amedei, not only has the persistence and cleanliness of the palate improved, thanks to the use of partly unpruned cocoa, the story behind it has also improved. Working with a company that is not only still artisan, Italian, but also has an extra focus on safeguarding the environment and the people that work in the harvesting countries.

Where does the immense passion that binds you to the world of ice cream come from?

It started out as something absolutely normal. Some people grow up as children on bread and salami, while others, like me, make ice-cream sundaes during lesson breaks or emptying kilos of sugar to help mum and dad.

Breathing healthy environments like the ones I grew up in, makes it easier for you to learn, but above all to grow professionally. 

When values like accountability, respect and cleanliness are more critical than envy, money and capitalism, you understand that everything you do by complying with the guidelines will succeed.

All this has to be seasoned with each person's character. Mine? It is to let everyone know how much passion I feel for this world, and the fact that I am in the spotlight means I am always being informed and updated and I like that.

Ours is a job where every moment of the day is critical and deserves attention, from production to sales, from searching for raw materials to establishing healthy relationships with people of esteem and trust.

In short, it's a job that, if not done with passion, would exhaust you.

Stefano Dassie: the best chocolate ice cream meets Amedei

How essential is the search for raw materials for a quality ice cream, and how important is the partnership and values that binds two Italian institutions such as Dassie and Amedei?

Obviously, the quality of an ingredient from the start is vital to have a good chance of appreciation with cream, always, if done with knowledge and respect for the ingredient.

Knowing a company, how it works, what the company philosophy is and the people who participate in it, can only enhance the finished ice cream. This is because on both sides, unconsciously, there will be more attention to do things precisely in respect and in esteem of the other partner.

Our partnership has also led us to offer our customers the chance to taste the raw material in its purest form with pride, given Amedei's elegant presentation and packaging. 

What is your favourite Amedei product, and how are the aromatic notes of this chocolate enhanced in your ice cream?

In my opinion, every chocolate has its own added value and a particular note. The important thing is to be able to grasp and enhance it.

I really like the two single-origin 70% Venezuela or Madagascar, where one is better with a combination of dried fruits and vanilla, spices, the other goes best with fresh floral fruit and even cheese. 

My favourite however is the Toscano Black 90%, and the Tuscan White - White Chocolate, which is not considered chocolate for some, is for me a perfect counterpoint which gives character to combinations made from 2/3 ingredients. 

What does it feel like to export Italian Artisan Gelato to one of the most beautiful islands in the world?

I might ask you the same question knowing that the chocolate ice cream you combine with your jewellery is also appreciated in Gran Canaria...ehehe!

Like everything, it was a gamble but also a confirmation that if you start with determination and quality it's hard not to encounter appreciation.

The biggest mistake is to assume that the customer understands or buys the product because your name is Amedei or Dassie. They may or may not know you but they often won’t know the story that goes behind it, presenting this rich history together with the product is worth much more ultimately than the product on its own.

So, for me, opening in one of the most beautiful islands in the world, which is also the birthplace of my wife Erika, was like bringing our home-grown philosophy here, respecting the same processes and selection we have in Treviso.

It was an extra challenge if you consider that the culture of Italian ice cream is not always known or appreciated outside Italy. It was precisely at this moment that I felt the weight of bringing our tradition, culture, and love for this product to the island. Presenting and informing customers with small daily insights into what it means to taste and appreciate an artisan ice cream, and what is essential in the making of it: from working with the best Italian companies to creating synergy with professionals in every sector.

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