In-house blogger, Duane Chandler, shares his experience taking the FM Display Concepts gelato class.
Who takes a Gelato Class?
You don’t need to be a gelato making expert to enjoy artisanal quality gelato. But you just might need a gelato class to make great gelato. The intense flavors, creamier mouth feel, and refreshing finish are all indicators of premium gelato. If the gelato is chalky, gritty, icy, or of uneven texture it can ruin your experience. Successful gelato makers know that the key to a happy customer is making artisanal gelato consistently.
Why take a Gelato Class?
The FM Display Concepts Valmar Gelato Academy gives existing or beginning gelato sellers a solid base for gelato-making. Ever wondered why you had to take chemistry in school — I mean, when were you ever going to use it, right? This gelato class is why. Understanding the “chemistry” of gelato making allows you to create your own unique gelato recipes. So you can customize textures and flavors while using your local produce. The fun part is the gelato class feels like a cozy cooking class, with plenty of hands on learning!
The gelato class is great for people looking to learn how to make artisanal gelato. Whether you’re opening a new business, a pastry chef, or business owner adding gelato to their shops and menus. In the course I attended there was an experienced chef from a commercial kitchen, an owner of a recently opened gelateria, and owners of a new café. ”I didn’t know that,” was something I heard each of them say many times.
Gelato Class Details
FM Display Concepts offers the Valmar Gelato Academy at their working showroom in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. It is a 3-day intensive with small class sizes, 6 maximum students, taught by one of the most decorated gelato chefs in the world. Classes are scheduled only three times a year – spring, summer and fall. The principle instructor, Master Gelato Chef Martin Gregori, teaches gelato classes world-wide. Spoiler alert – he has a delightful Italian-Austrian accent which can make you think you’re in a selective culinary school abroad! But it’s really a demo kitchen just 20-minutes away from NYC.
The first day of the gelato course discusses the different gelato making processes, the benefits of each, and recipe balance. We were given note pads because there is a lot of history to gelato’s popularity and industry growth. Even if history isn’t your thing, it definitely helped me put gelato making in context. Especially with understanding that true gelato aficionados are discerning, and can be unforgiving. The first day is mostly note taking — and gelato tasting – which seemed like a fair balance for a gelato class to me.
The second day is making gelato under the instruction of Master Chef Gregori. All of the gastronomical alchemy discussed on Day One you put into practice on Day Two. So after a day learning the basic gelato recipes, you now apply that knowledge and make your own! This day is exhilarating for a novice, and a chance for the experienced to experiment using something new. There was much tasting and advice sharing of adjustments to reach a perfect balance. How far you can play with your gelato recipe is limited only by your daring. There is a heady feeling once you begin to understand how it works!
The third day of the FM Display Concepts gelato course focuses on novelty and cake production. The Academy gives you a clear understanding of the gelato business from both a production standpoint, and for day-to-day operations. For example, in addition to having a higher price point, cakes allow shop owners to repurpose unsold gelato. And this is no “Today’s Special” here – this is learning how to make Semifreddo! I’d never had it before the gelato class, now I can hardly think of anything but semifreddo. I can only blame my own myopia for this oversight. Never heard of it? Google Image Search it. You’re welcome.
The gelato course also goes over the best ways to maintain and display your products, and what equipment fundamentals you will need to make the highest quality gelato. While the demo gelato machines in the class are all from Valmar, there is no sale pressure bias or pricing discussed during the gelato class. The course I attended ended with a lot of energized and eager expressions on the faces of the other students. As for me, farewell ice cream — I’m a gelato Stan now.
Testimonials for the Gelato Class
“ If anyone is serious about opening a gelato shop, he or she should take this class. “
“For a first time gelato shop owner I learned a lot about the process of gelato making.”
“ This gelato course was very informative. For a beginner, with little to no knowledge of making gelato, I gained an understanding of the basics. It was great to have hands on experience after learning the facts, formulas and recipes. It’s hard to say which part of the course is most enjoyable because overall there was never a dull moment… it was a lot of fun!”
“Fantastic crash course for Gelato 101!”
“Great combination of seriousness and light heartedness.”
“A lot of learning but the speed was never overwhelming.”
“Started with no gelato knowledge and by the end of the second day, felt like I had gained a comfort level and was eager to learn more.”
“Thank you to the whole FM Display Concepts team. Everyone added the perfect touch in heightening the experience.”