You would have heard about the mysterious and exciting culinary creations of N2 Extreme Gelato. These are the guys that are changing the very nature of ice cream with liquid nitrogen and amazing flavour combinations.
N2 Extreme Gelato source their full cream milk and fresh cream from local dairies and use fresh, seasonal fruit, herbs and other weird and wacky ingredients. Each combination is carefully crafted for a flavour sensation in their ‘made to order’ gelato and sorbet. Bringing you tasty fresh produce along with the excitement of Liquid Nitrogen!
N2 Extreme Gelato also made an exciting appearance at Secret Foodies’ Lights, Dinner, Action evening recently. Guests were treated to an evening of culinary adventure, including the special apple crumble creme brulee gelato made especially for Secret Foodies.
We interviewed Kyriako Tsamoglou, one of the master ice cream makers at N2 Extreme Gelato, about N2’s food philosophy and flavours he would recommend to a first timer.
1. What is your history as a chef/ ice cream master?
Hahaha, Ice cream master… I took some time off after studying chemical engineering and in that time my girlfriend bought me a book called Cooking for Geeks that showed me how much science goes into the cooking of anything. From this, my love of cooking was born, and I kept experimenting with different techniques and ingredients. As I was applying for engineering jobs, I saw an ad for a “Mad Scientist” position at N2 and thought “this is perfect!”. I applied and my boss, Min, called me in for an interview. He then taught me how to make gelato and from then on I used my scientific background to experiment with different techniques so that I could grow my knowledge.
2. Tell us about the philosophy behind N2 Extreme Gelato?
It’s pretty much in the name. We really like to push things to the extreme and experiment with new things. This can be shown by the phrase “there’s only one way to find out”.
“Can we make a creme brulee gelato or eucalyptus cucumber sorbet?”
“There’s only one way to find out!”
We’re always playing with new flavours and textures, and at the end of the day, the only way to see if they’ll work is to do it.
3. Tell us how N2 uses Liquid Nitrogen?
We make a gelato or sorbet solution and add it into a KitchenAid. Get it spinning, then add liquid nitrogen. The liquid nitrogen is at -196°C, basically freezing the solution instantaneously. When the solution is frozen that quickly, the water present doesn’t have time to form large ice crystals. This means that the end result is gelato or sorbet with an incredibly smooth mouthfeel. The liquid nitrogen also allows us to use less sugar and thus try more savoury and subtle flavours that wouldn’t be possible without liquid nitrogen.
4. Which flavour combination is your favourite?
Some of my favourite flavours from this week’s menu are the Honey Kalamansi sorbet and the Coffee Creme Brulee. (pictured above)
Kalamansi is basically a cross between a mandarin and a lime. Although it’s quite sour, it has an incredible citrus fragrance to it. When paired with honey, the sourness is softened and the citrus aromatics are really able express themselves.
The Coffee Creme Brulee is a variation of the Creme Brulee flavour I made a while back. On one hand, I love the flavour because you’ve got the rich custard flavour and texture which can be paired beautifully with so many ingredients (vanilla, lavender, rosemary, Earl Grey). On the other hand, I love it because it essentially is a frozen creme brulee, down to the cracking of the caramel top. It was a challenge to make a gelato recipe that can be bruleed, but when I succeeded, I knew it was so worth it!
5. What flavours will be on the menu in the near future?
That’s a bit of a secret! I’m currently refining a matcha and yuzu gelato that’s pretty delicious and I’m also looking to use maple roasted grapefruit (I’m a bit obsessed with citrus if it wasn’t already obvious)
6. Which flavours would you recommend to a first timer?
It depends on what flavours are out, we change our menu weekly! I’d probably suggest mango as it’s always on the menu. Eating it has been likened to eating a frozen perfectly ripe mango. Other than that, I’d probably suggest getting one of our chocolate or caramel flavours as they’re always crowd pleasers.
7. N2 gelato is best paired with?
Friends! Get a few different scoops so you can share them around to experience more of the flavours.
8. Where do you like to EAT in Sydney?
When I’m eating at home and don’t want to cook, I go to Maroubra Charcoal Chicken. It’s a family run Greek chicken shop. They use charcoal which imparts the meat with a fantastic flavour and juiciness. It’s also one of the few places where you can get traditional Greek style lamb ribs.
9. What is your favourite bar in Sydney for a DRINK?
I really like Assembly Bar. It’s got a nice relaxed, comfortable vibe with some pretty talented bartenders.
10. In your free time where do you like to PLAY?
Whenever I can get a group of friends together, I’ll always go to karaoke. My favourite place is Echo Point, the song selection is excellent.