Auckland’s ice-cream royalty has pulled out all the stops to create The Royal Pavlova inspired by the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
With Auckland gushing over the arrival of the touring newlywed royals, legendary ice-cream maestro Giapo and his talented team released their latest ice-cream creation, immortalising the royal family with The Royal Pavlova.
The Royal Pavlova - described as "a masterpiece marrying a classic Kiwi dessert, local seasonal fruit and a fitting touch of gold" - features two cones side-by-side, representing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials, and recent announcement of their precious impending arrival. The cones are topped with what Giapo calls a “New Zealand summer pavlova, all dressed up for the Royal occasion”. The pavlova is piped on, topped by ice cream and then a crown of local blueberries and strawberries – some covered with 24-carat gold leaf.
Giapo Haute Ice Cream
At Giapo's, ice-cream is never just ice-cream.
Giapo Haute Ice Cream's workshop is one of New Zealand and Auckland's most talked about and innovative foodie destinations. The little boutique is renowned for designer ice-creams and queues of admirers posing, posting and devouring some of the world's most beautiful ice-creams - and sometimes catching sight of celebrity visitors who pop in to experience ice-cream as it has never been seen before.
Giapo Haute Ice Cream is the brainchild of Italian Kiwis Giapo Grazioli and his wife Annarosa, a couple of passionate creative forces who have turned Italian gelato tradition into an unconventional and surprising art form - constantly innovativing, disrupting and exciting consumers with the latest invention from the most innovative ice cream kitchen in the world.
According to Giapo and Annarosa's business cards, their occupation is “Wannabe Artists” who see ice-cream as an art form.
“I saw that ice-cream had the potential to be more expressive and gastronomical than it had been”, explains Giapo. “It’s the most popular dessert food in the world and it didn’t seem right that it always had to look the same in cones and cups or on sticks.”
With the help of Annarosa, and their small talented team, Giapo is steadily managing to turn ice-cream into something new. The innovation that the Giapo team is bringing to the world, is not just flavour specific, but multi-dimensional with a lot of dedication and a savvy flair for things like customer experience, culinary, scientific and technological, it is about writing what they like to call a “new language for ice cream”.
Giapo’s ice cream encourages people to leave behind "constrained expectations" and open their minds to new possibilities. Which means there’s no ice cream on display in the store. Instead, it’s a refreshingly immersive and interactive experience as guests peruse a menu and are guided through the flavours, with a tasting degustation, by knowledgeable hosts.
Once you’ve settled on a taste or description that piques your interest, the rest of the story unfolds. In the kitchen, chefs carefully construct each ice-cream order following an exact ethos full of rituals; there is a serene ceremonial quality to it.
As Giapo sees it, “Ice-cream, the way I approach it, is a way of demonstrating that change can be made through commitment and belief ... a very delicious way of proving a point. I am continuously searching for new emotions, I’m inspired by freedom."
In Giapo's on-site design studio, 3D models are made and scrapped by the dozen until the wannabe artists are happy with the result. With a heart in for changing the meaning of ice-cream and its function, Giapo’s curiosity for new things is never ending.
It’s unlikely anyone would ever have imagined eating an ice-cream translation of an Antarctic colossal squid until the Giapo team thought up the idea and worked intently on crafting it. Overnight the fantastical Colossal Squid sculpture became one of the most popular items on their menu, and added to the ice-cream lexicon worldwide.
The dedicated R&D kitchen comes up with new break throughs, and scientific triumphs. The team is right now investigating a way to make chocolate glow with the use of bioluminescent bacteria, in a study with Auckland University. He is also working on creating a “better” yoghurt, research done in conjunction with Auckland University of Technology. Giapo has co-authored several papers on the hedonistic effects of music and taste, an idea he launched a few years ago, when he built a pana-sensorial dome.
The Giapo team is challenging our expectations by changing the very function of ice-cream. Ice-cream is not just food, but art, a wearable accessory; not just sweet, but also savoury; not just ice-cold, but also steaming hot. But the ultimate test of the Giapo team’s vision lies in the taste. With one lick, everything immediately makes delicious sense. What Giapo does is take the most delicious thing we can put in our mouth and makes it more delicious yet by exploring the way all our senses come into play.
The Giapo vision is more personal, and more difficult to achieve. Giapo is an adventurer and a risk taker. He grasps the freedom to reach beyond the familiar and into the unknown, aspiring to invent novel and wonderful experiences to turn the most popular dessert food in the world, into something truly extraordinary.