Van Leeuwen And Jean Georges Celebrate 50th Milestones With New Ice Cream

When you consider that Van Leeuwen started slinging its gourmet ice cream from a yellow truck in SoHo in 2008, the announcement that it's opening a 50th store — in NYC's Times Square — is massive. Meanwhile, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, one of the most celebrated chefs in the world, is simultaneously celebrating his 50th year of cooking, so it's fitting that he teamed up with Van Leeuwen to create a new flavor for the occasion. Nodding to his culinary roots, the Alsatian chef has developed a rich and refreshing treat with the Sour Cherry Creamsicle Ice Cream.

The new flavor, according to a press release sent to Tasting Table, is a combination of Vongerichten's sorbet made from tart morello cherries swirled into a luscious vanilla Van Leeuwen ice cream base. "When I was growing up in Alsace, sour cherries became a staple of my summertime diet," said Vongerichten. "When I started my first apprenticeship at Auberge de I'lll, one of the first things I ever learned how to make was sour cherry sorbet. This flavor is a celebration of my journey — from my first step in the kitchen full circle to now — and a nod to the future to continue to educate, learn, and grow." Expect the acidic, fruity, floral, and delightfully tangy sorbet to be mellowed by the creamy, French-style ice cream.

A sweet rollout for a sour flavor

Van Leeuwen and Vongerichten's creation is set to roll out at the new Times Square location — the company's 26th in New York City — on August 24, and soon thereafter in stores nationwide. The chef will be on hand alongside founders Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O'Neill to officially cut the ribbon, and from noon to 2 p.m. the store will offer half-priced scoops. Customers can also try cheesecake bites, a limited-time topping provided by Junior's Restaurant & Bakery. The first 100 customers at the new location will also receive an exclusive NYC-themed Van Leeuwen tote bag.

O'Neill explained in the press release that the timing and location of the latest outpost of the ice cream shop is especially moving for the brand. "It's been a dream to open a location in Times Square, so for this scoop shop to be our 50th store is really special," she said. "We celebrated 15 years of Van Leeuwen this summer, and it really feels like the cherry on top to be opening in New York City's iconic Times Square."

Van Leeuwen's work with Vongerichten is one of the more conventional flavor collaborations the company has embarked upon. Never one to shy away from genre-bending, boundary-pushing flavors, Van Leeuwen has introduced the world to madcap ice creams featuring Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, Kraft Mac and Cheese, and just this summer, barbecue sauce and cornbread crumbles, courtesy of a partnership with Uber One.