Cooking

The Cold and the Beautiful

Don't miss Ben Roche's revelatory gelato

The city’s best new gelato is found in a small, 76-year-old grocery store and sandwich shop.

Ben Roche, the chef of Baume & Brix and former pastry chef of Moto, is the creator of this frozen revelation, available only at J.P. Graziano on Randolph Street.

After a year of tweaking recipes, his first flavors debuted last week ($5 per cup). There is buttery, salty pistachio; vanilla with a trace of neroli (aromatic oil from the blossom of the bitter orange tree); and blood orange sorbetto, made with unsweetened juice from Sicily. A pro tip: Combine the last two for the apotheosis of a Creamisicle.

Tomato gelato was the surprise star of the bunch, a red-orange stunner made from fresh Campari tomatoes, salt, sugar and cream. It was swapped out for fiori di sicilia last weekend, but may appear again. Chocolate, flavored with cocoa nibs and powder and black tea, is in the works.

Roche freezes the gelato with liquid nitrogen. It creates a silken texture that’s preserved by the specially calibrated ice cream freezer, but lost if the gelato is taken home and stored in a conventional freezer.

But we don’t imagine you’ll have any trouble devouring it before you leave Randolph St.

J.P. Graziano 901 W. Randolph St Chicago IL 60607 312-666-4587

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