Top Chef Canada All-Stars - Doug Judges an Ice Cream Quickfire

Like the title says! I went up to Toronto in late 2016 to guest judge on Top Chef Canada All-Stars. It was a blast. Up at 4:30am, make-up, hair... as you can imagine, styling my hair took hours. An earpiece in one ear with producers talking at me, my hearing aid feeding back in the other ear, and a spoon glued into my hand. The episode aired in February (I think) 2017 so I figure by this time I'm not going to be letting out any spoilers. 

One of the things I enjoyed most was introducing hostess Eden Grinshpan to my (and most other pro ice cream eaters) taste-testing technique. Interested?

Needs:
1 sleeve unsalted Saltines (oxymoron but yes, they exist)
1 pitcher slightly-warmer than room temperature drinking water
1 drinking glass
1 spit bucket

In order to taste each sample with the same sensory input from your mouth you need to follow a few steps. After each bite, do the following.


1. DON'T SWALLOW. A cold palate is not your friend. The colder your tongue gets, the less powerful tastes become. Spit the ice cream out.
2. SCRATCH THE FAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. Eat a saltine and let it scrape at your tongue and mouth. You need to remove the layer of fat that a bite of ice cream will leave coating your mouth. Again, you want to taste each bite with the same baseline senses so you need to de-fat your mouth for each bite. A coated tongue is less sensitive. 
3. SWISH IT. Use warmish water to bring your mouth back up to your baseline temperature. 

Be mindful of your choice of spoon. Plastic can be a taste of it's own. I'm good with a decent metal spoon. Some people like wooden tasting spoons. 

I seriously have a titanium spork... maybe I'll take that along next time.

I took a bunch of photos that morning but they all seem to be lost. Bummer. In case you're interested, here's how the shoot progressed. 

Arrive Toronto 10pm, car to hotel, wake at 4:30, car to studio. Get pretty and meet the producers and of course chat with Eden, the host of the show. 

1. Before any contestants are called to set, film the walk-in several times. Some takes with Eden, some without- just me strolling down along and trying to act as though I'm being greeted while checking out the invisible contestants. 
2. Do the opening "monologue" a few times for the cameras. Producers chime in through my ear to help me tighten up the speech and to help make sure I cover all the bases they need hit. 
3. Go hide from the incoming contestants. 
4. Listen to contestants film the opening of the show and cackle silently as they discover the horror of what's to come. 
5. Do the walk-in with the contestants in place (a few times).
6. Do the opening monologue again. There's a weird edit when I suddenly blurt out "I've made beet soft-serve." It was in some other context... no big deal, obviously, and wouldn't strike anyone as odd but it made me wince.
7. Film "TIME STARTS NOW" a half-dozen times. My fingers got gayer each take. Note this when you view. 
8. Leave the set- head back to watch the camera feeds and eat breakfast while the contestants start cooking. 
9. Walk around the kitchen set with Eden and look at the delicacies and horrors that are in creation. 
10. Back to watch the camera feeds. I yelled at the monitors a lot because they were doing everything backwards and inside out (according to me). 
11. Time's up. Go eat everything with Eden. 
12. Say some stuff that's so bitchy it gets completely cut.
13. Have a weird seemingly one-sided conversation with the producers... they can hear me whispering questions at them through my lavaliere microphone and they reply comes through my earpiece. Get a few facts straight then let them know who I've chosen to win.
14. Film bitchy evaluation of each dish.
15. Annouce the winner a few times. Enjoy the contestants having to act surprised even though they know they've lost. 
16. Grab a soda, change, get in a car with a production assistant.
17. Make the car stop at a pharmacy so I can pick up some Tylenol + Codeine.
18. Airport. Bye Toronto! Next time hopefully I'm there more than 20 hours. 

 

It was really a great time. Big thanks to Insight Productions, Lisa S, Eden and all the folks on the set. ALSO thank you to the hair stylist who slapped some pomade on my head then gave me a 5 minute back rub because he felt like he need to do *something* for me. The best!

I'm still laughing about "Connie's Corn Surprise"...

Peanut Buster Sundae

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUSTER! Big Gay Ice Cream’s mascot is turning six and we are celebrating his birthday with a brand-new sundae.

The PEANUT BUSTER SUNDAE is a combination of flavors that everyone- human and canine- loves. We’re serving a waffle bowl filled with peanut butter soft-serve then dressed up with apple butter and peanut butter sauce. Banana chips are added on-the-side so that you can have a little chip & dip action. 

BUSTER BONUS! Our celebration gets even sweeter. The first two dozen Peanut Buster Sundaes sold at each Big Gay Ice Cream location (NYC West Village, NYC East Village and Philadelphia Center City) will also include an awesome pack of peanut butter ETTA SAYS! Treats To Go compliments of our friends at Specialty Dog Treats.

The PEANUT BUSTER SUNDAE will be available Wednesday December 20 through Saturday December 23.

Buster and Peanut Buster.jpg

 

ABOUT SPECIALTY DOG TREATS
Upper East Side-based Specialtydogtreats.com is a purveyor of nutritious, unique, and appetizing products for beloved family pets. They share their customers’ desire to feed dogs healthy products made from only the highest quality ingredients originating from reputable sources. Specialty Dog Treats sells products made by companies who meet our high standards and share our values. Specialty Dog Treats should be followed on Instagram: @specialtydogtreats.

ABOUT BUSTER
Buster started his days at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston ME. He’s a mutt, mostly American Foxhound with a lot of Jindo and a little bit of Dalmatian and Whippet tossed in. Buster is a needy attention-seeker; his photo appears twice in Anthony Bourdain’s cookbook APPETITES and he demanded his own Instagram account @bustertime. If you turn your back Buster will open the refrigerator door *and* pull out the crisper drawer unassisted. 

Peanut Buster Xmas Background.jpg

S’mores Ice Cream Pies

We love pie. A lot. A portion of our shop menu is dedicated to the Gobblers, our version of ice cream pie a la mode. An example would be our Apple Gobbler (aka Apple Bottom Betty), currently available at all Big Gay Ice Cream Shops. Vanilla ice cream (or any other flavor, your choice) topped with McCutcheons apple butter, pie crust crumble and freshly whipped cream. Another of our favorites is our Blueberry Gobbler- known at the shops as Violet Beauregard. The Blueberry Gobbler is available during the summer at the shops but can be found year-round in pint form.

These mini ice cream pies are a fun, delicious, and super simple treat for your holiday hooplas. It’s been a few months since the end of “traditional” s’mores season; enjoy the same flavors repackaged into something a bit unexpected. 

I used the milk chocolate ice cream recipe found in Big Gay Ice Cream Book. Good store-bought chocolate ice cream will work just fine. I also finished it odd with a drizzle of our Awesomesauce. That recipe can also be found in our book or on this People Magazine page.

IMG_1801.JPG
 

 

PREPARATION TIME
About 3 hours, of which only 20 minutes are active. 

45 minutes to temper store-bought ice cream
15 minutes to assemble pies
2 hours to harden the pies in the freezer
5 minutes to brûlée and finish

INGREDIENTS

One package Keebler Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts (one package contains six crusts
3 cups (1.5 pints) chocolate ice cream
5 oz mini marshmallows

OPTIONAL FINISHING TOUCHES
A bit of Maldon salt
Chocolate syrup- I used Awesomesauce, our spicy chocolate syrup found in Big Gay Ice Cream Book

EQUIPMENT NEEDED
Large spoon
brûlée torch (optional)

 

 

PREPARATION
Take ice cream out of the freezer and move it to the refrigerator for about 45 minutes. It needs to be soft enough to spread into the pie crusts.

Place all the crusts on a small baking sheet and set in the freezer. 

Frozen pie crusts, ready for filling. Pre-freezing the crusts will help keep them stay firm. When you're working with ice cream it's always best to have everything pre-set and pre-chilled. Ice cream melts, you need to keep moving! If you're curious- yes, the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence is one of my two preferred home ice cream machines. The other is the Breville Smart Scoop. 

Frozen pie crusts, ready for filling. Pre-freezing the crusts will help keep them stay firm. When you're working with ice cream it's always best to have everything pre-set and pre-chilled. Ice cream melts, you need to keep moving! If you're curious- yes, the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence is one of my two preferred home ice cream machines. The other is the Breville Smart Scoop

When ice cream is ready to be spread take crusts out of freezer. Use a large spoon to fill the crusts with ice cream. Be gentle as you fill- the crusts will want to pull up with the ice cream. 

Fill 'em up, Dan-o.

Fill 'em up, Dan-o.

When the crusts are all filled lightly pat some mini-marshmallows just into the ice cream.

IMG_1769.JPG

The moment you finish placing the marshmallows, cover the baking sheet with the filled pie shells with plastic wrap and place in the the freezer. Allow the pies about two hours to fully harden. You can leave them into the freezer for about four hours- after that the marshmallows start fading. 

When ready to serve remove the crusts from the freezer. Tap the crusts out of the foil pans if you wish. Lightly brûlée the marshmallows. Finish with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and a pinch of Maldon salt.

IMG_1775.JPG

Just remember- we tend to get a little tipsy at holiday parties so always having a designated torcher! You don’t want to set the elf-on-the-shelf’s tights ablaze. 

COSTUME CONTEST

It's that time of year again: Halloween Costume Contest time! We'll be holding costume contests on Halloween for kids and adults!

WHERE?
New York City - 125 E. 7th Street, 61 Grove Street and the South Street Seaport at 19 Fulton Street
Philadelphia - 1351 South Street

WHEN?
Tuesday, October 31st during each shop's open hours

WHO?
Kids, adults... anyone!

Contest entrants will have their pictures taken by our staff and finalists may have their photos posted on Big Gay Ice Cream’s Instagram or other social media accounts. Finalists and winners will be selected by Big Gay Ice Cream. Every location will have an adult *and* a child winner, each of whom will receive a $25 Big Gay Ice Cream gift card!

Here's one of our winners from last year!

Here's one of our winners from last year!

=Fine Print: Finalists will be posted on Instagram. A winner in each category (Kids, Adults) will be chosen for each location (E. 7th, Grove Street, Seaport - NYC, South Street - Philly). Winners will each receive a $25 BGIC gift card and will be announced the day after each event. Big Gay Ice Cream reserves all rights to select winners. To be eligible, each entrant must sign the release form. Kids must have an adult sign their release form. Big Gay Ice Cream employees and affiliates are ineligible to compete.

Use of this Gift Card constitutes acceptance of the following terms. Please use (or reload) this Card at any Big Gay Ice Cream® location. Gift Cards may occasionally be accepted at certain Big Gay Ice Cream special events and pop-ups. Gift Cards are not accepted for online purchases from biggayicecream.com. Issuer will provide cash redemption on any Gift Card that has a remaining cash value as required by law. Issuer shall not be responsible for any Cards used without your permission or for any lost, stolen, melted, damaged or destroyed Cards. All trademarks shown are the property of Big Gay Inc. Issued by Big Gay Ice Cream.

Copyright © 2017 Big Gay Ice Cream, All rights reserved. 

Visit the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop for a special treat

Newsday

Visit the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop for a special treat.jpeg

Do you want a good place to get ice cream? Go to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop — you’ll never taste better ice cream.
It started as a truck in New York selling ice cream. The owner (Doug Quint) met his co-owner (Bryan Petroff) in Duane Reade and became friends. As a summer project, Doug rented a truck and sold his own type of ice cream, which people loved. But as business grew, Doug and Bryan decided to open a store and got rid of the truck. The business is growing even bigger every day and they’re adding more stores.
 
The shop is not like any other ice cream shop. You can add dips. Many dips are inside the cone — for example, Nutella. If you don’t like one dip, try another. It might look weird but don’t judge by its looks.
 
When you visit the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, you don’t just buy these tasty treats, you can even make them yourselves. You can choose what they offer, or you can make your own awesome combo. You can make a Nutella-coated fudge with vanilla inside, or maybe an Oreo and vanilla swirl with gummy bears. The possibilities are just endless, and you can basically make anything you want out of any type of ice cream. It will be an amazing experience.

Source: http://www.newsday.com/lifestyle/family/ki...

These Are the New Ice-Cream Flavors That Are Definitely Worth Trying This Spring

Grub Street

Big Gay Ice Cream’s Blueberry Gobbler


For the first time in eight years of business, Big Gay has unleashed pre-packed pints on the market, available both in local New York shops and in grocery stores across the tristate area. There are seven total — in now-famous flavors like Salty Pimp — and a new one for spring called Lunchbox: strawberry ice cream stuffed with strawberry-filled peanut-butter cups and thick swirls of peanut butter. The standout, though, is Blueberry Gobbler, with vanilla ice cream, blueberries, pie-crust pieces, and a blueberry-balsamic swirl. Plus, at $6, the pints are cheaper than most.

14-van-leeuwen-ube-ice-cream.jpg
Source: http://www.grubstreet.com/2017/04/the-intr...