Here’s a question: How many times has the word “artisan” or “artisanal” been thrown around lately? Answer: probably more times than Taylor Swift has inducted a new A-lister to her #squad (Hello, Julia Roberts). But when you see the stuff which dreams are made of in ice cream flavors (see: Cereal Milk, Kinder Bueno, Mangga’t Suman), how can you not fall down a rabbit hole of ogling, salivating and, naturally, craving?
It took a while before rising artisanal brand Manila Creamery became a sought-after staple in Manila’s food bazaar circuit. Proprietors Jason Go and Paolo Reyes grew up at the Xavier School and were admitted to DLSU for college. “I used to be a DJ while Paolo worked for an insurance company,” shares Jason. “Now, we are happily working for our own company.”
From DJ-ing to serving up some cereal milk realness, Jason Go got The Boot (the country, not the ass-kicking) and studied gelato-making at the Carpigiani Gelato University while his buddy and business partner Paolo Reyes trained at the Accademia Biggaton in Portogruaro, Italy. “Studying was the easy part,” Jason recalls. He and Paolo worked every day for months upon returning to Manila to formulate their very own recipes.
What Jason and Paolo loved about gelato was that compared to regular ice cream, gelato had double the flavor but less fat. “It’s something we can really indulge in every day,” shares Jason. It was an indulgence that started off as a potential income generator but became a totalizing representation of their ideas, passion and growth over the years. “Manila Creamery is something we proudly created from scratch. It’s local, original and premium.”
Jason’s favorite flavor from the bunch is Kinder Bueno, a hazelnut gelato with milk chocolate swirl and crushed wafers. “I personally love hazelnut so we made sure we sourced the best hazelnut from Italy in creating the flavor.” Meanwhile, Paolo considers Mangga’t Suman with Latik his favorite – a sticky rice gelato with mangoes and coconut milk curd. “It’s interestingly playful in the mouth,” Paolo says.
YOUNG STAR: You used to DJ back in college. What propelled the transition from music to gelato?
JASON GO: Towards the latter years of my DJ-ing career, I grew less fond of it. The decline in quality music and the work during the late hours made me want to pursue something else. It may not seem like it but making gelato and DJ-ing are quite similar. They both require technical and creative skills. You can create great gelato and mixes when you find the right balance between your imagination and technique.
Why the name Manila Creamery?
One of the hardest parts in the conception of this idea was naming it. At first, we wanted to create something classic and Italian but it didn’t feel like we were being ourselves. We went through comical names like Jumping Giraffe until we thought of Manila Creamery.
Your Cereal Milk ice cream flavor is to die for. How’d you guys get it to taste as close to perfect as the one at Momofoku’s in New York?
The first step was finding the right balance between sweetness and saltiness in our milk base. Next, we added a bit of our own touch by baking cornflake cookies that we crush and mix in the gelato.
With specialty stores opening left and right, it’s safe to say that, after ramen, ice cream is having its moment. Jason says, “Ice cream will never go out of style. It’s something Filipinos can enjoy all year round and there are so many ways to reinvent it.” He says that the bigger the growth in the ice cream industry, the smarter consumers get. “They’ll start to become picky about how their ice cream tastes and how it is made.” In matters of taste buds and giving them their just desserts? Manila Creamery: 2. Evil: 0.
* * *
Manila Creamery will be setting up shop in the first quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, catch them at UP Town Center this weekend and Glorietta 4 next weekend. You can stay updated with their weekly pop-ups by following them on Facebook: /Manila Creamery or Instagram: @mnlcreamery. You can also contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for delivery orders and inquiries.