This year, we’re highlighting some of the remarkable stories behind some of Ireland’s Extraordinary Entrepreneurs. Check out the story of Cream of the Crop Gelato below!
Cream Of The Crop is the brainchild of Brazilian Chef Giselle Makinde and was born from the idea of saving “wonky food” – perfectly edible food that would normally be thrown out as it is not aesthetically pleasing – to produce a delicious product ready for sale at the supermarket.
‘Me and my family needed a fresh start after my in-laws passed away in 2017 and the economic crisis in Brazil became unbearable. We decided to pack our things. Canada was our first option and didn’t work out, but on the same day I saw an article talking about the shortage of chefs in Ireland. That was it! I came first and got a job and my family came in January 2019.’
When she started selling online in September 2020 with a range of innovative flavours (which change weekly based on the surplus ingredients that are collected/donated on any given day), all of Giselle’s products were created in a room in her Portmarnock home that she had converted into a food production ‘lab’.
Since moving to Ireland from her native Sao Paulo with her family in June 2018, she has held roles at Dublin’s As One restaurant and Cloud Picker’s Cafe (Head Chef) on Pearse St – eateries that both put a sustainable ethos and a zero waste approach to food at the forefront of their businesses.
‘We love Ireland very much and now it is our home. Especially at Christmastime, the traditions, food and family feeling reminds me a lot of Brazil.’
These experiences ignited Giselle’s own personal passion for battling food waste and opened her mind to the possibility of launching her own range of products that could help extend the shelf life of, and make the most of, surplus produce.
Creating a gelato range was always top of Giselle’s wish list and has proven to be the perfect match for her “zero waste, more taste” ethos. Completing specialist courses at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Anzola dell’Emilia near Bologna, Italy has helped her to hone her gelato making skills.
‘A fruit that doesn’t look so good, or is too ripe, can be presented in a slightly different way and still be wonderful. Every time I go to collect surplus food, the endless possibilities and flavour combinations truly excite me. It has definitely made me a better chef working with ingredients in this way.’
Where possible, Cream Of The Crop’s products use 100% of an ingredient, including its peel and seeds – an approach exemplified by their vegan friendly Tahini Banana Skin flavoured gelato. The entire range is produced using 100% natural ingredients, all of which are free from artificial colours or flavours. Giselle’s sorbets contain an average of 50% fruit, with 30% fruit in the traditional milk and plant-based gelatos.