Markets & Food Events

Get The Scoop On Piccolina’s 8 Week Collaboration With Melbourne’s Culinary Elite

By Rick Stephens
12th Feb 2021

Shannon Martinez holding a vegan ice cream.

In the past decade or so, the humble dessert we know as gelato has departed from its over-frozen reputation in the back of your freezer to somewhat of a fine-dining experience. In part, you can thank the likes of Piccolina for not just championing the dish, but for pushing the boundaries, too. And over the next eight weeks, owner Sandra Foti and Melbourne's culinary elite are about to take it up yet another notch. 

Piccolina has some serious clout not just in the gelato scene but in the country’s wider hospitality arena too, so it’s no surprise that the line-up is stacked with several of Foti’s mates who also happen to be some of the most renowned chefs from around the city and beyond. First up taking over the specials board is Victor Liong of Lee Ho Fook, who’ll be celebrating Lunar New Year with the likes of a Jasmine tea custard and burnt caramel gelato and two other exclusive flavours. 

“As a chef who owns and works in each of my restaurants, it is harder to learn about new processes. This project has given me a chance to delve into a really cool and exciting area of food that I've always been interested in. It's kinda like going to Willy Wonka's factory and being able to make your own flavour of sweets. It was great fun!” says Liong.

The eight-week menu traverses Melbourne’s rich and diverse culinary scene further with appearances from Embla’s Dave Verhuel, Andreas Papadakis of Tipo 00, Zoe Birch of Greasy Zoes, Mono XO’s Sam Stafford, and Aaron Turner from Igni, The Hot Chicken Project and Tacos Y Liquor.

Given the calibre, you’re not going to have a bad time whenever you visit during the coming eight weeks. One guest, however, that many are hyped for is the queen of vegan cuisine Shannon Martinez, who’ll be tackling a cardamon and cinnamon doughnut gelato, an Aztec gelato with dark vegan chocolate gelato layered with ancho chilli caramel, and a corn and blueberry gelato with corn infused oat milk gelato, blueberry swirl pus candied corn kernels—a mouthful in many respects, and in all the right ways.

“I’m always excited to work with people that have something to teach me, and I get even more excited that I get to do a collaboration with a fellow female owner/operator, because that is super rare!” says Martinez.

You can find out more about Martinez’s collaboration, along with the rest of this stellar line-up, here.

Image credit: supplied

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