Meet The Local: Giapo

By Marilynn McLachlan
12th Aug 2016

interview with Giapo of auckland

Auckland-town is filled with great personalities all doing awesome things to make our city the best in the world (we think so, anyway). And, here at The Urban List we love to give you an insider's peek into the lives of some of these fab people and this week we chatted to Giapo. It's no secret that we have a slight massive obsession with his gelato creations (we've featured them in more articles than we care to admit) and wanted to get to know the eponymous man behind the brand.

Here, Giapo shares why he moved to New Zealand, his favourite spots for eating and his first gelato memory...

Why did you want to move to New Zealand?

I wanted to find out what was like to live on the edge of the world and I fell in love the very moment I landed. 

What do you love most about Auckland?

The food scene, the cafe scene and the freedom that everyone has to express themselves. The polenta with Baccala' at Gusto at the Grand and the fact that the sea is everywhere. 

What spurred you on to start your business?

I think it was always on the plans. My wife (Annarosa) and I wanted to open a restaurant and we ended up with a pastry shop that then evolved into Giapo.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Picasso said that: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” 

Do you have a mentor, and if so, who?

I have many, many heroes. The list is full of people that made it against all the odds. I'd like to make it to that list too.

What is your first gelato memory?

Lemon and Strawberry sorbet in Torre Del Greco, the city I was born, age six. I still remember the smell of it. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

Wake up at five. Read until six. Fitness until seven. Breakfast with the kids at eight. Drop kids off to school. Work until 7pm. Basket with my friend Danny until 9.30 work until midnight, repeat. 

What’s the best part of what you do?

The opportunity to express myself.  

What do you do for relaxation? 

Coffee, espresso, single shot with a bit of Manuka honey.

Where was the last place you went for a meal and what did you think?

Giampiero's Kitchen, in Onehunga, I absolutely loved it! It's a wonderful little Italian place with simple dishes very well done. 

If you’re out for drinks with friends, where is your go-to spot?

I'd start with Gusto at the Grand for the aperitivo, Farina for a spritz, The Jefferson for a Laphroiag, and Mo's to wash it all down. In that order, exactly. 

And the next morning when you’re a bit dusty?

I would do brunch at Paris Butter in Herne bay, I'd do anything for their scrambled eggs with perigord truffle. 

What are your go-to comfort dishes?

Giampiero's kitchen gnocchi, clams and rucola! Also Polenta with Baccala' (salted cod) at Gusto at the Grand.

Out-of-town friends are visiting you in Auckland—where’s the first place you take them?

Giapo ice cream first then I take them for a beautiful walk in Mission Bay because it's stunning there. 

If you weren’t doing what you are doing, how else would your days be filled?

I am obsessed with cooking, art and science. I want to do more of these three all my life. 

What’s the most important thing about gelato people need to master?

It's a not a perfect science. 

Favourite local spots:

For a drink?

Mo's because I know I find my friends there. 

For coffee?

Ima on Fort street. Her pastry and cuisine is awesome.

For a healthy treat?

Minestrone at Spacca. I love the creativity of the chef Gaetano Spinosa. 

For dinner?

Anything Gusto at the Grand, because it's pure soul food. 

For dessert (other than your own venue, of course!)?  

Miann by Brian and Roselle Campbell. 

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