Gelato Recipe Uses Rum in Ice Cream


A Gelato recipe was not what I expected to find when searching Hawaii for the freshest, most wholesome ingredients that support the local community, economy and agriculture.  However, Marck Shipley at Papalani Gelato  on the island of Kauai is accomplishing all those things.

I’ve already taken an Organic Beef Tour in Maui, and had the president of Koloa Rum Company show me how they are making rum from pure cane sugar.  Each of these companies are using local ingredients and creating an artisan product that, in turn, aids the farmers, their workers, and their planet while having great respect for all four elements.

However, when Bob Gunter at Koloa Rum Company suggested that I visit a Gelato shop to see this process in action, I was surprised.  I expected to be pointed to some farm or plantation to see the best use of natural ingredients.  I should not make such assumptions.

The gelato recipe that Marck Shipley started his first gelato shop with in Seattle has now become an all-encompassing philosophy of how a simple Italian ice cream can help his entire community and ecology of the world.

He eventually chose a slightly better climate in moving to the island of Kauai in Hawaii.  But, it’s not just the weather he’s come for.  Being located within a few miles of all the best fruits, nuts, and dairy in the world, Marck could produce his gelato in a fashion that pleases his customers, vendors, family and neighbors.

“Italian food is good ingredients, prepared simply, and displayed beautifully.  That’s what we do here.” Marck explains.  The same is true for Italian ice cream.  “Our whole ideas is to find the best ingredients we can, which we believe are right here on this island, present them simply and beautifully and let the natural flavor shine through.”

Marck uses Koloa Rum in ice cream as well as many local fruits, nuts and coffee.  “This gives us an opportunity to support the local economy and the local growers”, he adds.  “Kauai is not like the mid-west or California, we don’t have farms that are 500 acres growing only one type of product.”  “Here, we have 5 or 10 acre plots of land that families have been farming for generations.”  “So, every time we buy a pineapple or a lemon, we are buying it from a family.  We know that every time we support a local grower, that money makes it back into our local community.”

Ultimately, you get what you pay for.  If you want a great food experience, you have to be willing to pay what it costs for someone to produce that food, especially if you want something fresh and local.

Marck never did share his gelato recipe with me, I think he distracted me in amazement for how something as seemingly as ice cream could make such a large impact on his family, other families, and the global wellness.

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About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.

3 Comments

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  • cheftodd
    cheftodd
    1:16 PM - 5 June, 2012

    Hey Rob!
    Kauai is like another planet, isn't it? It's so lush, so colorful, and so much fun!
    My wife and I just returned from our fifth visit there and never run out of nice people to talk to.
    When you return to The Garden Isle, make sure to visit Koloa Rum Company also. It's a great product and very nice folks.

    Mahalo for your comment.

  • Rob Crozier
    Rob Crozier
    6:18 PM - 2 June, 2012

    I wish my wife and I had seen this interview before we went to Kauai-just got back a week ago along with 800 of our fellow employees from all over the U.S. courtesy of our company, thanks SJ. If we get a chance to go back - simply beautiful, this will be one of the first places to visit.

  • Claudia Arthur
    Claudia Arthur
    1:52 AM - 21 February, 2012

    Great informative interview! I can only imagine the intensity of flavors because of the integrity of his ingregients. If I make it to Hawaii this place will be on my list for sure!!!

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