Seb Cole is looking to expand in 2018
Boho Gelato won Best Producer at the recent Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Awards. Nick Mosley talks to owner Seb Cole about his success.
Your background is the printing industry – how and why did you make the leap to ice cream maker?
I started out in food and drink, but it was a diversion into printing which took me to Italy where I discovered gelato and decided to return to my food roots. I wanted to make a product from scratch and thought Brighton was lacking in good quality ice cream at the time.
Briefly, what’s the difference between ice cream and gelato? And sorbet and granita?
Gelato is based on whole milk and also often doesn’t contain eggs, as opposed to ice cream which is usually cream and egg heavy. The lower fat content of gelato means that you don’t need as much sugar in your recipe and the result is a much denser, fresher and softer product. Also being less sweet and custardy, gelato is a more neutral starting point than ice cream for creating flavours. Both sorbet and granita are water ices, and dairy free. However, unlike a sorbet, granita is un-thickened and should have the texture of soft snow.
How many flavours are there in your repertoire?
We have made well over 500 since we started seven years ago, but we usually feature between 50 and 100 different flavours in the shops on a busy week.
What’s the process of coming up with new flavours?
Can I say that they just pop out?
Many of your products are vegetarian or vegan. Is that particularly in Brighton, and does it impact on the flavour and texture?
All of the products in all of our shops are vegetarian and we try to ensure that at least 30 per cent of the flavours in stock are always vegan friendly. Our vegan flavours are every bit as good as the dairy ones and there really is very little difference in texture – if anything there is more flexibility making vegan flavours, as the starting point is even more neutral than a dairy gelato due to the lower fat content.
You’ve been a regular guest at the Nivarata festival of granita in Sicily – how does it feel to be accepted by the home of granita?
It feels great to gain the trust of the locals as a custodian of the tradition and quality of their recipe. Its also brilliant fun to be involved and I have made so many great friends there.
With two shops in Brighton plus Weymouth and Worthing, have you more plans to expand further in 2018?
We do have a couple of new projects bubbling although it’s all top secret.
What are your Christmas flavours for people to take home and enjoy over the festive season?
We have Christmas pudding, mulled wine sorbet, rum saffron and canditi and stollen to name a few. We also have some special collaboration flavours from local food and drink businesses on December 16 and 17 for our Christmas Flavours of Brighton.
Boho Gelato is in Pool Valley and Ship Street, Brighton.
Source: The Argus