Blog: Ice Cream Takedown
Modern day P.T. Barnum, Matt Timms has done it again. Last night at Brooklyn’s Bell House, Mr. Timms placed another one of our favorite foods on the chopping block. It was, the Ice Cream Takedown! A sold out crowd was on hand for a massive tasting, and judging of this confection of our youth. Much like the other Takedown events, standard Ice Cream varieties–chocolate, vanilla, strawberry– need not apply. Teams had to dig deep in order to get ahead of the pack.
In a move that was in no way a coincident, Timms scheduled the Ice Cream Takedown during National Ice Cream Month. National Ice Cream Month was established by former President, Ronald Regan in 1984. He designated the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. No doubt that this factor added some positive pressure on the contestants to create and superior product. Because, in a way they were doing it for America.
As a wise host of American Gladiators once said, “It’s Takedown time!” Heavy Metal music played in the background to charge up the capacity crowd. spoon’s were raised high as they advanced to the contestants tables. Like I said, a “Takedown” is no place for the unimaginative.
We started off with an Absinthe infused ice cream, which shows they’re really are no boundaries here and we just love that. Absinthe has a bold black licorice flavor, and that came out right away upon tasting. It was mixed with a vanilla base, which helped the featured flavor shine through. One would hope the creators of this ice cream used Absinthe containing wormwood but, as we did not see winged hipsters floating above, it did not. But, all in all a great lead off ice cream.
At many food events one walks away with only a few highlights. But, at last nights Takedown we were overloaded with ice cream samples that flat out rocked. All of the men and women who took part, really came with their “Varsity” game as Timms would say. A prime example of this varsity effort came from the Brooklynauts, a Brooklyn borough centric group. Yet, at the Takedown they were split up into two teams, a house divided. One half of their group made a subtle yet sweet Earl grey ice-cream whiskey caramel short bread crumble, while the other made a coffee and donut creation called, The Twin Peaks. The mixture of the coffee beans and donut filler made this an ultimate comfort food treat. It also doesn’t hurt that they named it after one of my favorite shows.
After the final serving was scooped, it was time for the judging. There would be a, “People’s Choice” winner with guests writing down the number of their favorite creation, and one’s chosen by a select group of very capable judges. All three of the judges come to us from the New York Ice Cream scene representing: Ample Hills, Van Leeeuwen, and Laboratorio del Gelato respectively.
The time for choosing winners was upon us, as Timms gathered all the contestants on the stage. Participants were able to introduce themselves to the crowd, and speak about their ice cream concoctions. This is a great way to get one’s name out to a local crowd, and help spread the word. The judges handed down their decision and awarded the first prize to the frozen treat titled, “Pavlovian Response.” The pavelovian was a lemon curd and vanilla swirl topped with kiwi and strawberry. I couldn’t argue with this vote, as it was the perfect combination of fresh summery flavor’s.
But, in the end the Takedown’s are all about the people. The, “People’s Choice,” vote produced one of the most organically sentimental moments this writer has seen in quite sometime. The first prize for the people’s vote went to the, “Caprese Freeze.” The caprese, a tomato basil mascarpone hybrid, an all around Italian food lover’s dream. The creator of the ice cream was the father of the second place winner. And once his name was announced, a huge eruption of family love filled the stage for both competitors.
If you were shut out by sold out tickets, fear not. The Takedown will return to the Bell House . You will have the opportunity to attend a food event like none other. But most importantly, you will be supporting brilliant local talent, who make New York, an exciting place to eat.
- Alan Smithee