Maple syrup just got sweeter in Vancouver after James Coleridge brought home two gold medals from the worlds largest gelato competition in Florence, Italy.
His creamy maple sensation, a handmade gelato with salt-crusted pecans, beat out 30 contenders for the technical award at the Firenze Gelato Festival in May and earlier this week, he was told he also had won the people’s choice award.
“Winning the people’s choice award is one of the greatest honours I’ve had in my whole life,” said Coleridge.
“I expect technical judges to understand the complexities of what we do here but to have 200,000 people, the Italians who live the traditional food and culture, vote for us… I’m still speechless.”
Coleridge is the owner of Vancouver shop Bella Gelateria on Burrard and Cordova streets, where all his inspirations come from local seasonal products.
“We change our flavours based on the day, on the weather,” he said. “When its cold out we do more booze and chocolate flavours, when its warm out we do more fruit flavours and refreshing sorbettos.”
“We may make a batch in the morning and sell-out, never to be made again.”
Coleridge received his training from the Carpigiani Gelato University in Italy and brought back his artisan techniques using slow, small batch machinery — a first in North America.