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03 January 2024

7 ice cream makers aim for the new MMAHE title at InterSICOP 2024

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The candidates will have to demonstrate their talent at IFEMA Feria de Madrid on the 17th and 18th of February 2024.

The National Association of Artisan Ice Cream Makers (Anhcea) has announced the names of the 7 contenders for the renewed Spanish Ice Cream Championship. Now known as the Best Master Artisan Ice Cream Maker of Spain (MMAHE), it will be held on 17, 18 and 19 February 2024 at InterSICOP, the International Bakery, Confectionery, Ice Cream, Coffee and Equipment Show organised by IFEMA at Feria de Madrid.

This new title will be awarded to all chefs who achieve the required overall mark, at least 80% or more of the total points at stake. The tests to be carried out are an ice bucket, an ice cream to go, an ice cream cake and three mystery boxes (two in glycol tube format and one in popsicle format). Regarding the mystery boxes -also known as surprise ice cream-, Yon Gallardo, a member of the competition committee, affirms that "it will be the most fun and spontaneous. In previous editions, the focus was on aesthetics and artistry, and now we want to highlight the day-to-day work of an ice cream maker, which is to face the challenges of launching new flavours with local products or with ingredients demanded by customers". Focusing on the formulation, Gallardo says that the CAP will be indicated so that the candidates know what the serving temperature has to be to achieve the right texture.

The 7 MMAHE candidates are:

  • Eulalia Sirvent. Xixovic (Vic, Barcelona)

Third generation of Xixovix, an ice cream and artisan nougat establishment founded in 1944. It is firmly committed to local products, such as goat's milk, yoghurt and ratafia.

  • Carolina Ferreira. Casa del Gelato (Tarifa, Cádiz)

Winner of the first prize at the Gelato Festival World Masters in Spain in 2022 for the flavour "Menta spicata", she is the owner of Casa del Gelato, where she uses Italian techniques and materials for the chocolate base.

  • Alfredo Marrero. Relieve (Tenerife)

The second generation of Boutique Relieve (patisserie, bread, ice cream and chocolate), he joined the family business in 2016 as creative director and production manager. His role here consists of sourcing raw materials to create new flavours, polishing the production processes and investing the time necessary for the product to shine.

Trained at the Escuela de Pastelería del Gremio in Barcelona, he opened the first Bean to Bar in the Canary Islands in 2019.

  • Fernando Alberdi. Dona Doni (Guetaria, Guipúzcoa)

Fernando Alberdi is passionate about his city and whenever he can he recovers local ice creams that have been lost and offers them in his Dona Doni ice cream parlour.

In 2021, at the Gelato festival World Masters, his 'Mango Ezpeleta' was named best sorbet in the world.

  • Carlos Rojas. Trompa&Co (Barcelona)

Pastelero de restaurante que se ha convertido en heladero y que le gusta aprender de manera autodidacta, a través de libros y del ensayo-error. En la actualidad es el creador de las más de 30 recetas de la nueva marca de helados artesanos con alcohol Trompa&Co en Barcelona.

  • José Pablo Ambrosio. Il Piamonte (Córdoba)

A restaurant pastry chef who has become an ice-cream maker and who likes to learn in a self-taught way, through books and trial and error. He is currently the creator of more than 30 recipes for the new brand of artisan ice creams with alcohol Trompa&Co in Barcelona.

  • Jesús Valdés. Diego Verdú (Oviedo, Asturias)

Showcasing his knowledge. This is the challenge Jesús Valdés has set himself at the MMAHE.

He is the fifth generation of Diego Verdú, one of Oviedo's benchmark establishments for its turrones, ice creams and sweets, which opened its doors in 1878.

With more than 15 years of experience in the sector, he considers himself a self-taught professional, although he has attended courses at the Escuela de Pastelería del Gremio de Barcelona and at Valrhona.