Abby Boone loved to bake while growing up in Iowa and pursued a pastry specialty at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After working at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee and elsewhere, she moved to New Orleans. She started an ice cream business named for her daughter, and it took off during the pandemic. She and her husband and business partner recently moved Lucy Boone Ice Cream out of the former Thalia restaurant, and they are working on opening a brick-and-mortar location in summer which will offer scoops, shakes, sundaes, off-site catering and more.
Gambit: How did you get interested in sweets?
Abby Boone: I’ve always loved baking. My grandma was a really good baker. My mom baked some, but during grade school, she was always buying me cake decorating sets and I was always baking cookies with her on weekends. In high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I didn’t really like (high school). My mom was the one who found the culinary program, so I went to the Des Moines Area Community College culinary arts program my junior and senior year. I didn’t know you could focus just on pastry, and my teacher encouraged me to go to pastry school.
Gambit: What kind of ice cream do you like to make?
Boone: I like doing nostalgic flavors and things that are similar to desserts. This spring, we did a strawberry pavlova ice cream. I love pavlova. We made pavlova and a strawberry jam and put that in a salted vanilla base.
I like to make flavors that are familiar with a slight twist to them. Our Cold Brew is our coffee ice cream with chocolate cookies and caramel. One of our big sellers is Key lime pie with lime buttermilk ice cream with Key lime pie and graham cracker streusel. S’mores was one of our biggest sellers. It has homemade marshmallow fluff, chocolate and a graham cracker crumble as well. We make everything from scratch.
There’s a local ferment company called Farm to Funk and we’re using their tepaches in some of our ice creams. This spring we did strawberry tepache sorbet with fresh pineapple, local strawberries and their tepache.
We usually have one or two vegan flavors. Our vegan recipe uses coconut milk and coconut oil. So they’re coconut-based and we make coconut coffee pretty often.
Gambit: How did you start Lucy Boone Ice Cream?
Boone: The pandemic accelerated our plan. We began selling our ice cream last April. We bought our commercial grade ice cream machine a year prior, and it had been sitting in our kitchen unused. I was testing recipes when we were home and not doing anything. I asked my husband to buy some milk and cream to test some recipes and he said, “I’ll only buy milk and cream if you put it on Instagram and try to sell it.” That’s how it started. I posted some pints on Instagram and they sold, and it grew from there.
My husband was furloughed at the time. He ended up not going back to work, and we’ve been doing this together for the last year. We were doing home deliveries for a couple weeks. Then the Thalia and Coquette markets started. We moved into pop-ups after that.
We go to all the ice cream pop-ups. There’s a fun little ice cream community now. The more small-batch ice cream the better. We can all succeed and be friends and build this ice cream community together. — WILL COVIELLO
For information, visit the Lucy Boone Ice Cream website.
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