7 Ice Cream Artisans to Know in Chicago

By Sarah Freeman  |  July 8, 2014
Credit: Nick Murway

Are you a chocolate person or a vanilla person? Prefer things with a nutty crunch or a swirl of caramel? Life is not like a box of chocolate, it's like a scoop of ice cream, with new flavors and combinations waiting around every corner. Do the quintessential summer treat justice by digging into a scoop of gourmet goodness. These seven chefs are making ice cream from scratch, using the finest ingredients and serving it up with style. 

  • Amy Arnold at Siena Tavern

    It takes a lot of willpower to end a meal at this Italian hot spot without a scoop or two of gelato. Succumb to the temptations with corporate pastry chef Amy Arnold’s impossibly creamy gelato. Each month, she creates a series of specialty flavors — this month it is bourbon peach cobbler, tiramisu, pistachio and brown butter peanut — as well as a salted caramel, the top-selling dessert in the restaurant. Gelato is served in the restaurant as well as to-go for $10 per pint.

    Signature Flavor: Salted caramel

  • Credit: Nick Murway

    Dana Cree at Blackbird

    In the freezer at Publican Quality Meats, you'll find pints of ice cream from Blackbird pastry chef Dana Cree. Her sweet creations, identified with cute "Hello my name is..." labels, have gained a bit of a cult following due to craveable flavors such as bananas Foster, Nutter Butter, cookie dough and cold-press coffee. The pints cost $6 a pop, and you can see how the ice cream gets made in our behind-the-scenes feature.

    Signature Flavor: Strawberry bubblegum

  • Anna Shovers at The Publican

    Taking a cue from her One Off Hospitality cohort Dana Cree, Anna Shovers created her own cold treat for the freezer of Publican Quality Meats. “Pub Pops” are her version of gourmet push pops filled with an assortment of seasonal ice cream flavors — think Drumstick, s’mores and Fernet fudge. The treats go quickly at $4 a pop, so follow her on Instagram to see what's available.

    Signature Flavor: Huckleberry cheesecake

  • Jove T. Hubbard at David Burke’s Primehouse

    I scream, you scream, just about everybody screams for Jove T. Hubbard’s ice cream at his Friday pop-up at the chophouse. Each week, he offers two flavors from 3-5 PM for $5 per scoop. Seasonal flavors, available in a cup or a cone, range from strawberry shortcake with roasted berries to one featuring blueberry waffle pieces suspended in thick maple ice cream.

    Signature Flavor: Grasshopper

  • Jeremy Brutzkus at Longman & Eagle and Dusek’s

    If you're wondering where you can get beet ice cream, the answer is Longman & Eagle. Jeremy Brutzkus has created a line of savory ice cream that also includes flavors like charcoal and olive oil, caramelized four-year aged cheddar and rosemary, and smoked graham cracker. He also does the desserts for Dusek’s, where lemongrass-buttermilk sorbet complements a “Fruit Loop donut.”

    Signature Flavor: Old Style beer ice cream

  • Genie Kwon at BOKA

    For Genie Kwon, no dessert at BOKA or GT Fish & Oyster is complete without a bit of ice cream. "It is my favorite thing to make (and eat) and is usually the starting point when creating a dish,” she says. Her flavors range from apricot to Ovaltine and have stretched all the way to cola ice cream garnished with Pop Rocks. She sets her ice cream apart by not using eggs, and rather manipulating the sugar and dairy rations to achieve the desired texture.

    Signature Flavor: Yogurt

  • Jessica Oloroso at Black Dog Gelato

    This professional pastry chef turned gelato expert opened her first storefront in 2011 to showcase her commitment to small-batch gelato and sorbet using seasonal fruit and quality flavorings. With a thicker texture and lower milk-fat content than ice cream, her gelato comes in an endless selection of flavors — maple cayenne bacon, sesame fig chocolate chip and white-chocolate banana curry are just a few of her creations.

    Signature Flavor: Goat cheese cashew caramel