Ice cream for dinner? Boom! Your wish is granted.
Chef Kyle Schutte is serving up eight courses of ice cream — both sweet and savory — for his latest downtown dinner pop-up. The flavors range from the familiar, like coconut and mint, to the more unusual like sushi rice and … oyster. Yes, you read that correctly. While some of the ice creams stand alone as a course, others are paired with heartier foods such as pork belly or chili oil poached beef. To find out more about how the dinner was created, we emailed Schutte with some questions. Here's what he had to say.
What inspired this eight-course ice cream dinner?
Ice cream has the ability to bring the child out in all of us. I wanted to do a dinner that was fun, whimsical, got people’s attention and played with their expectations.
What is your background in making innovative ice creams?
I have been playing around with ice creams for a decade now and have put many innovative ice creams on my menus over the last few years (whole-grain mustard ice cream with my charcuterie board, Caesar ice cream on a salad, brown bread ice cream on steel-cut oats, tallow ice cream with a preserved-lemon sponge, etc.). I just find that moment when people realize they did not misread the menu — yes, there is ice cream on that dish — irresistible.
Where do you source your ingredients for your ice cream and other items?
Just like most of my peers, I am at the [farmers] market every Wednesday (and have even started a "52 Weeks at the Market" blog on my website, KyleSchutte.com, and my Instagram, @ChefKyleSchutte). Other than that, I am always consciously or subconsciously scanning for new fun and interesting flavors and textures to play with.
Which ice cream and food pairing is the one you’re the most excited for diners to taste and why?
The oyster ice cream is the one everyone is scared of and so far everyone has loved. It’s the second course, and I think it will make most diners let down their guard. The first course with sushi rice ice cream, uni, nori ganache and peanuts is the one I’m most nervous about, because I’ve never done it before. Sushi rice ice cream ... how? What is nori ganache? These are questions I’m excited to answer.
Can you discuss how you used the fish sauce in the pork belly dish?
The fish sauce is incorporated in a caramel that the pork belly is glazed in just before being rolled in macadamia nuts. The lemongrass ice cream has a big role here, as it has to cut through the brine of the fish sauce, the sugar of that caramel and the fat of the pork. Thankfully lemongrass is up for the challenge.
Which course was the biggest challenge to perfect?
The sushi rice ice cream is the one keeping me up at night. The first pop-up night is four days away, and I still don’t know exactly how I’m going to make it.
Check out the full menu below:
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The first three nights of the eight-course ice cream dinner sold out so fast that Schutte has extended the pop-up for three more nights: Sat,, July 23; Tue., July 26; and Wed., July 27; 7:30-10:30 p.m. Newberry Lofts, 900 E. First St., downtown; Tickets $70.