Update: Giapo has relocated to 12 Gore Street, Auckland
For over seven years Giapo on Upper Queen Street has been serving wondrous ice cream creations to please every type of sweet tooth in the central city.
Above the ice cream parlour entrance the words 'Pure Aotearoa Organic Goodness and Creativity' are emblazoned, hinting to what is in store when you step inside. With extravagant flavour temptations beyond most dessert lover’s imagination, founder and owner Giapo works tirelessly to make not only delicious tasting creations, but also edible artworks that are seemingly changing ice cream as we know it.
"I’m putting Banksy on a cone, you know the artist? I want to be the first to do it,”
“I’m putting Banksy on a cone, you know the artist? I want to be the first to do it,” said Giapo of his latest creation. “It’s taken me two months to get to this stage and it’s still not perfect.”
This is the mind of a master at work. On a mission to bring the world to Auckland for ice cream, you will find an ever evolving menu at Giapo that constantly pushes the boundaries of what this traditional dairy delight can be. Firstly think Tiramasu, a flavour that expresses the Italian heritage of Giapo, it boasts a combination of coffee, marscapone, Marsala wine and soft custard and has won the "best artisan experience" by Cuisine magazine and been picked by international food critics for its flavour. Another equally as decadent dessert is the Giapo Buono, a mix and match of caramel ice cream, Italian meringue, hazelnut praline and amaretti biscuits it’s a smooth but seriously indulgent treat. Another top pick that is also a favourite with regulars is the Christchurch Hazelnut, it has been said that an ice cream riot may break out if they ever remove it from the menu.
'On a mission to bring the world to Auckland for ice cream, you will find an ever evolving menu at Giapo that constantly pushes the boundaries of what this traditional dairy delight can be. '
Starting out with an education in food science and then moving on to become a pastry chef, Giapo is now moving on to taking courses in the likes of art and music, constantly working to broaden his mind and fine tune his niche obsession with being an ice cream artist. "As part of my creative process I am only focusing on music, art and humanities, this is what inspires me."
'Giapo’s favourite creation is of course the one that is yet to be created.'
Giapo’s favourite creation is of course the one that is yet to be created. When probing further on what that might be there was mention of work with mixologists, taking well know cocktail lists and interpreting them with ice cream. Another project involved inspiration from a dress spotted at Paris Fashion Week and transforming it into a sculpture of chocolate and lollipops. Obviously there are no limits to where this creative mind can go.
With a strong underlying ethos of sustainability, much of the produce used at Giapo is locally sourced and often purchased by trade. “We have fruit farmer from Kerikeri who insists on trading his produce with us for ice cream and another old couple who bring us guavas and walk away with tubs of ice cream they use as Christmas presents.” This is just one of the many indicative traits of the wonderful nature of both Giapo and his wife Annarosa, of whom Giapo claims is his ‘85%’.
"Gusto is by far our favourite restaurant. It's Italian just like our Mama makes you know?"
With successful business and two young kids in tow, Giapo and Annarosa still find time to enjoy the delights of the city. "Gusto is by far our favourite restaurant. It's Italian just like our Mama makes you know?" says Annarosa. Asking where they take the kids for a day out Giapo was quick to reply "the Art Gallery, definitely." And for that quiet cocktail it's Masu. "We love the bar there and of course the food too. Gusto is at the top because we must love Italian, but Masu is also a favourite."
Coming into the summer months the couple are preparing for busy times ahead. More flavour experimentation is on its way and many more ice cream lovers are set to have their taste buds happily tantalized.
Giapo is located at 12 Gore St and is open Monday - Sunday, 12pm - late.
Katherine Lowe on Giapo's New Store - Bigger and Better than Ever