New Times' Taste guide, hitting newsstands Thursday, February 21.
Credit three ladies for making this year's South Beach Wine & Food Festival just a little bit, um, cooler: Hedy Goldsmith, James Beard award-nominated executive pastry chef for the Genuine Hospitality Group in Miami; Jeni Britton-Bauer, owner of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and award-winning cookbook author from Columbus, Ohio; and Paulina Naranjo, a self-proclaimed "paleta princess" and Miami's source for traditional and modern Mexican popsicles. These women have one thing in common. For them, ice cream is about more than just good, brain-freeze-inducing eats. The dessert also evokes memories of nostalgic childhood treats.
Hedy Goldsmith remembers playing freeze tag during hot, muggy afternoons in Center City, Philadelphia. Some evenings, a Good Humor ice-cream truck would barrel down the street, blasting a loud jingle from its speakers.
"I would fly down the street, money in my hot, sweaty hand, screaming for the truck to stop, so I could stop running in my bare feet. Every time I hear the jingle, I want to be 6 years old again," she says.
Her choice from the truck? Toasted almond ice-cream bar on a stick.
Goldsmith's taste has evolved a bit since then. Although pistachio gelato is her fallback, she also enjoys her own signature flavors: smoked vanilla, candied bacon, and coffee toffee swirled with banana gelato. "I go to my happy place while making ice cream," the pastry chef says. "Single-handed, the best way to feel like a kid again!"
At the Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Baking Out Loud, hosted by the chef and Josh Wesson, the acclaimed expert on food and wine pairings, Goldsmith will whip up bold desserts: tangerine pot de crème, candied bacon, Snickers bars, and chocolate cake with curry, coconut, and cardamom.
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And, while we're on the subject of curry, Goldsmith has something to admit. She really, really loves *Vadouvan curry, coconut, peanut, and ginger ice cream.
Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Baking Out Loud Hosted by Hedy Goldsmith and Josh Wesson: Sunday, February 24, 2013; Noon to 1 p.m. Shelborne South Beach, 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. ($85)
But Britton Bauer is known for other things, too. She supports local ingredients from her hometown in Ohio such as soft cheeses, fruits, and Snowville's grass-fed cow milk and cream. She champions the importance of seasonal flavors.
As for her own ice cream preferences, she admits, "I was a vanilla person at home. My grandmother would put jams from her pantry atop the ice cream and we'd eat it before bed."
Then, one day, she stirred cayenne pepper into a pint of chocolate ice cream. Her frozen treat preference changed forever. "It all started by combining flavors with scents -- mixing hot spices with cold ice cream -- kind of in the way you might layer a painting," she says.
For SoBeWFF, Britton Bauer is sending a truck full of portable ice-cream novelties, packed in dry ice, from Ohio to Florida. Included are chocolate almond caramel minis, which are stuffed with chocolate ice cream and ribboned with caramel.
For this year's Southern Kitchen Brunch, she will serve mini sandwiches stuffed with French toast ice cream and banana, maple syrup, and pecans. There will also be jelly donut macaroons stuffed with soft cheese ice cream. After a bite of that, who could really disapprove of ice cream for breakfast?
Creekstone Farms Presents Delta Diamond Dishes: A League of Their Own: Saturday, February 23; 7 to 10 p.m. Marlins Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami. ($225)
Southern Kitchen Brunch Hosted by Trisha Yearwood, part of the New York Times Series: Sunday, February 24; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Loews, 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. ($150)
"This isn't something that we just thought of one day," she says. "It's something we grew up doing our entire lives, something that's rooted in my blood and memories."
Her favorite popsicle is Nutella with strawberries. (Who can argue with that?) But she also enjoys driving south to the Redland, where she scopes out local products for more innovative creations. She has experimented with cajeta, horchata, agua de jamaica, and other Mexican ingredients.
"I'm not a chef," she says. "These flavors are just things that my palate likes. I'm inspired by what's in season and the things I taste through my travels."
This is Naranjo's second year participating in SoBeWFF. At Goya Foods' Swine & Wine, she will contribute traditional Mexican flavors to the mix: dulce de leche, tamarind, and vanilla bean popsicles.
Goya Foods' Swine & Wine Hosted by Michelle Bernstein, presented by Pat Lafrieda Meats: Sunday, February 24; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. ($150)