World’s Leading Gelato Makers take Leicester by Storm

Over 1000 guests were surprised and delighted by the Gelato in the Square event at Gelato Village, Leicester this weekend.

The two day event saw ten of the world’s leading gelato chefs converge on Leicester city centre to create an unforgettable palatte of flavours and gelato experiences. From New York, Milan and London these artisan masters came to Leicester. They created fresh gelato at the in-store Laboratory each morning and exclusively used natural, seasonal and high quality produce.

Customers were treated to Memories of a Tortello – inspired by the butter-fried sage used to coat tortelli pasta – and Year after Year which examined the impact that time and patience has on the development of ingredients like Scotch whisky and chocolate.

Over 20 events, many of them free, were held at the St Martin’s Square gelateria and in partner venues around the city, with most of the tastings and workshop being free to participate in. They all examined the festival’s theme; “Gelato, a unique flavour journey”. The wild and wacky programme offered unique gastronomic experiences to all who participated, from a 5 course wine pairing tasting menu at the nationally renowned Delilah Fine Foods to tracing the role and impact of different yeasts in a delicious collaborative tasting by microbusinesses Planet Leicester Bakers and Anstey Ale Brewery.

The event closed with an award ceremony celebrating the achievements of the Maestri Gelatieri. Food writers Jan Egan, Tim Burke and Laura Hadland had the enviable task of judging each of the gelati, sorbetti and granite in terms of their flavour, balance, texture, structure and creativity, while a public vote running throughout the festival determined the people’s champion. The overall winner was Stefano Guizzetti of Ciacco in Milan. His flavour ‘Fiery Blackness’ was deemed to provide the greatest flavour journey – with bitter cocoa melding into spiced rum notes, which in turn gave way to a subtle but distinct fire from Trinidad Scorpion chilli.

The public favoured the unusual and complex gelato on offer the most too, voting Gianfrancesco Cutelli of De ‘Coltelli as their winner. His Green Variations sorbetto was a dairy-free creation which blended high quality Sicilian pistachio with semi-candied capers and oregano for a fusion of tastes including sweet, salty and aromatic.

“We are pleased that Leicester was as excited about this event as we were!” said Gelato Village co-owner Daniele Taverna. “We wanted to help people understand what makes authentic gelato so special and it was our pleasure to be able to bring our colleagues from around the globe to do that.”

Leicester becomes home to the world’s best gelato

Award-winning Gelato Village in Leicester is bringing a star-studded line up of gelato makers to the Midlands city at the end of October.

Their second annual Gelato in the Square event will celebrate the unique stories that artisan gelato tells. These are master craftspeople whose creations reflect seasonality, local produce, folk memory and food heritage.

Six leading gelaterias from around the world will be flying their teams to St Martin’s Square in Leicester. This includes L’Albero Dei Gelati of Brooklyn, New York. They will be presenting ‘Year after Year’, a gelato which celebrates the unique impact of time and patience in the production of complex flavour profiles.

Giovanna Musumeci of Pasticceria Musumeci in Sicily will be putting Leicester’s palates to the test by offering a gastronomic tomato granita. This will be served on toasted bread with burrata and basil in the style of a bruschetta.


All of the gelato makers are committed to using only the best ingredients, and do not use any artificial stabilisers, preservatives or flavourings. Half of the 17 flavours will be dairy-based. The gelatieri will have to adapt their recipes so that they work in balance with the rare breed Leicestershire cow’s milk that Gelato Village will provide from the local Belvoir Ridge Creamery’s single herd of Red Poll cattle. The other half of the recipes on offer will be water-based, meaning that they are suitable for vegans and others who follow a dairy free diet.

Running over 27th and 28th October, the event is being put on in collaboration with the newly established BID Leicester. They make funding available to BID area businesses to support events that make Leicester a more attractive place to visit.

Simon Jenner, BID Leicester director:

“Gelato in the Square is a great event, giving us a taste of some of the world’s best gelato right here in Leicester. We are pleased to be supporting Gelato Village with this event which can help to benefit the whole BID area by raising Leicester’s profile as well as bringing more people into the city centre.”

As the gelato is served using traditional spatulas, rather than scoops, visitors to Gelato Village will be able to enjoy a cup or cone of up to three festival flavours, regardless of what size they choose. Throughout the two day event there will be a series of free workshops and tastings that look at the journey of the ingredients in more detail. Foodies can also get stuck in at ticketed gastronomic events. There is also a 6 course Taster Menu pairing gelato with Italian wine at neighbouring Delilah Fine Foods, the UK’s leading deli. Tickets for this unique menu cost £32 and are available from Delilah on 0116 296 3554.

“We want to shout out about what makes authentic gelato different. Creating a complex gelato in perfect balance takes knowledge and skill.” said Daniele Taverna, co-owner of Gelato Village. “Using the best quality ingredients always shines through. We, and our colleagues, are dedicating to respecting Slow Food principles and seasonality and we can’t wait for everyone to try the results of our hard work!”

Admission to Gelato in the Square is free, just pay for the gelato you consume.

For more information, visit our website.


Suffragette hero Alice Hawkins celebrated by Gelato Village



In the centenary year of the Representation of the People Act, Leicester’s Gelato Village have joined in with the celebration of Alice Hawkins’ dedication to women’s rights and the improvement of working conditions.

“Alice was a local working class hero who campaigned tirelessly in Leicester to improve working conditions in the Boot & Shoe Industry and to gain women’s suffrage” said Daniele Taverna, co-owner of the Leicester gelateria. “The least we can do is name a gelato for her”.  Gelato Village have selected a white chocolate and lavender gelato to simply name ‘Alice Hawkins’.

“The colours of the gelato – purple, green and white – are the same as the colours used by the Women’s Social and Political Union” said Daniele. “These would have been the colours of the sash shown on the newly unveiled status of Ms Hawkins in Market Square”.



This is not the first time that Gelato Village have immortalised significant local figures in gelato.  A Richard III gelato, made with rose blossom and fruits of the forest ripple has been available since the gelateria opened in August 2014.  The Gelato dei Campioni, which celebrated the historic Premier League victory of Leicester City Football Club in 2016, was ‘retired’ in February 2017 when Claudio Ranieri was sacked by the club.

Gelato in the Square event heralded as an incredible success!

The UK’s first celebration of artisan Italian gelato saw ten of the world’s finest Maestri Gelatieri descend on Gelato Village in Leicester last weekend. As well as bringing incredible new tastes to the people of the city – including Chocolate & Tuscan Cigar – the event provided an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the craft behind traditional gelato making and the careful sourcing of ingredients that goes into its creation.

Supported by a range of small local producers, the team at Gelato Village and their VIP guests crafted sixteen unique gelato and sorbetto creations which showcased the best produce of the season, and their home region. At the centre of this was the rare breed milk and cream from Belvoir Ridge Creamery, Leicestershire, whose single herd of Red Poll cattle supply all of the dairy used by Gelato Village. The visiting gelatieri were delighted to take this excellent local product as the basis for all of their creations, particularly having tried a blind taste test of the milk against the supermarket equivalent at the event’s launch on Friday. All of the gelatieri at the event are committed to Slow Food principles of producing food which is Good, Clean and Fair.

The launch saw another unique event, a gelato inspired colour transformation by local salon group, Barrie Stephen. They sponsored the Fig, Almond & Bay gelato, and were so inspired by the rich colours of the white fig of Cilento, a delicacy of the Campanian region, that they created a bespoke look for their model who was presented to the gelatieri, much to their amazement and delight. Also at the event, local vintner Liz Robson of Rothley Wine Estate provided some refreshing English sparkling wine to toast the event’s success.


Throughout the weekend, hungry guests visited the gelateria to enjoy their customary free tastes of gelato, before choosing which of the special flavours they wanted to enjoy.

Antonio De Vecchi, Maestro Gelatiere at Gelato Village was delighted with their response:
“Between us, we made half a tonne of gelato over three days for Leicester to enjoy. We’ve loved the enthusiasm with which our customers have embraced the skill and expertise of our visiting gelatieri colleagues. 
I am also proud to repot that our own creation, The Gelato in the Square, using Marron Glacé from our home region of Piemonte has also been a runaway success!”

As well as enjoying the delicious treats, visitors were treated to an extensive programme of free events throughout the weekend, based around the theme of ‘getting to know gelato’. As well as each of the award winning gelatieri presenting their flavours and their inspiration (along with a delicious free tasting), this programme included a range of local food and drink specialists, including The Bee Farmer giving daily talks about his work and Aperitivo Hour demonstrations from Charlotte Wood of renowned local bar Manhattan34.


Award winning chef, Andrea Scarpati of Sapori Restaurant and Bar made a showstopping pairing of Quince & Franciacorta sorbetto with a stunning dish of Scottish salmon tataki with panko bread,soy sauce and balsamic vinegar emulsion served with quince variation. Gelato sponsors Everards also delighted with a pairing of their Tiger bitter with ‘Bacio’ gelato and Planet Leicester Bakers challenged the Masters to a Flavour Off – where interpretations of Spiced Pear in bread and sorbetto were found to complement each other perfectly, rather than being bitter rivals as intended!

Gelato Village would like to extend its thanks to all of the visiting gelatieri, many of whom closed their own award winning independent gelaterias in Italy to participate in the event. Also thanks go to the Compagnia Gelatieri, a professional association of gelato makers, who supported the organisation of the event, as well as Agrimontana and Antonelli Brothers for their sponsorship.

“I found Gelato in the Square to be a great experience. 
Our hosts did a fantastic job, and personally I hope they repeat the event in the future! 
I also found all of the visitors were very interested in the making of the gelato. 
As there is so much work to be done so that people can understand more about good quality ingredients, and therefore good gelato, I’d love to see more events like this.”
Vera Castrovilli, Nevedarance – Caluso, Piemonte

Notes for Editors
An extensive gallery of images by Matt Glover Photography is available to support coverage of this event.
For more information, interview requests or supplementary information, please contact Laura Hadland.


Gelato Village is an independent gelateria in the heart of Leicester which is dedicated to make high quality fresh products without the use of any artificial flavourings, stabilisers or preservatives. It was opened in 2014 by Antonio De Vecchi and Daniele Taverna and has received numerous local, national and international accolades for the quality of its gelato.
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