We met with the ice cream confectioner who loves aesthetics and design, who was freshly appointed as the new president of the FIPGC – International Federation of Confectionery, Ice Cream and Chocolate Making, and who today tells us about ice cream as a symbol of Italianism and territoriality. Owner of the famous pastry shop Generoso, in Ercolano, which in its recent renovation also saw Ciam make a contribution in terms of furnishings and technology, based on architectural planning by designer Marco Pannone, Matteo Cutolo is known nationally and internationally for his successes and for the titles that have accompanied him since 2016 and made him an ambassador of one of the best-known and most appreciated Italian excellences in the world: ice cream.
In 2016 he participated and won the Italian Pastry Championship. In 2017, the same result came for the international championships, which crowned him the best Pastry Chef in the World Fipgc (International Federation of Pastry, Ice Cream and Chocolate). How does it feel to wear the national team uniform representing Italy?
As a person who usually feels a strong sense of responsibility, I have to be honest, when as the Italian team we saw our names flanked by the tricolor, the emotion was really strong and it was at that moment that I realized that none of us were there for ourselves or for the team, but we were representing Italy, our country, and we were competing for all those who are part and expression of it. Those days were marked by a sense of responsibility to the whole nation. This filled us with pride and a desire to give our best.
Artisanal ice cream as a symbol of Italianness and excellence.
Professionally speaking, I was born as an ice cream maker, so I have a special focus on this almost universal food that well represents Made in Italy in the world. A real brand of excellence when it is obviously linked to craftsmanship.
How would you describe your ice cream?
My ice cream is an all-round artisanal ice cream, which means that even the equipment I use to prepare and process it is born with the same philosophy that puts custom, care and attention to the customer’s needs first. It is also an ice cream that is the fruit of the territory, because I try to use typical and local ingredients, therefore linked to the flavors and seasonality that the place where the ice cream is consumed offers, with an eye always turned to high quality. I would say that I have been stabilized in terms of ingredients for years now, as I have been able to meet what I was looking for and wanted. My ice cream consists of fresh cream and milk, natural thickeners, as they are totally plant-based, and ingredients that come from the area where I am located, at most to its neighboring areas.
How important is technological innovation in your ice cream shop?
When we talk about ice cream, but also about desserts in general, the cornerstones of my production are certainly represented by the methodology and the quality of the ingredients, but there is another fundamental element for me that I never forget to mention even during the courses I teach: it is about aesthetics, visual harmony, and display quality. It is no coincidence that for the past five years I have been a client of Ciam, a company that proposes technological innovation by linking it to the design of its products, to the needs of display and to more purely commercial requirements, without sacrificing identity and usability. Personally, I believe that the first approach of the pastry and ice cream shop is visual: it is through the eyes that the customer understands the product and its identity, hence the importance of the display counter. I’ll give an example: I always wanted even children to have a full view of my store and the creations I offer, but once they came in they couldn’t see them. Now with the new Ciam showcases (three Ice Queen in BL version, two for ice cream and one for pastry, plus a Tortuga 2 totally refrigerated on all levels), even the little ones can eat with their eyes (laughs n.d.r.), and I won’t hide the fact that in overall sales have increased, a confirmation that the new aesthetics and design of which my shop is composed are also in line not only with my needs but also with those of the customer.
All the news about the flavors of summer 2022.
Well, classic flavors in both creams and fruit never go out of style, but certainly in my laboratory the smell of this hot summer is that of spices and fruit flavors. In fact, we work on a combination of traditional ice creams and flavored fruits-a combination that enhances the essence of the fruit itself and enriches classic flavors. An example? An orange coulis inside chocolate ice cream.
If it makes your mouth water just reading about it, imagine what it can be like to try it!