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Nancy Silverton launches new line of fancy ice creams

Russ Parsons
The California Cook
La Brea Bakery founder Nancy Silverton turns her magic touch to fancy ice creams

Nancy Silverton, who seems to have a magic touch when it comes to food projects, is launching a line of gelatos and sorbettos called Nancy's Fancy, her first commercial product since introducing La Brea Bakery bread more than 25 years ago.

The lineup of seven flavors will be unveiled at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco next week. They will begin to appear in markets this spring.

Included are gelatos such as butterscotch budino with salted caramel swirl, based on the popular Mozza dessert, coconut stracciatella with bittersweet chocolate strands, and frutti di bosco, made with mixed berries and Greek yogurt.

Silverton founded Campanile restaurant on La Brea Boulevard in 1989 with her then-husband Mark Peel, selling her sourdough bread out of a side building as La Brea Bakery. She sold the brand to an investment firm in 2001 for a price variously quoted as $56 million to $68 million. She started Mozza in 2006 with partners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich and it has now expanded to three separate restaurants within the same building.

The ice creams will be pricey, even for luxury ice cream. At $10.99 a pint, they will sell for more than Haagen-Dazs or Ciao Bella, which are usually around $6.99 a pint.

Famously purist, Silverton insists the ice creams will be more about quality than wild flavor combinations.

“True Italian gelato is not about an infinite variety of over-the-top, crazy flavors; it is about balance and mouth-feel, creamy, voluptuous texture and pure, honest flavor,” she said in a statement. “That is what we are creating with Nancy’s Fancy -- delicious, familiar tastes created with the finest all-natural ingredients and, perhaps, a distinctive twist or two.”

Silverton says that the ice creams will be churned in Southern California and made with locally sourced ingredients and without preservatives, artificial flavors or colors or high-fructose corn syrup.

Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1.

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