Over the long weekend, when temperatures in the usually cool McLaren Vale climbed to 30 degrees, the Pizzateca team pulled up the grate on its pink-and-green pinstriped store and opened its much-anticipated new gelato shop.
The aptly named Gelateca is just the latest step that father-son owners Vito and Tony Mitolo – who already make their own olive oil, bread and wine – are taking to make their restaurant entirely self-sufficient.
Joining them on the journey is Andrea Calabrese, who has been making gelato for most of his life. It started when he was 15 at the ice-cream store in his native Vieste, before he churned out scoops across London, Perth and Melbourne (where he worked at Pidapipo, Trattoria Emelia and Gigi’s Wine Bar), then moved to South Australia to open Gelateca.
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When Broadsheet calls, he’s busily tending to his gelati machines but, even over the phone, Calabrese’s love for all things gelati is palpable and he’s stoked with the reaction he’s received so far. “The feeling I have when someone likes my product money doesn’t buy… I'm not working, my environment is a happiness environment because I think you can have all the problems in the world but that five minutes you spend in an ice-cream shop, smelling and then looking at the ice-cream and the decoration of the tubs, and choosing the flavour makes all your problems go away. Everything around you disappears and it’s just you and the gelato.”
For Tony, the swell of support they’ve seen since opening is “just testament to the product”. The pistachio powder is sourced from Bronte in Sicily, the dairy is locally sourced from Fleurieu Milk Company and fruit is also sourced from the peninsula.
All flavours have met Calabrese’s exacting standards, but the best surprise is the Oztalia chilli honey gelato, a nod to Pizzateca’s signature diablo pizza. Tony says the ice-cream will “complete the Pizzateca experience”, as the ideal chaser to the pizza.
“It’s just such an amazing flavour,” says Calabrese. “All the different elements are well-defined: you can feel the honey straightaway and when you think that the taste is disappearing, you start feeling tickling on your throat that comes from the chilli. It's a unique flavour and I’m very happy and I think even if one day I will go back to Italy, this flavour will go with me. It will be always in my display cabinet wherever I go.”
Celebration cakes will be available before Christmas. Cakes can be pre-ordered to take away or added onto your Pizzateca experience to elevate a special occasion.