Smoked-hay ice-cream with caviar. Aged parmesan gelato with beef cheek and bone marrow. Gelato Messina is already known for extravagant and unlikely ice-cream creations, but an upcoming collaboration with Lumi Dining is resetting the gelateria's bar of creative innovation.
Created by the Messina Creative Department (MCD), the collaboration is part of a series and Frederico Zanellato of Lumi's contribution will be a seven-course dessert degustation dinner.
The meal promises to stay true to both Lumi's Japanese-infused Italian cooking and the MCD's commitment to "push the envelope and redefine the relationship between sweet, savoury and everything else in-between".
"Every course has a frozen 'element' whether it be granita, gelato or sorbet," Messina's Sian Bishop says. "There's a mixture of sweet and savoury gelato as you move through the menu. It's a meal in itself, you definitely don't need to eat before."
Running for two nights, with only 32 seats available, the menu features Australian local produce, including Moreton Bay bug tail, finger limes, eucalyptus, lemon myrtle and native mountain pepper. Most of the ingredients will be sourced from Lumi's network of local suppliers.
There will also be non-alcoholic drinks paired to each course. An heirloom-tomato kombucha accompanies the fresh milk curd, plum and balsamic vinegar dish, while the lemon myrtle and fennel-pollen gelato with Moreton Bay bug is served with a roasted capsicum and fermented grape juice.
"We've [played] with the idea of using alcohol," says Sian, "but the flavours and the experience don't really need it."
When asked what is next in the collaborative series, Sian is tight-lipped. "We've got an amazing pastry chef from Melbourne. We can't give it away just yet. We approach people we admire and who genuinely love what they do."
Messina Creative Department x Lumi Dining is on March 26 and 27 at 6.30pm and 8.30pm, in Darlinghurst. Tickets are $130 each, available here.