Goats have been a bit of a theme throughout Dan Hughes’ life. His family lived in Greece for a year when he was 10, where every family had a goat. “It was part of the culture,” he says. “My neighbours would feed me the fresh milk and have huge vats of olive oil filled with fresh fetta cheese.” Back home in the UK, Hughes’ dad had a small farm that also had goats. “Then I was without goats for quite a while,” he says.
During this goat-less time, he worked as a chef at Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Europe and, more locally, at Three Blue Ducks, where he presided over the grill, cooking meat and fish. It wasn’t until he ran a luxury chalet in the French Alps, producing six desserts a week, that he discovered a passion for gelato.
“There’s a goat’s milk ice-cream company in London and New York, and I saw a bit of a window in Australia,” Hughes says. “It’s combining my passion for goats and cooking.”
Goat’s milk is lower in lactose than cow's and sheep's milk. This makes it easier to digest than cow’s milk and better for those with dairy intolerances. However, it took Hughes four months to perfect the recipe. “I don’t use goat’s cream, I use a small amount of organic coconut oil instead,” he says. “It adds a smoother texture and it’s healthier.”
Mr. Goaty gelato is made in Redfern and sold exclusively at the Bondi Markets. “On the first day I was freaking out about whether it was right and nearly backed out,” Hughes says, “but we sold out.” The current bestseller is the lavender-honeycomb flavour. Others include lemon curd, made with Sicilian Sorrento lemons, and cacao and coconut. Ice-cream sandwiches are on the way, made with cookies from Miss Lilly’s Kitchen. Soon, you’ll be able to find Mr. Goaty at specialty grocers and served at cafes. Keep an eye out.