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David Gil so good #18

Strawberry aspic by David Gil

Strawberry aspic by David Gil

David GilIce cream has many derivatives in the restaurants of the group elBarri, by Albert Adrià. The pastry chef of this restauration group, David Gil, only reveals the tip of the iceberg in this article, some of his most interesting in very different establishments in Barcelona. Ice cream is the key to desserts which are truly varied, all avant-garde, from the frozen air of the ultra-light version of the strawberry and cream ice cream cake of the restaurant Tickets, the Fresier; to the intense basil sorbet of the dessert Wild Strawberry Aspic, at Bodega 1900; passing through the Mexican Mango Millefeuille, of Niño Viejo. In these restaurants, ice cream is taken beyond what is usually understood of in this product category, in a space where it is also presented under the influence of liquid nitrogen, Japanese kakigoris, and more conventional granitas, unbalanced nut ice creams, completing a wide range of techniques performed at temperatures below 0ºC.

David Gil talks about ice cream making which focuses on flavor within the framework of an experimental kitchen. However, unlike other haute cuisine restaurants, ice cream is not only thought and formulated for a short commercial life. It depends on the needs and goals for each ice cream. Gil graduated from the Hofmann School in the Catalan capital and extended his vision of the trade in Can Jubany to then continue in Le Calandre, Bras-Laguiole and Mugaritz.


‘This is an elegant dessert which perfectly fits in one of our classic restaurants – Bodega 1900. It is based on two concepts. On the one side, the French aspics – a type of tasteless jelly, molded and aromatized, used in the preparation of cold dishes of ham, foie gras, seafood, vegetables and even fruit. And on the other side, it meets the need for creating a very fresh sorbet, which reflected the deep green color of chlorophyll. This is reason why we refused to use a dairy base to work it, and that is why it is made and consumed on the same day so that the basil – the main character in this plate – does not oxidize or darken. In the restaurant, the base syrup for the sorbet is made in advance, and when it comes to serving, the basil leaves are crushed roughly for 30 seconds, as they would oxidize if done for a longer time. From the very moment that the basil comes into play, the different preparation steps must be carried out steadily, otherwise the attractive green color of chlorophyll would be lost.
In order to compensate the sugars in the base syrup, we add some lime juice, whose acidity decreases the sweetness of the sorbet and intensifies its green color. Also, it is important to add the lime juice right before the mix is transferred to the ice cream machine’