A week ago, we brought you a list of the five best spots for ice cream in Denver, including a couple of restaurants that happen to serve up great scoops. But while one of those -- Frasca Food & Wine -- makes its gelati and sorbeti in house, it's worth noting that TAG's frozen desserts are a joint effort.
While Troy Guard and Jensen Cummings are coming up with the ice cream flavor combinations, the stuff is actually being made by Ice Cream Alchemy, a Boulder-based wholesaler that provides a melange of unique ice cream flavors to restaurants all over the Front Range.
"It's a collaboration," says Peter Arendsen, Ice Cream Alchemy's owner, who happily churns proprietary blends for eateries onto which the restaurant, rather than Arendsen's company, stamps its name. "And they're very particular at TAG. They give me their ideas, and I just make it for them." Like fava bean and mint, for instance. Or that lobster scoop we'd loved.
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Arendsen has a similar set-up with the Big Red F restaurants -- most notably Lola, Centro and Jax -- where the culinary teams offer Ice Cream Alchemy ice creams as well as ice cream sandwiches. And he's mixing up proprietary blends for Oh Joy! Ice Cream, a new ice cream truck that will also sell many of the wholesaler's other flavors, albeit under the Oh Joy! name.
Aside from the special blends Ice Cream Alchemy does for a handful of local restaurants, the ice cream maker also offers 32 flavors -- tantalizing flavors like french toast, avocado lime and foie (though Arendsen says he also sells plenty of vanilla) -- through a distributor, many of which land on dessert lists around town.
If you want to sample the treats, you'll have to find a restaurant that's selling them -- and the only place we've seen Ice Cream Alchemy ice creams under the Ice Cream Alchemy label is at the Laughing Goat, a coffee shop in Boulder that stocks individual servings of flavors like honey lavender, sea salt caramel and cinnamon. Arendsen says a few scoop shops in the mountains stock his line, but he really likes working with chefs behind the scenes, so that's what he's planning to continue to do.