Society

The ice-cream dream

John Mathai Paul of Paul’s Creamery

John Mathai Paul of Paul’s Creamery   | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Here’s the full scoop on John Mathai Paul, the youngster behind homemade ice-cream store, Paul’s Creamery

Life’s pretty sweet right now for John Mathai Paul. The young entrepreneur’s start-up, Paul’s Creamery, has not even opened it’s doors yet it’s already become a hot topic among foodies for the ice-creams that he himself whips up in store. “I held a tasting event the other day and everything got sold out in a matter of hours! I’ll be making a fresh batch in time for the next tasting event soon,” says John, catching our rueful look at the empty display cabinets inside his store, the interiors of which are being readied as we speak.

Quite the feat considering that John has no formal training in the culinary arts and this is his first foray into the restaurant business. Coincidentally, it was while he was eating an ice-cream that John, then working as a ‘local buyer for distributed power’ at GE in Bengaluru, had his Eureka moment.

“I had always dreamed of starting my own business. There I was, having an ice-cream on a hot day and I remember thinking how disappointed I was that the ice-cream did not meet my standards. That day itself I got myself a small ice-cream machine and started experimenting and making them myself. It used to take me up to 16 hours to make that one litre of ice-cream,” recalls John.

“I used to take my homemade ice-creams to the office and they got rave reviews from my colleagues,” adds the 25-year-old, a former student of Loyola and St. Thomas School and Trivandrum International School.

Pumped up on those reviews, he quit his job and decided to learn the craft of ice-cream making. For the next two years he travelled around Italy, Belgium and London (he declines to divulge where exactly in each country/city) discovering trade secrets that make the ice-creams, gelatos and chocolates of Europe famous. “I interned with ice-cream makers and chocolatiers here and there but most of my knowledge comes from talking to people that I met during my travels. They told me about their favourite ice-cream shops and put me in touch with the people who run them. So, little by little, I figured out what works and what does not, which ingredients work and which do not, where to source raw materials...,” he says.

One thing he does tell us is that the best ice-creams are always made with pure milk, good cream and the freshest of ingredients. “In a good ice-cream, it’s the flavour of the main ingredients that should come out and not the taste of sugar or milk. So, if its strawberry ice-cream, it will be like biting into a fresh strawberry. Likewise, mint chocolate chip will be like eating a cool mint chocolate. If it’s cheesecake, the sourness of the cheese has to come out and so on. Also, a good ice-cream is always creamy, light and smooth and should float in your mouth,” he says.

John has planned for 13 flavours on the creamery’s menu, including blueberry cheesecake, Ferrero Roche, extra dark chocolate, mint choco chip, biscotti, caramel, coffee, coconut, yoghurt, pista, strawberry, wildberries and rambutan flavours.

“The flavours will keep rotating. We don’t use preservatives or any sort of artificial colouring. Instead we make the ice-creams daily, with fresh fruit/ingredients. That’s why my ice-creams are low on sugar and that’s why the colour of our strawberry ice-cream is the palest of pinks and the vanilla one is a slightly brown in colour. I make all the ice-creams in store and the customers will be able to see me making them. That why we’re calling ourselves the live ice-cream store,” explains John, as he shows us around the space, his brand new ice-cream churners, freezers, storage and display units and coffee machines, all of which he has imported from abroad.

In addition to freshly-made ice-creams, waffles, brownies, a selection of cakes and pastries, and coffee will also be available to order. The thing to watch out for, apparently, are their waffles, drizzled with sinfully rich sea salt caramel sauce and chocolate nirvana sundae, with sponge cake, several scoops of ice-cream and the like.

“The caramel sauce, the brownies and cakes are based on my sister, Ansu Paul’s secret recipes. She is a lawyer and home-baker, now based in London,” says John. “The creamery started off as my passion. Now it’s become a family affair with my parents, R.C. Mathew and Mary also chipping in to get it off and running. Initially, I had planned to open my store in Bengaluru. Then, I came home for a short visit and realised that the city is going through a food revolution and it really needs a creamery,” he adds.

Okay, enough of chit chat. How do John’s homemade ice-creams taste, you must be wondering? We had a sampling of his mint chocolate chip and it was as creamy, luscious and delicious as promised, with the flavour of mint tingling all the way down the belly, exactly as it should.

Paul’s Creamery is on the Kowdiar-Devasom Board road and will open its doors for business around Onam.

For updates on upcoming tasting events and opening date check their Facebook page, @paulscreameryindia

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 9:03:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/john-mathai-paul-on-his-homemade-ice-cream-store-pauls-creamery/article19173906.ece

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