Cornbread. Red onion. Capers. Foie gras
. All tend to pop up on dinner menus—rather than on the ice cream list. Not so for Peter Arendsen, the Boulder-based wizard of Ice Cream Alchemy, who believes that any ingredient can inspire a frozen treat.
You won’t find his creations on a cone or in the freezer case. Instead, Arendsen blends custom gallons for area restaurants and catered Colorado events to transform any garnish, flavor, or concept into an ice cream. For the bouillabaisse at Brasserie Ten Ten
of Boulder, he created tiny scoops of rouille
. As a barbeque-inspired side, he made chunky cornbread ice cream, dotted with chives and cheddar cheese. And for a catered brunch? Lox, caper, and everything bagel—a classic trio served as a spumoni
. His ice creams have
made it to dessert menus, like the scoops of mascarpone topping beignets at the Empire Lounge
in Louisville. But it's the spectacular white truffle and aji pepper that have won him notoriety.
Having worked as everything from an electrician to an MCI business analyst, Arendsen never felt satisfied. So he abandoned more conventional career aspirations and trusted in his sweet tooth, buying a corner parlor and churning each gallon himself.
But the simplicity of the scoop shop didn’t suit him. “I got tired of making Cookies & Cream and Cookie Dough,” he says. “I discovered restaurants as a creative outlet, and made friends with some incredibly talented chefs.” With some on-the-ground training, he quickly learned to tone down the sweetness and play up each ingredient. The result? Ice creams that evoke flavor, rather than sugar.
While Arendsen can’t name one favorite flavor, his bacon pineapple would be in the running: a choice that’s hard to dispute. The pineapple ice cream is tangy but not tart, brightening the sizeable chunks of smoky, salty bacon.
Interested? Check out Peter's website
or shoot him an email
. While his concoctions have only appeared in area restaurants thus far, the Alchemist is looking to expand his reach to both coasts, and has the shipping capacity to get his ice cream to any chef in the nation, or any customer placing a four-gallon minimum order of whatever flavor—on or off his 200-strong list—they desire.