Named as one of the world’s most promising chefs*, Kitty Travers runs La Grotta Ices – a small inventive ice cream manufacturer specializing in fresh ripe fruit ice creams and sorbets for all seasons from a former greengrocers shop in Lambeth called her ‘ice cream shed’.
La Grotta Ices was established in 2008. The name means the ice cream ‘Cave’ or ‘Grotto’ and it was named after the cool green sea caves of the Italian coast.
The La Grotta Ices range changes weekly. The intent is to create inventive ice creams that mirror the bright flavor of an exquisite, ripe fruit but with an almost supernaturally smooth and sublime texture. Focus is on using minimally processed fresh, whole ingredients and working within the confines of the seasons and simplicity to do so.
Flavours can run from Carrot Seed and Kumquat to Fresh Peach Custard, Fig Leaf and Raspberry Sorbet to Green Walnut. They are sold from the back of a small white Piaggio Ape – The same vehicle used to sell fruits and vegetables in Neapolitan markets direct from the farm.
During ice cream eating season the Ape is based at the heart of London Food production: Spa Terminus in Bermondsey. Tubs of La Grotta ice cream can also be found year-round at select London shops – Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch, e5 Millhouse in Hackney and General Store in Peckham. The Ape returns to its pitch at Frieze Art Fair regularly, and Kitty teaches a long established class in ice cream making at the multi award winning School of Artisan Foods in Nottinghamshire.
Kitty’s first recipe book ‘La Grotta Ices’ published by Penguin Random House, is out now and available here at Prufrock.
*Phaidon COCO 2009
Photos by Grant Cornett