Edible Innovations: Reinventing Ice Cream with David Marx

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Edible Innovations: Reinventing Ice Cream with David Marx

From Singapore to the USA and all around Europe, Edible Innovations profiles food makers that engage in improving the global food system at every stage, from production to distribution to eating and shopping. Join us as we explore the main trends in the industry from a maker perspective. Chiara Cecchini of Future Food Institute — an ecosystem with a strong educational core that promotes food innovation as a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future — introduces you to the faces, stories, and experiences of food makers around the globe. Check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays for new installments.

Food historians tell us that the history of ice cream begins with ancient flavoured ices that came from China as early as 3000 BC. Marco Polo is popularly cited for having introduced this treat to the rest of the world.

Today, we are speaking with a new ice-cream maker. David Marx has created a new aesthetic language, texture, recipe, and manufacturing process for ice-cream. “In other words,” he says, “my ice-cream differs in almost every way from what currently exists on the market!”

Believing that it was time to make ice cream more beautiful, futuristic, and healthier, Marx took his creation and started Dream Pops. “The idea originated with molecular gastronomy 12 years ago. Food suddenly became malleable, reshaped, and thus given a completely new staging. As a food designer and marketing specialist, I was of course immediately interested in it.”

So David, tell us more about it!

“As a designer and marketing specialist, I had already focused a lot on the theme of ice cream. I designed some products and developed suitable campaigns. But far too often I was annoyed by the product quality and the associated empty product promise.”

To remake the ice-cream, David knew he needed assistance, so he asked for help from Juan Amador, a three-star chef. “An almost endless source of inspiration, and next to Ferran Adria, he is my culinary role model.” says David.

Juan actually turned out to be pretty interested in Marx’s vision. “I discussed with him further using the comment function, and talked about what I intended with it, and that I absolutely needed a so-called body for the ice cream. Something that “held” the cocktail. He then sent me a suggestion which immediately inspired me,” said David. “Until then, I hadn’t even realized that it was really the 3-star chef Juan Amador I was dealing with. It was extraordinary.”

So, how did you go from inspiration to the actual creation?

“Like a sponge, I absorbed everything, every detail. After all, I already had more than 6 months of experience from the Maremoto. I was already familiar with the most important techniques and I constantly went to the kitchen to watch and ask questions.

I began to understand Juan’s combinations, and I was inspired to pursue my own experiments. I gradually created whole desserts in popsicle form, including undertaking their deconstruction in the form of street-level desserts.”

Obviously it has not been as easy task – we know that ice-cream making is a science in itself. Most ice-cream recipes have been formulated on a common basis that has not seen drastic changes in the last 100 years.

But Marx got to a design where ice-cream is easy to hold, aesthetically beautiful to look at, and small enough to be affordable and not taxing on one’s diet. “An ice cream for everyone,” he says.

“Over the past three years, I’ve certainly designed more than a hundred different recipes, some of which are entire desserts in popsicle form, because they represent a wide range of tastes. My Pan Asia, for example, is based on coconut milk with pandan leaves, lemon grass, ginger, chili, and Thai basil. It’s sweetened exclusively with rice syrup. It doesn’t get tastier than that.”

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Chiara is fascinated by food as a means to impact bodies, minds, and environment. She has studied international business in three different countries, and is an alumni of the Food Innovation Program and US Director at the Future Food Institute.

Based in California, she is also a Research Scholar at Food Science and Technology at UC Davis, working on building the first comprehensive Internet of Food to enable food care through food systems semantics. She is a selected member of Barilla Center Food Nutrition Foundation, a Research Affiliate at Institute For The Future, Board Member at Maker Faire and selected member of the Global Shapers, a young global network of innovators promoted by the World Economic Forum.

She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and impact investing, and aims to leave her mark on society.

View more articles by Chiara Cecchini


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