Internationally acclaimed pastry and dessert chef Christy Tania has surfaced in Windsor. Open less than a week (opened 24 August) Glacé Frozen Artisanal's big yellow submarine is hard to miss on 1A, Peel Street, Windsor. Operating from 7.30am for coffee and full menu from 10am onwards to late, this is a submarine you'd gladly submerge with and happily not come up for air for a while.
A regular in the MasterChef kitchen as a guest chef, Christy's last dessert challenge (Season 9, Episode 17 on Mon 22 May 2017) put the contestants in more than a tizzy when they had to recreate her Floating Ice Cream with a helium-filled toffee balloon. That's one piece of magic that's going to go down in history, along with her Mistique from the season before that drew gasps from contestants and judges alike, both involving no less than 60 plus steps, of course!
You can expect the same amazing output from Christy who took the leap of faith from being IBM Singapore's youngest female manager at the age of 23, to undertaking classical training at the Ducasse Institute Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Pattiserie near Lyon. Since then she's woven her magic in kitchens at The Ritz in Paris, Shannon Bennett's Vue De Monde, Sake and Jacques Raymond to mention a few, including being head chef at OmNom in Melbourne, and executive pastry chef at the Langham Hotel.
From the hands of someone who has plated up desserts for Johnny Depp and former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, it's time to shine in her own store, right here in Windsor, (lucky me) where I live.
I had a bit of a fan-girl moment meeting Christy who was onboard on the day I visited. Here before me was a young genius who had jumped out of Masterchef which I watch religiously, chatting to me about the nostalgia that is 'Yellow Submarine', a song her father used to sing all the time. She talked about the natural, low GI sugar she sources for her desserts that don't make you feel bloated and full, after consumption. Only then did it dawn on me that I felt pretty good even after wolfing down three ice creams, a frozen ice cream eclair and a cup of hot coffee.
I was taking full advantage of that current free scoop of ice cream special. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.
We went on to chat about her corner shelf full of a large variety of Weiss French chocolate for which Christy is an ambassador. Again, it was a nostalgic decision as it's the chocolate she worked with during her training, which at the time was not commonly known to the rest of the world. I can highly recommend it if the rest is (and I have no doubt it will be) anything like the block of Chocolat Caramelatte - Fleur De Sel De Guérande (an all natural sea salt from Brittany France that is hand harvested in the town of Guerande between May and September) I bought as well.
I'm not into smooth chocolates and never buy plain dairy milk but I was swayed by the caramel and sea salt content, which I love. I'm going to have to race back in and buy another block because this smooth chocolate was full of body, aroma and flavours to die for. I'll have to work hard at moving past it to try the many other flavours available.
In a decor that is very yellow (I have to admit not my favourite colour, but I'd happily forgive this one) it's fitted with pressure gauges, pipes and airlock door handles. There's a spattering of bar stools to prop yourself on by the window as you watch the world go by, and around the corner at the coffee station.
It's light, airy and spacious and everything evolves around the simple joys of eating ice creams and desserts, though this is at a whole other level, with Christy creating art and focussing on quality ingredients. Surprisingly you'll also find warm desserts like Sticky Date Pudding soaked in rum with butterscotch sauce, spice crumble and crunchy meringue (it's Christy, remember!) with vanilla ice cream; Chocolate Lava Cake with homemade berry jam, crumble and rich chocolate sauce with 72% dark chocolate ice cream and vanilla ice cream; and other Special Flavours like the Apple Tatin, Double Cookies and Cream and so on.
There's also sorbets on offer like lemon, raspberry, strawberry passionfruit, mango passion, Ispahan (lychee rosewater sorbet with raspberry sorbet), coconut sorbet with coconut jam, and more.
If you're a dessert and ice cream aficionado, you'll be in heaven with the rest of the ice cream menu. You can even feel like you're doing yourself a healthy favour with 72% dark chocolate ice cream. I went for the Ginger Spice which is vanilla ice cream with salted butterscotch and gingerbread crumble, the Coffee Caramel which is caramel milk chocolate ice cream with Kahlua and orange cinnamon crumble and the Spice Cadet which is cinnamon plus 58% chocolate ice cream with chocolate fudge sauce and chewy brownie and that's just the tip of the iceberg this yellow submarine has to offer. You'll just have to discover the other gastronomic delights like the eclairs and other desserts yourself.
Bring along an insulated esky and you too can take home 500ml tubs of Christy's ice cream which works out to buy two get the third free when you buy more. Tempting!