BY JENI BRITTON BAUER
I started making ice cream when I was very young, just 21. At the time, I’d developed a serious hobby blending perfumes and had amassed quite a collection of essential oils. I began using them to cook with, adding drops of basil essential oil to pasta and geranium or rose petal to berry jams, or blending tarragon essential oil into butter for freshly baked bread.
Until one day, I took oil of cayenne—which had no scent, only heat—and mashed it into chocolate ice cream. Cold... sugar…chocolate… and then the intense heat of the cayenne oil unfurled in that order.
I was hooked!
I knew in that moment the great and beautiful potential of ice creams and, like some cosmic space-time event, the sky opened up and I knew I would spend the rest of my life making the best ice creams I could imagine.
Because what we imagine will always be better than what actually exists. And all these years later —23 — I’m still deeply, madly, truly in love with ice cream.
I dropped out of art school (walked out of a figure drawing class to be more specific) to make ice cream full time.
And I never looked back.
READ MORE OF JENI'S INSPIRED STORY IN ISSUE 11 WHICH YOU CAN DOWNLOAD NOW!
Jeni has been making ice creams professionally for two decades. Before that, she studied art, worked in a bakery, and had a serious hobby blending perfumes and collecting essential oils. Jeni founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002. Her ahead-of-the-trend vision—using whole ingredients and dairy from grass-pastured cows, rather than synthetic flavorings and commodity ice cream mix—coupled with inspired flavors sparked the artisan ice cream movement more than a decade before it would become a top food trend. Jeni is a James Beard Award-winning author of two cookbooks and has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business.