Inside Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier travels mainly on the run, his office in his backpack, on the lookout for fascinating subjects and people. He speaks to everyone and is interested in all walks of life in this urban chronicle.
Cotton candy overflowing “unicorn poop”, edible “science kits” for children, sundaes Arruda to natas (Portuguese tartlets) or adorned with a chocolate “Mount Royal cross” are some of the original and eminently photogenic frozen dishes from the Iconoglace dairy.
Of course, I abstained from lunch and dinner in order to present myself with an empty stomach, fully ready for my mission, at the commerce on rue Bélanger.
An enticing scent of butter emanated from the waffle iron from which the cones are taken.
“It takes three hours of work for an employee to make the 300 cones we need every day,” explains Anabelle Berkani, the owner of the small business who employs 30 people, including three cooks, seven days a week.
Lines around the corner forced the creamery to buy a second cash register and increase the number of employees behind the counter.
“Even in April when it was unpleasantly cold, there were always people here. »
Mme Berkani has 27 years of experience in the film industry, notably as an assistant director, and it shows. The name Iconoglace includes the prefix ikonos, the Greek word for image. And the desserts offered here were all “produced and made” in stages.
“It takes a long time to develop a new dessert from a basic idea because not only does it have to be good, but I want it to be beautiful. »
A mother of three children, she wanted to start a business in the world of food while having quiet months.
“It’s six months of madness during the summer, then in the winter, I can travel, take culinary training and develop my new recipes for the following spring,” she says.
Creameries have a reputation for often picking bad puns for names, and Mme Berkani tells me that she wants to honor this tradition.
“My coffee ice cream latte is called the wake up call and its vegan version, the Woke-up call she laughs.
When I go down to the kitchen where Iconoglace’s young pastry chef, Alexane Labonté, is busy making the vegan ice cream (made from oat milk) that the place is famous for.
For ice cream with milk, Iconoglace uses Coaticook.
“After several weeks of developing a new dessert step by step, after lots of trial and error, when it’s finally successful and you see the final result, it’s moving, I shed a tear! »
The latest “iconoglacian” creation by Mmy Berkani and Labonté, a sundae with maple syrup baklava called the Phyllo-sophistbroke all sales records when it launched this spring.
Photo Chantal Poirier
Anabelle Berkani and her pastry chef and partner in dessert creation, Alexane Labonté, pose behind a sundae with a chocolate cross inspired by Mount Royal.
For my part, after having tasted a quantity of succulent food in the kitchen, I opted, for symbolic reasons, for the sundae Mont Royalwhich features a chocolate cross on a “mountain” of ice cream.
Biscuit, chocolate, caramel… I enjoy moaning with professional satisfaction. If you come here one evening, remember not to dine too much in order to save space.
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