C.J. Jacobson, chef/partner Aba, Chicago
It’s been a long time coming, what with a particularly chilly and gray winter, but rooftop season is coming back to Chicago. There’s one at Aba (meaning father in Hebrew), a Mediterranean grill by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises at the Fulton Market District, an extension of Ema (meaning mother in Hebrew) in River North. Kulfi, originally from India but popular in the Middle East, is made with a semi-condensed cream. At Aba, it’s blended with Turkish coffee, coriander caramel and Marcona almonds.
Sun, Moon and Stars
Desiree Le and Terence Lioe, founders, Cauldron Ice Cream, based in Santa Ana, Calif.
Cauldron Ice Cream’s founders got a taste for liquid-nitrogen ice cream while visiting Singapore in 2014. They left full time jobs to pursue that passion with Cauldron, now a growing chain, which has gained a little internet fame with the Puffle Cone, inspired by a Hong Kong street snack. This dreamy Sun, Moon and Stars ice cream is made with a blend of oolong, jasmine and green tea topped with white star sprinkles. The flavor combo is similar to milk tea found in boba tea shops.
Akash and Rana Kapoor, founders, Curry Up Now, available only at a San Jose, Calif. location
Curry Up Now’s specialty is innovative and approachable versions of traditional Indian flavors. This ice pop is made with New Delhi-style mango kulfi, which the founders love because it’s denser and creamier than typical ice cream, and served with candied fennel, something you sometimes see in little dishes in the entryways and exits of your favorite Indian restaurant.
Scott Slater, founder, Slater’s 50/50, based in Los Angeles
Scott Slater, referred to within his company as the “Baron of Bacon,” isn’t shy about taking something good and pairing it with another good thing — and then another. This is the result come-to-life, a combination of childhood favorite peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich with a juicy burger — bacon of course — and then a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.