TCHO Pro Robyn Lyn Lenzi
Kitchen Smitten Ice Cream
Title Chef de Brrr™
Awards / Recognitions Best Ice Cream in the Bay Area, Yahoo! News 2011
Culinary Credo "Push yourself to try something new every time you’re in the kitchen. And always put taste above appearance."
Favorite TCHO "Nutty"!
Which TCHO are you? "Cacao" — I think friends and coworkers would agree.
When you had a little red Radio Flyer wagon, what did you tote around? Perhaps you took your teddy bear for a spin, pulled your best friend around the block, or raced across town with a wagon full of newly found treasures. Robyn Lyn Lenzi and Robyn Sue Fisher had an entirely different role for their Radio Flyer — to transport their liquid nitrogen-enabled Brrr™ machine. That's right. A liquid nitrogen-enabled Brrr™ machine. Also known as the world's fastest and most delicious ice-cream making mechanism. Smitten Ice Cream's Brrr™ machines takes the world's freshest ingredients from scratch to finished ice cream in about a minute. The liquid nitrogen, at -321 degrees Fahrenheit, freezes ice cream in small ice crystals, creating the creamiest ice cream known to man. Ready to be even more Smitten? Read on to learn more about Smitten's Chef de Brrr™ Robyn Lenzi and Founder Robyn Sue Fisher!
Something interesting about yourself? Robyn Lyn Lenzi: "My background prior to working in the culinary field is in accounting and litigation consulting. This means I love numbers! I actually enjoy formulating recipes and costing ingredients—tasks most chefs absolutely can’t stand."
How did you hear about TCHO? Robyn Lyn Lenzi: "I previously worked with pastry chef Emily Luchetti at her restaurant, Waterbar. She was asked to help with TCHO’s beta testing—which essentially meant endless amounts of chocolate coming our way to play with!"
Favorite TCHO memory? Robyn Lyn Lenzi: "During TCHOs initial beta testing several years ago, when my kitchen regularly received pounds upon pounds of brand new chocolate samples. The pastry team would gather around to taste every kind and see what new flavors they were creating."
What drives your approach to cooking / baking? Robyn Lyn Lenzi: "It’s absolutely where I live. Working in food in the Bay Area is a luxury and privilege. Not to be cliché, but cooking in the style we know and love here so much—seasonality, using premium quality ingredients—drives my approach to nearly every sweet creation."
Do you still roll Brrr™ around in his little red wagon? Robyn Sue Fisher, Founder: "We bring the Radio Flyer and original prototype Brrr™ machine to private catering events, what we call wagoneering." For more information about wagoneering at your party, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The other four Brrr™s are located at our shop in Hayes Valley and churn ice cream seven days a week."
What made you think of creating ice cream by the cup? Robyn Sue Fisher, Founder: "The goal of Smitten is to (a) take out all of the extra ingredients (preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers needed for packaged ice cream), therefore showcasing the true purity of the flavor; and to (b) make the smoothest ice cream on earth (thanks to our liquid nitrogen-enabled Brrr™ machine). The faster (i.e., colder) you freeze ice cream, the smaller the ice crystal. The smaller the ice crystals, the smooth texture. Brrr™ perfects the rapid freezing process.
"By making each scoop to order, we therefore make the freshest, purest, creamiest ice cream on earth."
All-time favorite reaction after seeing your mad-scientist-esque methods of creating ice cream? Robyn Sue Fisher: "My favorite response that I have heard is, 'Now, THIS is what ice cream is supposed to taste like!'
"Additionally, it never fails to make me smile when I see the reaction from kids at our shop or on the wagon. Their eyes just light up as they take in the fog and see their ice cream made right before them. The sense of wonder that children possess is incredibly inspiring."
What did we forget that the world must know? Robyn Sue Fisher: "It’s important to me to maintain a healthy approach to life and business. At Smitten, healthy is about natural, whole foods and being conscious of our food choices. Since we’re going to eat dessert, we should choose to eat the good stuff! To me, a healthy business also means thinking about ways to stay environmentally and socially sustainable. With high quality ingredients and high quality values, I truly believe that Smitten has the recipe for success."
Smitten Ice Cream now has 9 locations in California, with their 10th coming soon!