For years, La Glace founder and culinary director Mark Tagulao served his French-style scoops from an ice-blue cart in Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew and at TED conferences (where Karlie Kloss, Steven Spielberg, and Cher all stopped by for a lick). But Tagulao is cart-bound no longer: La Glace’s bricks-and-mortar Kitsilano parlour finally opens August 4, and its recipes—which use heavy cream, egg yolks, and less aeration than American ice cream—are a welcome addition to Vancouver’s ice cream scene.
“La Glace was bringing what inspired us, or things that we tasted from different cuisines around the world, to Vancouver,” says Tagulao, who studied pastry in Bangkok and Manila after quitting his banking day job in 2010. Everything at the new shop is made from scratch, often using homegrown bounty—local berries, Burnaby’s Avalon Dairy, and lavender from Langley’s Full Bloom Farm—but also going global in pursuit of whatever will bring “inspiration to our palate, and bring some ingenuity to what we would be able to offer to Vancouver.” Tagulao takes advantage of Vancouver’s multicultural palate, seeking top-quality suppliers for foreign flavours like pandan, fennel pollen, and tonka beans. “It’s not just going to any grocery store. You dig deeper and you find out who’s actually bringing it in, and is this place trustworthy,” he says.
The proof is in the pudding. La Glace produces rich and silky ice cream, with decadent classics like the Ganache (featuring Valrhona sustainable dark chocolate) and Crème de la Crème (made with pure vanilla bean). Tasty twists include Bananes Foster’s roasted banana rum cream with swirls of cinnamon and toffee; tangy passionfruit milk chocolate; and roasted hazelnut, Cointreau, and Muscadine chocolate truffle. Vegan options made with coconut milk or house-made cashew milk are also available—Coco Pandan, with coconut cream pandan and flecks of toasted coconut is equally creamy as its full-dairy counterparts.
More than a simple cup or cone selection (though waffle cones are crafted from gaufrette), La Glace also offers artisanal pairings for the dessert: macaron shells and financiers, profiteroles and dacquoises. These delicate pastries, whether as toppings or vessels, complete the experience in the marble-and-mint shop. Conceived by Tagulao’s long-time friends at Granville Island-based Arithmetic, the art nouveau-meets-art deco atmosphere, anchored by a mural of white peacocks by local artist James Knight, suggests at once a faraway elegance and enchantment.
“All things are better when shared with someone cherished,” so goes La Glace’s mantra—and all are invited to indulge.
La Glace, 2785 W 16th Ave, Vancouver, BC.
Photos by Gillian Stevens.
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