Tools of My Trade: 7 Things That Inspire a Brilliant Ice Cream Maker
1. Princess Portrait
"Years ago, I did a collection of flavors influenced by Marie Antoinette (like Toasted Brioche with Butter and Jam). While researching, I discovered Princess de Lamballe, who came to a brutal end in the French Revolution. But she lives on in my office, along with Zelda Fitzgerald and George Washington, all a reminder that inspiration can come from anywhere, especially history!"
2. Ice Cream Sculpture
"I was in fourth or fifth grade when I made this. I remember thinking at the time that it'd be fun to work in an ice cream shop, but clearly I had no clue how far things would go! This cone has followed me from my childhood home to a place of honor on my desk."
3. Spices and Powders
"These are great for coloring ice cream without artificial stuff. Turmeric turns our Savannah Buttermint yellow; beet powder gives our Orchid Vanilla macaroon sandwiches (above) a purple tint. But despite our inventive varieties, I will never fall out of love with our humblest flavor: Lemon Frozen Yogurt."
4. Goat's Milk Soap
"My hands get really dry from washing them so often, so I keep bars of this by the sinks in the test kitchen and at home. It's gentler on the skin."
5. Shipbuilder's Books
"I've come to refer to my company as a ship: The team is the crew, and we work to make our boat seaworthy—even in storms, like when we're blasted with orders. I use the metaphor so much that I now collect books related to the ocean."
6. Vintage Scoop
"A lot of old-fashioned gadgets look cool but don't actually work well. I found this metal scoop at an antiques mall in Ohio, and it's magical. It glides through ice cream and releases it perfectly without too much melting."
7. Gourmet Magazines
"When a hip grocery store opened in Columbus, they used old Gourmets for wallpaper and asked if I wanted the leftover issues, which date back to the '60s! I find them endlessly useful. They're full of character: history, travel and true food journalism."