I was indeed smitten when I first tried the Tcho chocolate ice cream from Smitten Ice Cream. It is not overly sugary, and Brrr, the patented liquid-nitrogen ice cream maker, perfects the density and smoothness of the product due to its ability to freeze ingredients to minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit. The quality ingredients which Smitten invests in the ice cream show through their flavors. I try to make a stop at Smitten’s Hayes Valley location whenever possible. It’s sort of a big deal for someone who strictly ate gelato and almost never purchased ice cream – I’m definitely a convert here. (We’ve previously covered about the Hayes Valley location in this post.)
Needlessly to say, I was ecstatic when I had a chance to interview Robyn Sue Fisher, founder of Smitten, and attend an exclusive tasting at Smitten’s new Los Altos location!
Robyn introduced us to her team and kicked off the tasting. Each of the seven ice cream flavors came with a recommended topping pairing.
Meet Brrr. Seriously, I never get tired of watching it do its work.
Robyn carries herself with an inspiring charisma. When asked about where she and Chef Robyn Lyn Lenzi developed flavors, Robyn smiled, “It used to be at either Robyn (Lenzi)’s or my house. We’d sit on the ground because there would be so many different flavors we were experimenting with.” One can easily tell the passion as well as the blood and sweat poured into Smitten’s success today.
I was at business school and wasn’t inspired by any of the corporate jobs that were coming through the door and realized I wanted to dive into something I loved and try to make it better. – Robyn Sue Fisher
Robyn Sue Fisher holding a Meyer lemon gingersnap ice cream in a housemade waffle cone. The Meyer lemon gingersnap ice cream is one of my favorites from the tasting!
We ended the tasting with Brrrger – a brioche ice cream sandwich. The brioche is fluffy, which nicely contrasts to the smooth and dense ice cream in between. I love the texture from the crisps on the outer side of the brioche. The Brrrger will be coming to the Los Altos location next month, so be sure to look out for it!
There are many interviews out there about Robyn, but here’s one that I particularly find interesting – an interview about Robyn herself, entrepreneurship, and stories about “Kelvin” (now known as Brrr) from Techcrunch. I asked Robyn about the challenges she faced as a woman entrepreneur in the technology and culinary scene. I hope her answer empowers and inspires you as much as it does for me:
I actually think being a woman is an advantage – you stand out in the crowd. – Robyn Sue Fisher
Thanks Robyn and everyone on the Smitten team for your generous time!
Isabelle (San Francisco Bay Area) has called Taipei, Tokyo, Paris, and San Diego home and is now based in the Bay Area. She enjoys traveling, taking photos, and experimenting in the kitchen. You will likely find her carrying one too many cameras and trying new foods with her husband off the beaten path somewhere in the world. / Visit her at Instagram and say hello!