The Story Behind Chef Jöne Pan’s Gourmet Gelato
A woman falls in love, discovers the love wasn’t real or shared, and then embarks on a heroic quest to find her true love. Now replace what you thought was a statuesque male specimen with ice cream. Today we discover the Story Behind Chef Jöne Pan’s Gourmet Gelato.
Hi Jöne, thank you for taking some time from your delicious gelato wizardry to talk to us today about yourself and your Gourmet Gelato. Like many of us in the Paleo community, we have adverse reactions to processed foods. What was the point of no return for you, or better asked, when did you say enough is enough to regular ice cream…
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you started making Gourmet Gelato?
I was born and raised in California and made a career change from corporate Finance to cooking in fine-dining in both California and France. I was classically trained in France with a focus on French Cuisine. Let’s just say I was on a diet of bread, chocolate cake, pastries, dairy, and sugar.
Needless to say, I got increasingly sick starting in my early 20s to late 20s. Something had to change. After going to several doctors where all I got were prescriptions, I went to an integrative Med doc, Dr. Daniel Auer. Turns out I was severely intolerant to everything I was consuming (gluten, dairy, eggs) which was causing my chronic issues. I “went Paleo” and never looked back; it was like night and day in terms of the change in the quality of life.
For obvious reasons, I changed the ingredients in my cooking. I then fell into chef consulting for individuals as well as small businesses on Paleo/Gluten Free menu planning/cooking. Since I couldn’t have dairy, eggs, or sugar which makes the base of traditional ice cream, I started experimenting for myself at home so I could fill this “void” as I used to consume pints of ice cream every week.
I wanted to challenge conventional thinking that “healthy alternatives” had to be tasteless, so I made it my mission to create a high-quality gelato without any of the traditional ingredients. I gave away the test batches to friends and clients.
Eventually, I received a demand for my Paleo gelato and turned it to a business. It has been so gratifying to have customers that haven’t had frozen desserts for 5 years (!), as well as diabetics seeking me out so that they can enjoy sweet gelato without any negative effects.
How did you find yourself in the Paleo community? What are some of your memorable experiences working within the Paleo community?
Finding myself in the Paleo community was just a natural progression when I changed to a Paleo lifestyle. My doctor, Dr. Daniel Auer referred me to many of his patients that needed my help. Through this, and networking, it’s been a really great journey meeting more and more in the Paleo community.
When I first started my Paleo journey, my most memorable experiences were teaching others on how the Paleo lifestyle is relatively easy and straight forward to follow, especially in California where good produce and protein is easily accessible. It’s been great teaching others how to cook delicious food that nourishes your body and makes you feel great.
In terms of my gelato, one of my most memorable experiences is when a mother with a diabetic daughter sought me out, bought 12 pints of my gelato at the supermarket to stock up for her family, and thanked me that her daughter was finally able to have gelato safely.
As an entrepreneur with a new, small business, there are some struggles and these comments really warm my heart and make it all worth it. In my opinion, making food for others is spreading happiness. It’s a bonus that my gelato is free of the Top 8 Allergens so it’s more accessible to everyone. Food allergies, or not, I’ve received a lot of good feedback from traditional dairy ice cream eaters as well. 🙂
What’s in the Gelato? How and where do you prepare it? Do you use a giant black cauldron? Would you if I sent one?
My gelato is organic coconut milk based, and sweetened with xylitol sourced from birch trees. I also have a Special Edition line that I make just for the amazing Paleo cafe, Mission Heirloom in Berkeley. It is sweetened with organic, raw honey. I use local and organic ingredients as much as possible.
I don’t have a giant black cauldron yet, but it is prepared in a commercial kitchen in the Dogpatch, San Francisco. If you send me a black cauldron, I would certainly use it! Sometimes people ask if there’s no dairy, eggs, refined sugar, soy, or nuts, then what’s in it? I say love and magic. The cauldron would work wonders for this response!
Where Do You Get Your Coconuts Sourced From?
Thailand! Sadly, coconuts do not grow in California.
How many different kinds of Gelato do you carry? What’s your personal favorite flavor?
Right now, I have about 6 -7 flavours depending on the season. I am a chocolate person, so I lean toward Dark Chocolate. I use 72% soy-free Guittard chocolate along with organic, raw cacao. It’s delicious and has a depth of flavor.
Any New Jöne Pan Gourmet Gelato Flavors on the Horizon?
On your website, I see that you only deliver to San Francisco addresses only. Will that changes? Because frankly, I like to have my sweets delivered straight from the store to my mouth by magic.
Well, since we have established that it is made with magic, I am currently working on sending it from the store to your mouth by magic. I have been researching high and low for affordable AND green shipping as I have a ton of requests from all over the U.S. (Open to tips if you have them!) TBD!
Have you ever been in an ice cream food fight? If not, can we schedule a time for that?
I haven’t yet! This sounds like a great idea. We need to make sure there are Paleo toppings involved as well!
LoveBean Fudge or Caramel maybe? Now that would be fun. Any last words of wisdom for our Paleo peoples?
Hmmm… Eat your vegetables(!), be mindful, live in the moment, follow your passion, listen to your gut, spread kindness, and eat gelato! 🙂
Find Chef Jöne Pan and Jöne’s Gourmet Gelato:
Chef Jöne Pan’s Gourmet Gelato