What do you get when a former executive pastry chef with exceptional food knowledge takes over a storied gelato joint? Frosty dessert experiences that border on the orgasmic that’s what. On my first visit I tried 20 Art of Flavors seasonally crafted gelatos and nearly had a meltdown. Toasted honey, sweet potato caramel-pecan, spicy chocolate, roasted pistachio strawberry, red wine hibiscus. All were exquisite yet not oversaturated. The 70% cacao chocolate gelato approached a level of sensory overload, but if that’s a flaw it’s easy to forgive. The sorbet flavors were excellent too with fresh mango, passion fruit, and guava sparingly sugared to perfection.
Among his list of qualifications, the shop’s new owner, Doug Taylor oversaw the creation of dessert menu items at Mario Batali’s Las Vegas restaurants and assisted the celebrity chef in opening a San Diego property too. He taught agriculture classes for University of Nevada’s Cooperative Extension and grew an urban orchard with 50 fruit-bearing trees in the front yard of his downtown Las Vegas home. Yes, he’s a chef who can also farm. Moreover, he acted as a liaison between local commercial farmers and chefs at fine dining establishments on the LV Strip. Taylor is a food expert with a passion for sourcing produce. He employs a food-science perspective to highlight his ingredients natural qualities. The chef bears a great respect for the fruits and other food products he uses and it shows.
Gelato flavors presently in the works include pine nut, sugar free China Ranch date, brown butter pecan-brittle, cold infused espresso bean, as well as a raspberry sorbet. My expectation is that offerings will ever be evolving at Art of Flavors. Paying a visit really is like taking in a sublime exhibit at a fine art gallery. It’s an experience I’m looking forward to enjoying again and again.