In addition to locally grown produce, the Dallas Farmers Market is also ensuring that ice cream is a customer amenity. While Roomie's Ice Cream serves carefully composed frozen treats, there's a second ice cream concept called Kelvin Kreations that takes an avant-garde "molecular" approach to ice cream.
Kelvin Kreations is the creation of Will Branstetter, a beekeeper and honey-maker who owns Dallas-based Round Rock Honey. That was his source of inspiration to start making ice cream. "I'd been thinking about doing something with honey for a while, and got the idea of doing ice cream," he says. "I hadn't seen anything like what we're doing in the marketplace."
His ice cream uses honey instead of sugar and it's made from scratch. But what makes it unique is that it's made on-site with the use of liquid nitrogen.
"We use a machine that is basically a souped-up KitchenAid mixer, which injects liquid nitrogen into your liquid base and freezes it on the spot," he says. "We developed it as a catering concept, where we could take the machine to events and do ice cream and mixed drinks."
A couple of local restaurants use liquid nitrogen in a similar manner: Stampede 66 uses liquid nitrogen to make its $18 prickly pear margarita tableside; chef Dunia Borga was among the first local chefs to use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream, which is served at the La Duni in Fairview Village.
But an operation like Branstetter's is still relatively rare, and shows the kind of foodie direction the market is pursuing.
"We have two base flavors, Madgascar vanilla bean and dark chocolate, which we make using organic dark cocoa from Green & Black's," he says. "Our signature item is our Boom Choc Alotta: It's dark chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate chips that we top with dark chocolate-covered bacon. The bacon gives it a little salt. It's a neat thing. Everybody's like, 'Wow, bacon.'"
Kelvin Kreations originally debuted at the market in 2014 and can now be found at the market on weekends. A cup of ice cream has three scoops and goes for $6. It takes a minute and a half to freeze and Branstetter says that, for customers, seeing it made is half the fun. "When you add the liquid nitrogen, it adds a lot of smoke, so it's like a show," he says.