Why, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, of course! Since it was launched in 2009 by Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff, the Truck has been the talk of the town with its distinctive soft serve and toppings, which include Sriracha, elderflower syrup, wasabi pea dust, olive oil and sea salt. And lucky for OC FNO-goers, the truck will be parked amid the carnival booths tonight outside the Ace hotel, servin' up their finest! I chatted with Doug to see what the deal is with Big Gay these days.
Sofia Cavallo: Congratulations on opening your first brick and mortar location! Will you still be on big, gay wheels?
Douglas Quint: Yes, the truck will continue to roll part-time until the truck's seasonal permit puts it on hiatus November 1st. The truck is too fun to ever give it up! In my mind, having a shop here in NYC means it's time to try having the truck in other cities. I'm hoping to set up a truck temporarily in a few different places next summer.
SC: We're super stoked for FNO, what do you have in store for us?
DQ: I'm spicing up all my chocolate tonight, so get ready. Cayenne and cinnamon – I'm looking at you…
SC: Amazing! Is there an ice cream-eating "aha" moment that made you decide to start Big Gay?
DQ: Nope. Starting the truck was a freak occurrence; only after the stars aligned did we realize what a wonderful venture we had begun.
SC: Do you have a favorite ice cream combination?
DQ: We don't have favorite combinations of anything – there are infinite perfect variations. It always makes me sad when people pick just one thing. If I were to make something for myself right now, I'd simmer some blueberries in balsamic vinegar, then chill the mixture and have it over strawberry ice cream with a sprinkle of sea salt.
SC: Your toppings and combinations (chocolate ice cream and bacon Marmalade, for example!) are pretty ingenious. Where does your sense of flavor experimentation come from, did you play with food a lot as a kid?
DQ: I was an extremely conservative eater until my mid-twenties; I ate pepperoni pizza and carrot sticks exclusively until I turned 12. One day I had a bit of an epiphany and realized how tragic it was to not approach new food without preconceived distaste. I'm no Andrew Zimmern, but I do believe that most everything deserves a try.
SC: Finally, are you working on anything that we'll hopefully see at Big Gay soon?
DQ: We are playing around with a few different soft-serve flavors, so expect us to move into some weird territory soon. It's going to kick us to a whole new level of combinations.
Come scream for Big Gay ice cream at OC's FNO event tonight, at the Ace Hotel!