• James

Believe, Imagine and Explore

Each of us are blessed with 86,400 seconds a day, so it is never about having enough time, it is a question of what we do with the time we are blessed with. For me my journey in gelato began at an early age growing up with an amazing Mom and Dad and my 3 brothers. We did not have much, but our parents working multiple jobs myself and my brothers never knew anything about struggles or challenges, we knew about love and we knew about the power of family. This is the gift my parents gave me, with my Mom who is 93 right now and living with my younger brother and my Dad, who died suddenly of cancer on April 19, 2005. I owe so much to them and tell my Mom constantly I love her and I grab strong positive memories of my Dad pretty much every day.


My journey in gelato is relatively new staring in 2009, so I feel pretty new and excited about what I do and how I see the future. Sure there has been some amazing times since I started, some surprising moments which I was caught off guard, but I always remembers the lessons from my Mom, Dad and my brothers. And during the toughest times, I recalled my moments climbing some of the highest mountains in the world. The beauty, the challenges, the decisions and the scenery around me. I have an uncanny memory that way and can fortunately relive the sense of situations long past as if they were yesterday.


Climbing and outdoors whether it be water or mountains for me are my place, my sanctuary, my grounding and my safe place. And it was on June 3rd, 2008 at 9 pm, that this all came together when my climbing partner at the time, Len Vanderstar and I stood on top of Canada after 29 days of effort.



It took 35 days to get to the top, here holding the Royal Canadian Geographic Society's flag.
James reaches the top of Canada, Mount Logan.

That climb taught me so much which would do me solid in my gelato journey years later. That climb earned me a Fellowship with the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and in 2015 I was even named as one of Canada's Greatest Explorers. Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak is not an easy mountain with few climbers ever trying to reach the summit and even fewer making it. During that climb Len and I faced multiple moments where our lives were in danger and situations which I though I might not survive, but I did. You can read about it with an on-line article Canadian Geographic put out about it here. Now one might wonder about how this has to do with my gelato journey, but it has everything to do with it.


Here is a poster we did to celebrate that climb and the words, "Believe, Imagine, Explore", had much motivation to me climbing as it does with gelato.


The top of Canada.

Climbing Mount Logan was first about believing that I could do it, imagining how to do it and the exploring the moments that were handed to me. Gelato is the same to me in that I believe I can get better and make delicious gelato, imagining how to do it calling upon my schooling at Gelato University and then explores ways to craft it using ingredients and equipment.


Like the old timers in Italy say, but in English here, "Many people can produce gelato, but few know how to make it." So true in todays world of open bags, quick equipment and easy processes. But my gelato is about believing that some people want quality, some people care about ingredients and want real flavours, not industrial cans of flavours. I believe that there is a place for cheap, fast and industrial gelato, but also a place for the best. I think that some people when tasting great gelato, their standards rise with the flavour, the texture and the taste. Some people don't care and that is ok, the world is a diverse place for all types of gelato making systems, processes and ingredients. It is the gelato maker that uses their passion, their attitude and their desires to make a gelato they are proud of.


I try to honour my teachers, my family, my close personal relationships, my fans and my critics by making delicious gelato. I believe I can get better, I imagine new ways to the future and I want to explore what is impossible. That is my journey, that is my 86,400 seconds a day.



James


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