APEM. “A PEM”
The quick version.
Jennifer Ko and Alex Saneski. Two alumni of The French Culinary Institute when it was still called that. He was a manager at Il Laboratorio del Gelato in New York City then they both moved to California and opened Cremeux Ex Machina in the San Francisco Bay Area where they located their dairy facility on an organic dairy farm and sourced and sold their Gelato and Sorbet at various farmers markets especially the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Then Alex was bored of California and so they moved back to Jersey and opened a small place in Bloomfield. Boom there’s the story now get over here cuz we are making daily and running out daily. STOP.
Alex. My first experience with a frozen dessert was in Rome as a child when my family went to try to see the Pope. Didn’t happen, but at least I got to eat some 🍋 Sorbetto. That’s the standard from which I operate.
I first learned to make Gelato and Sorbet from Jon Snyder at Il Laboratorio del Gelato in the city. Before that, I went to the French Culinary Institute. Eventually, I ended up opening Cremeux Ex Machina in California to create something different. (You can read that story at www.calgelato.com.) Even though I had been making Gelato for years, when I opened my own creamery I really had to deconstruct and make my own language, so to speak. It allowed me the freedom to experiment with unique things that I’ve always wanted to do. We use fresh fruit in season so don’t assume we use purées like every other schmuck.
At heart, I love to just focus on one thing and do that day after day until I feel like I’ve mastered it. I don’t feel like I’m part of the ice cream world and rather I look to those really good single minded pizza makers or sushi chefs. Even though I went to a French culinary school Italy and Japan have played really big roles in our style. A properly ripened tomato served with mozzarella, torn bread, and good vinegar is something that connects you back to nature and a culture rooted in history rather than some overzealous junk food covered in everything possible. Maybe I’m not in tune with the times, but I don’t really care. I don’t have kids and my way of making gelato is no different than you raising your kids. I want it to be part of a culture that grows into something whole and can stand the test of time. I love America, but I try to live like a Roman.
Influences: Alice Waters, Robinson Jeffers, J & UG Krishnamurti, Dave Chappelle, Alice In Chains, the Wayans Bros and memories of my grandparents.