Several weeks ago our Executive Chef walked into my office and said, “I have a surprise for you,” and he plopped down a few cartons of what looked like ice cream and a bunch of spoons. What I tasted, however, was most definitely NOT ice cream, instead it was this creamy, rich, delicious, decadent, flavorful, satisfying cold gelato – from buffalo milk – that is, water buffalo! I was hooked … and intrigued!
Another surprise – Chef set up a field trip for all our staff to tour the Di Bufula Dairy which is located at what used to be the St. Anthony’s Rehabilitation Center, just down the road in Valley Ford. It is there, on this beautiful piece of property with state of the art equipment, that owner, Andrew Zlot, and his team make this creamy concoction that will, for sure, be the next foodie desire!
Our crew arrived around 10 a.m. and were met by Andrew, Curtis and Melissa who graciously took a large chunk out of their very busy and labor-intensive day to give our staff a grand tour of the herd, the milking facilities, and the creamery. We were introduced to the newest members of the herd who arrived recently from the midwest and the calves (omg – could they be any cuter!) who were born just a few weeks and/or months ago.
One immediately understands that Andrew absolutely loves what he does. He gave us an overview of the entire process, detailed information on raising the water buffalo, milking techniques and gelato-making 411 – needless to say we were captivated! Later we enjoyed a perfectly cooked buffalo burger with all the fixings and of course, some of that mouth-watering, delicious gelato. My personal favorite right now: Salted Caramel – yummmmm!
While the Di Bufula Dairy Gelato is making its way into restaurants in Marin County, one of the best spots to enjoy it is, of course, bay side at Nick’s Cove.
Gelato is not all Andrew has up his sleeve … he will soon be turning his passion for cheese-making towards another fan-favorite: the elusive Mozzarella! I cannot wait to taste that (and serve it at the restaurant)!
What a treat for all of us at Nick’s Cove to get a first-hand, up-close tour with Andrew, his team and those beautiful animals!
A huge, heartfelt thank you to Di Bufula Dairy!
Update – since our trip, I took my son to feed the calves and Andrew informed me that one of the water buffalos who had arrived from the midwest was named after me: DENA-V17 … how cool is that?