Meet the Ice Cream Makers - Kalte Lust

April 17, 2023

We sat together with Swiss ice cream makers Kalte Lust who offer over 100 of the finest ice cream flavors. To achieve climate-neutral results, they primarily process regional raw materials - fruits come from local farms whenever possible, and ingredients such as organic chocolate are sourced from our regenerative Original Beans chocolate. Even the sugar originates from Switzerland. 

Their motto: personal, regional, fair, and varied. 

Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds and how you became ice cream makers?

The three of us, Dominique Mattenberger – Co-Founder & Production Manager, Darko Bosnjak – Co-Founder & Accounting, and Florian Stähli – Co-Founder & CEO, are all trained chefs and we met over 20 years ago in the kitchen of the Hotel Gstaad Palace. We went our separate ways for a while, but always stayed in touch, and then fate intervened and we not only became good friends but also business partners and founded KALTE LUST. 

We wanted to create something of our own and be independent. We thought: If we make ice cream, we do it right and better than the industry before. We were excited to "reinvent" ice cream, a product that is not typically sustainable. For almost seven years now, we have made ice cream lovers throughout Switzerland happy with our handmade, regional ice cream, providing a high-quality alternative to the large, industrial brands.
How do you go about creating your recipes and selecting the ingredients?

Due to our professional backgrounds, we already bring a considerable wealth of experience. As chefs, we have worked with dozens of great ingredients and can recognize good products and their potential immediately. Usually, one of us has a good idea for a new flavor. We try and turn things upside down until we are satisfied with the final result. 

We also often collaborate with external personalities from the gastronomy industry. In 2020, our first collaboration with a top chef and well-known figure from the upscale gastronomy industry took place with Andy Vorbusch, pastry chef at Sven Wassmer's Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Two exclusive and limited flavors, "Sticky Rice with Valais Apricots" and "Kafi & Guetzli" (Swiss German for cookies), were created. A year later, Christoph Löffel, then reigning Pastry Chef of the Year, created two very special monthly flavors for us: "ein Löffel Wallis" and "Raspberry-Tarragon." The two flavors "Macadamia & White Chocolate" and "Burrata with Peach-Elderberry Jam" in 2023 were also marked by the highest level of enjoyment, created for us by none other than Heiko Nieder, Chef Fine Dining at The Dolder Grand in Zurich. Another great collaboration is planned for 2023 with the current biggest shooting star of the Swiss gastronomy scene, Dominik Hartmann from the restaurant Magdalena. 

When selecting our ingredients, their top quality is always our highest priority. Because we know that only with high-quality products the best and most delicious results can be achieved.
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable experience from your career in the food industry?

Our Haskap Berry Sorbet immediately comes to mind. At the time, we were asked by a Swiss organic farming family if we would be interested in making ice cream from their own grown berries. We had never heard of the super berry, which originally comes from Siberia, and were initially skeptical. Often, "superfoods" are very acidic and difficult to process. The taste of the Haskap berry immediately blew us away - in addition to a certain acidity, it surprises with an incredibly beautiful fruity note and dozens of vitamins and antioxidants, making it very good for your health. The sorbet is now one of the top favorites and is particularly popular in the summer due to its fresh note.

How do you integrate sustainable and/or ethical ingredients into your products?

We primarily use regional natural resources. Whenever possible, we prefer to source our fruits from local organic farms. The Jersey milk that forms the base of our ice cream comes from two local farms in Demeter and organic quality. Additionally, we support animal welfare by voluntarily paying higher prices for milk. Our top priority is to give everyone who comes into contact with our ice cream a positive feeling. And by everyone, we really mean everyone, from producers and employees to end customers. Ingredients that are not available in our region are sourced from trusted partners who share the same philosophy and whose work we can stand behind, either in fair trade or organic quality. This is the case, for example, with your chocolate.

Why do you enjoy working with Original Beans chocolate?

Because Original Beans not only shares the philosophy mentioned above but also provides high quality chocolate. Each chocolate has a unique, pure taste that makes our ice cream truly special.

Can you share a cooking tip you wish you knew when you started working with chocolate? 

Patience and a willingness to experiment are crucial when working with chocolate. When we started with KALTE LUST, we delved into chocolate for the first time. We knew that chocolate ice cream was always in the top 3 and therefore we had to create the best. Through countless tests and tastings, we realized how extremely different chocolate can be and that the many chocolate regions bring completely different flavors. The light coffee note of the Femme de Virunga 55% convinced us. With our stracciatella ice cream, it took us a while to figure out the perfect temperature for the liquid chocolate so that when it hits the cold ice cream and solidifies again, the chocolate pieces are not too small but also not too large. Many producers use cocoa products or mix vegetable oils into the chocolate for their stracciatella. We use the pure Virunga chocolate from Original Beans.

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or events that you're excited about?

A highlight is clearly our current limited monthly flavor, a chocolate dream made from Original Beans chocolate! The great thing about it is that the ice cream catapults you directly into chocolate heaven while also giving back and preserving nature and their animals. For this flavor we mainly used Virunga chocolate from the Congo, where Original Beans is committed to protecting the Virunga National Park and preserving the last 1000 mountain gorillas living there. We are also looking forward to many other events, such as the Open Air St. Gallen, where we will operate an ice cream stand for the third time. And of course, our collaboration with Dominik Hartmann. But to be honest, the entire season is our highlight, and we can't wait to experience all that we have prepared in winter.

Flavours of roasted nuts and cappuccino in this chocolate from rare Amelonado cacao inspires like the strong women lifting up lives around Virunga Park.

On the ground in Congo since 2008, we have witnessed strong women - or “Femmes” - restoring their communities from the rubbles of war. Your purchase of the strong Femmes 55% empowers these female leaders for peace.

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