Thank you Chicago!

China Challenge

August 5-7

Illinois Challenge

Sept 24-25 2016

German Challenge

Jan 21-22 2017

Italian Challenge

March 23-24 2017


June 9-11


Bon Appetit’s Chicago Gourmet, one of the nation’s largest and most celebrated culinary events, hosted a stage of the Gelato World Tour’s Illinois Challenge this weekend at Millennium Park in Chicago.

Seven flavors were selected as finalists and came together over the weekend to compete for a spot at the Grand Finale of the Gelato World Tour in Italy. A panel of expert culinary judges (50%) combined with the public vote (50%) decided the outcome of the competition.  The winners were announced at the Bon Appetit Culinary Stage at the close of Chicago Gourmet.

1st Place and moving on to compete in Rimini: “Breakfast at Nonna’s House” by Chef Michael E. Meranda of Gelato D’Oro, 1450 West Lake St., Addison, Illinois

Special Mention – Technical Jury: “Bella Sicilia” by Chef Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno, 464 North Halstead St., Chicago, Illinois

Special Mention – People’s Choice: “Caramelized Coconut Fudge” by Chef Amy Arnold of Bombo Bar, 182 Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois

The first place flavor “Breakfast at Nonna’s House” from the Illinois Challenge will move on to the Grand Finale in Italy to compete against the top flavors from around the world.  The finale will be held in Rimini, Italy, September 8-10, 2017 !

To see all the participants of the Illinois Challenge – click here

The Gelato World Tour, which is supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of Economic Development, as well as the Regione Emilia Romagna, is the first international traveling competition in search of the best flavors in the world. Gelato World Tour has visited ten Gelato Capitals – Rome, Valencia, Melbourne, Dubai, Austin, Berlin, Rimini, Singapore, Tokyo and Chicago. The tour also hosts more than 30 smaller competitions, like the Illinois Challenge, around the globe in locations such as Italy, China and Colombia. The Tour is directed by Carpigiani Gelato University, the world’s most renowned school for successful gelato entrepreneurs, and Sigep – Rimini Fiera, the world’s premier artisan gelato trade show. Two important partners make this event possible: IFI, international leader in the manufacturing of display cases for gelaterias, and PreGel America, the world’s largest producer of ingredients for gelato, pastry and coffee shops.

Now in its ninth year, Chicago Gourmet, the nation’s premier culinary experience aimed at promoting Chicago’s world-class culinary community, takes place September 23-25, 2016. It was created by the Illinois Restaurant Association to celebrate and honor both Chicago’s culinary achievements and the creative vision of the chefs, Master Sommeliers, and wine-, spirit-, and beer-makers who participate. It also spotlights Chicago as an international culinary destination via its unparalleled epicurean talent. For more information, please visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

After the Illinois Challenge, we are planning another qualifying round. If you have a gelato business in the Americas and would like to apply, please download the application form here.