Angelo Lollino will compete in the 2018 Gelato Festival (Chicago) with Eli’s Strawberry Cheesecake Gelato, the hit flavor only available at Mariano's in early 2018.

In this decadent flavor you'll find a fresh take on a classic favorite. This mouthwatering gelato marries fresh strawberry Jam and inclusions of shortbread crust with Chicago’s very own Eli’s Cheesecake.

AUGUST 25-26

Purchase Tickets Here!

Read the official press release below.





Chicago, IL. (July 18, 2018) – Gelato’s biggest international celebration is back in America, and stopping in Chicago! Gelato Festival America will spread awareness of real Italian artisanal gelato through a contest in which gelato chefs will compete with original gelato flavors they have created for the event. The vibrant Italian community in Illinois will feel right at home amidst the rich creamy dessert sure to please adults and
child alike.

The ticket is an all-access pass to all of the activities and reserved events of Gelato Festival America 2018, listed below.

  • Attend the Gelato School, where award-winning gelato artisans and experts will share what it takes to be a gelato chef and professional
  • Participate in the Gelato Eating Contest, where the five people to eat five cups of gelato the fastest will win a gallon of gelato!
  • Serve on the Kid’s Jury, where children have the opportunity to question the chefs and vote for their favorite flavor.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors (65+), $25 for kids (3 to 12 years old), and free for children under two years old. Those who purchase tickets for the Gelato Festival online in advance receive a discounted price: $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and kids (must show ID at the gate!). Presale tickets can be found online at and on Eventbrite. Tickets will be sold at each venue as well.

“After the huge success all over Europe, and our first edition of the Gelato Festival in the USA in 2017, we realize that Americans really do love gelato,” expressed Daniele Palazzoni, General Manager of Gelato Festival America. “It is our goal to make certain that every American gets to taste what real Italian gelato is like and to spread the culture of artisan Italian gelato throughout the world’s largest consumer market for frozen desserts. We want to focus on the higher quality of artisanal gelato and artisanal frozen desserts compared to industrial products. Also, over the next three years the winners of each stage of Gelato Festival America will compete for the selection of the three best American gelato chefs who will be part of the 36 chefs from all over the world, who will vie for the title of World Champion in the Gelato Festival World Masters Final in Italy in 2021. I invite visitors in the US to cheer and sustain their favorite chefs because the best gelato chef in the world could be an American!"

Last year, 50 gelato makers competed with unique gelato flavors to produce over 13,500 pounds of gelato to the delight of over 40,000 visitors and 150 gelato professionals who were present at the Festival in 2017. With the growth of Gelato Festival America, over 100,000 people are expected to attend the 2018 edition.

This year, the Festival will tour eight cities in the US including:

August 11-12 — Jersey City, NJ*
Liberty State Park
200 Morris Pesin Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07305

August 18-19 — Boulder, CO
Twenty Ninth Street
1710 29th St, Boulder, CO 80301

August 25-26 — Chicago, IL*
Chicago Premium Outlets
1650 Premium Outlet Blvd, Aurora, IL 60502

September 8-9 — Washington DC*
City Market at O
800 P St NW, Washington, DC 20001

September 22-23 — Los Angeles*
Malibu Country Mart 3835 Cross Creek Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

September 29-30 — Dallas, TX*
Dallas Farmers Market
920 S Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201

October 20-21 — Scottsdale, AZ
Kierland Commons
15205 N Kierland Blvd Suite 150, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

October 27-28 — Tucson, AZ
La Encantada
2905 E Skyline Dr, Tucson, AZ 85718

his year the festival will feature a new Mobile Laboratory called “Buontalenti America.” Daniele Palazzoni describes it as “the world largest frozen dessert laboratory on wheels. Even bigger than the one that was used during the Gelato Festival European tour, which so far has the title of largest in the world.” “Buontalenti America” is a 38 foot Gooseneck expandable trailer. When fully opened, it is about 800 square feet and equipped with the best and most innovative machines provided by Carpigiani. Palazzoni says, “It has big windows while cameras and screens will also live stream the production of gelato. All the flavors will be made fresh daily, on site, in every city. It can produce 6000 pounds of gelato per day and accommodate eight chefs in action at the same time.”

In the United States, the purpose of the Gelato Festival runs much deeper than just the taste bud-tingling flavor combinations found only in artisan Italian gelato and sorbet. Gelato Festival America is reflective of the boom of Italian style and culture in the United States in fashion, film, music, and food — Versace, Call Me By Your Name, Andrea Bocelli, and, of course, gelato.

Chefs will go through a rigorous selection process to compete in each city with a unique flavor specifically conceived for Gelato Festival America. The winners will then compete for the selection of the three best American gelato chefs who will be part of the 36 chefs from all over the world, who will vie for the title of World Champion in the Gelato Festival World Masters Final in Italy in 2021.

When visiting amazing, culturally rich cities like Florence and Rome, there is one treat sold on almost every corner — authentic Italian gelato. Gelato’s heritage dates all the way back to 1559, in the Italian Renaissance, when the Medici family commissioned famous artist and architect Bernardo Buontalenti to prepare an opulent feast for the visiting king of Spain. For the special occasion, Buontalenti created a new frozen
dessert, made from a few simple ingredients such as milk, eggs and honey. And thus the first gelato was created, and Buontalenti is now heralded as the inventor of this creamy Italian dessert. To discover more about the history of gelato visit the Gelato Museum ( in Bologna.

Americans often wonder what the difference is between ice cream and gelato. The main difference is texture! The gelato’s lighter texture comes from using more milk than cream, which also means less fat and fewer calories. It is stored at warmer temperatures, increasing the richness of the flavors and ensuring a smooth texture. Of course, there are also  artisanal ice cream makers who also work every day to create fresh products in a unique American tradition.

Since 2010, the Gelato Festival has had nine editions with more than 2,200 chefs competing in 64 festivals across Europe, traveling almost 30,000 miles. The mission of Gelato Festival America is to spread the culture of artisan Italian gelato in the US. Originating in Florence, Italy, Gelato Festival is an all-star line up of the biggest names in gelato artistry competing against one another with a one-time flavor they have created just for the festival. The event gives visitors the opportunity to experience the secrets of high-quality gelato, learn about the production techniques by watching the artisans at work in the ‘laboratory,’ and taste all the competing flavors, voting for their favorite one. Over the next three years, there will be 22 festivals and two American finals. In the end, the best three gelato chefs from the US will be selected to participate in the Gelato Festival World Masters Worldwide Finals in Italy in 2021.

The Gelato Festival is picking up where Renaissance artist Bernardo Buontalenti left off, spreading the culture of artisan Italian gelato throughout the world!

Thanks to the partners and sponsors of Gelato Festival America:

Strategic Partner: Carpigiani — Carpigiani Corporation has been serving the foodservice market since 1946, as the leading manufacturer of gelato equipment in the world. In the US Carpigiani hosts the Frozen Dessert University, providing unparalleled professional education on frozen desserts for future gelato entrepreneurs. In 2012, they founded the Gelato Museum, one of the “coolest” museums in the world, dedicated to the history of gelato. For more information, visit,,,

Gelato World Tour — Launched in May 2013, this international event, whose second edition culminated in the September 2017 Grand Finale, was created to spread the culture of gelato to the general public throughout the world. Starting in 2018, Gelato World Tour is a partner of Gelato Festival World Masters. For more information, visit

Strategic Partner: Sigep – Italian Exhibition Group — Sigep is the International Trade Show of Artisan Gelato, Pastry, Bakery and the Coffee World of Italian Exhibition Group.

Next edition: Rimini Expo Centre, from 19 th to 23 rd of January 2019. The event has undisputed international leadership as the trade fair for professional operators all over the world. For more information,

Main Sponsor: PreGel America — PreGel America is a global developer, manufacturer, and distributor of specialty dessert ingredients, with North American headquarters in Charlotte, NC, and official supplier of gelato ingredients for Gelato Festival America. For more information, visit

Main Sponsor: — is a gelato-inspired web resource created to spread the culture of gelato throughout the U.S. via consumer education and support of entrepreneurship in gelato-based specialty desserts. For more information, visit

Technical Sponsor: ISA — Isa was founded in Umbria, in the heart of Italy, in 1963 and produces refrigerated display cabinets and custom furnishings for public premises in both its region and worldwide. It has established itself in professional refrigeration offering innovative products with the highest technology and reliability. For more information, visit

Packaging Sponsor: Cartoprint — Since 1939 Cartoprint has been a leader in the ice cream packaging market. For more information, visit

Sponsor: Paolo Penko — The creator of the Gelato Festival gold-plated Medals. An Italian jeweler who creates unique handcrafted designs that connect with rich Italian culture. His shop is located in Florence, Italy, a few steps from the Duomo. He works with his wife and his son to create jewelry in accordance with the ancient techniques of the Florentine goldsmith tradition. For more information, visit

Official Radio: iHeartRadio – is a free, all-in-one streaming radio and digital music service with thousands of radio stations across every genre. For more information, visit

Sogno Toscano - Sogno Toscano imports authentic Italian olive oil and other 100% natural Italian cooking products direct to the U.S. from its homonymous farm in Bolgheri, Tuscany. For more information, visit

To purchase tickets:

For more information on Jersey City and Gelato Festival America:

Sally Fischer PR — (212) 246-2977,
Email to enter or for more information.