Much to the joy of my children I queued up last summer at a department store to buy an ice cream machine for the crowd-pleasing price of $25. I’d never made ice cream before and after the first batch of unintentionally bitter chocolate flavour was met with “I think we need to try again mum” I decided making beautiful ice cream is an art form best left to experts such as Albert Park ice cream maestro Jock Main.
Jock’s path to becoming an award winning ice cream maker started with a crash sixteen years ago. “I was injured when I was riding my motorbike and hit a barrier on the Albert Park track. It meant I couldn’t work for some time. That summer my parents gave me a simple domestic ice cream machine and I began to experiment,” says Jock.
Today Jock is Melbourne’s main man when it comes to premium quality ice cream and sorbet. Jock sells his flavours ranging from classic to contemporary to quirky by the cone, cup or take home pack in his retro retail outlet in Albert Park and throughout Melbourne’s top restaurants, bars and foodstores including the Pantry Deli, Mamasita, Pizza Meine Leibe, Supermaxi, Pizze Verde, Rita’s Cafeteria and l’uccellino just to name a few! Jock says, “We work with many chefs to create unique flavours that compliment their menu.”
For inspiration when dreaming up new flavours Jock reads a range of food magazines and says old cake recipes are great inspiration “you just take out the flour.” One of his most sought-after flavours is hokey pokey: vanilla with house made honeycomb. This flavour comes from his childhood, inspired by his mother’s home-made honeycomb. And his greatest flavour disaster? Garlic ice cream. Inspired by an article in American food mag Saveur Jock thought he’d have a go. He roasted heads of garlic and added them to the mix and then thought what am I doing? The flavour was never shared with the public. Current standout flavours include: black rice pudding, halva, licorice, Mexican chocolate, white chocolate amaretti and piedro ximenez.
With Christmas only weeks away, December sees Jock get into the festive spirit making ice cream plum pudding. “We’ve been making it since we opened our doors, from an old recipe my mother-in-law has been using since the 70’s. The ice cream is available in the shop by the scoop throughout December, and also in a cake shape which we wrap in calico to resemble a pudding,” says Jock. If ice cream plum pudding appeals you can place your order from December 1st.
Like Christmas, ice cream appeals to the child in all of us which may explain why Melbourne’s comics are drawn to Jock’s including Dave O’Neil and locals Marty Fields and Shane Bourne. Jock is king of the kids “I can’t walk around South Melbourne market without being recognised by kids yelling out ‘Hi Jock.’”
I’m definitely not ready to tackle making plum pudding ice cream, or hokey pokey; vanilla bean is my limit. So I think I’ll grab a tub of Jock’s from the Pantry Deli or head to Jock’s in January when stone fruit ice cream is on the menu and treat my boys to the delight of Jock’s blood plum sorbet that he tells me is “so creamy you’d swear it was ice cream.”
Jock’s Ice Cream and Sorbets
83 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park ph (03) 9686 3838