OTR’s uGOgelato chef, owner competes in World Master’s Gelato Festival

Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 11:01 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) -A local gelato chef and owner is competing for the world’s best gelato at World Masters Gelato Festival.

Maria Biondo, the artisan behind Over-the-Rhine’s uGOgelato, has been competing all around the nation in one of the most prestigious competitions for gelato makers.

The final competitors from countries all around the world get to compete in Italy in 2025.

Biondo has been making desserts since she was about seven years old and learned how to make gelato from her father.

After perfecting her craft, she followed her dreams by becoming a business owner and gelato chef.

In February, Biondo put her gelato-making skills to work and placed third in Chicago’s Gelato Challenge, a part of the World Masters Gelato Festival.

She knew she could not just create an ordinary flavor for the competition, so she had to think outside the box.

Biondo created a flavor that blends both her Italian and Venezuelan cultures.

“It’s called mandorland. It means almond in Italian, and Sicily is where my father is from. Everything in Sicily has to do with almond cakes, cookies, and of course, gelato,” Biondo said. “So, I wanted to design a flavor that was representative of my background, but I was born in Venezuela, and I’m really proud of being born there, so I created this flavor that has natural toasted almond and bitter almond, and I added Venezuelan dark chocolate to it. So, it’s a combination between my two cultures.”

She says that she goes to Italy every year and trains because there are so many innovations in the gelato industry.

In September, Biondo will be competing in L.A. for the next round. If she wins, she will be heading to Italy to represent the U.S. in the final World Masters competition.

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