Pastry chef DJ Colby dreams in flavors — ice cream flavors, to be exact — many of which you can find in the display case at his 1-year-old Wilton Manors ice cream shop.
That creativity guarantees Wilton Creamery offers a rainbow of flavors you won't find at your average scoop spot. Instead, Colby prepares anywhere from 20 to 30 handcrafted confections — his own carefully calibrated recipes — with specialty flavors like guava cream cheese, mandarin white tea, and white
A trained chef, Colby said he never intended to be an ice cream maker. When his business partner surprised him with a space to open his own establishment last June, he had no choice.
"The kitchen was just too small for a restaurant, so I said, 'Well, we can do coffee,'" recalls Colby. "Or we can do ice cream."
A year later, Wilton Creamery — located off Wilton Drive in the heart of Wilton Manors — is known by the surrounding community for its unique selection of upscale, specialty ice cream, sorbet, and pelatos (Colby's own version of adult popsicles). Each flavor recipe is handcrafted by Colby himself and made by especially for Wilton Creamery at a commercial kitchen in Miami using all-natural, top-quality ingredients.
This isn't just ice cream — it's adult ice cream, made for people with discerning palates. The most popular flavor — called He's Not Worth It — has become a favorite not because of its catchy title but because of its ability to replicate the exact taste of a Snickers bar without using any Snickers whatsoever. The combination of vanilla ice cream, English toffee, Oreo, Heath bar, chopped soft caramel, and house-made sea salt infused caramel swirl reveals itself in layers, one flavor at a time, resulting in an almost identical flavor profile (in cream form, of course).
Unlike He's Not Worth It, most of the Wilton Creamery flavors you won't find anywhere else, including Colby's weekly features. They are made in-house in small batches, each highlighting local companies including JP’s Chocolate Shoppe (a local chocolatier known for its large selection of fine chocolates that recently celebrated the opening of its expanded location at 2410 Wilton Drive); Fort Lauderdale's Argyle Coffee Roasters; neighbors and newcomers Novel Tea; and South Florida Distiller's, makers of Fwaygo rum.
The Naked Grape is up next, and Colby says he's working on a red wine ice cream and whipped cream — to keep things interesting.
Every Thursday Wilton Creamery releases its latest limited-edition ice cream, which is often best paired with one of Colby's fresh flavored whipped creams. In the last few weeks it's been a white chocolate truffle with rum-soaked peaches; a shou men white tea with mandarin orange puree; and a guava and cream cheese pastry take made with croissant, and real guava that he made to go with the week's release of a cream cheese whipped cream.
The best part about Colby's creations: They aren't too sweet. "I might be the only pastry chef that doesn't love sugar," says Colby, who uses anywhere from 14 to 21 percent milk fat
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The lactose-intolerant are welcome here too. Colby has come up with a sinfully rich coconut-cream-based nondairy alternative, a recipe that calls for whole coconuts in both his butter pecan and vanilla flavors. Likewise, sorbets — including the special elderberry and orange he has on right now — are made using specially sourced ingredients, such as the white elderberries he purchased from a farm in Oregon that collects the elderberry juice to make a potent, tangy liqueur that adds an extra layer of flavor to the delicate fruit and ice-based flavor.
"This isn't kiddie ice cream. This is adult ice cream," says Colby. "If you want nuanced flavor that delivers in layers and tastes like what it's supposed to taste like, then we've got something special for you."
Wilton Creamery is located at 2301 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors. Call 954-565-1183, or visit wiltoncreamery.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.