Vegan gelato flavor “Dark Chocolate Surprise” was crowned the winner of Gelato Festival America held in New Jersey last weekend. The winning flavor—which features a blend of 80-percent South American dark chocolate and water—was chosen out of 12 competitors and prepared by pastry chef Giacomo D’Alessandro of New York City-based shop Polosud Gelato, Coffee, Pastries. “It has been an amazing journey. The competition was tough,” Chef D’Alessandro said. “The gelato makers were really great and their creations fantastic. I decided to present one of the most difficult gelato to prepare: a dark chocolate sorbet. If you get the balance wrong, you risk a very bitter and rocky outcome! If you get it right though, it is creamy and great.” A panel of expert judges thought D’Alessandro did indeed get it right and awarded his innovative flavor top honors, advancing the flavor as a finalist in the “Best Flavor in America” competition in March.