Chef Chris Leung's frozen dessert shop Cloud 10 Creamery will begin its soft opening Sunday (Sept. 22), from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and will maintain those hours for the next week. It's the culmination of a process that's been more than a year in the making, stemming from when his partner, Balcor Hospitality's Christopher Balat, asked Leung to make him the perfect banana split.
Leung first emerged on the dining scene alongside Randy Rucker at Bootsie's Heritage Cafe before spending a brief period as the pastry chef for Kata Robata. He launched Cloud 10 last year as a wholesale only operation that's grown to supply bars and restaurants such as Underbelly, Paulie's, the Original OKRA Charity Saloon and others with flavors ranging from classics like chocolate to more exotic fare like ricotta with pink peppercorn.
The opening will feature a dozen flavors available by the scoop, including marshmallow-nutella, peanut butter and jelly, pumpkin and cranberry jam, and chocolate.
The opening will feature a dozen flavors available by the scoop, including marshmallow-nutella, peanut butter and jelly, pumpkin and cranberry jam, and chocolate. Flavors will rotate daily. Over the next week or so, the shop will roll out push pops, ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes and that potentially life-changing banana split.
As for Leung's famous dessert tastings, Cloud 10 has an eight-person counter specifically designated for that purpose. Diners can begin signing up to receive information about them, but Leung won't begin hosting any until the shop has been open for at a couple of weeks.
Joining Leung in the kitchen are chefs that he's worked with previously. Freshly returned from a series of stages in Europe, Mark Clayton worked with Leung at Bootsie's before working as part of the opening crew at Oxheart. Carlos Herrera also worked with Leung at Bootsie's before a stint at The Pass & Provisions. Finally, diners may recognize Christina Au from her time at The Pass & Provisions or a well-received pop-up she hosted in July at Mongoose versus Cobra.
The team hopes that some of their recent bad luck ends with the opening. In addition to the usual construction and permitting hassles typical of any opening, Balat and Leung were robbed at gunpoint last month, and Au had $500 worth of knives stolen from her this week. The Mercer knife set is engraved with her name, so hopefully it will turn up and be returned to her.
At the shop this morning, Leung and his team had a quiet, intense vibe about them. That's hardly surprising; they have to make 60 gallons of ice cream today. Starting Sunday, a lot of people are going to want a taste.