DC Scoop: A cool treat, a heated competition

Cool off after this hot week with a taste the District's best cold desserts at Union Market's DC Scoop. (Courtesy Dolci Gelati)
Union Market The third annual DC Scoop event will be held in the parking lot outside of Union Market this Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Culinary experts and D.C. food lovers will all have the chance to vote for their favorite ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt vendor. (WTOP/Natalie Tomlin)
Dolci Gelati Dolci Gelati is one of 17 vendors that will be offering free samples and competing in this years DC Scoop event. Along with its popular gelato, Dolci Gelati will also showcase a new line of fresh juice sorbets, like its carrot lemon orange flavor. (Courtesy of Dolci Gelati)
Dolci Gelati DC Scoops Chef and owner of Dolci Gelati Gianluigi Dellaccio and his wife and partner Anastasia Dellaccio hold their two children at the first DC Scoop Event in 2011. Anastasia Dellaccio says coming out to DC Scoop the perfect way to spend a hot summer Sunday afternoon. (Courtesy of Dolci Gelati)
Luca eating cone What kid, or adult, doesn't enjoy some ice cream? With tons of free ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt samples from the District's best local vendors, the DC Scoop will have a treat for everyone with a sweet tooth. (Courtesy of Dolci Gelati)
Valentina Dolci Gelati makes their gelato using Chef Gianluigi Dellaccio's Italian recipe that has been in the family for generations. "The best thing about what we do is it bring universal happiness," Anastasia Dellaccio says. (Courtesy of Dolci Gelati)
Dolci Gelati at Whole Foods Dolci Gelati products are offered as pints or half pints and are sold at various markets in the region, including Whole Foods Market. Or, visit their Takoma Park cafe, area farmers markets or their stands at Nationals Park. (Courtesy of Dolci Gelati)
DC Scoop at Union Market Cool off and celebrate National Ice Cream Day at the third annual DC Scoop event. Director of culinary strategy for East Coast developer EDENS Richie Brandenburg says this family-friendly occasion exposes the local artisans to the community and reminds us that D.C. is becoming a food capital. (WTOP/Natalie Tomlin)

Natalie Tomlin, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON – When Robb Duncan left his home of Portland, Ore., to travel through Argentina, he had no idea he would return to the U.S. in 2001 with a plan to open his very own gelateria in the nation’s capital.

He and his wife took a one-week course on how to make gelato in Argentina, and that was it.

Once they arrived in D.C., they saw a need for homemade, artisanal gelato, like they had in Buenos Aires. So with limited experience, the couple opened Dolcezza in Georgetown in 2004.

“It was an immediate success when we opened on day one,” Duncan says. “We had lots of customers and it just grew and grew and grew. How to make ice cream at home is one thing but how to make it for a business every day was a challenge.”

With the support of lots of family members, Duncan and his wife expanded the business. They now have three more locations in Dupont Circle, Bethesda, Md., and Fairfax, Va., and are constructing a 4,000-square-foot factory in Northeast D.C.

And this Sunday, July 21, Dolcezza will compete with 16 other local frozen food vendors at the third annual DC Scoop at Union Market.

It’s time to cool off this weekend after the summer’s most sweltering week, and from 1-4 p.m., Union Market visitors can do just that by testing some of the District’s best cold desserts for free.

Director of culinary strategy for East Coast developer EDENS Richie Brandenburg is largely responsible for the success of DC Scoop. He says it helps expose the local artisans to the D.C. community, something he hopes to continue doing each year on National Ice Cream Day.

“We want to celebrate D.C. as a food city because it has become a food city,” he says. “It’s something that we want to give to the community that they can look forward to.”

Brandenburg will be one of five all-star judges who will determine the DC Scoop Judge’s Choice winner.

“We’re making it as legit as possible,” Brandenburg says. “We have some incredible judges.”

The line-up includes Iron Chef winner Katsuya Fukashima, author of “The Kitchen as Laboratory” Cesar Vega, Metropolitan Police Department Commander Andrew Solberg and D.C. councilmember Kenyan McDuffie.

Inviting McDuffie and Solberg to judge the desserts is the perfect way to thank them for their services, Brandenburg says.

“The Metropolitan Police

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