Chill-N Keeps Things Cool in Pinecrest With Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Chuck Woodward is still a University of Miami student finishing his master's in finance. He also happens to be the cool co-owner of Chill-N, a unique ice-cream concept off the beaten path in Pinecrest. He and business partner Daniel Golick will open their second outpost in Aventura come early May.
Photos by Carla Torres Periodic ice-cream table.
At Chill-N, ice cream is made using the flash-freeze liquid nitrogen method and on the spot. The drawback: You can't sample the ice-cream flavor you want. The payoff: It's possibly the creamiest ice cream you'll have in Miami. Even kids of Azucar owner Suzy Battle head to Chill-N to get a fix.
Chill-N opened in October 2012, but it has flown under the radar. I came across it only when I ran into its owners at a Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Affair during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. They were scoping out some competition. Woodward and Golick had no idea what they were getting into when they had the idea to open the frozen concept.
They began making ice cream in a garage at a house where they lived near the Biltmore. Imagine a bunch of guys in suits with tanks of liquid nitrogen in their garage cooking something up. "Oh, people thought we had a drug operation going on," Woodward says. "I didn't even know ice cream had eggs till we started making it, but family friends told me about a similar concept in Orlando, and I knew it would work here, so we went with it."
The boys would look up Emeril Lagasse's ice-cream recipes and watch him making treats on television in order to learn. Finally, mom came to the rescue and helped the boys prepare ice cream in a giant kettle.
The freezing process explained.
"We went through a lot of testing and probably ate lots of ice cream that we shouldn't have, but it couldn't have been that bad if we're still here. And it led us to opening the store," Woodward says.
Woodward and Golick didn't have any previous restaurant experience. The first day Chill-N opened was the first time Woodward had touched a cash register.
A year and a half later, it's worked out for them rather well. They do anywhere from 500 to 700 covers on weekend days. It's obvious why. From the moment you walk in, you're instantly excited by the menu that looks like a periodic table. That touch, along with the sight of liquid nitrogen tanks, will bring a bit of bittersweet nostalgia to fans of Breaking Bad. Don't fret -- nothing a little creamy goodness can't fix.