Serena Urzì, from the gown to ice-cream world to follow her passion

Serena Urzì

Changing life to follow passion, enthusiasm and happiness? This is the story of Serena Urzì, a lawyer from Catania who put her gown in the closet to wear the clothes of maître glacier, instead. Nowadays she runs the family business laboratory, and, with creativity and professionalism, she studies each flavor, focusing on Sicilian excellence. Sicilian Secrets interviewed her.

Q: From being a lawyer to becoming an expert in the magical world of ice-cream, what was your path?

A: I graduated in law, but I have always been close to our family business. My parents have a café-pastry shop in Catania, and I grew up there as my father, from an early age, got used to me and my sisters to help out. I followed a master’s degree at Luiss in Rome in Labor Law and Management of Human Resource, then I started working in a law firm.

Serena Urzì
Serena Urzì – Credits: Oreste Monaco, IG: orestemonaco

Q:… and what happened later?

A: After two and a half years I realized that something was wrong, I was not happy, and I said, ‘It’s enough’. So, I returned to the family business, at the beginning I held a managerial role but without putting aside the passion for making ice-cream. It was a field that had always fascinated me, the idea of giving life to such a unique product. For the whole summer of 2020, let me say for a year, I was the assistant of an ice-cream maker but when he left, I started working on my own.

Q: The new life of Serena Urzì: what did you do to acquire all necessary skills?

A: Since I am used to study, even to do this job I keep on training, and I try to do it in the most professional way. I hope to do something great in this field! From the old life I kept the method: studying law teaches you to be precise, to look at things from different points of view. Today, I manage the laboratory, supported by competent people both in winter and in summer.

Serena Urzì – Credits: Oreste Monaco, IG: orestemonaco

Q: Seasons and ice cream. Do you think it is still considered a summer food?

A: Unfortunately, yes. Many people think that ice-cream should be eaten only in summer. On the contrary, I want to change this stereotype. In November, for example, we organized an event with food press, presenting a new flavor linked to autumn called ‘Rame di Napoli’. This is a typical biscuit baked in Catania. Moreover, we make some flavors such as Panettone ice-cream with dried figs for Christmas, Colomba-flavor for Easter and so on, in order to constantly stimulate customers’ curiosity.

Q: Making ice-cream is an art: how do you translate your bond with Sicily into what you create?

A: I talk about Sicily through local flavors. For example, think of ricotta ice-cream, or the flavors of our tradition such as almond and pistachio, mulberry and wild strawberries. It’s important to enhance the raw material, and we also work as much as possible following the philosophy of zero KM food, thanks to the several Sicilian companies that produce fruit, including tropical fruit.

Serena Urzì
Serena Urzì – Credits: Oreste Monaco ig: orestemonaco

Q: Summer has officially arrived, what can you tell us about the ‘menu’ for the next months?

A: Our focus is on fruit flavors. At the end of May, together with Valeria Messina, a baker and also a former lawyer, we set up an event dedicated to the traditional breakfast we used to have in Catania. With ‘Grani e granita all’ombra dell’Etna’ we designed a tasting based on granita and bread. It was a return to the past suggesting particular aromas and mixes such as lemon granita with wild fennel and fava bean granita.

Q: Let’s imagine looking inside the crystal ball: what is in Serena Urzì’s future?

A: After summer, I will resume studying and I also hope to travel again!

Serena Urzì took us on a journey through the flavors of Sicilian ice-cream. Sicilian Secrets always tells you about some new stories through the blog. And if you wish to stay updated about our news and read our next articles, follow us on Sicilian Secrets’ Facebook page and Instagram.

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