Chef Lou DeCillis
of West Bloomfield, president and CEO of Savino Sorbet since 1978, recognizes the new popularity of smoothies and tells how to make them in your own kitchen.
Use any blender, even the cheapest, he
says, if you use sorbets, which have natural fruits.While many use yogurt or ice cream in smoothies and the addition of cracked ice, DeCillis
Use sorbets.Use sparkling water, not crushed ice.Sorbet, he
says, is essentially a water ice with high fruit content.French sorbets have egg whites added.They are distinguished from Italian ices, which use fruit flavorings on top of crushed ice.
And use your imagination to whip up some great tastes, he
graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1970.He
is a native New Yorker who moved here to begin his
Savino Sorbet business.He
said many ice cream shops need sophisticated high-speed blenders to make smoothies, but the way he
makes them, any blender will work.He
considers the carbonated water or seltzer his
Water gives the same effect of ice and it doesn't make the drink runny, he
While fruit is always used in this drink, his
sorbets have whole fruits in them and there is no need to add fruit.Still, fresh fruit can be added.DeCillis
likes to serve them with a spoon so people can dig for the fruit in the smoothie.
I use sparking water and almost always a ripe banana when making them as well as my fruit-flavored and fruit-filled sorbets, he
says.I've been babying these bananas so they are just right..
What's the reason for the smoothies return to popularity.People want something refreshing.They like to eat more fruit because they should.It's non-alcoholic, but you can add wine, liqueur or rum to the drinks, he
uses sorbet to make banana splits, adding flavors with chopped mango, chocolate sauce and strawberries.
Why, Chef Lou DeCillis
, creator of Savino Frozen Desserts, of course.Everyone thought I was a lunatic, he
had it so though that the bathtub in his
one-room apartment was a plastic kiddie-pool.But it was DeCillis'
positive attitude during tough times that kept him committed to his
idea of creating a line of fat-free sorbets and ice creams.He
did anything he
had to do to keep his
little homemade ice cream shop in Detroit open, including working midnight shifts at a rubber factory and chauffeuring a limousine at night.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, DeCillis
is now the owner of Savino Frozen Foods, which he
launched more than 15 years ago by sampling fat-free sorbets in that tiny store off the beaten path in Detroit.In fact, it was so out of the way that DeCilllis said he
would give free sorbet to customers who referred to the store as Savino's secret location..
Talk about a one-man operationInitially, DeCillis
made and delivered his
product himself.Dressed in a suit, he
went to retailers and wholesalers, peddling his
wares and taking orders.Then he
drove to a fast food restaurant and changed into work clothes in the restaurant's bathroom before delivering the order at the store's back door later the same day.DeCillis
determination finally paid off.He
enjoyed the customer interaction, and the positive reaction of his
customers kept him going.
I was determined no to go under, he
said.I know now what kept me surviving was the commitment, hard work and uniqueness of my product.I believed the country was ready for fat free in the 80s..
Knowing that endorsements form presidents sell product, the man behind Savino sent a case of frozen sorbet to the Clintons.DeCillis
said they loved it.The president reportedly liked lemon, while the first lady preferred red raspberry and Michigan cherry.
We even had an arrangement with the Secret Service to send it to them.Since then, we've gotten into a Washington, D.C. store so it doesn't have to be shipped on ice from Michigan..
, Kohler is an independent owner up against industry giants.
Kohler cross merchandises the product with dessert ideas that DeCillis
demonstrates during his
regular spot on Detroit's Channel 2 morning news program.For example, when DeCillis
puts a fat-free dessert such as angel food cake with sorbet icing on the recipe program, Oakridge Markets runs specials on the ingredients and advertises the products in displays.
Tested in the bathtubI agree fat free is the rage, but this product happens to be selling on taste . . . and I still can't resist calling DeCillis bathtub Louie, " Kohler said. (DeCillis was rumored to use his
bathtub in his
early recipe testing process.) Even the toughest critics of fat-free products are having a tough time finding problems with the new ice cream, DeCillis
said.The Ric's Pics product review column in Detroit Monthly is usually critical of commercial food manufacturers who claim their fat-free products taste like the real thing. But the columnist had to swallow his
usual barbs when reviewing the product : . . . West Bloomfield chef Lou DeCillis
, the effusive creator of those delicious Italian sorbets that have hooked a lot of you, didn't give me cause to do more than raise my eyebrows when I heard of his
claim of having come up with a fat-free ice cream that retained the elusive mouth fee' of the rich, real thing, he
But I've tasted first chocolate, then mocha - and have to say that nobody will come closer.If I were to be sentenced to life without butter cream, Savino fat-free chocolate would get me through without a whimper..Lou DeCillis
wants consumer opinions, so he's
toll-free 1-800-CHEF-LOU telephone number on every container of Savino fat-free ice cream and sorbet.Callers also receive fat-free recipe ideas that use Savino products.
Chef Lou DeCillis
has won over First Lady Hillary Clinton with his
raspberry and cherry flavored frozen sorbets.His
company, Savino Frozen Foods, recently added a fat-free ice cream to its line of frozen desserts.Savino's Fat-Free Ice Creams, available in six flavors, has beat out some well known premium brands in taste tests and won the praise of at least one tough food critic in Detroit.
But the mighty Haagen Daz has been upstaged in this effort by a chef named Lou DeCillis
Savino brand sorbets and ice creams.I tasted the Savino fat-free chocolate ice cream side by side with the Haagen Daz version and there was no comparison.I'm not usually a fan of fat-free substitutes, but this Savino stuff really succeeds.It's dense, flavorful, and delicious.I also tired the lemon and cherry sorbets.They had outstanding, clear flavor notes and a clean, refreshing texture.The Savino formula has been slow in the making.
graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1970, and not long after set up shop in Detroit to share his
love of sorbets and Italian ices.He
dessert parlor on a shoestring budget, publicizing the no-fat, no-cholesterol sorbets before such terms became selling points.Chef DeCillis' commitment has paid off - he
recently moved to an expanded facility and his
clients now include, among others, Bill and Hillary Clinton.For the record, the President is partial to lemon, while the First Lady loves the Michigan cherry.Savino ice cream and sorbet really is a superior product - a great treat for the summer - or any time.This is Anthony Dias Blue Newsradio 88.