26 May 2023

Five minutes with Yoo Joon Jeong, Gelatissimo

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Join the conversation
Yoo Joon Jeong.

Owner of Gelatissimo Wagga, Yoo Joon Jeong. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Who is Yoo Joon Jeong: I’m the owner of Gelatissimo and I have two stores, one in Wagga Wagga and the other in Gold Coast. I am a father of two kids, a boy and a girl. I moved to Australia in 2012 and I didn’t expect that I would stay here for so long. I thought I would go back to my home country (Korea) after a couple of weeks and finish my university. I’m from Daegu, a city in South Korea. Now, I’ve been here (in Australia) for 10 years.

Back in the day I was a big consumer of Gelatissimo and my girlfriend (now wife) was the store manager at Gelatissimo Canberra. I went to the store every couple of days and I realised I love the ice-cream and I have quite a lot every week. Then one day, I thought if I bought the store, it would be fantastic. Afterwards, an opportunity came up for me to open the store (in Gold Coast) and that’s how it all started. Gelatissimo in Wagga was opened in 2005 and we took over the store in 2015.

READ ALSO Five minutes with Mustapha El Mourtazak, Al Maghrib

Best recent dining experience: While I was holidaying in Korea, I went to one of the fine dining restaurants in Busan called Ananti. They had a banquet and the food was quite nice.

Favourite cuisine: I love Korean.

What ingredient can I not live without: Garlic. Without garlic, we can’t make Korean food.

Ice-cream in cones

Gelatissimo in Wagga was opened in 2005. Photo: Gelatissimo.

Most embarrassing pantry item: Not lately because with my wife, everything is tidy. When I was in Korea, there were so many mystery bags in the freezer.

How many Weet-Bix do I do: I barely eat them but I have them as snacks – five pieces.

Best coffee spot in Wagga: The best spot depends on the barista. Even if you think the place makes good coffee, it really depends on the barista. Normally I make coffee for myself because I find it hard to get good coffee in random spots.

Sweet strawberry bubble gum gelato

Sweet strawberry bubble gum gelato that’s made with a vibrant strawberry swirl and topped with rainbow sprinkles. Photo: Gelatissimo.

Favourite coffee: Latte.

What’s your coffee blend: It’s Gelatissimo’s own brand, and it’s milder than other coffees.

What’s the weirdest coffee order you’ve received: Some days, I get customers asking for six to seven sugars in a small coffee.


Gelato flavours can also be purchased in tubs. Photo: Gelatissimo.

Next big thing in the Wagga food scene: There are new restaurants, but I would like more Japanese and Vietnamese.

Favourite place to lunch in Wagga: I always go to Thaigaa. They are much better than some of the restaurants in Thailand.

A must-try on our menu: From the gelato range: cookies and cream, macadamia and cookie dough. In the summer, mango.


Milkshakes can be made with up to four scoops of any flavour. Photo: Gelatissimo.

Most used ingredient at Gelatissimo: Fresh milk.

My biggest culinary influence: My mum. She’s been a full-time mum for 23 years and she cooked every day. She woke up at five in the morning and made fresh rice every day and fed me. We have a lot of side dishes in Korea and Mum made it every single day. One of my favourite dishes I learnt from Mum is a dish made of anchovies and spicy chilli.

Favourite cookbook: I don’t normally have cookbooks, it’s more like phone calls with Mum. It’s easier.

Who I admire in the Wagga food and wine scene: Thaigaa. Before the owners opened Thaigaa, I was always having food from Tammy’s Thai. I love their food.

What are this week’s specials at Gelatissimo: We don’t have weekly specials.

Death row meal: Maybe pork belly barbecue with kimchi and Coke Zero.

Gelatissimo ice-cream

Gelatissimo offers a range of flavours. Photo: Gelatissimo.

Where am I travelling to next: I will go back to Queensland first and I have no plans to go back to Korea until late next year. We are thinking of either going to Bali or Europe. Our ex-boss lives in Indonesia and one of our friends is living in France. It’s time to catch up because the last time we did was in 2018.

Dream destination: New Zealand. I want to take my family and do some caravaning around New Zealand.

READ ALSO Five minutes with Jinpa Gyatso, Tasty Tibetan Treats

My biggest fear: My wife (laughs uncontrollably). Not being able to make a successful business. I’ve always been under pressure and sometimes I feel like I am going in the right direction … am I doing something wrong, am I doing it right and is this what I want? And if I get sick, who is going to look after my kids? I’m trying to find the best way for myself and my family.

My least favourite food: Anything with coriander in it.

My top three cooking tips: Keep tasting the food. Always use a bit more salt and eat fresh.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.