Tyler Malek co-founder of Salt & Straw and ice cream bar Wiz Bang Bar in Portland, Oregon, has his own version of ice cream totality with the Eclipse Magic Cone.
“I remember the first eclipse I ever saw in 1994,” says Tyler Malek, one half of the ice cream team behind Salt & Straw in Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles. “There was something inexplicable about being a kid and looking up into the broken sunlight, realizing that the universe was much, much larger than—and literally shadowing—my own life.”
His fascination with space grew as he got older, and one time in college, he told his professor that he wanted to be the first farm-to-table chef in space.
“Her response was, ‘With so much that needs to be fixed on earth, why not focus on the here and now?’” Malek says. “That comment was pivotal. It made me realize that my life can be both infinitesimally small in the universe yet have a huge impact on the world directly around me.”
Which leads us to Salt & Straw, the ice cream empire he’s built and grown with his cousin and co-founder Kim Malek and one sundae in particular Malek’s making in honor of the total solar eclipse everyone is talking about that’s going down next Monday, August 21.
“We're about to feast our eyes on one of the universe's greatest visual-light performances in history, and I think creating a special ice cream treat and selling it for the weekend is like making shirts of your favorite band and selling them in the mosh pit,” he says. “It's a tiny speck in the vastness of amazing-ness; but, then again, what would a concert be like if you couldn't buy the shirt to prove you went?”
Starting Thursday, August, 17, at Wiz Bang Bar, you’ll see what he’s talking about with the 2017 Eclipse Magic Cone. He starts with a burnt coconut ash waffle cone painted with some edible gold, adds homemade marshmallow fluff and scoops up turmeric ice cream that “tastes like sunshine,” according to Malek. It’s all topped off with a cocoa-black sesame shell and charcoal-dusted pop rocks.
It’s a fitting sweet for the space-obsessed ice cream maker.
“I still dream of living in space, and this eclipse is an exciting reminder of what role we humans play in the universe, but I also am thrilled to be able to now use Salt & Straw and ice cream as a tiny, tiny way to contribute to this wonderful galactic-light-show,” says Malek. “While a tiny experience in the grand scheme of things, ice cream plays an important role in the grandness of the experience nonetheless.”