FOOD- THE DISH- Ice cream 2.0: When technology meets raw milk

Waynesboro farmer Dan Holsinger supplies ice cream maker Lynsie Watkins with the raw milk to make tasty treats.

If Perfect Flavor ice cream is as perfect as its website (– a handsome creation that allows you to build your own pints of homemade, organic ice cream– then Dish readers are in for a perfectly tasty treat. (There's also a retail location on East Main Street in Waynesboro, which opened on March 3, and also has a coffee shop.)

Basically, customers pick an ice cream base, add ingredients on the site, and await the arrival of the tasty cool goodness, which appears a day or two later packed in dry ice. At the retail store, you can do the same thing, plus they have pre-made ice cream for sale. 

The brainchild of local pastry chef and dessert caterer Lynsie Watkins and her fiancé, local techie Colin Steele, an early employee of America Online and founder of business site WebG2, Inc., Perfect Flavor is the first ice cream-processing plant to open in Virginia in the last 30 years, according to Watkins. In addition, in the spirit of the slow food movement, many of the ingredients in the ice cream are supplied by local growers, including Polyface Farm in Swoope, Holsinger Farm in Waynesboro, and Harvest Thyme Herbs in Mint Spring.

Watkins, a Sweet Briar college grad who spent time in Paris, says she owes her inspiration to French food artistry, especially with desserts. 

"I lived literally above a local food market," she says, "and was constantly inspired by the French regard for food in terms of freshness and local sourcing."

In addition, she says she was inspired locally by her time working at the Main Street Market, where she was exposed to our local food movement.

 "That propelled me to focus on sourcing all of my ingredients locally," she says. "If you want strawberry ice cream in December, we can't help you, because our farmers don't have any berries! This is the way things used to be, and we're returning to that model of connection to food, to the land it comes from, and the people who grow it."

All this goodness don't come cheap: four pints cost about $90, eight pints $120– plus shipping!    

"There's nobody in the county doing what we do with this degree of quality," says Watkins, anticipating inevitable comments about ice cream sticker-shock from some Dish readers. "We wanted to make a product that was the best we could find anywhere."

Donut alert

On the next two Wednesdays this month, Dish asks that you to take a flying leap at a rolling donut. Now, hold on, wipe that scowl off your face, and let us explain.

Donut merchant Matt Rohdie reports that the column we did on his new mobile donut business, Carpe Donut ["Carpe donut: Rolling wagon seizes the day," February 21], made more than a few mouths water.

"Jen and I have been getting a lot of positive response from folks who know about the business," he says, "and publicity is always welcome for a start-up like ours."

The challenge here is knowing where and when the red donut truck that Rohdie and his family have affectionately, and appropriately, named "Gypsy" will next appear. Eventually, Rohdie says donut fans will be able to track its whereabouts online at, but for now he's happy to give his coordinates to Dish.

On the next two Wednesdays (March 12 and 19) Gypsy will be parked on the corner of Emmet Street and Ivy Road, across from the UVA tennis courts, from 8am to 7pm. 

"We would, of course, be honored to fry everyone up some hot ones then and there," says Rohdie.

Coming soon: Waynesboro's Taste of the Town

The 9th annual Taste of the Town food extravaganza/fundraiser is coming to Waynesboro on Tuesday, March 11. In addition to tasty treats from professional and "celebrity chefs," there will be a silent auction and live Irish music with Scruffy Murphy.

Some of this year's chefs include Shukri Simmons, Shukri's BBQ; Juan Ocequeda, Mi Rancho; Heidi Lanford, The Iris Inn; Waynesboro Chief of Police Douglas Davis; and Linda Roland, South River Restaurant and Wine Shop.

The where, when, and how much: March 11 at Fairfax Hall, 1101 Reservoir R0ad in Waynesboro, 5-9pm. Tickets: 12 and under, free, 13-18, $10, adults, $20, couples, $35, at the door or in advance from participating chefs or at the Waynesboro Downtown Development office, 301 W. Main St. All proceeds benefit the WDDI. 

Info: 540-942-6755.