When Miss Sharon Tay was eight, she wanted to make her own ice cream. So she poured Ribena, Milo and even Horlicks into ice cube trays, dropping bits of fruit into the mix.
Today, her gelato creations are far more sophisticated and incorporate premium ingredients such as Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and Barbados rum.
The former investment banker, 35, set up gelato shop Momolato at Singapore Management University last January and recently won an international gelato competition.
Miss Tay beat 15 other finalists to come in tops in the Asia-Pacific leg of the second edition of the Gelato World Tour.
Her gelato, Good Ol' Days, contains coconut milk, palm sugar blends, salty ribbons of homemade palm sugar caramel and crispy flakes of caramelised tofu.
It was conceptualised as a nod to Singapore's 50th birthday and took about a month to get right.
Miss Tay added that she also wanted to incorporate her childhood memories and to use ingredients Singaporeans could identify with.
"I thought this was the essence of Singapore," she said.
Some 50,000 people turned up to taste 16 gelato flavours from the Asian Pacific region at the event, held from March 20 to 22 at the Marina Bay Sands.
Miss Tay was an investment banker for eight years before she quit to be an entrepreneur.
She said the realisation that she wanted to do something she loved came after putting in a 72-hour shift at her previous job.
Initially, her mother Madam Koh Siew Hua, 62, was shocked when her daughter told her about her decision, but she has come round and is now very supportive.
"My father even went to the World Tour to sample my gelato," she said.
This article was first published on April 6, 2015.
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