LA's Donut Culture Revealed In 24-Hour Donut Exhibit
LACMA employees chose 12 of their favorite LA donuts with a new donut rotated out every two hours. Favorite donuts included Winchell‚Äôs Donut House‚Äôs buttermilk bars, The Gumbo Pot‚Äôs beignets, and Caf√© Dulc√©‚Äôs green tea donut.
The 24-hour, 12-course donut extravaganza culminated on Sunday in a donut discussion led by Top Chef Masters judge and LAist Food Editor Krista Simmons. The panel also included FŇćnuts owner Waylynn Lucas, The Donut Snob owner Janeen Gudelj, and food writer and owner of FoodGPS.com Joshua Lurie.
The panel‚Äôs conversation circled around two issues: the effects of the economy on the donut scene and the donut‚Äôs struggle to emerge as a staple pastry in LA.
There was a general consensus that LA was behind other cities ‚Äď such as New York, Chicago, and Portland ‚Äď in its development of a strong donut culture.
Gudelj acknowledged two other factors that make LA a difficult place for a donut scene to grow: hot weather and a competitive market.
‚ÄúThe weather does affect us because seasonally in the summer, you don‚Äôt necessarily want to eat as many donuts‚Ä¶And even though your product might be different from a flavor standpoint or as a well-made product, if there‚Äôs a donut shop that‚Äôs more accessible to somebody else by 300 feet, they could be going to that one over yours,‚ÄĚ Gudelj said.
Still, people would always look towards a donut as a type of comfort food even if the donut was pricier and gourmet.
‚ÄúPeople still want to go out, they still want to indulge, and they still want to enjoy. Food and entertainment are two of those things that people will always want to ‚Äď in some way, shape, or form ‚Äď spend money on because they lift your spirits,‚ÄĚ Lucas said.