Just a few blocks from the Funk Zone, Milpas Street is now something of a Dunk Zone. For doughnut lovers, not only are old-school Eller’s and Winchell’s a block apart on Santa Barbara’s Eastside, but just up the street, Bossie’s Kitchen has been proffering new-school, high-end morsels such as chocolate-glazed crullers with pistachio and pomegranate-rhubarb brioche doughnuts for the past two years.
Bossie’s built its name on comfort foods crafted by Lauren Herman, such as Korean fried-chicken sandwiches and a chicken pot pie you want to curl up inside of just to eat your way out. But since Herman’s partner in business and life is the Cordon Bleu–trained pastry chef Christina Olufson, the bakery side of the business offers something for kiddos and connoisseurs alike.
Olufson’s first food industry job just so happened to be at a doughnut shop, but it was at the renowned Lucques restaurant in her native Los Angeles that she developed her reputation. “I spent a long time making plated desserts with a lot of textures and flavors going on all on one plate, and now I try and incorporate those things into something as simple as a doughnut,” explained Olufson from Bossie’s sun-warmed patio. “I’ve been baking as long as I can remember. From the time I was 12 years old making crepes, I was obsessed.”
You cannot, in good consciousness, call Bossie’s a doughnut shop as, truth be told, Olufson doesn’t make more than three dozen of them a week — and even that’s mostly on weekends when they’re more popular. But whether enjoying her simple vanilla-glazed creation that’s analogous to pull-apart monkey bread but with doughnut holes or her more mature cardamom-glazed yeast doughnut topped with candied kumquats, Bossie’s is indeed a doughy destination.
Spices, like that cardamom, and herbs, such as the rosemary married with candied grapefruit, are inventively employed with regularity, but it’s the seasonal fruit that dazzles in the center ring. (Actually, Bossie’s doughnuts aren’t ring-shaped so much as squares with holes in them, a design that’s less laborious to shape in a pan.) If Olufson can’t purchase fruit at the farmers’ market, she’s not baking with them.
“Every season is my favorite,” said Olufson, “and every fruit is my favorite.” Just as right now, her tangerine-ginger glazed doughnut is my favorite, until strawberry or kumquat season returns.
901 N. Milpas St., (805) 770-1700, bossieskitchen.com
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