The Perfect Dozen: Doughnut Shoppe Favorites Around The World
By D.B. Stearns
Author of Harmonic Wars
What would you do for the perfect doughnut? Patrick Paterson and Tofu De la Moore of Sacramento, CA are on a constant search of the perfect doughnut on their new show “The Perfect Dozen.” I know you must be thinking “Oh, no. Not another food show.” But trust me, this show rocks! They take their quest seriously as they approach doughnut shops across the nation to share a variety of exotic pastries with their followers. I was impressed with the professionalism, passion and the show in general to say the least.
I ran across these two entrepreneurs in between trips and was honored to be able to talk to them over a cup of java and some crullers.
UBOMAG: I saw episode one for The Perfect Dozen, and it was awesome! How many shows do you plan for a season?
Patrick: Thank you! There are 13 episodes per season, which equals a baker’s dozen. We travel by planes, trains & automobiles. Nothing can stop us from getting to our doughnut destination. Not even a New York blizzard.
Tofu: Thanks! We generally fly into our destinations and either rent a car, call a Lyft or utilize the transit systems. Patrick is the more athletic of the two of us, so he doesn’t mind walking several miles to get to a shop when we can easily ride there. After about a mile, I’m ready to hop into a Lyft or something.
UBOMAG: How did you get started with the show: The Perfect Dozen (TPD)?
Tofu: Patrick was taking these spontaneous flights to places he had always wanted to visit. Each time, he would bring back doughnuts for us family and friends, back home in Sacramento. Me being a marketing guy, I asked if he ever thought of blogging or vlogging about his doughnut travels. Patrick said he would do it if I joined him. We were on a flight, shortly after. My best friend Sarah Jayne runs a few food blogs (Doughgasm, Los Angeles).
She saw our first footage and suggested that we aim for the stars with our idea. This really motivated us to take TPD seriously, beyond a simple food blog. We went back to the whiteboard, created a storyboard, sharpened our filming and editing skills and returned to locations we had previously shot, armed with professional business cards, stickers, lav (Lavalier) microphones and a better understanding of the direction we wanted to take the show.
UBOMAG: How long have you and Patrick Patterson known each other?
Patrick: We met eight years ago at a recording studio in Sacramento, CA called Omina Labs.
Tofu: I remember that. You used to come into the studio and pay me in huge wads of $1 bills. Everyone at the studio thought you were a stripper.
UBOMAG: Why doughnuts?
Patrick: Why Not? They’re delicious, and universally loved! You can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They can be simple or extravagant.
Q: What is the best doughnut that you had so far?
Patrick: I love the Mamas Cake doughnut from Gourdough’s Public House in Austin, Texas. Just one bite and feel like you’re in chocolate heaven.
Tofu: So far, I am partial to the PB&J doughnut from The Doughnut Project in Manhattan. Now, I have had PB&J Doughnuts before but that particular one just tastes like childhood.
UBOMAG: I have found that the quality of seafood goes down dramatically the further a person is from the coast. Is it the same with doughnuts? I mean, is there a place in the country that has better doughnuts than others?
Patrick: To me, every part of the country has their own unique taste and style of doughnuts. In California, I seem to find more of the crazy eye-catching doughnuts like the mouth watering ones at Donut Bar in San Diego. But then in The Big Apple, we’ll see beautiful artisan style doughnuts like the Cronut at Dominique’s Arsenal Bakery. That’s what makes doughnuts so unique. In any part of the country you’re in, you’ll find something special.
UBOMAG: I saw your ad showing Patrick and Mike Yu in Lisbon. Are you going to visit other countries on your show?
Patrick: Yes! For example, this spring we are visiting Amsterdam.
Tofu: In the second season, we will travel the world, featuring doughnut masters from all over the planet. We already have shops in Japan and London on board. Man, Season Two is going to blow everyone’s socks right off!
UBOMAG: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in producing a show like this?
Patrick: Getting doughnut shops to let us film at their establishments. Because we’re new, we get turned down a lot.
Tofu: Yeah, some of these shop owners can be pretty mean when you are just starting out and don’t have ‘food blogger’ clout. Now that our pilot is out there, I think it will help prove that we are legit and worth the couple of hours of having us invade their place of business.
UBOMAG: This seems like the dream job but we all know what happens to people who work in the candy store sooner or later they get tired of candy. When smelling perfumes, good stores will provide coffee beans to keep from getting sensory overload. Even in wine tasting, you have to cleanse the palette. How do you keep things fresh?
Patrick: The travel bug keeps things fresh. The chance to visit a new city and meet people will always keep us motivated. From the hole in the wall to the top doughnut chains, we want to experience it all. Even at our funerals, we’ll be buried with a dozen doughnuts. Ha, ha!
Tofu: Pat will also tell you; after a morning of filming and eating doughnuts, I’m going to demand that we stop by a taqueria or a burger joint. I’ll need some meat and beer to counter the sweetness. What’s crazy is, at places like Golden Delicious in [Washington] D.C. or Straw in San Francisco, they serve some banging doughnut burgers. That’s when I cave.
UBOMAG: You and Patrick both look very fit. How do you keep so trim while tasting all these wonderful doughnuts?
Patrick: Exercise daily. Even if it’s for 20-30 minutes a day. Get active.
Tofu: I was previously relying on my super-high metabolism. This guy Pat has me working out now. He put me on a push-up regimen that I do every morning!
UBOMAG: Okay, people really want to know: In all the doughnut shops you’ve been to, how often do you run into cops?
Patrick: Not very frequently, but once, I was going up an escalator at Portland International Airport and I felt a tug on my box of and when I looked it was an officer. We both laughed and went on with our day.
UBOMAG: What are the hazards of your job? Like, if you eat too many donuts, do your eyes get glazed?
Patrick: Sticky fingers, stains on shirts and lectures from the dentist. That darn sweet tooth has more power than the C.E.O. of a big company.
Tofu: Running out of coffee. Seriously, though, a personal hazard for me would be belly aches or that feeling you get in your mouth when you’ve had too many sweets. It’s like I can literally feel the cavities forming. Ha, ha, ha!
UBOMAG: Have you considered having an expert guest on your show? You know, like a cop?
Patrick: Yes. Cops are always welcomed. We’d especially love to get Dan Castellaneta (voice of Homer Simpson) on the show.
All kidding aside, you have to check out these shows at The Perfect Dozen and watch the videos. In episode one, they visit Blue Star Donuts in Portland, Oregon and try their famous fried chicken doughnut. I have to admit it looks great. I can almost taste the mix of spicy fried chicken breast on top of a sweet glazed doughnut. Job well-done guys!