Have to say, I'm a sucker for a good creative food partnership.
— Kristen Hawley
NEW YORK (AP) — Phish’s 13-show “Baker’s Dozen” residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden is all about the doughnuts.
The video the band released in January to announce the shows included skyscraper-sized doughnuts rolling through the streets of New York. Fans who purchased a 13-night package got doughnut-shaped tickets.
And the band has partnered with Philadelphia doughnut and fried chicken shop Federal Donuts to make a specialty flavor each night that they’re both giving out to fans and building some of their songs around.
Here’s a look at how the doughnuts go from fryers in Philly to fans in New York.
Frying in the Morning
Federal Donuts chef Matt Fein’s crew is working overnight shifts to get the thousands of doughnuts made at the company’s commissary kitchen just outside of downtown Philadelphia.
A machine called a Donut Robot fries them up and then each doughnut is hand-dipped into that night’s flavor.
Flavors so far have included coconut, strawberry, red velvet, jam-filled and powdered. The custom flavors for the remaining eight shows are a secret, to be announced by the band before that day’s show.
Bag It, Tag It
The doughnuts are finished early before Federal Donuts begins its daily breakfast rush. They’re then packed up into a truck to be shipped to New York in crates of 24 each.
While fans are lining up outside of the arena early to try to get a taste, a group of volunteers works inside to get each doughnut into a bag with Phish’s logo on it.
The volunteers come from the various groups that staff the band’s shows around the country, including Phish’s WaterWheel Foundation.
Rush and Never Waste a Donut
Once the doors open each night around 6:30 p.m., fans come streaming through the towers at Madison Square Garden, where the volunteers hand the doughnuts out.
After about a half hour, the doughnuts are gone, the remaining sad fans forced to ride up the escalators without a doughnut.
You Enjoy My Donut
With more than an hour before the show starts, fans that get inside the arena in time for a doughnut also have plenty of time to enjoy it.
The band has also taken each night’s flavor and worked it into their set lists.
The first show’s coconut flavor, for instance, saw the band open the show with an obscure Danish pop song, Junior Senior’s “Shake your Coconuts.”