LOCAL Houston | The City Guide August 2017 - Page 66

ART

THE ART OF THE DONUT

ALYSSA DOLE IS MIXING IT UP
Four months into her new position as pastry chef for Lee ’ s Fried Chicken and Donuts , ALYSSA DOLE ’ S creativity can ’ t be contained . Every Saturday , she hits a local farmers market to see what fruit is fresh and in season , and then finds a way to incorporate it into a special “ Sunday-only ” donut for the shop ( recent find : peaches ). When they run out , they run out . But she keeps on going .
She has to . On any given weekend day , they move 750 donuts . Some of the menu items have been around from the beginning , some rotate seasonally , and Dole works on new ones constantly . Her most recent success was a peanut butter-green apple beauty .
It all starts with understanding the dough , she says . “ It ’ s alive ! You ’ re working with a living being ,” she says of the yeasty mix . “ So you have to know your dough and not be scared . I fully believe that the living dough can sense your fear .”
Other factors that can affect the outcome : room temperature , humidity , an extra tablespoon of water , broken air conditioning . “ Sometimes it ’ s trial and error , but you learn how to adapt to weather conditions ,” she laughs .
Born in Denver but raised in Houston , the Duchesne graduate went to cooking school , then worked for a year in a patisserie in Australia . Upon her return to Houston , she became the pastry chef for the Agricole Hospitality Group , which includes Coltivare and Revival Market .
SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A GOOD-LOOKING DONUT ? “ Sprinkles ,” she laughs ( she laughs a lot ). “ Just kidding . It ’ s getting the sweetness and texture and consistency right . You can have the most beautiful donut in the world , but if it doesn ’ t hold up , you ’ ve got to start all over .”
From scratch , you might say .
By Tim Moloney | Photography by Jenn Duncan
34 LOCAL | august 17
THINGS I LOVE BY CHRISTINE JELSON WEST CULTURAL PROGRAMS MANAGER AT HOUSTON FIRST CORPORATION Native Houstonian Christine Jelson West, the Cultural Programs Manager at Houston First Corporation, has over 15 years’ experience in nonprofit arts administration – including executive leadership positions at Lawndale Art Center and the Galveston Arts Center. She is active in the Texas art community and is currently the Vice President for Special Programs on the Texas Association of Museums board. FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE INTERNATIONAL GROCERY STORES Explore Fiesta, Phoenicia, H Mart, Hong Kong Market and a myriad of other small shops that proudly import goods from countless countries so that our diverse citizens can have a little taste of home. Take a vacation in an afternoon. Step in and explore another country just down the street. FROZEN TREATS It’s August, but even in December I am a sucker for a frozen treat. How can I chose just one? Gourmet ice cream at Fat Cat Creamery. Fancy popsicles at Steel City. Want a buzz with your brain freeze? Try a Frozen Suffering Bastard at Double Trouble, Frojitos at The Flat, Shandys at D&T Drive In and the Blue Hawaiian at Axelrad. The best frozen margarita in Houston? Without a doubt – Spanish Village. Places I’m dying to try: East End Hardware for boozy snoballs, Kwality Ice Cream for Indian flavors and Treats of Mexico, no explanation needed. THE WORLD AT OUR DOORSTEP Take a 20-minute drive down Gessner, Elgin/ Westheimer, Long Point or Bellaire and experience firsthand that Houston is the most diverse city in the country. Shops, groceries, restaurants, banks, meat markets and more serving a multitude of communities pass before your eyes in minutes. Signs in as many languages have folks reaching for Google Translate. Slow down. Stop in. Say hello. 66 L O C A L | august 17 THE ART COMMUNITY It took leaving Houston for a few years (I know. What was I thinking?) to clearly com- prehend how welcoming, supportive and accessible our art community is. Creative expression is valued in Houston. Local artists and performers are given opportunities in all of the "7FGWF2B7WGFrFPVFvR6'F7B'V76W2fW"FvFW&R2fW&&6rG&fRF'VB6ЦV7F2&WGvVVW"7&VFfR6VFW0vFFW'2&VBFRv&BvR6fRG&VVFW2F&27W'Bf FR'G2ג'B6VG2֖7&66ЦbW7F( 26F7&BFB&Vv2vFVFrBFVvWBFR"FR4TU52Tr( 0dTDU5DऒfW'V6F&R'Bb&v旦Fv&rFG&6f&ЧFRV7B6FRbFvFvBF'FW"vFFRvFW&gVF66fW'w&VV7&VFr7WW"gVV&Ɩ0&w&֖rFRfVFF7G&7BvfVvBbFRvVVf6F'2B&W6FVG2WW&V6Pg&VRW&f&6W2ƗfRW62@V&Ɩ2'BvRVr6R`FR&W7B6&W7FW&G2&VBFP6VF"6vW2Fǒ66V6W@FRvV'6FRB6RFvFFRfVF%B4"$DR6( BF氦bRWfVBFB&WGFW V&FW2W7F( 2f'&B7&VFfRg&VFǒ6'BgVFfW'6RBvV6֖r7&@FFRV'B6"&FRWfW'R2fFVBF6VV'&FPFR'F7BWfW'RP6VFW"FR&FRP6GFVBBFrvW22r2B&2B2FR7@g&VRBgVWW&V6W2`7&VFfRW&W76( 2WfW"VwW7Br2cp