America’s Favorite Treat Gets a Little Salty
Caviar, Smoked Salmon & Foie Gras Donuts
We’ve all broken caloric resolutions in the face of a round, enamel glazed donut. They’re kind of irresistible. Eaten elegantly with knife and fork or hastily and handsy while on the road, they’re the all-American indulgence that seems to be in a constant state of re-invention, such as when NYC’s Dominique Ansel Bakery launched the ‘cronut’— the spawn of a croissant and a donut— in what was supposed to be a one-time, Mother’s Day special. A decade later, it’s still going strong.
According to a 2020 study by Technavio, between 2020 and 2025 the global donut market size is expected to grow by $5.02 billion dollars. And 35% of the growth is squarely—or roundly—centered in the US and Canada. One NYC chef, and Altima Caviar collaborator, is redefining the luxury donut. His name is Richard Farnabe. And his company, Forbiddendonuts, is credited with making some of the most decadent savory donuts in America, according to People Magazine, Time Out New York and The Daily Mail.
“Believe it or not, Forbidden Donuts started out as a dare from my guys in the kitchen. They said, why don’t you put caviar on a donut?” says Farnabe. “And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that switching a donut from sweet to savory was a brilliant idea.” Farnabe’s first creation was a crème fraîche glazed donut topped with caviar and caviar gelee ($18). The immense success of his caviar donut was followed by a smoked salmon one. Other popular creations include a cocktail inspired Bloody Mary donut, a foie gras and chocolate glaze donut and a kimchi donut. Farnabe has an innate sense of what his audience wants from having worked for the likes of Daniel Boulud, Jean Georges Vongerichten, Soho Grand Hotel and Petrossian Caviar: A little nostalgic comfort, iced over with pure luxury.
Each Forbidden Donut sells for between $8-$25, with a minimum order of half a dozen. Today, over 1200 Forbiddendonuts a month are sold. And Farnabe has been approached with numerous offers to expand his business. Which would be a good thing since currently you can only get a Forbidden Donut in New York City. So, if you are in NYC, get your forbidden fix. And if you’re in the rest of the world, spoon some Altima Caviar on a toast point, chip, donut or cronut. At the end of the day, caviar is the ultimate topping to any comfort food!
by Carolina Buia