It’s time to make the dough­nuts

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY JOSH CORN­FIELD

Phish an­nounced its 13-show run in New York with a video in Jan­uary that showed gi­ant dough­nuts rolling through the city.

That got Feli­cia D’Am­bro­sio’s phone buzzing, with calls from friends hop­ing that might mean a role for the Phish su­per­fan and co-owner of a Philadel­phia dough­nut and fried chicken shop that had made dough­nuts ded­i­cated to the band in the past.

“Well, no, I don’t want to work on Phish tour,’’ thought D’Am­bro­sio, who has been to more than 100 shows.

Then came the re­quest. From the band.

Time to make the dough­nuts. Dough­nuts are ev­ery­where in Phish’s “Baker’s Dozen’’ res­i­dency at Madi­son Square Gar­den, which kicked off last week and lasts un­til Aug. 6, from the tick­ets to a huge mu­ral to the thou­sands of Fed­eral Donuts be­ing given out to fans each night. The band is even work­ing each night’s cus­tom flavour into its setlists.

The band “never stops sur­pris­ing me and de­light­ing me and I trust them,’’ D’Am­bro­sio said. “To us at Fed­eral Donuts, it’s this weird col­lab­o­ra­tion of this thing you love and this thing you love.’’

Phish doesn’t need gim­micks to draw fans to their mostly sold-out shows, but they are known for play­ful gags on stage. One song fea­tures gui­tarist Trey Anas­ta­sio and bass player Mike Gor­don per­form­ing while jump­ing on tram­po­lines, and drum­mer Jon Fish­man’s other in­stru­ments in­clude a vac­uum cleaner.

It was Fish­man’s stan­dard out­fit — a blue dress cov­ered with red dough­nut shapes — that first in­spired D’Am­bro­sio to whip up The Fish­man — a blue vanilla rasp­berry dough­nut with a pink glaze — ahead of a 2015 show.

Mark Welker, the ex­ec­u­tive pas­try chef at New York’s Eleven Madi­son Park and No­Mad, took no­tice of the Fish­man dough­nut and an­other Fed­eral Donuts cre­ation, The Fluff­head, named for a clas­sic Phish song — and when the band came to him for a rec­om­men­da­tion on a dough­nut maker for the res­i­dency, he rec­om­mended D’Am­bro­sio.

“I knew their dough­nuts are re­ally, re­ally good. They’re fans. This is the only op­tion,’’ Welker said.

The band sent its flavour ideas to Fed­eral Donuts chef Matt Fein, who came up with his in­ter­pre­ta­tions to send back to the band.

“Then they were like, ‘yea, rock and roll, go for it,’’’ D’Am­bro­sio said. “It was nice and sim­ple.’’

AP PHOTO

Chef Matt Fein pre­pared donuts for a Phish con­cert Wed­nes­day at Fed­eral Donuts in Philadel­phia. Dough­nuts are ev­ery­where in Phish’s “Baker’s Dozen’’ 13-show res­i­dency at Madi­son Square Gar­den, which kicked off last week.

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