In life we pivot – like a dough hook in a mixer or a banker ‘churning’ into a baker. Having little training in the kitchen John said, “My first batch confirmed how much I needed to learn.” With a heap of research and a dash of dedication, former mortgage banker, John Burnett was able to rise to the title of successful baker.
He followed every gourmet donut shop on social media, purchased a handful of donut making books and continued to stay updated on all the donut trends. “I finally understood what they meant by elastic, smooth, slightly tacky dough,” John said after attending his first gourmet donut making class. It was a breakthrough.
A nonlinear path seems to be a common ingredient for homemade businessmen. EMT, Banker, Baker: John Burnett constantly sought fulfilment in his work and finally found it in culinary confections. Nearly four years ago he and his wife, Denisse were taking a road trip to the Bay, and when John was craving some quality food he was disappointed by the limited, mediocre options.
John and Denisse – who is also a successful private chef – tossed around the idea of opening a restaurant with high quality grab-and-go breakfast food, but neither of them were keen on entering the bustle of the restaurant business. “What about donuts?” John thought. “There are no incredible donuts in this town!” he said, referring to Santa Barbara.
With experience under his belt and courage propelling him forward, John opened Hook & Press; Santa Barbara’s first gourmet donut shop. The word gourmet is often overused, but John is redefining it with his unique creations and his dedication to the flavors of the season.
John uses fresh, local ingredients and rotates his distinct flavors monthly to keep things exciting. When figs are in, black figs, crushed pistachios and farmer’s market honey will grace your donut. For strawberry season, you can indulge in the Hook & Press version of a strawberry matcha donut. And for when the temperature dips into the 60’s, an apple pie donut with fresh apple pie filling and a touch of crumble on top. John also mentioned they’re working hard in the test kitchen to perfect your favorite gluten free and vegan options!
Hook & Press is serving their regulars at Mosaic Locale as well as catering local, group events. John is truly living out the quote that motivates him most: “Action is the antidote to fear.” These words were John’s inspiration to step out into the unknown almost four years ago and they continue to motivate him today as he tests the limits of the culinary world. Prepare your taste buds – it’s dough time.