This article appears in the September 2018 issue of 400 Life magazine.
Some of the tastiest treats can be found at Dutch Monkey Doughnuts, operated by husband and wife team Martin Burge and Arpana Satyu-Burge, where you can find made-from-scratch doughnuts with no artificial flavors just off Peachtree Parkway.
After moving from New York, where the couple worked at restaurants across the city before Martin became executive chef and Arpana executive pastry chef at the Metropolitan Opera House, the couple moved to Forsyth County to be closer to family and opened Dutch Monkey in 2009 after seeing a need for high-quality doughnuts in their own backyard.
Satyu-Burge, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute’s Pastry Arts and International Bread Baking programs and former intern of chef Bobby Flay, took some time out of her busy schedule to talk about a few of her favorite foods, places and things to watch.
What is one of your prized possessions?
“A work-related prized possession is our baker’s scale. I think electronic scales are kind of all the rage right now, but we have the old-fashioned balance scale and that’s what we weigh all of our ingredients on. It’s the kind of scale I used at my very first pastry job, so I kind of have an emotional attachment to it. If the entire place burned down, I would go hunting for that scale.”
“We go to the gym a lot. We got to CrossFit Dynamo. We go right down the street. It’s three minutes away. That’s where Martin and I love to be when we’re not here.”
“We just went to Italy, which was pretty great. I think that may be my new vacation spot.”
“We just went to Florence a few months ago and it was amazing and didn’t want to come back… The food was unbelievable.”
Favorite Dutch Monkey doughnut?
“Buttermilk Cake. That’s’ an easy one: that’s just our standard cake doughnut, kind of like a glazed version that has a little bit of a crisp glaze on top. It’s the easiest one for us to make, honestly, and, I think, our finest work.”
Favorite non-baked food?
“Cheese fries. I’m on a lifelong quest to find the world’s best cheese fries. There are some seasoned waffle fries at a diner in upstate New York. … Then the Texas cheese fries at Chili’s. If I’m having a really hard day at work or things aren’t going well, that will brighten my day up real quick.”
Favorite TV show?
“I used to be Third Rock from the Sun with John Lithgow and French Stewart. That was awesome. Now, Modern Family.”
“Office Space, for sure.”
“’Personal History,’ by Katherine Graham. It’s a book about the woman who was married to the publisher of the Washington Post, and then her husband committed suicide and she had to take over. It’s just a really great biography.”
“Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. He’s from Texas, and I’m from Texas, and I just love his music. There’s a Lyle Lovett song for any occasion.”
“I liked Aida. It was probably my favorite. We never got to see them, but sometimes when we did banquets we could hear the music piped into other parts of the building. We rarely got to see the opera. I don’t think we went to one opera while we were there because we were working every opera.