If you're not familiar with bomboloni—Italian donuts filled with custard, chocolate or marmalade—now is the time to get acquainted with them as a first-of-its-kind bombolone festival is set to take over NYC from February 6 to February 9, 2024.
Hosted by Unregular Bakery in collaboration with Underground Donut Tour, the free extravaganza will take place at the former's brick-and-mortar shop at 124 4th Avenue by 13th Street.
Here is how it's all going to work: from now through December 15 at 11:59pm EST, professional and up-and-coming chefs around the country are encouraged to apply to be contestants during the four-day bombolone making competition, where guests will get to taste a variety of treats. The event is free to attend but you'll need to reserve your spot right here.
A few more things: contestants will be notified about their acceptance on January 2, 2024, at which point they'll start preparing for the shenanigans, which will feature a roster of culinary-adjacent personalities as part of the judging panel.
Among the judges will be Rossella Rago, the host of popular web series Cooking with Nonna, managing editor of Real Simple magazine Tara Cox and food writer Matt Bruck.
The festival's winner will receive an official Bombolone Fest award and his or her recipe will be featured at Unregular Bakery for an entire week. Fifty percent of the net profits from sales of the top-ranked bombolone at the shop for the week will go directly to the winner.
Before attending the event, we suggest you start reading up on Italian gastronomical history and learn the differences between a bombolone and a plain ol' donut ("ciambella," in Italian). In addition to lacking a hole in its middle, the former treat is airier, the result of a slightly different leavening process. What do the two have in common? They are both absolutely delicious.