Behind Johnny Doughnuts' Starring Role in an Oscar-Nominated Film

The shop's maple bacon doughnuts hit the big screen

If Denzel Washington wins the Oscar for Best Actor this Sunday, hopefully maple-turkey bacon doughnuts will have a part in his acceptance speech. Though his film, Roman J. Israel, Esq., depicts the story of an L.A. attorney fighting for justice while suffering a crisis of conscience, the deep-fried treats play a prominent supporting role. 

In a pivotal scene, Washington's character stops at a gourmet truck named Johnny Doughnuts parked at Santa Monica Beach to order the sweet and savory snacks. But don't try looking for a real Johnny Doughnuts in Southern California—its two shops and three trucks are in reality based in San Francisco. Filmmakers contacted the shop's founder, Craig Blum, to drive the food truck down to L.A. for filming, even going as far as recreating employee uniforms. And while a maple bacon doughnut these days is standard hipster fare, Blum created a special turkey bacon version just for Washington, who doesn't eat pork.

Even though the doughnut isn't technically up for an Oscar for its cameo, it will at least enjoy a starring role at Johnny Doughnuts' shops in honor of Washington and his nomination. The potato-based dough comes frosted with a house-made coffee-maple glaze and topped with a slice of crisp turkey bacon. It's available now through Sunday for $4.50 at both locations (San Rafael and San Francisco) and will be offered as a special every weekend in March. Though, with only a limited supply each day, you might want to order more than one, just like Washington does in the film.

Amy Sherman is a San Francisco-based writer and cookbook author who never says no to a warm doughnut. Follow her on Instagram at @cookingwithamy.