Dominique Ansel is the chef and owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. In 2014, he became one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” and was awarded “Outstanding Pastry Chef” of the nation by the James Beard Awards. In 2013, Chef Ansel was named one of Business Insider’s “Most Innovative people Under 40”.
Perhaps what has most widely been reported is Chef’s creation of the Cronut®, a croissant and doughnut hybrid that has been reported on throughout the world.It is also the first pastry to have been so in demand, it sells of up to 20x its retail price on the black market. TIME Magazine named it one of the “25 Best Inventions of 2013”. The Chef’s various other inventions, including his Frozen S’more, Magic Soufflé, and Milk & Cookie shots have all become popular treats with international fame. The New York Post proclaimed Chef Ansel the “Willy Wonka of NYC”and Food & Wine called him a “culinary Van Gogh”.
Since its opening in November of 2011, the chef’s eponymous bakery was awarded Time Out New York’s “Best New Bakery of 2012” and Metromix’s “Best Bakery of 2012”, all within four months of opening its doors. Today, it is also Zagat 2013’s highest ranked bakery and listed as one of the Best Bakeries in the U.S. by Daily Meal.
Prior to starting his own business, Dominique is well-known in New York as the executive pastry chef at Daniel, Daniel Boulud’s flagship French restaurant. During his six years there (the longest tenure of any pastry chef at Daniel), Dominique was part of the team that led the restaurant to receive its first 4-star New York Times Rating, 3 Michelin stars, and James Beard’s Outstanding Restaurant of the Year Award in 2010. Chef Ansel also spent seven years at the venerable French bakery Fauchon, where he was in charge of international expansion. He has helped Fauchon set up shops around the world, including Russia, Egypt, and Kuwait.
These days, the chef is often noted for his support of various charities, including the fight to end hunger with Food Bank for New York City. In 2013, he appeared on the CNN’s Nightly News to launch a series of charitable campaigns that increased Food Bank search engine awareness by 56% and raised more than $10K of proceeds. Growing up in a poor family in the north of France, the Chef’s story and passion for food and desire to turn that passion for good has inspired a personal visit from the First Lady of France and a call from President François Hollande himself.
Chef Ansel’s first cookbook “Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes” published by Simon & Schuster was released in October of 2014.
What’s your culinary background?
I started training as a pastry chef since I was 16. Since then, I worked for many years in Paris with Fauchon and later in New york as the executive pastry chef for . In 2011, I started my own bakery.
How did you come to create the Cronut?
The Cronut™ took over 2 months and over 10 recipes to perfect. But it was just one of the many creations that we do. We are constantly changing the menu, and add in new items every 6-8 weeks.
What’s in store for the next few years?
I hope we continue to create and never loose that energy for change.
Any plans of expanding?
I’m excited to be opening in Tokyo the summer of next year! That was a really big decision for all of us, and the whole team is looking forward to all the amazing inspiration we’ll gain there.
- Outstanding Pastry Chef| James Beard Awards, 2014
- Most Innovative people Under 40|Business Insider, 2013
- 25 Best Inventions of 2013|TIME Magazine
- Best New Bakery of 2012|Time Out New York
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