Dominique Ansel is king when it comes to all things sweet. His Soho bakery has become the non-fiction version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and there’s a black market business for his world-renowned cronuts…enough said. But forget about cronuts, because we photographed him with everything but when we visited his bakery a couple weeks back. What did we learn? Oh, not much, just what he thinks the next salty hybrid should be…that’s right, keep reading.
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day…
Homemade vegetable juice (kale, apple, lemon, ginger) to start (which is early for me, around 4am). A DKA [buttery cake] right around 10am. Oysters, fries, and a great lambrusco for lunch. The perfect bowl of ramen for dinner.
How do you always start your day?
I eat a DKA every day for breakfast. It’s half for quality control, and half just because I love it.
Who have been your mentors and why?
Daniel Boulud invited me to be the pastry chef at his restaurant in 2006. Prior to him I had many mentors who taught me the techniques and inspirations behind pastry, but my time with Daniel taught me how to put my customers first and always believe we can do better and more.
What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?
Just a glass of Champagne with someone I love. That would be the best last meal I could imagine.
An overrated baking ingredient…
An underrated baking ingredient…
Yeast. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
Your go-to recipe for dinner on weeknights…
I cook a really amazing bowl of Taiwanese beef noodles, believe it or not.
If you could attribute the “Cronut’s” fame to three things, what would they be?
Honestly, I don’t think I know. It was the right time, the right product, and a lot of really hard work to bring the best experience we can to our customers.
What do you think of black market cronuts?
I don’t think anyone should be buying second-hand food off of a person who is not certified to handle food. It’s like taking candy from a stranger. It’s not a toy or electronic; it’s something you eat.