For all those pastry lovers who are adventurous enough to stand, drawning up in the chill of a harsh NYC winter before the clock marks 6 am, at the door of one of the most creative bakeries in downtown Manhattan, the name of Dominique Ansel, sounds like sweet melody in their ears. There is a reason for this pastry madness and commotional human behavior. Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel’s marriage between a buttery traditional French croissant with a funky American fried doughnut named “The Cronut”.
This laminated, glazed, fried in grape seed oil croissant-doughnut injected with the filling of the month, like caramelized apple and Tahitian vanilla cream, born on May 10, 2013 with US Patent has broken the rules of traditional pastry making and has spread rapidly across the national and international borders.
For his creator and pastry master, Dominique Ansel, “the cronut”, is just one manifestation of his love for pastry, joy for the scientific rigor of the craft, and years of expertise in the matter. Born and raise in Beauvais, France, started working his way up in Fauchon, the Fabergé of sweets on the Place de la Madeleine in Paris, and then in the United States, for six successful years as the Pastry Chef in the acclaimed restaurant Daniel from Daniel Boulud.
Though he may be the most inventive pastry chef going in New York City and beyond, his early beginning are as humble as his present attitude. With only 16 years old- Chef Ansel started washing dishes and swept floors at a family restaurant. With no money to afford culinary training, he decided to enlist to the military where he managed to get a job in the kitchen. After saving enough money to move to the City of Lights, Paris, his tenacity and hard work paid him the ticket to work his way up to a permanent job at Fauchon. Moving up in the company to the point of opening new shops abroad and training young bakers. Eager to explore new culinary possibilities, back in 2006, he landed in the City that never sleeps, to take over the top pastry job at Daniel. Ambitious enough to spread his wings and unleash his creative mind in the pastry business, Chef Ansel, open his own casual pastry shop and center of operations in Soho, NYC back in 2011. The idea has been simple from the start: traditional creations like macarons, cannelés de Bordeaux and his own version of the Breton pastry kouign amann.
As creativity started being unleashed, chef Ansel began to think up to the point that many creations inspired by American flavors were born, like: “the Frozen S’more”. A vanilla-flavored core of frozen custard in a chocolate feuilletine wafer under a layer of marshmallow stabbed with an applewood-smoked willow brach and torched to order.
And if you are hungry for more and happens to be in the city this spring, the latest wild creation of Chef Ansel for this season has arrived and caused big commotion as usual. “The waffogato”, an innovative twist on the Italian affogato, in which strong hot espresso is poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In Chef Ansel’s new confection and version of the affogato, he manages to convert the affogato into a breakfast treat, as the vanilla ice cream takes the shape of a waffle enhanced with Belgium waffle bits, and the maple syrup-scented espresso is poured over. Another crazy idea that sets the existence of no boundaries in the pastry world.