James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef, Dominique Ansel, has shaken up the pastry world with innovation and creativity at the heart of his work. Named one of Business Insider’s “Most Innovative People Under 40” and Crain’s “40 under 40,” Chef Dominique has strived through his career to bring a refreshing approach to the world of desserts. In 2015, he was bestowed the prestigious l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole award for his accomplishments. Vanity Fair named him one of the “50 Most Influential French” and Daily Mail UK claimed him “the most fêted pastry chef in the world.”
Perhaps what has been most widely been reported on is Dominique’s creation of the Cronut®, his signature croissant-doughnut hybrid pastry that first launched at his eponymous Bakery in New York in May 2013, soon becoming the world’s first-ever viral pastry. In its first year, TIME magazine named the Cronut® one of the “25 Best Inventions of 2013,” and it has since appeared in the news across the world, from Good Morning America to the The Today Show, ABC’s The Chew, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Live with Kelly & Michael, CNN’s Piers Morgan Live with Anthony Bourdain, E! News, Bloomberg, and more. It has also been featured on TV shows like Modern Family, The Mindy Project, Jeopardy!, Two Broke Girls, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and Gilmore Girls, among others.
Not to be defined by just one item, or in Chef Dominique’s words, “don’t let the creation kill the creativity,” Chef Dominique continued to launch some of the most celebrated creations in the industry, including: the Cookie Shot, Frozen S’more, Blossoming Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Pinecone, Christmas Morning Cereal, and many more items. For his prolific creativity, Food & Wine called him a “Culinary Van Gogh” while the New York Post coined him “the Willy Wonka of New York.” Today, his eponymous bakery in New York still welcomes lines averaging 100 guests prior to opening each morning. Chef Dominique also opened a second shop, Dominique Ansel Kitchen in New York, with a tasting table, U.P. (short for “Unlimited Possibilities). He has bakeries in Japan and London as well.
Prior to opening his own shop, Dominique served as the Executive Pastry Chef for restaurant Daniel. During his six years at Daniel (the longest tenure of any pastry chef there), the restaurant earned its coveted third Michelin star and a four-star review from The New York Times. Dominique moved to New York City in 2006 with just two suitcases after having worked at Fauchon for nearly eight years, working up his way to lead international expansion for them. In 2011, he opened his first shop with a team of just four employees.
Outside of the kitchen, Dominique is a dedicated supporter of various charitable organizations, including the fight to end hunger with Food Bank for New York City, City Harvest, and God’s Love We Deliver. In the Cronut®’s first year alone, he helped to raise over $100,000 by auctioning off just 24 Cronut® pastries. Dominique published his first cookbook, DOMINIQUE ANSEL: The Secret Recipes (Simon & Schuster), in October 2014.