Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel
A close-up of Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel’s meteoric rise began at the legendary Paris bakery Fauchon. Born in 1977, in Beauvais close to the French capital, at the age of 16, he began working at a local restaurant in order to help support his family. There was a free culinary school in his hometown, so he enrolled in their apprenticeship programme, first as a savoury cook and then as a pastry cook. It was the precision and scientific nature of pastry that appealed to Dominique immediately, and from then on, he knew what he was meant to do.

At age 19, Dominique went on to complete his military service in French Guiana in South America as part of a community programme teaching locals how to cook. Upon returning to France, he used all of his savings to buy a beat-up car and drove to Paris, dropping off his resume at any bakery he could find. He later landed at the legendary French pastry shop, Fauchon, as one of 30 seasonal holiday workers. He was told that only one employee would remain at the end of the season, and when the time came, he was the one they chose. 

He spent seven years with Fauchon and gradually took charge of their international expansion, helping set up shops in locations from Russia to Kuwait. Moving to America, he took up the challenge of working as executive pastry chef at Daniel, Daniel Boulud’s restaurant for six years. He was part of the team earned Daniel its first 4-star review from The New York Times, 3 Michelin stars, and the James Beard’s “Outstanding Restaurant of the Year Award” in 2010.

Driven by the desire to make his own mark on the city, he opened Dominique Ansel Bakery in November 2011. The patisserie was an instant success, awarded “Best New Bakery of 2012” by Time Out New York. In November 2011, with a team of just four employees, Dominique opened Dominique Ansel Bakery on a quiet Soho street in New York. Serving both sweet and savoury items with pastries taking pride of place, the bakery quickly became a neighborhood destination.

The Cronut - a fried, glazed and cream-filled croissant croissant-doughnut pastry hybrid innovation Ansel launched in 2013 shook up the pastry world and projected him to international acclaim. The much feted pastry was named one of TIME Magazine’s “25 Best inventions of 2013” and has featured in publications and on TV around the globe. The Cronut flavour changes each month at every Dominique Ansel Bakery location and is never repeated. 

Dominique published his first cookbook: “Dominique Ansel: the secret recipes” in 2014. In April 2015, Dominique launched his second NYC shop, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, in the West Village. Turning the tables on a traditional bakery, more than 70% of the menu is either made or finished to order, reflecting Dominique’s belief that “time is an ingredient.” Soon after, in July 2015, Dominique launched U.P. (short for “unlimited possibilities), the after-hours tasting table hidden within the Kitchen shop in NYC. The U.P. table seats just 12 and is situated in the center of the shop’s pastry kitchens, where guests enjoy an all-dessert menu centered around a theme that changes bi-annually. 

In September 2016, Dominique opened Dominique Ansel Bakery London, marking his first shop in Europe. Located just between Belgravia and Victoria, the Bakery’s menu includes a number of Dominique’s signatures, along with a large portion dedicated to creations made only for London like the Welsh Rarebit Croissant, Banoffee Paella, and Eton Mess Lunchbox. Most recently, the bakery began serving its first-ever Afternoon Tea service. 2017 brought the opening of Dominique’s first-ever restaurant, 189 by Dominique Ansel, and his first West Coast location of Dominique Ansel Bakery, both opening in The Grove in Los Angeles in November 2017. 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 and City Harvest.

SIGNATURE RECIPES:

  • The cronut
  • The Cookie Shot
  • Frozen S’more
  • Blossoming Hot Chocolate
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