It was just impossible to celebrate the « French Touch » without highlighting a Chef ! And especially for those like me who have a sweet tooth, it is a real pleasure and even a gustatory one, to welcome Dominique Ansel on Frenchy !
Dominique Ansel is the chef and owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City.
Since its opening in November 2011, the chef’s eponymous bakery was named Time Out New York’s “Best Bakery of 2012” and is also Zagat 2013’s highest ranked bakery. In 2009, Dessert Professional magazine named Dominique one of the « Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the United States ». In 2013, he was nominated as a James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. And in May of 2013, he invented the Cronut®, a croissant-doughnut hybrid that became the most virally popular pastry of its time.
With his unstoppable creativity, the New York Post proclaimed him the “Willy Wonka of NYC”, Food & Wine called him the “culinary Van Gogh” of our times, and he was voted one of Business Insider’s Most Innovative Persons in 2013.
Frenchy : Your favorite word ?
Dominique : Yes
Frenchy : What would you change if you had a magic wand ?
Dominique : The weather
Frenchy : What is your favorite quote ?
Dominique : « What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. » – The Little Prince
Frenchy : What could seduce you immediately ?
Dominique : Something pleasantly unexpected.
Frenchy : What is, according to you, the secret of happiness ?
Dominique : Appreciation
Frenchy : If you were a dessert ?
Dominique : I’d like to be one single beautifully made chocolate truffle.
Frenchy : What in your day to day life remains so French/American ?
Dominique : My accent is still French, but English is the language I speak most days. Both are such endearing parts of my life, I don’t think I could ever separate them.
Frenchy : What do you enjoy the most in the US/Fr way of life ?
Dominique : There’s a deep sense of culture and history in France – just walking around Paris you can feel it. And there’s an energy in New York that changes and grows every day.
Frenchy : One thing where American/French people are particularly good at and you would like to develop yourself ?
Dominique : I love the dedication in France, especially when it comes to chefs and their passion for their craft. And I love the open-mindedness and curiosity in America.
Frenchy : In the US, failing is seen as the first step to be successful later, how to bring such a state of mind in France ?
Dominique : That’s a very popular American saying. In France, they try their best not to fail, but if they do, they may move on to something else. But I also know a lot of French people who get much stronger after each mistake – that’s the way the culture is in the kitchen. You never do things perfectly the first time.
Frenchy : What is it to be a French/American guy in the US/Fr? Could you tell us a specific anecdote that happened to you ?
Dominique : Once when I was in the kitchens of Daniel, we were trying to draw up tasting menu. There was a small plate in between the appetizer and entrée and we were trying to think of the right name for it. At the time, my English wasn’t very good and I was thinking of what could describe a course in between two courses. I ended up writing “Intercourse” on the menu before someone told me what it meant just before service.
Frenchy : According to you, what is the French touch ?
Dominique : A little bit of finesse and attitude…
Merci Dominique !
More about Dominique :
– The Popsugar interview
– The Wendy Williams show
– On Huffington Post
What is the Cronut™ pastry?
The Cronut™ pastry is the unique creation by Chef Dominique Ansel that many have described to be a croissant-doughnut hybrid. After its launch on May 10, 2013, Cronut™ pastry fans spanned the world from Berlin to Singapore, making it the most virally talked about dessert item in history.