Q&A with Dominique Ansel
From Frozen S'Mores to the Cronut, Dominique Ansel's creativity in the kitchen is never-ending. Before opening Dominique Ansel Bakery in 2011 to become one of the hottest pastry shops in New York City, he spent years mastering his craft at Daniel and the esteemed French bakery Fauchon. His ability to take three simple ingredients - flour, sugar, and butter - and transform them into elegant desserts is mind-blowing. With the April 29 opening of Dominique Ansel Kitchen, Dominique Ansel is once again transforming the culinary world. In this episode of LUCKYINSIDER, we delve into the mind of this baking mastermind:
LUCKYRICE: We're excited for the cocktail and dessert tasting menu at Dominique Ansel Kitchen - why were cocktail pairings important for you to have with this menu? Dominique Ansel: We wanted to provide a fine-dining and high-end experience, so I think a drink pairing is important. Especially considering many people will be coming to celebrate a special occasion. And working with cocktails is something that opens up a wider range of flavors than just beer and wine.
LUCKYRICE: How have your travels to Asia influenced your recipes and techniques?Dominique: Traveling anywhere gives you a lot of inspiration for new dessert ideas. You see something new and want to try it for yourself. In opening up our shop in Japan, I'm always curious about new ingredients and techniques there.
LUCKYRICE: Why did you choose Japan as the next location of Dominique Ansel Bakery? Dominique: For me, the most important thing is that there is the proper talent and team there. Our team in Japan is so technically well-trained and embody our same work ethnic and that is the hardest thing to starting a shop anywhere - making sure you have the proper team and people. And for me, Japan is a culture that greatly understands food and pastries in particular. It's a place that will push us to be even better.
LUCKYRICE: Will there be special menu items geared towards traditional Japanese flavors and ingredients? Dominique: Yes, we are doing some items that are only for Japan. That's a secret for now.
LUCKYRICE: Was there another profession you wanted to do before you became a pastry chef? Dominique: I started off working in the kitchen since I was 16, so there wasn't much time to go into another profession. It was always cooking for me.
LUCKYRICE: You created a frenzy with the Cronut - what are your next steps for world domination? Dominique: Hahaha...I have no plans for world domination, just to continue to be creative and move forward with integrity. Hopefully it will end up making people happy with some sweet treats.