We've been covering Dominique Ansel and his famous Cronuts for months now. The time finally came for us to travel trans-America to visit the New York City bakery. The questions on everyone's mind like "How long is the wait?," "Should you order his other pastries?," and "Is the Cronut really worth all the hype?" are answered within the slideshow.
Cronuts: we haven't seen a population this crazed about pastries since the opening of Sprinkles Cupcakes, and there's no sign of slowing down. The world wants more Cronuts, and creator Dominique Ansel is finding ways to serve the public outside the bakery — for a good cause, of course. He recently partnered with Shake Shake to create a Cronut Hole Concrete, raising $5,000 for widows of the New York Police Department and their children. At the City Harvest's Bid Against Hunger auction, a dozen donated Cronuts went for $14,000. And over the weekend, Cronut holes made a second debut at the New York City Wine & Food Festival's Jets + Chefs event, where ticket proceeds go to the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. Dominique stepped away from his Cronut hole assembly line to discuss his life AC (after Cronut) and his proudest accomplishment. If you don't already love Dominique, then you will after hearing what he has to say.
POPSUGAR: It's been over five months since the Cronut's release. How are you feeling?
Dominique Ansel: It's been great. I see a lot of happy, very excited people every morning, and it makes me happy.
PS: Your hours are long and grueling. What keeps you motivated?
DA: What keeps me motivated? The passion that people have for food. I'm very excited to see so many people in the morning from all over the world all over the country. It's just fun. It's what I love doing, baking and cooking. And this is what people come for.
PS: You've told other journalists that you want to be known for something other than the Cronut. What do you want to be known for?
Keep reading to hear Dominique discuss his legacy.
The croissant-doughnut hybrid, otherwise known as Dominique Ansel's Cronut, has sent the whole food world into a frenzy. If you can't make it to New York City to snag one for yourself, here's our take on an easy, homemade version. Watch the video to learn how to make it, then keep reading for the recipe.
Chef Dominique Ansel, inventor of the phenomenon known as the Cronut, refuses to be a one-hit wonder. He recently said of his croissant-doughnut hybrid, "I don't want the creation to kill the creativity. It's not so much about making the next Cronut. It's about making something other than the Cronut." Frozen s'more popsicles and brioche-encased soufflés are just a few other brilliant creations produced by Dominique that deserve credit, too! Take a look these and other notable nibbles available at the bakery.
We're bidding a sad adieu to Summer but before it goes, let's take a moment to remember the divine edibles it brought (Cronuts, Ramen Burgers, and Hostess Cupcakes) and the shocking stories that were uncovered (Nigella Lawson's divorce and Paula Deen's demise, anyone?). These are the top hottest headlines in food news this Summer in case you missed them or want to relive them.
Before she catapulted to Top Chef fame, Gail Simmons was in charge of running the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, so it's no surprise that when we caught up with her there, she was completely in her element. She was, in fact, minutes away from hosting a seminar with Tom Colicchio and had just hosted her Last Bite Dessert Party with Johnny Iuzzini (that's the two of them, above, at said party) the night before. We grabbed her in haste to talk about Top Chef Masters, the Cronut craze, season 11 of Top Chef, and this Summer's coolest dessert trend.
POPSUGAR: Top Chef Masters 5 premieres July 24, and you'll be the head judge this time. What can you tell us about the competition level compared to previous seasons?
Gail Simmons: I've never been on Top Chef Masters full-time before, so this was new for me to see it through a whole season, and I loved it. The chefs are so solid this year. What's amazing about Masters, compared to the regular Top Chef, is that they're in it for different reasons. They're doing it for charity, and they're doing it to kind of be together. They all know each other, and we all know them. So it's not about the same level of stress and competition, but the good cause and the camaraderie. It's a chance for them to really be pushed and challenged again as chefs, which is great to see.
PS: You're the host of Top Chef Just Desserts. I have to ask: have you tried a Cronut? What do you think of it all?
GS: I've been living in New Orleans right now, because we're shooting Top Chef 11. The Cronut chaos erupted after I had left New York City. But I do know the Cronut. Dominique Ansel, who invented the Cronut, is an alumni of Daniel Boulud, and I worked for Daniel Boulud too, so I have known Dominique for a long time. He really is one of the most powerful and talented pastry chefs in America. Look, everyone loves a craze, and this is kind of the new thing. It's sweet and it's buttery and it's fried: I mean, what can be bad? But people are getting a little crazy. It's just a piece of dough, for God's sake. Calm down!
Dessert trends, Top Chef: New Orleans, and more, right this way.
If you don't live in New York City and you have taste buds that are anything like ours, then chances are you're vying desperately for a Cronut. What is a Cronut, you may ask? It's a doughnut-croissant hybrid, developed by Dominique Ansel, that has swept New York City into a sugar rush. While you might not be able to wait in that extravagant line for a chance to purchase two cream-filled Cronuts, you can peruse this photo album to see extreme close-ups of the man, the bakery, and the Cronut-making process itself.
Forget about the kouign-amann! All anyone wants to get his or her hands on is Dominique Ansel's Cronut, the trademarked half-croissant, half-doughnut. What's all the hype about? Find out for yourself when you take a look at the Cronut's crazed first month of existence, told through Instagram pictures.