Time to Make the Cronuts: An Interview With Dominique Ansel

August 14, 2013 | Bucky Turco

The Cronut — a hybrid between a croissant and a donut — has dominated foodie news for months, so ANIMAL decided finally to check out this sugary craze firsthand. With throngs of people lining up every morning in hope of securing the elusive pastry — only two are allowed per customer — we set a date with the Father of the Cronut at the Dominque Ansel Bakery.

“We’ve been here since 4AM,” said a group of four women huddled under an umbrella at the very front of the line. The bakery’s website suggest that the patrons “arrive prior to 6AM” in order to “have a great chance of getting a Cronut.” A few weeks back, that suggested time was 7AM, but apparently they pushed it back an hour earlier due to the high demand. Every morning, Chef Dominuqe Ansel himself opens the doors promptly at 8AM and two lines form: One for Cronuts, one for the other tasty treats.

When we arrived at 6:30, the line snaked around the block. Inside, a staff of about eight people were busy preparing for the day’s deluge. Among them was Dominique. He was expecting us and, despite his morning preoccupations, was very cordial and cool as a cucumber. The humble chef had limited time to spare, so we headed to the garden in the back to talk Cronuts. There he assured me that he didn’t make any secret trips to Dunkin Donuts for inspiration, “What we do here is very unique. We try to make new things all the time.” Ansel was also passionate about the Crolanthropy tee. All proceeds go to the Food Bank NYC and it allows Cronut crazers to buy up to four of the pastries at a time, an upgrade from the current restriction of two.

Then, we watched the magic happen. I asked him if he’d ever consider making a cannabis-infused pastry if weed was ever legalized. He politely said, “No.”

(Video: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)