Chef Dominique Ansel has done it again at his new West Village bakery, Dominique Ansel Kitchen.
Move aside Cronut, ’cause Ansel’s got more hybrid creations coming to NYC. The Dominique Ansel Kitchen website even states, “While everyone has been thinking about the next hybrid pastry, Chef Dominique Ansel has been working on the next hybrid bakery.” Genius.
You’ll skip the Cronut line at this one, as the famed pastry hybrid will be staying at its SoHo home. However, there was a line for the opening at the new bakery before its doors opened at 8 am. It’s Dominique Ansel.
We stopped by on opening day of his made-to-order bakery Wednesday morning, April 29. A few people were sitting at the wooden tables outside and having servers deliver their special Dominique treats.
Fortunately, we avoided the line by not going at exactly 8 am, and enjoyed the bakery in a less chaotic atmosphere. There were people sitting on the leveled steps inside, and Chef Dominique Ansel visibly hard at work.
The Dominique Ansel Kitchen menu is broken down into five sections: Breakfast & Viennoiserie, Desserts (Best Served À La Minute), Desserts (Best Served After Some Time), Savory Fare (Available from 11 am-7 pm), and Cookies & Etc.
Some highlights from each section include: brown sugar DKA (“Dominique’s Kouign Amann,” a different version of his classic DKA at the Bakery in SoHo), prosciutto & boursin croissant, mini matcha beignets, honeycomb baked rhubarb and apple tart, chorizo corn succotash toast, and a sage-smoked moist brownie.
We went ahead and ordered the lavender almond croissant.
And the mille feuille. Bless Chef Dominique’s heart.
And we couldn’t leave opening day without an #Anselfie.
And the Chef couldn’t let us go without giving a shoutout to Spoon, of course.
With made-to-order service dominating the new bakery, and the addition of his upstairs tasting table, Unlimited Possibilities, Ansel is setting the bar even higher for pastry makers in New York. Tasting the pastries definitely confirmed this.
Chef Dominique Ansel has also added more savory items, like a garlic bread croissant, and an avocado toast that has ricotta, mint, edamame, and avocado on poppyseed brioche.
We got the chance to interview the Chef himself this past week to get the scoop on his new Kitchen, which opened on Wednesday, April 29 at 137 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014.
Spoon: With so many popular menu items from your Bakery like The Cronut, Cookie Shot, and Frozen S’more, do you foresee any made-to-order item becoming hugely popular or in demand at the Dominique Ansel Kitchen?
DA: You can never tell, but we certainly love what we put out. Many of our most popular items in the Bakery are made-to-order. The S’mores are torched to order, the madeleines baked when you order it. So if there’s one thing we know is that people know the difference and appreciate it.
Spoon: There has been talk about more savory menu items being featured at the Dominique Ansel Kitchen. Are you looking forward to doing more savory dishes, and how is the creation process different in savory dishes than with pastries?
DA: I’m not sure if there’s more savory dishes — there are a few, and we’re quite proud of them. With a bigger kitchen we’re able to do more! With our savory items, it’s a little less about the finesse and more just about the taste. We want to make items that really satisfy a craving. It’s not a treat, it’s the main course.
Spoon: What is the hardest dish (of your own creation) to make?
DA: To make the items may not be difficult, but to make it well? That’s the tricky part. For instance, the DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann, a caramelized croissant) is only a few ingredients, but like an omelet, it can be a completely different item depending on who makes it.
Spoon: The concept of your new tasting table, Unlimited Possibilities, allows guests to a five to eight course pastry meal. You told Yahoo! News that it’s all about the story. What kinds of stories do you hope to tell with your desserts?
DA: I think desserts are some of the most memorable meals in life. You remember baking that cookie at home. You remember what your birthday cake or wedding cake tastes like. And so we’re hoping to bring you tastes that bring you back to some of those nostalgic moments.
Spoon: Students and tourists alike flock to your Bakery to try out your inventive French pastry creations. When people leave the Kitchen, what do you hope they will have learned or gained?
DA: Here at the Bakery, the focus is about creativity. In the new Kitchen, the less is one on time. For us, time is an ingredient. We want people to realize that a few minutes more can be like over or under-salting your food by a few teaspoons. To see time as an ingredient is the next step to really appreciate pastry at its best.
Some more sweet stuff from the Chef: