April 14, 2015 / 12:08 PM / in 3 years

Cronut creator plans more sweet ventures in New York, Tokyo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dominique Ansel, whose Cronut hybrid of a doughnut and croissant caused a food sensation two years ago, is expanding on his success with new shops in New York and Tokyo and customized desserts.

Celebrity baker Dominique Ansel, creator of the cronut, poses for a photo during a publicity event in Times Square in New York December 28, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The 37-year-old enjoyed a banner 2014 when the James Beard Foundation named him the top U.S. pastry chef and he launched his first cookbook “Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes.”

The native of Beauvais, France, who arrived in New York in 2006, spoke to Reuters about his new bakeries and what inspires his dessert creations.

Q: What are you planning for your second New York bakery, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, that’s set to open in the spring?

A: The idea for this concept is to make desserts to order. We are going to change slightly the organization of a regular bakery, where we are going to have stations. Each station is going to have its own chef finishing a few desserts.

Q: Will there be premade desserts too?

A: About 70 percent of our menu will be made to order. Like the pastry world, some may be better in a day or so.

Q: What will your bakery in Tokyo be like?

A: It’s similar to the shop we have on Spring Street (Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City). I also plan to create a line of pastries that explore the Japanese culture. You won’t be able to get it anywhere else.

Q: Are you tired of speaking about the Cronut?

A: The Cronut is a wonderful creation. It has opened the door to so many different things. Last year, at a charity event to fight hunger in New York City, with 24 Cronuts we raised over $100,000. We change the flavor every month. We try to keep it fun and exciting.

Q: How many people are still waiting for Cronuts each day?

A: About 100 people every morning are outside our door before we open. We hand out fresh baked madeleines and hot chocolate while they wait. I want to make sure people have a good time.

Q: What is your first memory in the kitchen?

A: Making a yogurt cake using a yogurt container to measure the flour. This is a French classic.

Q; What is your philosophy of baking?

A: It’s really to give people a connection with the food, an emotional connection.

Editing by Patricia Reaney and Jonathan Oatis

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