Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel

If you’re a fan of pastries, then the name Dominique Ansel should already be known to you. Dominique has operated his eponymous bakery since 2011 in New York City, earning himself (and his business) plenty of awards in the intervening 5 years. Within four months of the Dominique Ansel Bakery opening, it earned both TimeOut New York magazine’s “Best New Bakery of 2012” award and Metronomix’s “Best Bakery of 2012.” The bakery was also the highest-ranking bakery according to the 2013 Zagat guide, and Daily Meal listed it as one of the “Best Bakeries in the U.S.”

Before opening his own shop, Dominique worked as the executive pastry chef at Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant Daniel before striking out on his own. And like his bakery, Dominique has garnered plenty of accolades. In 2009, Dominique was named one of the “Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the U.S.” by Dessert Magazine; in 2013, he was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” and was named one of Business Insider magazine’s “Most Innovative People Under 40.” In 2014, Dominique won the James Beard Foundation award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef.” All of this is due in large part to his invention of the Cronut, a croissant-donut hybrid that sparked a media frenzy and created a huge market for illegal imitation cronuts, making Dominique the first chef on this list to lay the foundation for black-market pastries. 

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If one were to use one word to describe Dominique’s approach to cooking, it would be “inventiveness.” It has often been said that while cooking is a science, baking is an art, and Dominique has established himself as an artist of the highest caliber. In addition to the Cronut, Dominique has also invented Frozen S’mores, Magic Souffle, the Cookie Shot, and Waffle Affogato.

The menu at Dominique Ansel Bakery demonstrates Dominique’s flair for whimsy. Offerings include the “Perfect Little Egg Sandwich” with eggs, herbs and gruyere cheese served in a mini brioche bun; the DKA (“Dominique’s Kouign Amann”), flaky and tender bread with caramelized layers; the Cronut; blackberry peanut butter rum Bostock; Nutella milk bread (milk brioche filled with Nutella); spinach gruyere quiche, roasted pork club sandwich with pickled eggs, tomatoes, Bibb lettuce and spicy mayonnaise; chicken salad pancetta sandwich with confit garlic crème fraiche dressing, sage and arugula; grilled cheese with mozzarella, gruyere, and fontina cheese with garlic rosemary sourdough and caramelized onion marmalade; smoked mozzarella wild mushroom panini with marinated artichokes; and smoked summer gazpacho with crème fraiche, chervil and parmesan crisps. Not only is Dominique a master of the art of baking, he’s also quite the scientist when it comes to cooking.