Daily Digestive: A Look Inside Chef Dominique Ansel’s Diet
We’ve still got a few more months to go but we are going out on a limb to say that the most buzz-worthy food creation of 2013 will be the Cronut.
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, the Cronut — a croissant-donut hybrid — is the brainchild of New York-based French chef Dominique Ansel. Since May, hundreds of people have lined the block(s) outside the bakery, from as early as 5 a.m., in order to get their hands on the pastry.
Despite being best known for the Cronut, chef Ansel is continually creating new concoctions. He’s just launched a fall menu with more than 15 new dessert items including "The Magic Soufflé." Change and creativity is a lifestyle for him, and he's really inspiring the world to fall in love with pastries.
So, given that tempting food constantly surrounds chef Ansel and each day requires multiple food tastings, how does he stay so slim? We asked chef Ansel to share a typical day’s food menu and nutritionist Elyse Sosin, RD, to give her thoughts.
Chef Ansel’s Food Log
4 a.m.: I have a cup of very potently brewed Yunnan black tea (1 cup). I’ve been drinking coffee since I was 6 years old, and at one point had up to six shots a day. But, I made an effort to change last year, and everyone in the shop watches me. If I even go near the espresso machine, I get a few fingers wagged at me.
7:30 a.m.: A taste test for the first batch of Cronuts. This month’s flavor is Fig Mascarpone, so there’s bit of mascarpone cream with homemade fig jam and a light honey glaze. People always ask if I eat my products — of course I do!
10:00 a.m.: I grab my daily breakfast of DKA, my favorite thing at the shop. It’s my version of the "Kouign Amann" and I have it with another cup of green tea.
12 p.m.: I get a small shot of wheatgrass. It tastes, well, like grass — not all that bad.
1 p.m.: This is the first time I’ve sat down since 4 a.m.! I get lunch at nearby Blue Ribbon Sushi restaurant — one spicy tuna roll, one scallop roll, a bowl of unagi rice, and an avocado salad. Washed down with another cup of green tea!
3 p.m.: My afternoon snack, our "cannelé de Bordeaux," made with dark Caribbean rum and Tahitian vanilla. It’s about the size of a shot glass, and custardy and delicious.
4 p.m.: One bite each of — a purple fruit tart, a chocolate mousse, a lychee coconut Pavlova, an apple tart tatin, and a pear and wine tart! All together I’ve probably eaten less than one whole dessert, but it’s important to eat it and test it. We’re constantly creating new desserts every six to eight weeks. I get sick of eating the same food.
5 p.m.: Quality control testing on new savory items on our menu. Today, we’re testing Smoked Mozzarella Broccoli and Spinach Panini. I also taste some Cronut Holes that we were doing for a charity collaboration with Shake Shack.
6 p.m.: My second time sitting down all day! I’ve been feeling a tad lactose-intolerant recently, which sounds absurd for a guy who grew up in France with the most amazing dairy selection, but one of our regulars tells me that if I try drinking organic milk, I won’t feel as sick. I test it out on myself and have one small cup of organic milk chai latte (because, remember — no coffee.)
8 p.m.: I cut up some saucisson sec from France and a small wedge of San Marcellin cheese. The cheese is from Whole Foods, the saucisson from my mom and dad in France.
8:15 p.m.: A glass of champagne.
9 p.m.: Korean barbecue short ribs and some cold noodles. I also have some small bites of kimchi, fish cakes, bean sprouts, and some turnip.
11 p.m.: A large glass of water. And it’s bedtime!
Elyse Sosin’s recommendations: The day is a long one! Chef Ansel gets up at 4 a.m. and goes to sleep at 11 p.m. He eats 10 times per day, primarily due to taste-testing, and goes for long stretches of time on his feet. My thoughts:
• I am pleased to see chef Ansel is eating a variety of good fats — avocado, olive oil, and omega-3 oils from the fish in sushi.
• While chef Ansel’s intake includes a significant amount of saturated fat in his food choices, many of the foods are small "tastes."
• I would recommend chef Ansel try to increase his fresh vegetable and fruit intake. He is having some, but not enough!
• Good job on the calcium front. It should be noted that organic milk is not necessarily lactose-free unless it is labeled as such.
• Maybe add in some more water during the day? Especially the days where there is more physical activity and exercise.
• Ideally, I would have some additional days to evaluate. This was a typical day but there are specific influences that change food intake such as: people you dine with, weather, mood, days off, etc.
• Lastly, I would recommend he gets some more sleep in so he can keep delighting the crowds.
Disclaimer: Elyse Sosin, nutritionist, is not engaged in rendering medical advice that should be obtained from a qualified health professional. Acting on any information provided without consulting a health care provider is at the reader’s own risk.