Here’s Your New Cronut: Why the Bruffin Will Own New York

If you were thinking, predictably, that a bruffin is a lot like a muffin, extinguish that thought from your mind right now

The Bruffin pastry is light, soft, and buttery, and the beefy filling was full of salty, savory flavor from the olives and cheese

Seconds later, we were introduced to Michael Bagley, a former hotel marketing executive turned acclaimed interior designer with a studio next to Union Square, whose partner is the inventor of the Bruffin. We’d soon uncover that the Bruffin began as an attempt to satisfy one of Bagley’s random morning cravings at home.

“The way it all started is that I asked my partner, who’s a chef, to make me something for breakfast that I could eat on the go," he explained energetically, "but I wanted it to have all of my favorite things in it. The first attempts came out a little too rich, so he worked on it and perfected the recipe.”

Bagley’s partner is Medy Youcef, a Nigerian-born, Paris-raised chef who grew up with a fondness and curiosity for baking, having made his first cake at the tender age of eight at his grandfather’s patisserie. Youcef’s culinary abilities fused perfectly with Bagley’s business savvy and creative edge — he has designed 12 BLT restaurants, among other things — and together they decided to take the Bruffin to market.

“I thought it would be fun to incorporate an international theme with the flavors,” said Bagley, “and that it would look really great with all the little flags to differentiate them.” He continued with a chuckle: “It can also be hard to tell each flavor apart without them.”

As for what Bagley’s favorite flavor is, he says it’s the Greek, which comes filled with spiced beef, feta, spinach, and briny kalamata olives. While I was curious about the Japanese (teriyaki chicken, scallions, and sesame), the Swedish (salmon, herbed goat cheese, capers, and spinach), the Spanish (chorizo, manchego, and ancho chili), and the Moroccan (merguez [lamb] sausage, ratatouille tagine, and mild cheese), Bagley’s enthusiasm convinced us to go Greek.

It was a great call. It’s been a while since you went crazy for cronuts, cretzels, and cr’nishes, so this news will make you gastronomically giddy: there’s a newcomer to the trendy New York City hybrid food scene, and it should move straight to the top of your must-eat list. It’s called the Bruffin.

The Bruffin pastry was light, soft, and buttery, and the beefy filling was full of salty, savory flavor from the olives and cheese. At first bite, I fell in love, and I’d have opted for a second Bruffin even if I weren’t sharing my first with a hungry girlfriend.

Before Bagley could finish telling me the story about how he’d recently secured a deal with Fairway Market to carry assorted Bruffins at all of their locations, our Greek Bruffin was history, and it was clear we wanted more.

“Big things are happening,” said Bagley, with the grin of a man who’s experienced success in many forms throughout his life. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Before we said goodbye, Bagley hooked us up with a rainbow-flag-adorned Bruffin on the house -- the very Bruffin I had been covertly eyeballing during our conversation, its center overflowing with fudge-smothered morsels.

“This is one of our best sellers: chocolate-covered bacon and salted caramel,” he said with a knowing look.

We gratefully accepted our gift and immediately tore into it like ravenous raptors, our hands and faces getting speckled in fudgy obscenity that was totally worth the appalled stares from people ordering lobster rolls at an adjacent booth. It’s a good thing there are lots of places to buy these, I thought to myself, knowing that I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to wait in one of the serpentine lines that will inevitably form once word gets out about these soon-to-be-ubiquitous treats.

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For now, you can consider me and my girl the first official Bruffinatics. (And, yes, we want royalties on that one, Mr. Bagley!)