Watch: Cronut Creator Dominique Ansel on the Nature of Invention
In a new interview with Quirky, chef Dominique Ansel, the creator behind some of the most recognizable inventions of the modern pastry world — like the Cronut and the Cookie Shot — talks about what pushes him to keep creating.
For one thing, Ansel’s creativity started out of necessity. “I remember being young and being hungry,” says Ansel. “When I was 16, I didn’t have that many choices in life. I had to find a job and start working to help support the family.” Thus began his foray into restaurants.
Some years later, when he finally opened Dominique Ansel Bakery, the chef had no interest in traditional French pastries.
“What I love about baking is the artistic and scientific worlds that I combine together. We changed the menu at the bakery every six to eight weeks. I want to keep the bakery exciting for our customers, exciting for my staff, but also for myself.”
The invention of the Cookie Shot was helped in no small part by the all-American love for the milk and cookie combination. “I grew up in France,” said Ansel. “I didn’t know that eating cookies and drinking milk was such a thing.”
As for the Cronut, the runaway hit that put Ansel’s name on the map, it was just “another product” that he had fun making, but then, “it took off right away and it went viral,” says the chef. “No idea is too crazy. Somehow, we can get it done.”