Chef Dominique Ansel: ‘Even My Family Has Never Tried a Cronut’

02/04/2014 at 05:11 PM ET

Dominique Ansel February Cronut
Katie Kauss

Neither rain nor cold nor (yet another) snowstorm can keep people from lining up for a Cronut — especially when a new flavor is involved.

On February 1, baker Dominique Ansel introduced the latest flavor of the croissant-doughnut hybrid to a line of people way too long for the inclement weather outside his Dominique Ansel bakery in N.Y.C, including us. In the video below, we got him to talk about the new Valentine’s-perfect pastry, as well as two other chocolate desserts just right for the lovey-dovey holiday.

“I wanted to keep something pink and fun to celebrate Valentine’s Day and this is a very special and unique flavor,” he says of his raspberry-lychee Cronut, available only in February.

Sweeter yet: the chance to watch this pastry genius work in his kitchen. The bakery does more than Cronuts, he explains, showing us how he makes two of his other signature desserts.

The chocolate snail, Ansel says, is a riff on the American candy classic called the turtle. (But snail sounds more French, get it?) His version is chocolate cake that’s been rolled in chocolate mousse, with a thin layer of caramel and pecans.

This year, the snail has metamorphosized into an adorable, delectable ladybug. It’s the same flavor concept but with a red cocoa-butter shell and eyes made from truffles. It’s one of the cutest desserts you could give your Valentine — and it doesn’t require the warm layers needed to brave the 4 a.m. Cronut line.

“If you come to the bakery you will see that we have plenty of beautiful things,” he says, adding that he makes no exceptions when it comes to doling out Cronuts.

“As far as cutting the line, there is nothing like this … I try to be fair and most of my friends and even my family have never tried a Cronut,” he says. “Why? Because they just didn’t want to wait.”


—Lexi Dwyer

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 6 comments

Anonymous on

Blah, blah, blah..

Myas on

Had one a few months ago. I can’t say it’s something special.

Anna on

Highly overhyped and over priced! and unhealthy too.

Anonymous on

not cool. im on a low carb thing and this isnt helping:(

Anonymous on

So, no one who’s tried it would recommend it?

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