Interview: Yagiz Pekkaya
Photography: Thomas Schauer
Dominique Ansel's journey, which started with four people, continues with hundreds of people in five different cities. You may know him thanks to his Cronut, but he rolls up his sleeves every morning to show that he is much more than this dessert.
Do you think that there are barriers in the world of gastronomy which needs to be break down?
Now, there is a new generation working or educated in kitchens. This younger generation is not given the opportunity to innovate. So we often see the same things around. I think people need to be encouraged to be innovative. I am always moving towards this issue, we are working together to learn something new.
You started your journey with four! You are now working with hundreds of people! Have you ever thought about "getting to this point!"?
Not really. My only wish was to open a modest dessert shop in a nice neighborhood. Now, I will be traveling from one country to another.
Do you follow trends or create them?
None. I am just trying to create food that I could connect with people memories and feelings
What was the most unusual dessert or dish to come out of your kitchen?
I wouldn't call any product I make too crazy.
That's what you say, but Cronut is characterized as a invention rather than a dessert...
We always change the menu, and Cronut was just a new dessert for us back in the day.We don't like to categorize what we do.
How did you manage to attract people to your shop?
First, we had an intimate relationship with our guests.Besides, we tried to offer them new things to try and keep our door open to everyone.
You bring an innovative perspective to classic French desserts, which are actually not very flexible with their recipes.What kind of reactions do you get?
Interestingly, we have a lot of guests from France.They like it when we respect tradition and be innovative at the same time.
Then we can assume that it stands in a line between tradition and modernity.
Our roots and techniques are based on classical French cuisine.But it is also true that we are always looking forward and concentrating on innovations.
Do you have any idea exactly what you're going to do in the future?
The future is unpredictable for us. I just want to think about where we are right now.I'm focused on working with my teams around the world and keeping people happy.
You say you're fighting against bullying in the kitchen.How do you handle this situation?
During my school days, I was trained by very difficult chefs.They used to yell at the students all the time and be mean.There were even days when I was burned with a hot spatula.After what I saw, I told myself I never wanted a kitchen like this.That's why I tried to create an environment where everyone was calm and respectful of each other in every kitchen I was in.