Sundays with Dominique

April 8, 2018 | New York, NY

One of my favorite things in life is a really great Sunday. Life throws a million things at us over the course of a week, but a great Sunday gives us the chance to breathe in and press “Reset.” We can try again. Do better. Be better.

It’s nice to know that the Romans were so optimistic for mankind, they allotted 52 days a year for us to just finish up brunch, open our planners, and course correct our lives. Sunday is the calendar gift that keeps on giving. Whether we wait for it or not, it’s always on its way – full of sunshine and possibility.

Today, Chef Dominique Ansel – creator of the globally acclaimed Cronut® – tells us about his Sunday routine:

Sunday morning, 5 AM: My wake-up call. I’ve always been an early riser.

5:01 AM: I lie in bed and think, “Dominique, what will you accomplish this week?” Then I remember I invented the Cronut. I’m already the World’s Best Pastry Chef. Nothing will top that, so I go back to sleep.

5:07 AM: It occurs to me that I run bakeries in New York City, London, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. I’m literally responsible for making the world happy.

5:10 AM: I get out of bed to floss.

5:30 AM: Sundays are all about rituals. After making a cup of fresh fruit juice, I settle in with a romantic comedy on Netflix. I once told the New York Times that I love romantic comedies – this is true. I have a lot in common with characters in rom-coms – we chase unrealistic highs in beautiful cities. While they chase love, I chase excellence. The ending always involves cake.

8:10 AM: “When Harry Met Sally” has ended. An empty kitchen faces me. I’d like to invent a dessert that makes women say, “I’ll have what she’s having.” What will it be?

8:30 AM: I read the newspaper to get ideas. At the height of my Cronut fame, one newspaper called me the ‘Willy Wonka of NYC.’ It was flattering, but I’m no Willy Wonka. I’m just a man in a kitchen innovating dessert.

8:45 AM: I feel terribly uninspired. Fame is a dark, twisted abyss that serves to torture gifted creative minds – particularly pastry chefs.

“I have a lot in common with characters in rom-coms – we chase unrealistic highs in beautiful cities. While they chase love, I chase excellence. The ending always involves cake.”

9 AM: I start whisking eggs with flour. I firmly believe in the Miracle of Whisking (though never Miracle Whip). It’s through the simple act of whisking that I came up with my Easter creation “Peep-a-Boo’s” – little marshmallow chicks surrounded by dark chocolate in real eggshells. Instagram loved them.

10:45 AM: Chefs at my restaurants around the world conduct their daily croissant tests. Alas, I can’t be Mark Darcy and love them just as they are. Our fluffy croissants must be 100% perfect.

11:30 AM: Still no new ideas.

1:30 PM: Still nothing. I remind myself that I am Dominique Ansel, creator of the world’s most wholesome shot (check out our signature Milk & Cookie Shot). People line up outside my bakery every morning because they love me.

1:45 PM: Do they love me, or my desserts?

1:46 PM: Is there a difference? What will happen if I run out of new ideas? There’s only so much a man can do with buttercream.

3 PM: I pick up groceries from the local farmer’s market to distract myself.

4 PM: I check in with my staff at our SoHo location and say hello to happy customers. Some are with friends, some are out-of-towners, and some are in sweatpants. One man tells me his plan to propose to his girlfriend here.

6:30 PM: Poignant subway ride home.

8 PM: I am back in my kitchen. Sundays, it seems, are about love. Suddenly, everything’s crystal clear. My one true love is the Cronut. That’s why I create a new flavor every month. Though I keep trying to outdo it, I’ll never get away from it. It enchants me (and my customers) to no end. Maybe I’m the lead in my own rom-com: “Dessert, Actually.”

9:30 PM: I watch “Notting Hill.” I’m just a man standing in front of the world, asking it to love his Cronuts.

12 AM: Lights out. Maybe next Sunday, I won’t be so hard on myself.