Chef Rising

Posted on: November 28th, 2017 by Carrie Young No Comments

Less than a month ago pastry chef wizard, Chef Dominique Ansel, debuted his first full restaurant in L.A. The endlessly inventive New York pastry chef opened 189 by Dominique Ansel- the largest project in his growing global empire- at the Grove, where his menu is specific to L.A. and includes an ode to California citrus in the form of a cocktail- a whole grapefruit is injected with spirits for a few days, superchilled and then squeezed to order tableside. There is a reason Ansel has such an ardent following. Earlier this year, he was named 2017’s best pastry chef at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Now the globe will be watching what the master of confections can do with a full kitchen. Ansel had been working on 189 for three years and as he did with branches of his bakery in Tokyo and London, he started by studying the city. “The food, the people, the culture,” he says. “Los Angeles is very different from New York.”


His new restaurant, complete with a downstairs bakery, is a 10,000 square foot, 2-story light-filled space with an open kitchen and outdoor terrace. A cloud-like art installation made with fresh baby’s breath flowers hovers in the main dining room, which was inspired by daydreaming. His menu reflects New American fare, and naturally his desserts- a chiffon cake so light it arrives inside a balloon, a cookie shot holding a swig of milk, and his insanely famous creation, the Cronut- which still draws long lines four years after he invented it- are individually astonishing, yet share a similar, baked-in creative genius. Similarly, when he creates a dish, he often begins with a feeling rather than a flavor. “It’s a different way of thinking when it comes to cooking food,” he explains. “I want to create an emotional connection.”  His version of French onion soup is made with silken cabbage topped with rye croutons. The rotisserie chicken receives an L.A. twist with black garlic rice stuffing and a shot of chicken jus on the side. “It’s going to be fun,” he says, with obvious excitement. “I love cooking as much as I love baking. It’s all one thing. It’s my life.”

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