The Specialty Food Association has announced acclaimed pastry chef Dominique Ansel will host this year’s sofi Awards at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. He will present the keynote speech and winners at the red-carpet ceremony and gala, held June 30 at the Javits Center. The specialty food industry’s top honor, the sofi Awards recognize the best products in 32 categories, from cheese to condiments to chocolate, show officials say.
The 2014 James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef became a household name last year with the invention of the Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, at his Manhattan bakery, and his dessert reign has continued with such imaginative offerings as the Magic Souffle and the Milk and Cookie Shot.
A supporter of anti-hunger initiatives, Ansel is donating his speaking fee to City Harvest, the Fancy Food Show’s partner charity. As a member of City Harvest’s Food Council, the chef calls it a win-win to “celebrate creativity in food while supporting City Harvest’s efforts to provide meals to those in need.”
Before creating a nationwide craze with the Cronut, Ansel served as executive pastry chef at Restaurant Daniel, on the team that earned the restaurant three Michelin stars and a four-star New York Times review. He has garnered a flurry of praise from the culinary world and media alike, and this October the French native will be releasing his first book, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes.
The Summer Fancy Food Show, a trade event owned and produced by the Specialty Food Association, will take place June 29–July 1, at the Javits Center.