tokyo new york

Dreaming up Delectable Holiday Traditions with Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel

To see more of Dominique Ansel’s sweet creations, follow @dominiqueansel on Instagram.

A sugar-dusted pinecone with 80 chocolate petals, a marshmallow flower unfolding atop steamy hot chocolate — Dominique Ansel’s (@dominiqueansel) holiday creations sound like something only Willy Wonka could dream up, but his ingredients are traditional favorites. “One uses gingerbread or peppermint. Every holiday it’s the same kind of celebration, the same kind of ingredients — I think there are tons of ways to still use these flavors but make them a little bit more creative,” says the French pastry chef, who opened bakeries in New York, London and Tokyo. “One of my favorite things is to stand behind the pastry case and observe people and to see their reactions. It feels almost like a magician doing a trick,” he says.

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Ph : Niklas Haze
Styling : Lilian Buechner
MUA : Carly McInerney Make Up
Model : Zélig Wilson


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Record labels I Have Known and Flown

In Japan I am known as “Ganko” Alan.  Ganko means stubborn in Japanese.

(形) 強情な; 意固地な; 断固とした; 粘り強い 

I am very reasonable with labels at first and listen to suggestions but ultimately I follow my instincts about musical direction.

Below is the back of my album “Alone In Tokyo” (on Atlantic 1970), all in Japanese. I was the first male signing to Atlantic records Japan in history. It has recently been re-issued:

My album “Merrill 1” (Denon/Columbia) - I wrote all the songs and did all the vocals and harmonies and played most of the instruments:

When I was “In Coventry” (grey listed) with the major labels in japan

I did sessions for other people, playing on their recordings. (below)

I have usually been right. Here is the story in three parts.

You Tube clips below-

Part One, the early years-

Part two- Rock ‘n roller coaster-

Part Three, the indie years-

Below recording the “Tokyo New York” album (EMI) with my band Vodka Collins. I left Japan during the recording in a dispute over money and it was released unfinished as I left it, and was still a chart hit! I was the lead singer, lead guitarist and songwriter.

Tokyo-New York by Vodka Collins has been re-issued by EMI as recently as November 2011. I still am unpaid for this album I created. They should have paid me back then, I would have made it an even better album had I stayed. But then there would have been no Arrows in England, a chart hit band I started there in 1974 as a result of my leaving Japan over the money dispute. They (Vodka Collins’ management) could have at least given me enough to pay my rent in Tokyo. I would have stayed. But then there would have been no classic “I Love Rock N Roll” by the Arrows (a song I wrote and recorded in 1975 in the UK with Mickie Most producing) and a swath of rock 'n roll history would have been altered a bit -

(photo below from Shinuhoso fans 1973, a Japanese music magazine)-

Alan Merrill interview on NBC New York in 2011 with host Joey Reynolds talking about “I Love Rock N Roll” and debunking myths. A Youtube clip (below)-

Alan Merrill 1975 at the Rainbow Theater London singing lead on the original “I Love Rock N Roll” live with The Arrows (Below)-