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New York City’s Freshest New Bakery

The General’s pastry chef Thiago Silva explains the inspiration behind his Fruity Pebbles-covered doughnuts

Here’s something to wake you up faster than a 6 a.m. SoulCycle series: The General, EMM Group’s new Lower East Side Asian hotspot, has opened its bakery—and it’s serving cereal-inspired doughnuts for breakfast everyday starting at 6 a.m. Three bucks can buy you one of pastry chef Thiago Silva’s Coco Puffs- or Fruity Pebbles-encrusted delicacies, and those seeking a more savory bite have Silva’s pretzel bombs ($4-5), pretzel rolls filled with egg, cheese and a choice of bacon or ham.
 
“We are very excited to have The General’s Bakery finally open,” EMM Group co-founder Mark Birnbaum told DuJour. “Our primary focus was to create an inviting environment for the community to start their day while enjoying freshly roasted Stumptown Coffee, signature donuts and pretzel bombs.”
 
Like any reasonable person, we wanted to know more about these cereal donuts. Pastry chef Thiago Silva filled us in.
 
DuJour: The General is Asian-themed. Why create a classic American menu for its bakery?
Thiago Silva: I wanted to do something that is familiar, approachable and something that everyone loves. I did manage to add Asian ingredients into a few donuts. For example, the Fruity Pebbles has a kaffir lime-infused custard, which makes it taste like the cereal.
 
DuJour: What inspired the cereal donuts?
TS: I’d been developing a doughnut recipe before we even had a concept for The General, and I came up with a great recipe for the dough. I wanted to stick to the breakfast theme, and I thought about how I always ate cereal for breakfast when I was on the go. Therefore I designed cereal-inspired doughnuts so people could come in and grab doughnuts before they start their day.
 
DuJour: What’s the significance of the cereals you chose? Any special affinities to one of them?
TS: I chose the most popular cereals that I know most people enjoy, but my favorite cereal is Coco Puffs.
 
DuJour: What comprises your standard daily breakfast?
TS: I like to have a cup of coffee and my mom’s cheese puffs. It’s a Brazilian bread that’s gluten-free with tapioca starch and pecorino cheese that I’ve been eating since I was a baby.
 
DuJour: What’s the best breakfast you’ve ever had?
TS: Sanford’s Diner in Astoria. I love their waffles—they are some of the best I’ve ever had.
 
The General Bakery (199 Bowery at Spring Street) is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, seven days a week.

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