My Exclusive Interview with Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi

I simply can’t tell you how excited I am to share this interview with you!  Christina Tosi is one of the hottest and most creative pastry chefs in the game right now.  As the pastry chef of the wildly popular Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City, she is definitely inventing new trends that are being adopted everywhere in baking.  Her recent cookbook (which includes the recipe for her world famous crack pie!) and her James Beard Award for 2012′s Rising Star Chef of the Year proves that she is a force to be reckoned with.  To say I am incredibly grateful that I was able to catch up with Christina, who was overseas when I requested the interview, is an understatement.  Below, learn more about her baking inspirations and why everyone is praising Christina for her quirky flavor combos (her cereal milk soft serve ice cream and compost cookies quickly come to mind). 

christina tosi
Photo courtesy of Momofuku Milk Bar
Describe yourself in dessert terms? 
I like to think I’m a chocolate chip cookie, but obviously I’m more of a cornflake-chocolate chip-marshmallow cookie, seemingly simple, easily gettable.
When did your love of desserts begin? 
I have had a sweet tooth since I was a kid. I was a picky eater, and the only certainty in my diet was dessert daily!
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The famous crack pie.  Photo courtesy of Momofuku Milk Bar.
What is your favorite cookbook for desserts? 
My favorite is “The Joy of Cooking”.  I use it less for exact recipes and more for inspiration and starting points.
If you weren’t a pastry chef, what would you be doing? 
I would be teaching math, or I would become a truck driver, or a translator, or a shop keeper.
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                                                                    Birthday Cake. Photo courtesy of Momofuku Milk Bar  
Are there two flavors that go together well that seem odd but work perfectly? 
Two strange flavors that work well together are celery (root or stalks) and strawberry.  I also like red hots in ice cream.
Is there anyone in the food industry that you look up to? 
I admire Wylie Dufresne, Alex Stupak, and David Chang (owner of the Momofuku restaurant group).
 christina tosi
 Chocolate Bar Pie.  Photo courtesy of Momofuku Milk Bar.
 
What is the best dessert you have ever eaten? Who makes it? 
Brooks Headley’s Butterscotch Semifreddo, Tony style, at Del Posto is definitely the best.
In your opinion, what is the best recipe you ever created?  What inspired the recipe? 
My best creation is Cereal Milk Panna Cotta with avocado puree, chocolate-hazelnut and cornflake crunch. It’s casual yet refined, with a direction and a point of view.  It was inspired by a simple bowl of cereal.
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 Cereal Milk Panna Cotta.  Photo courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything
What is your dessert philosophy? 
Have a point of view, make sure it’s clear, and make sure that dessert is the most delicious thing you’ve tasted.
 
Why is dessert important? 
Because it makes people smile.
 
To learn more about Christina Tosi and Momofuku Milk Bar, visit here and to check out their new product line at Williams Sonoma here

 

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Comments

  1. How fun! I had my first taste of Momofuku when I visited NYC last year… the birthday cake truffles were SO. GOOD. ! Such a fun interview!

  2. What a amazing experience for you…and what a great interview, Jocelyn!!! I own the cookbook and LOVE everything about it!

  3. I have yet to experience a momofuku dessert yet. I haven’t even tried to recreate one in my kitchen before! Everything looks incredible. I need her cookbook! What a fun interview to read Jocelyn!

  4. Great interview! My last meal would include birthday truffles!

  5. It is beyond cool you got to interview Christina Tosi! She is my culinary inspiration. I love ordering from Momofuku and baking from the book. Her treats are hands down the best things I have ever eaten.

  6. Great interview, and thanks for linking to our shot of that delicious butterscotch semifreddo. We’re huge fans of Christina too—we made her grapefruit pie from the cookbook and it was delicious! http://smithratliff.com/2011/12/05/momofuku-milk-bar-cookbook/

  7. Congrats on landing this interview!! WOW!! (I have a bit of a girl-crush on Christina!) :D Cereal milk panna cotta with avocado puree?! She’s a culinary genius! Fabulous interview, Jocelyn. xo

  8. Isn’t she just so so awesomely clever. I made the crack pie for my boyfriend’s birthday, which also happened to be new year’s eve. I put it in after the Sydney fireworks at nine and we got it out of the fridge after the 12 o’clock fireworks, and it was the best thing ever. We ate both. Hilarious thing to make when you’ve had a bit much champagne, are surrounded by fireworks and friends, but the whole thing was entirely glorious. Love your blog BTW. x

    • Thanks so much Kate! The crack pie seemed like the perfect birthday gift to me as well as the perfect compliment to lots of champagne. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again!

  9. Ive read her book like a novel, page by page. It’s just a huge eye-opening inspiration. The recipes themselves, what she combines, does, thinks of next – it’s just mind blowing! What a major coup that you interviewed her…thank you for sharing it all!

  10. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

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