Traditional recipes

Christina Tosi is Opening a Milk Bar Pop-Up in Madison Square Park

Christina Tosi is Opening a Milk Bar Pop-Up in Madison Square Park

Milk Bar Madison Square Park opens Saturday, January 31

Will you stop by Milk Bar while you’re waiting for Shake Shack or the other way around?

On January 31, Christina Tosi will open the first Momofuku Milk Bar pop-up in Madison Square Park (conveniently and dangerously close to The Daily Meal’s offices).

It’s the perfect time to take advantage of a cozy little outpost of Momofuku’s dessert arm, which will feature two brand new, winter-centric beverages that will be exclusive to the location, as well as Milk Bar’s classic hot chocolate with charred marshmallows.

For $4 each, check out the pop-up’s specialties of cereal milk hot chocolate (milk, white chocolate, cornflakes, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt) and hot apple cider with miso butterscotch.

“Madison Square Park is such an endearing New York City locale. Any chance to stroll through the park, take in the latest art exhibit, pay homage to the rich history and architecture that surrounds, wave to food institutions like Eleven Madison Park, makes it one of my favorite places in Manhattan,” said Christina Tosi. “We're excited to bring our sweet and cozy presence amidst the winter weather to keep New Yorkers and visitors alike warm and smiling as they drink in the bright, beautiful and lively public park.”

Milk Bar Madison Square Park will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. An end to the pop-up has not been announced.


A Cereal State Of Mind - Kellogg's® Opens First-Ever Permanent Cafe In NYC

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. , June 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The heart of New York City is the new home of cereal innovation and delicious experimentation. On Monday, July 4, Kellogg's® is opening the doors to Kellogg's NYC, its first-ever permanent café, located at 1600 Broadway (between W 48th and 49th Street). The café will serve dishes featuring Kellogg's cereals combined with unique ingredients, all served with a side of fun. Kellogg's NYC will be a destination that reminds guests of home and drives new curiosity around the cereal bowl.

Kellogg's has partnered with some of the most exciting names in food &ndash including Anthony Rudolf and Sandra Di Capua of Journee and formerly of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and Eleven Madison Park respectively.

Award-winning chef Christina Tosi was also brought on board to develop some of the café's delicious, menu items, proving that a few innovative ingredients, such as lime zest, marshmallows and blueberry jam, can go a long way when it comes to brightening a bowl of cereal.

"Kellogg's NYC will remind families how fun and delicious cereal is, especially when elevated with creative ingredients," said Rudolf. "We'll give guests a chance to experience cereal, something they've been connected to their entire lives, in a completely new way."

"I've been a cereal lover since I was a kid," said Tosi. "I believe in the excitement a bowl of cereal can bring any time of the day and I'm so excited to bring back a household staple in a fun, creative way!"

Tosi's latest recipe creations are a true reflection of her impeccable palette and ability to refine the most comforting and familiar foods. In addition to the select items created by Tosi, the all-day menu includes breakfast items, evening snacks and even delectable ice cream treats:

Milk Based Creations

  • Pistachio Lemon &ndash Kellogg's Special K Original®, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®, pistachios, lemon zest, thyme
  • Berry Me in Green Tea &ndash Kellogg's Rice Krispies®, fresh strawberries, green tea powder
  • The Chai Line &ndash Kellogg'sCrispix®, fresh peaches, chai tea powder

Ice Cream Based Creations

  • Life in Color &ndash Kellogg's Froot Loops®, lime zest, marshmallows, passion fruit jam
  • Honey Buzz &ndash Kellogg's Honey Smacks®, honey, toasted pecan, banana chips
  • You're Cracklin' Me Up&ndash Kellogg's Cracklin Oat Bran®, dried cranberries, white chocolate, toasted coconut

Guests also have the option to creatively customize their dishes by incorporating dozens of toppings and can also enjoy an assortment of juices and coffee from artisanal purveyors. With a fun new approach to service, customers won't know what delicious treat might pop out of the cabinet door.

The café will have dine in or carry out options and there are plans to launch a delivery service later in the year. Menu items range from $6 to $8, and will also rotate every three months. In addition to cereal, the café will also have fresh juices, milks and locally-roasted coffee available.

Let's #StirItUp together at Kellogg's NYC! For more information about Kellogg's NYC check out KelloggsNYC.com or follow us @KelloggsNYC and #KelloggsNYC.

Suggested Tweets:

    : @KelloggUS is reimagining cereal one bowl at a time featuring some recipes by @ChristinaTosi at new café @KelloggsNYC #StirItUp : @KelloggUS is offering delicious surprises at new café @KelloggsNYC stop in and try our favorite, Pistachio Lemon!

About Kellogg Company
At Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), we strive to make foods people love. This includes our beloved brands Kellogg's®, Keebler®, Special K®, Pringles®, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg's Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Cheez-It®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats® and more &ndash that nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. With 2015 sales of $13.5 billion and more than 1,600 foods, Kellogg is the world's leading cereal company second largest producer of cookies, crackers and savory snacks and a leading North American frozen foods company. Through our Breakfasts for Better DaysTM global hunger initiative, we've provided more than 1.4 billion servings of cereal and snacks to children and families in need around the world. To learn more, visitwww.kelloggcompany.com or follow us on Twitter @KelloggCompany, YouTube and on Social K.

About Christina Tosi
Christina Tosi is the chef, founder and owner of milk bar, called "one of the most exciting bakeries in the country" by Bon Appétit magazine, with multiple locations in New York , one in Toronto and one in Washington, D.C. near Christina's hometown. Christina founded the dessert programs at Momofuku and went on to build a culinary empire of her own. Well known for "stoking apostolic fervor," she opened milk bar's doors in 2008 and has changed the face of baking with her innovative creations like cereal milk&trade ice cream, compost cookies® and crack pie®.

The culinary trendsetter and sugar genius described by The New York Times as a "border crossing pastry chef" is a two-time James Beard Award Winner, Crain's New York 40 under 40 honoree and author of two highly acclaimed cookbooks, Momofuku Milk Bar and Milk Bar Life. Momofuku milk bar highlights the cult favorites from the milk bar kitchen, and milk bar life captures milk bar's fun-loving culture and off-the-clock recipes that are easy to make at home. Christina is a role model to her team of over 200 and is also a big believer in giving back.

The highly motivated lady boss serves on the board of directors for Hot Bread Kitchen and Cookies for kids' cancer and is an adviser and investor in a handful of food startups, including the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), Journee and Maple. Christina is also a judge on the hit cooking competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior (on FOX), playing an integral role in mentoring and making home cooks' dreams come true.

Christina has made headlines in top publications and television programs, including The Wall Street Journal, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Conan and The Today Show, has graced the covers of Adweek and Cherry Bombe and was named one of the most innovative women in food and drink By Food & Wine and Fortune magazine for her tremendous work ethic and creative ingenuity. Her unstoppable and free-spirited approach to life and inspiring achievements make her one of the most well-rounded and desirable chefs in the world.

About Anthony Rudolf
Anthony Rudolf has nearly 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including running operations for Chef Thomas Keller and Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York . After realizing his true mission was not to serve consumers, but to nurture and guide people in the industry along their path of living their dreams, Rudolf left the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group to found Journee, a community that empowers and educates restaurant professionals.

In addition to being the founder and CEO of Journee, Rudolf is the co-founder of The Welcome Conference: a first-of-its-kind hospitality conference that brings together leaders to inspire, share, and connect. He is currently an ambassador of The Culinary Institute of America and has spoken on the topic of hospitality at numerous professional institutions, including a speech on Chivalry at TEDxEast in 2011.

About Sandra Di Capua
Sandra Di Capua has had a lifelong passion for food and hospitality and has been working in the industry for the past ten years. She began her career as research and culinary assistant to renowned cookbook author, Joan Nathan , working on her most-recent book on the food of the Jews of France .

She then moved to New York to join the dining room team at Eleven Madison Park. There, she began as a coat check and worked her way up through the ranks, eventually becoming the project manager. She worked on the purchase of Eleven Madison Park from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group, assisted in developing and opening the food and beverage programs at the NoMad Hotel, and helped write, edit, and publish Eleven Madison Park : The Cookbook and I Love NY: Ingredients and Recipes.

Currently she works on special projects at Journee. A graduate of Harvard College, she was born in Bogota, Colombia , grew up in Miami, FL , and currently resides in Manhattan.


A Cereal State Of Mind - Kellogg's® Opens First-Ever Permanent Cafe In NYC

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. , June 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The heart of New York City is the new home of cereal innovation and delicious experimentation. On Monday, July 4 , Kellogg's® is opening the doors to Kellogg's NYC, its first-ever permanent café, located at 1600 Broadway (between W 48 th and 49 th Street). The café will serve dishes featuring Kellogg's cereals combined with unique ingredients, all served with a side of fun. Kellogg's NYC will be a destination that reminds guests of home and drives new curiosity around the cereal bowl.

Kellogg's has partnered with some of the most exciting names in food – including Anthony Rudolf and Sandra Di Capua of Journee and formerly of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and Eleven Madison Park respectively.

Award-winning chef Christina Tosi was also brought on board to develop some of the café's delicious, menu items, proving that a few innovative ingredients, such as lime zest, marshmallows and blueberry jam, can go a long way when it comes to brightening a bowl of cereal.

"Kellogg's NYC will remind families how fun and delicious cereal is, especially when elevated with creative ingredients," said Rudolf. "We'll give guests a chance to experience cereal, something they've been connected to their entire lives, in a completely new way."

"I've been a cereal lover since I was a kid," said Tosi. "I believe in the excitement a bowl of cereal can bring any time of the day and I'm so excited to bring back a household staple in a fun, creative way!"

Tosi's latest recipe creations are a true reflection of her impeccable palette and ability to refine the most comforting and familiar foods. In addition to the select items created by Tosi, the all-day menu includes breakfast items, evening snacks and even delectable ice cream treats:

  • Pistachio LemonKellogg's Special K Original®, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®, pistachios, lemon zest, thyme
  • Berry Me in Green TeaKellogg's Rice Krispies®, fresh strawberries, green tea powder
  • The Chai LineKellogg'sCrispix®, fresh peaches, chai tea powder

Ice Cream Based Creations

  • Life in ColorKellogg's Froot Loops®, lime zest, marshmallows, passion fruit jam
  • Honey BuzzKellogg's Honey Smacks®, honey, toasted pecan, banana chips
  • You're Cracklin' Me UpKellogg's Cracklin Oat Bran®, dried cranberries, white chocolate, toasted coconut

Guests also have the option to creatively customize their dishes by incorporating dozens of toppings and can also enjoy an assortment of juices and coffee from artisanal purveyors. With a fun new approach to service, customers won't know what delicious treat might pop out of the cabinet door.

The café will have dine in or carry out options and there are plans to launch a delivery service later in the year. Menu items range from $6 to $8 , and will also rotate every three months. In addition to cereal, the café will also have fresh juices, milks and locally-roasted coffee available.

Let's #StirItUp together at Kellogg's NYC! For more information about Kellogg's NYC check out KelloggsNYC.com or follow us @KelloggsNYC and #KelloggsNYC.

    : @KelloggUS is reimagining cereal one bowl at a time featuring some recipes by @ChristinaTosi at new café @KelloggsNYC #StirItUp : @KelloggUS is offering delicious surprises at new café @KelloggsNYC stop in and try our favorite, Pistachio Lemon!

About Kellogg Company
At Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), we strive to make foods people love. This includes our beloved brands Kellogg's®, Keebler®, Special K®, Pringles®, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg's Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Cheez-It®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats® and more – that nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. With 2015 sales of $13.5 billion and more than 1,600 foods, Kellogg is the world's leading cereal company second largest producer of cookies, crackers and savory snacks and a leading North American frozen foods company. Through our Breakfasts for Better Days TM global hunger initiative, we've provided more than 1.4 billion servings of cereal and snacks to children and families in need around the world. To learn more, visit www.kelloggcompany.com or follow us on Twitter @KelloggCompany, YouTube and on Social K.

About Christina Tosi
Christina Tosi is the chef, founder and owner of milk bar, called "one of the most exciting bakeries in the country" by Bon Appétit magazine, with multiple locations in New York , one in Toronto and one in Washington, D.C. near Christina's hometown. Christina founded the dessert programs at Momofuku and went on to build a culinary empire of her own. Well known for "stoking apostolic fervor," she opened milk bar's doors in 2008 and has changed the face of baking with her innovative creations like cereal milk™ ice cream, compost cookies® and crack pie®.

The culinary trendsetter and sugar genius described by The New York Times as a "border crossing pastry chef" is a two-time James Beard Award Winner, Crain's New York 40 under 40 honoree and author of two highly acclaimed cookbooks, Momofuku Milk Bar and Milk Bar Life. Momofuku milk bar highlights the cult favorites from the milk bar kitchen, and milk bar life captures milk bar's fun-loving culture and off-the-clock recipes that are easy to make at home. Christina is a role model to her team of over 200 and is also a big believer in giving back.

The highly motivated lady boss serves on the board of directors for Hot Bread Kitchen and Cookies for kids' cancer and is an adviser and investor in a handful of food startups, including the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), Journee and Maple. Christina is also a judge on the hit cooking competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior (on FOX), playing an integral role in mentoring and making home cooks' dreams come true.

Christina has made headlines in top publications and television programs, including The Wall Street Journal, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Conan and The Today Show, has graced the covers of Adweek and Cherry Bombe and was named one of the most innovative women in food and drink By Food & Wine and Fortune magazine for her tremendous work ethic and creative ingenuity. Her unstoppable and free-spirited approach to life and inspiring achievements make her one of the most well-rounded and desirable chefs in the world.

About Anthony Rudolf
Anthony Rudolf has nearly 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including running operations for Chef Thomas Keller and Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York . After realizing his true mission was not to serve consumers, but to nurture and guide people in the industry along their path of living their dreams, Rudolf left the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group to found Journee, a community that empowers and educates restaurant professionals.

In addition to being the founder and CEO of Journee, Rudolf is the co-founder of The Welcome Conference: a first-of-its-kind hospitality conference that brings together leaders to inspire, share, and connect. He is currently an ambassador of The Culinary Institute of America and has spoken on the topic of hospitality at numerous professional institutions, including a speech on Chivalry at TEDxEast in 2011.

About Sandra Di Capua
Sandra Di Capua has had a lifelong passion for food and hospitality and has been working in the industry for the past ten years. She began her career as research and culinary assistant to renowned cookbook author, Joan Nathan , working on her most-recent book on the food of the Jews of France .

She then moved to New York to join the dining room team at Eleven Madison Park. There, she began as a coat check and worked her way up through the ranks, eventually becoming the project manager. She worked on the purchase of Eleven Madison Park from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group, assisted in developing and opening the food and beverage programs at the NoMad Hotel, and helped write, edit, and publish Eleven Madison Park : The Cookbook and I Love NY: Ingredients and Recipes.

Currently she works on special projects at Journee. A graduate of Harvard College, she was born in Bogota, Colombia , grew up in Miami, FL , and currently resides in Manhattan.


The Top 10 Neighborhood Gamechangers Coming This Fall

Now that the Meyers, Chodorows, Torrisis et al., have been dispensed with, it's time to take a closer look at the neighborhood spots that will be opening up around town this fall. Some are small ventures, places mostly geared towards those in the surrounding area (Celestino in Bed-Stuy), some are grander with bigger budgets and plenty of potential media attention (Cafe Pushkin). Some could become destinations in their own right, most will not.

No matter the scale, these are the places that should have a big impact for those who work and live in these neighborhoods.

1) Financial District: Demi Monde
Who: Death & Co
What: The owners of Death & Co. are opening a new 120 restaurant and bar called Demi Monde in the somewhat desolate dining area of FiDi.
Where: 90 Broad St.
When: November
Why Locals Will Care: A high end cocktail bar with entrees under $20 in an area with barely enough wine bars to sustain itself? Who wouldn't care?
[More Coverage Here]
2) Upper West Side: Momofuku Milk Bar
Who: Christina Tosi, David Chang
What: Christina Tosi brings her addictive Milk Bar formula uptown with this newest, and biggest edition of her bakery. Now Upper West Siders will have an alternative to those enormous Levain Bakery cookies —enormous crack pie cookies and crack pie.
Where: 561 Columbus Ave.
When: Sometime in September
Why Locals Will Care: Hip entities don't cross 59th Street all too often and those schoolchildren up there need something besides Levain and concretes to satisfy their sugar needs.
[More Coverage Here]
3) Williamsburg: Pillar & Plough
Who: Hotel Williamsburg
What: The soon to open Hotel Williamsburg will have within its many folds Pillar & Plough, a restaurant serving New York "Neighborhood Food" from Andrés Grundy, a former chef de cuisine at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
Where: 160 North 12th St.
When: October
Why Locals Will Care: The locals will care because if this restaurant is successful, it will bring more (perhaps unwanted) "reverse bridge and tunnel" traffic from Manhattan to their doorsteps. Also, "Magnums of Brooklyn Brew."
[More Coverage Here]
4) Lower East Side: Sauce
Who: Frank Prisinzano
What: The owner of Supper and the Lil' Frankies chain will open this Italian restaurant with an adjacent grocery section, demo kitchen, and take out window for coffee in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, and gelato on hot days.
Where: 78 Rivington St.
When: October 4
Why Locals Will Care: Because Frankies 17 isn't enough to satisfy the whole neighborhood's need for Italian. Also: gelato window.
[More Coverage Here]
5) Chelsea: La Promenade des Anglais
Who: Alain Allegretti
What: After closing the eponymous Allegretti, Alain tries again with La Promenade des Anglais, another Nice-inspired restaurant, this time in the old Bette space. The name is a challenge, but Allegretti knows what he's doing.
Where: 461 West 23rd St., Chelsea
When: By the end of the month
Why Locals Will Care: With this and the Hotel Americano opening up across the street, this area may finally become a place worth visiting before 1 AM.
[More Coverage Here]
6) Tribeca: Aamanns/Copenhagen
Who: Adam Aamann-Christensen
What: Aamann-Christensen is importing his Copenhagen cafe that serves smorrebrod (open faced sandwiches) to Tribeca.
Where: 13 Laight St., Tribeca
When: October
Why Locals Will Care: Danish sandwiches!
7) Bed-Stuy: Celestino
Who: Massimiliano Nanni
What: Nanni, the former co-owner of popular Bed-Stuy pizzeria Saraghina, left the restaurant to focus on this new project Celestino, a Mediterranean bistro.
Where: 562 Halsey Street, Bed-Stuy
When: September
Why Locals Will Care: As Nanni says, "My neighborhood needs everything, but there’s not any place good for oyster or sea bass."
8) Union Square: Corkbuzz
Who: Laura Maniec
What: Sommelier Laura Maniec opens a wine bar with food and a classroom
Where: 13 East 13th St., Union Square
When: Mid-October
Why Locals Will Care: Because there's no good place to drink around Union Square.
9) Midtown: Cafe Pushkin
Who: Andrei Dellos
What: A crazy and elaborate Moscow restaurant (known for its celebrity clientele apparently) is opening a giant Midtown flagship over three levels and 7,500 square feet.
Where: 41 West 57th St., Midtown.
When: December
Why Locals Will Care: Perhaps it's just another weird, giant thing to add to the Midtown dining scene, but it could be a fun place for a business lunch. Either way, a total spectacle.
[More Coverage Here]
10) Flatiron: Al Mayass
Who: Rita Alexandrian
What: Al Mayass is a well known Armenian restaurant in Beirut that will be opening just south of Madison Square Park in a $2 million space.
Where: 24 East 21st St., Flatiron District
When: October
Why Locals Will Care: The area is teaming with upscale restaurants but doesn't offer much in the way of diversity.
[More Coverage Here]
· The Top Ten Big Deal Restaurants to Watch This Fall [


Q&A: Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi talks desserts and her upcoming L.A. shop

Los Angeles is a pretty great town for desserts, from the legendary pastry kitchens of chefs Sherry Yard and Nancy Silverton to Dominique Ansel’s recently opened bakery and the sweet catalog of innovative pastry chefs in between. In April, Christina Tosi will join that list when she opens Milk Bar Los Angeles, in a former Baskin-Robbins on Melrose Avenue in the Fairfax district. Tosi worked in the kitchens of Bouley and wd

50 in New York before teaming with chef David Chang first as the pastry chef at Momofuku and then to open a series of Milk Bar shops as part of the Momofuku Restaurant Group.

Tosi’s L.A. shop, her 13th — she has nine Milk Bars in New York, plus one each in Washington, D.C., Toronto and Las Vegas — comes at a good time for the Ohio-born pastry chef. Her husband, Will Guidara, just opened NoMad in downtown L.A. with his Eleven Madison Park business partner, chef Daniel Humm. Chang’s own Los Angeles restaurant, Majordomo, opened Tuesday night. Tosi, a two-time James Beard Award winner and the author of two cookbooks, is no stranger to this town, having logged time here filming the cooking shows “MasterChef” and “MasterChef Junior” — and doing her own location scouting over the years. The L.A. Milk Bar will be a huge space, or at least huge by Tosi’s standards, with a bakery, a retail store (mixes, apparel, accessories) and a classroom space where she’ll hold “Bake the Book” classes, where you can learn how to make your own crack pie, plus, of course, the menu that has spurred Tosi to open a dozen shops in the first place. Yes, cereal milk soft serve.

Recently, Tosi took a break from her usual circuit of L.A. farmers markets and bakeries to chat over coffee about the intricacies of restaurants and sugar.

Tell us about your L.A. shop.

We were going to open in January, but the way that I designed and built these tiny, little Milk Bars in New York was so different. I lived out here for six months last year, filming “MasterChef,” getting the lay of the land, and the more time I spend out here and the more of a local I become, the more I realize that if we’d opened in January, it wouldn’t have been the Milk Bar that I want. But it depends on how many more times I change my mind.

This will be, like, 3,300 square feet of space, which is significantly larger than any other store we’ve ever built, and part of that is because it’ll be our flagship kitchen for California. The very first Milk Bar in 2008, it was our kitchen and it was our store it was all in one space, and I think that was magnetic because all of its spirit was captured in one property. And that’s something that I have been missing for years now and am really excited to bring here — it’s capturing lightning in a bottle. The space used to be a Baskin-Robbins and a laundromat.

That’s so Los Angeles.

It’s so L.A. — and also our first Milk Bar was a laundromat. So I have this emotional attachment. I knew what I wanted: a single-story strip mall with a parking lot. And I wanted to be in the middle of everything, and I wanted to be local. And so I found this gritty, hilarious, beautifully imperfect space.

You’re doing both sweet and savory?

Right now I’d say our menus are probably 90-10 even if that dynamic shifts, it probably won’t be more than 20% savory. We’ve always been savory snacks rather than savory meals. It’ll be counter service but plenty of space to hang out and sit and explore around — but not table service.

Both you and David Chang are opening in L.A. at roughly the same time.

It’s hilarious — it was so unintentional. I probably signed the lease on Melrose in September, October of 2016, so it’s taken a long time. A lot of New Yorkers are moving out to L.A. outside of, like, Anchorage to Miami, there couldn’t be two American cities that are that far apart. We’ve been talking about coming to L.A. for years. One year into Milk Bar, we were talking about going into Larchmont, into Hayden Tract, but it was important to take my time to get here. I’m stubborn I like to figure things out myself.

Many of us here think about L.A.’s pastry scene in terms of Nancy Silverton and Sherry Yard. What’s it like coming into a town whose dessert kitchens were largely built by them?

That’s it. I own every one of Nancy’s cookbooks — she’s very much a hero, mentor, role model. I remember when I opened Milk Bar, she came in and she whispered to me, “I totally get it I see what you’re doing.” And that was, like, the highest compliment I could ever receive. In New York, if I were making the same parallel, I’d say the dessert scene was built by Claudia Fleming and Karen DeMasco, who are my heroes and role models. wd

50 opened, and all of a sudden, there was this curiosity — wit and whim through food became different. And I knew that my spirit was straddling both of those.

From a dessert standpoint, I think what makes L.A. so vastly different than New York is that it’s spread so far apart. In New York there’s this beautiful tension because everything is so close together that even when you’re doing something different, all somebody has to do is see what you’re doing and go replicate it — because they’re never more than a mile or two away. And here you’re depending on your local crowd more than tourism or social media. I think you get a lot more honest desserts here.

Also, the produce out here is delicious all year round, so you don’t have to manipulate as much for that wow factor. In New York, you’ve got two weeks to use rhubarb, then you’re buying it from Holland again.

What’s on your menu here — not just your actual menu, but the menu in your head?

As much as I’m inspired by local produce, I’m also inspired by the foods that feel like they just came out of a home kitchen, that warmth. So we complicate things on our end — we’re technicians — and then we give them back to you in a simple form. The citrus out here we’ll put to really great use. Strawberries, berries, corn, peaches — the things that scream home — they’re my crutches as much as they are my best friends.

I went to the [Hollywood] farmers market on Sunday and I’ll go again next Sunday, and as much as I’ll go dizzy imagining what all the different kinds of avocados are like, and eat them all — I’m not going to put an avocado toast on the menu.

I’m a planner — you’re not going to meet a pastry chef who isn’t, like, crazy detail-oriented. As much as you think you’re in control, you’re not in control, my friend. It’s not up to you. Inevitably, I’m, like, “This table is too nice, let’s scuff it up” or “We need more hilarious handmade signs because that’s what makes it feel like home,” but it’s never really a nest until there’s warmth and commotion. The most painful — and my favorite — part about opening a store is that you plan, you plan, you create this idea of what it is, and then you open — and no matter what it is that you wanted it to be, it becomes exactly what people make it.

Milk Bar Los Angeles, 7150 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, milkbarstore.com.

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Share All sharing options for: Christina Tosi Has a Cookie

A few months ago, Christina Tosi met a cookie she expected to be meh. “It was called salted caramel crunch, and I thought it was going to be a total snoozefest,” she said. After all, these days a cookie carpet-bombed with salt is old hat. But this confection, discovered in an airport, blew Tosi’s mind. “Imagine a butter cookie with raw sugar on top, with hints of kosher salt — it was toffee bits and these pretzel rounds folded in so every time you thought you were getting a toffee bit, you got this amazing, salty, multi thing.”

It wasn’t simply that it was delicious, it’s that it was familiar. “It makes me laugh because I’m like, I did that,” she said. “Like, no one put pretzels in cookies. Like, holy shit, nine years ago this was not a real thing in the world.” When Tosi first started peddling baked goods, it was the halcyon days before Instagram. Before unicorn freakshakes, rolled ice cream, and Oreos with Oreo filling — back when people could still get it up for flourless chocolate cake on a square plate. Her creation, this airport cookie’s godfather, was laden with potato chips, coffee grounds, butterscotch, chocolate chips — and pretzels. Tosi called it the Compost Cookie (later registering the trademark because she’s smart) and it was weird. Subversive, even. It, along with a black hole of butter and two kinds of sugar called the Crack Pie, ushered in the era of the Stunt Dessert — FOMO-inducing, insulin-spiking sweets consumed as much for the performative pleasure as for the sugar rush, from slutty brownies to anything off the Cookie Dough Cafe menu and the incalculable number of crummy Cronut clones.

Marrying salty with sweet predates Christina Tosi, no doubt — hat tip to Dorie Greenspan’s salted chocolate chip cookies of 2006 and, hell, who hasn’t had a Snickers Bar? — but the high-low mix of Snyder’s of Hanover and Barry Callebaut, with a soupcon of stoner fantasia, is pure Milk Bar, which Tosi founded in 2008 as a small part of David Chang’s Momofuku insurgency. It’s the bakery that attracted a 45-minute wait at the opening of its DC location, baked Taylor Swift’s enormous birthday cake, and prompted Chrissy Teigen to Instagram its delights to her 14.1 million followers.

When I met Tosi, now the CEO of Milk Bar, for tea in Williamsburg back in December, she had just come off the red-eye she takes back and forth from Los Angeles to New York every weekend when filming on her other job: Since 2015, she has served as a judge for MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, the competitive cooking franchise on Fox that’s popular enough to merit its own cruise. In between guiding and (gently) crushing children’s dreams and running the ever-expanding Milk Bar empire — 12 locations in North America and counting — her side hustles have included posing for the Corcoran Group Real Estate (in a campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz), starring in a Subaru ad, and consulting on Kellogg’s NYC, a cafe that sold bowls of cereal for $7.50 to tourists in Times Square — an idea that sounds like a grim, half-hearted joke about the state of the universe, but was so successful that the cafe is moving to a bigger location downtown in a few months.

Slight, pale, with an old-timey face that evokes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring (especially when her hair’s covered by a bandana), Tosi, who is 35, is often dressed like a big kid from the cover of a Judy Blume novel, with a preference for stripes, overalls, jeans, and, almost always, Converse All Stars. Unless she has a meeting — where she’ll wear a little more jewelry and maybe short-heeled booties — or when she’s getting married. For her summer-camp-themed, restaurant-industry power wedding to Will Guidara, one half of Make It Nice, the restaurant group behind the (possibly) No. 1 restaurant in the world, Eleven Madison Park, and the NoMad, she wore J.Crew. It rained, they had the tallest Milk Bar cake on record, and she looked radiant under her plastic poncho.

Tosi’s childlike qualities, unfussy air, and lack of pretension are disarming, making her particularly winsome as a judge on MasterChef — she’s tough but fair, a solid foil for the blustery, irascible charms of one of her co-stars, Gordon Ramsay. It’s also probably why Tosi is so often characterized in interviews as playful or ebullient, like a cheerleader, or Samantha from Bewitched, or maybe Taylor Swift, who’s besties with Tosi’s bestie and occasional collaborator, the supermodel Karlie Kloss. But the blonde she most resembles to me is Tracy Flick from Election, punctilious and unflinching. The notion of a universally sunny, conspicuously inoffensive purveyor of cookies, cakes, and soft serve ice cream has a broad, easy appeal, but it’s inexhaustible reserves of grit that alchemize folksy sweets into a food empire. “I’m never ever, ever, ever the smartest person in the room,” she said. “But it’s not about smarts. It’s about will.”

Every Milk Bar location carries a couple dozen items, from Bagel Bombs to soft serve to the also thoroughly trademarked Crack Pie. What every Milk Bar doesn’t have is that fresh-baked-cookie aroma, the enticing fragrance staged to sell million-dollar condos. Milk Bar’s Williamsburg commissary, the 11,000-square-foot commercial kitchen in Brooklyn that supplies all of its New York and Toronto shops and its online store, smells incredible, though. Like throwback supermarket vanilla flavoring, the see-through kind, not what Ina Garten calls the “good” stuff — a raw, primordial, cake-batter fragrance. It’s kind of like how McDonald’s fries smell bright yellow and Jamba Juices emit some tropical-fruit scent that doesn’t exist in nature. It’s more an aroma of general deliciousness than anything specific — a scratch-n-sniff sticker of a baked good.

Tucked behind the Williamsburg store, the commissary is Milk Bar’s NYC base of operations. It’s a space big enough to host a good-sized rave. On the wall near the front is an area dedicated to Milk Bar’s Hardbody of the Month, a collage of hastily photocopied and enthusiastically decorated pictures of the team’s hardest-working members. The rest of the commissary is perhaps better understood as a 3D model of the way Tosi’s brain works. It’s shrewdly mapped out with stations, and the accompanying walk-in fridges are positioned closely together. Products with multiple components — like cakes, which contain various fillings and different flavored layers, and need to be assembled before they are packaged — move through the kitchen systematically and chronologically, so that the finished product lands in the fridge closest to its shipping area. In the same way that chefs pride themselves on a scrupulously organized and maintained mise-en-place for optimal efficiency in the kitchen, Tosi and the team tinker with the layout constantly.

Tosi, as a whole, is big on tinkering. On the day I met her at the kitchen, she’d arrived with pistachio cookies that she insisted everyone under her employ sample. Near the R&D area, a nook tucked behind the dry goods storage racks is a stack of brown boxes. “I went a little crazy on Goldbely,” she said, opening the box closest to her. “I bought all the pound cakes they had to offer. I’m always curious how other people do it.”

Tosi and Courtney McBroom, a former Milk Bar employee who helped write and test recipes for Milk Bar’s two cookbooks, eyed a yellow bundt cake, breaking off small pieces with their hands. “The texture is nice and moist,” said McBroom, another blonde with an open face, who hails from Texas.

“No, it’s almost angel food cake-y,” Tosi said, smushing it between her fingers and popping the mass in her mouth.

“Okay, it’s not that moist,” McBroom demurred, crumbling a morsel. “But it’s still good in a weird way. It’s better than the ones we’ve been doing, but it almost…”

McBroom and Tosi looked at each other while chewing. “I wonder what that’s from,” Tosi said.

“It’s like cream cheese,” McBroom said, checking the ingredients to confirm. “It kind of dissolves on your tongue.”

“That’s the emulsifier, the cream cheese,” Tosi agreed.

This, ad infinitum, is how Tosi and her team deduce that corn cookies need golden flaxseed meal to be chewy, or that a pinch of citric acid makes Birthday Cake frosting really sparkle, or that there’s a special textural alchemy when you mix grapeseed oil and buttermilk for your cakes. Though it’s been said roughly one million times in a thousand different ways that nostalgia is Tosi’s “secret ingredient,” the ethos, really, is what her team refers to as Tosi’s “pure approachability.” But as accessible or sentimental as her food tastes, it requires a fiercely analytical and precise mind to make a Milk Bar Birthday Cake reminiscent of an old-school birthday cake from a box. This is why Milk Bar recipes are exhaustive, harrowingly convoluted ways of getting to a particular flavor destination from our collective youths. Liberating textures or flavors that would otherwise stay trapped inside the minds of Nabisco food scientists is not easy.

Milk Bar currently employs 220 people, 50 of them in the New York commissary, with more around the holidays. When you’re hired as a pastry cook, you start at the bottom, and that means spending a few months at the standing Hobart — a human-sized mixer where you negotiate with a 500-pound blob of cookie dough, as unwieldy and unaccommodating as a futon mattress, and try to coax it into hotel pans. If you don’t master the cookie dough, you never level up. “It’s a very individualistic sport,” Tosi said. “Working the 140-quart is only for the people that mean it. It’s stamina, it’s love, it’s care, and there’s no one to complain to.”

After cookie dough, you’re moved onto ice cream. “Soft serve is more about blending, technique, and the balance of flavor,” Tosi said. “If you think about making a cup of tea, you have hot water and a tea bag, but it depends on how hot your water is, how long you steep, the tea-leaf mixture, how fine the mesh of the bag is, how humid the day is, and the temperature of the kitchen. When we make Cereal Milk soft serve, we take cornflakes and toast them and grind them down. If someone grinds the toasted cornflakes a little more or less, the surface area is different. And inevitably we’re using organic, farm-fresh milk, and where we buy our whole milk the cows are eating in different pastures, so the nuances of the flavors of the milk are different — so it holds notes of cereal milk differently. All of those things make a difference, all of which make me go, ‘Why in the world did I decide making food for a living was a good idea?’”

Alison Roman, a food writer and cookbook author who worked at Milk Bar in the early days — her most enduring contribution is an apple pie cake that is filled with liquid cheesecake — recalled Tosi’s exacting standards. “There was this chocolate soft serve,” she told me. “It was brownie, and I made it a thousand fucking times and Tosi would be like, ‘No, it needs more this.’” This was the key to some elusive flavor profile known only to Tosi. “Part of the challenge for Milk Bar was that you were making things that had never been made before so there was no reference,” Roman said.

If you’re able to make it through the gauntlet, after a year, you’ll finally be allowed to touch a cake. These secrets are amongst Milk Bar’s most valuable launch codes. Despite the nondisclosure agreement that you have to sign when you’re hired (and the multiple trademarks), Tosi hasn’t gone after former Milk Bar employees who have erected copycat bakeries. She’s simply quietly lost respect for them while she’s gone on to develop new techniques. “I believe in sharing recipes,” she said. “We have cookbooks. But we know why we’re adding ingredients. We know why we’re adding this much salt and this much baking powder. We’re the ones who are going to do it the best, because they’re ours.”

Tosi’s easygoing pluck is, however, piqued by corporate copycats. When Ben & Jerry’s announced a new run of flavors called “Cereal Splashback,” a clear rip off of Cereal Milk soft serve, it was a buzzkill. “I’m bummed,” she said about her state of mind when everyone texted her the news. “Why couldn’t [Ben & Jerry’s] just come to us? Like, I’m not trying to say I’m Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert, but I think they would have gotten so many more cool points and authenticity points in doing something together.” It’s inevitable that other sweet shops and brands ape your best concepts just ask Dominique Ansel. The only consolation is that imitators are merely catching up, and when they do, they won’t do it quite as well.

If there’s a specific era that dominates Milk Bar’s brand identity, with its chalkboard menus, bright-pink logo, and rainbow sprinkles, it’s the ’80s. Part Punky Brewster and part Lisa Frank, a lot of the attitude comes from its founder, who grew up in Virginia. When I asked Tosi what table she sat at in the high school cafeteria, she told me, “I was always a ‘march to the beat of my own drum’ person.” She recalled a cross-country practice where she wore “spandex shorts with the map of the world in blue and grey velour.” Her friends were cool, but insists she wasn’t. “I was in Dorkestra,” she said. “I was in all AP classes. I was a no-nonsense person.”

Tosi’s house was the spot where all the kids would go to after school to ransack the pantry. Snacks were plentiful, as were sheet pans full of fresh baked goods, and her mom was usually at the office. “My mom raised us to be super independent people,” Tosi said of her and her sister. Her parents, who’d been separated since her early childhood, finally divorced when she was 15. Her mother, who she lived with, remarried and her stepfather traveled a lot for work. “The day of your 16th birthday you get keys to the family minivan, you get your credit card and your chore list.” Baking was part of that — part chore, part birthright. “We baked cookies as kids and we’d bring them to someone we didn’t know who was sick in the hospital,” she explained. “That’s the tradition of our family. You can never go home to visit my mom or my grandma for some R&R. That’s not a thing.”

Tosi's freshman year of college was spent at the University of Virgina. While her peers rushed sororities and turned up at frat parties, Tosi got a job. “Those southern schools, you go to college to meet your girlfriends and your husband,” she said. “That’s not my thing.” First she worked at Bed Bath & Beyond, but when she transferred to James Madison University, where she majored in applied mathematics and Italian — “There was a lot of ego and kind of stuff about elitism that just didn’t sit right with me,” she remembers of UVA — Tosi began working at a microbrewery in Harrisonburg called Calhoun’s. She started out as a hostess, put in hours on the waitstaff, and eventually muscled her way into the kitchen as a prep cook. It was an inauspicious start, but she was hooked. “It was my social outlet,” Tosi said. “I like the renegades in the kitchen. I like the restaurant life. I was like, school is fine, but I’m not trying to go do a keg stand.”

Tosi’s love of the kitchen prompted her to begin researching culinary school. She enrolled at the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center) and moved to New York, where she’d go to school during the day and work at night. Living in a tiny walk-up in Nolita, she started out as a reservationist at Aquagrill, worked her way up to maitre d’, and then friends of friends introduced her to the pastry chef at the hyper-soigne Bouley, where she worked for 2 1/2 years. From there she staged at Wylie Dufresne’s now-defunct molecular gastronomy mecca, wd

50. Tosi, being Tosi, didn’t just walk into a job at wd

50 she kept showing up for no money for a full year before one opened up.

In 2005, she made herself indispensable by volunteering for the Herculean task of writing wd

50’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plan, a tangle of health department bureaucracy that details everything a restaurant kitchen does in terms of food safety, from how it handles raw produce to the minimum temperature of roast beef. A job typically reserved for food scientists, it’s such a monumental pain in the ass that even by 2011, Mario Batali’s restaurant group declared it wouldn’t even bother with sous vide cooking, just to avoid revising its HACCP. Tosi, of course, basked in the challenge. “I like to always be in over my head,” she said. “I’m at my happiest, and most challenged, and typically most successful when like the water is somewhere between ‘here,’” her hand hovered at her forehead, “and ‘here.” She stretched a slender arm way above her head. “I like the constant pursuit of better, bigger, stronger, faster.”

Around that time, David Chang had just tossed $1,500 worth of vacuum-sealed food thanks to the watchful eye of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which relished raining fines down on kitchens for preparing sous vide foods without an established protocol. Chang called up Dufresne, a friend and a chef he’d long admired, to ask him about Tosi. “I asked for help,” Chang told me over the phone. “Back then before the internet you just heard about the people who were good. She was always on my radar and when I got in trouble with the health department because I was organizing my foods in Cryovac, she helped me get out of purgatory.”

Before she knew it, Tosi was doing everything at Momofuku — in fact, her unofficial job title was “et cetera.” She ran payroll, helped out on the line, managed restaurants, and ordered supplies like an office assistant. “She’s so goddamned smart,” Chang said. “So regiment-oriented. It’s what I don’t have. People forget or else they don’t know that she’s a mathematics major.” Nothing was too arduous or too menial, and after full days she’d hone recipes into early morning and bring baked goods into work the next day. Desserts were her in. At the time Momofuku had no pastry program, offering spicy ginger chews or Hershey’s Kisses with the bill. An early creation, a Tristar strawberry shortcake recipe, was such a resounding success — tart, sweet, and a little salty — that Momofuku began integrating more sweets across the restaurants, like soft serve ice cream and deep-fried apple pie, just like the kind you used to get at McDonald’s before 1992, when they started baking them.

When the laundromat next to Chang’s Ssäm Bar cleared out in 2008, Tosi opened Milk Bar in the space that November. Then she didn’t sleep for two years. Open until 2 a.m., partly to complement Ssäm Bar’s late-night menu, Milk Bar was the rare bakery positioned as a pitstop for East Village bar crawls. Tosi dubbed it “Dairy Queen with pork buns.” It was an immediate hit, with hypebeasts queued out the door as people clamored to devour Blueberry & Cream Cookies and Candy Bar Pie, washed down with corn-flake-suffused milk. Despite the potential to blanket the city immediately, over the next few years Milk Bar grew deliberately, opening just three more locations by 2011.

“It’s scalable,” Sujean Lee, who came on as Milk Bar’s COO at the end of 2016 from Greek yogurt monolith Chobani, told me over lunch. “But how long it’s taking is a conscious decision on Tosi’s part. It’s a conscious evolution.” Since Lee’s arrival nine months ago, she’s overseen store openings in the Financial District, West Village and their now westernmost outpost in Las Vegas. This accelerated expansion is likely to continue, with their eagerly anticipated Los Angeles flagship slated to open early next year on Melrose.

Business appears to be brisk but Milk Bar is tight-lipped about actual sales figures. Lee framed the metrics in the most Milk Bar possible way by telling me that last year, they sold 600,000 B’day Truffles and about 300,000 Compost Cookies, and that they go through nearly 200,000 pounds of flour and over 100,000 pounds of butter annually. It’s fantastic and whimsical to picture heaping, toppling mountains of scrumptiousness akin to however many Ding Dongs you need to get to the moon and back, but what that means for Milk Bar’s finances remains deeply mysterious.

In terms of branding, since 2014, Momofuku Milk Bar has quietly become, simply, Milk Bar. “I’ve never been as involved as people think,” Chang told me. “No matter what the fuck I say, people just assume it’s a Momofuku product. We even dropped the Momofuku, so I don’t even know what the fuck’s up with that.”

“Milk Bar is mine,” Tosi said. “Dave would never disagree with that. And Momo will always be him.” Momofuku Holdings, the umbrella company for all of Chang’s businesses, remains a key investor in Milk Bar, though the bakeries operate independently from the other restaurants in Momofuku Group. No one would tell me precisely how the ownership of Milk Bar is split up, nor how much equity Tosi actually has Milk Bar declined to comment on who owns the majority stake in the business.

In the last few years, Momofuku Holdings appears to have shifted gears for stratospheric growth: In addition to Milk Bar’s recent expansion, Momofuku has launched a delivery-only restaurant in New York and moved into fast food. They’ve also sold a minority stake for an undisclosed sum to Matt Higgins and Stephen M. Ross’s RSE Ventures, a firm that is invested in stuff like a drone-racing league and VR events. More recently, Chang hired Harvard MBA and hospitality vet Alex Munoz-Suarez, formerly of the Batali-Bastianich empire, to act as Momofuku’s president. But Milk Bar insists there’s minimal meddling, with Chang, Munoz-Suarez, and RSE considered valued advisors above all. “There’s a lot of email-forwarding,” Milk Bar’s Lee said. “Like, ‘Hey not for me but for you?’”

The clarity of the delineation between Momofuku and Milk Bar operations might be a factor in the success of the enduring Chang-Tosi collaboration, which stands out in a streak of Chang partnerships that have ended abruptly and unceremoniously: Most recently, Lucky Peach, the quarterly he founded with Peter Meehan, folded earlier this year despite critical and commercial success. Last year, Booker and Dax, the highly acclaimed bar that Dave Arnold operated in the original Milk Bar space, shuttered with little warning its future remains up in the air. And this past spring, a tenured hospitality exec replaced longtime Chang business partner Andrew Salmon as president of Momofuku. (Last year, Salmon became an advisor to Milk Bar he was not made available for interview.)

Tosi’s stamina could be a matter of will. Mettle. A testament to her high pain threshold or her corn-fed predilection for the “right thing to do.” But this wildly discounts not only her agency in the matter, but her patent shrewdness. “Everyone’s here because they want to be here, right?” she told me, rolling her eyes when I asked whether it’s hard to work with Chang. “Like, no one’s putting a gun to anyone’s head.”

“The easiest way to get along with Dave,” she said, “is to prove that you care and that you mean it even more than him.”

In many ways, Tosi is of the last generation for whom selling out is even a thing. You can tell she cares by how often she talks about it in interviews. But scaling a business is by nature selling out, even when it’s cast as a way to share Tosi’s delicious treats with as many people as possible. It’s particularly dicey because the margins on sub-$3 cookies are murder and each competitive advantage won at the hands of economies of scale feels to her like a compromise.

The decision to spring for the cookie-scooping machine four years ago was just one example. “I held out as long as possible,” she said. “I could scoop cookies faster than anyone else and that was my business model. But I know better than that. That’s not a responsible thing for me to do. But it also means the cornflake marshmallow cookie is the same cookie but texturally, its nuances are different. It’s the same recipe but it’s a different cookie.” With each acquisition — a mechanized hamburger patty stamp that’s been modified for cake truffles, a $60,000 flow-wrap machine to package cookies in cellophane — Tosi’s struggled with the death of the romance. “They used to make English muffins to order,” Meehan, the former Chang collaborator who was always around in the early days, said. “There was a crazy preciousness to the food they did.”

In Milk Bar’s first year, cookies were baked fresh and handed to you on a plate or in a box or paper bag. “We were super worried that the packaging would feel less personal,” she said of their current cellophane sheathes. “It’s one of the things that made me the most sad about the original Milk Bar.” It’s a piece of Milk Bar lore that curmudgeonly food critic Alan Richman bought two dozen cookies to serve to his friends and finding them broken, emailed her with some constructive criticism. “You can’t bake a bunch of cookies and sell them fresh right out of the bakery case and expect them to stay in one piece,” she said.

Milk Bar started selling packaged cookies as “day-old” goods for 50 cents cheaper, until they realized that people wanted them not only because of the discount but because you could save them for later or send them to friends. “I think it was one of the most challenging moments, deciding to put the cookies in bags,” she said. “They’re still obviously every bit as fresh but for me, that was the moment I had to decide.”

Scaling’s also tough when your founder’s afflicted with a conscience. “There’s no such thing as an overnight baker at Milk Bar,” she told me over tea. “Everyone gets to leave. That’s important to me.” Health insurance is also important to her. As are dental and vision and paid time off for hourly employees. Milk Bar offers four weeks paid maternity and paternity leave, and while she doesn’t give stock options or have a bonus pool, she hopes to someday soon. “I don’t have that part of my act together yet, but that is so representative of what I believe in.”

Another indication of how Milk Bar is evolving is Milk Bar Life, the umbrella brand under which it peddles gluten- and dairy-free options, as well as pressed juice. If you’re a longtime Milk Bar patron, the juice feels like an odd move — in fact, the knee-jerk instinct is slight disappointment. Same goes for their yogurt parfaits, or “Brekkie Cups,” which sound bafflingly Australian. Tosi’s past collaboration with Karlie Kloss, called Karlie’s Kookies, inspired the line of cookies now under the Milk Bar Life umbrella, which are no longer affiliated with the supermodel. (MB HQ swears it’s still all love, though.)

These changes can be seen as brand dilution, though Milk Bar insists they’re part of a rejiggering, addition and not subtraction. “Juice is the newest addition to Milk Bar because it’s the newest addition to my life,” Tosi said. “Why am I going elsewhere to get juice when I can make juice here?” (It’s worth noting that if the margins on cookies suck, the wriggle room on cold-pressed juice is somehow worse, even at $5.25 a bottle.)

To be truly approachable, Tosi has made peace with the idea that Milk Bar must be everywhere, from a collaboration with JetBlue where premium customers can opt for Milk Bar juice, a cookie, or bagel round (they’re not called “Bagel Bombs” because, well, airplanes) to cookie mixes at Target to that full-body-eyeroll-inducing Kellogg’s branded cafe in Times Square. The dream is for Milk Bar is to have an online ordering system that eventually rivals Domino's in terms of coolness and interactivity — and to one day have wedding cakes delivered by drone.

Still, there will always be an emo core to Milk Bar, one true to Tosi’s heart as a home baker. As all-consuming as her life has become, Tosi maintains a cake list — like some sugar-slinging Santa Claus, everyone important to her gets a cake when she thinks they deserve one, by any means necessary. “She’s relentless,” Chang said. “Every birthday, every special occasion. I don’t know how she does it. I recently got married. We eloped and somehow — I don’t know how — that fucking cake got to where I was.”

This gives Tosi enormous pleasure. “Who gets surprised anymore?” she said. “No one goes out of their way to surprise anyone. That’s why I started baking in the first place.”


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Everything's coming up Tosi: Momofuku Milk Bar chef Christina Tosi is a newly-appointed MasterChef judge (she's been spending a lot of time in LA filming). She landed a car commercial last year. She's working on opening a new Milk Bar outpost in DC. And next month she will release her second cookbook, Milk Bar Life,a follow-up to her hit dessert cookbook Momofuku Milk Bar. "I think sharing recipes is such an important part of baking and the baking world," Tosi explains of her decision to reveal the recipes that defined the Milk Bar menu.

Where Momofuku Milk Bar shared the recipes and techniques of her growing bakery empire, Tosi's Milk Bar Life shares a mix of savory and sweet recipes pulled from family meals, company outings, and meals cooked at home after a late shift. Recipes for a simple, mayo-laced grilled cheese and "Desperation Nachos" live alongside those for elegant Thai tea cookies and an extremely giftable lime, yogurt, and olive oil cake. There's the Tosi-endorsed chocolate chip cookie that you've always wanted, and the pickle-juice poached fish you didn't realize you've always needed. If the collection sounds a bit, well, all over the place, that's fine with Tosi. "It's okay to be all of those things," she says. "That's who we are. That's our voice."

In the following interview, Tosi talks about what makes a great cookbook and what living the "Milk Bar Life" means, and gives Eater an exclusive preview of the upcoming book. Read on:

What were your goals when you first started working on Milk Bar Life?
We wrote Momofuku Milk Bar what feels like an eternity ago, but it was really only three years ago. The goal of Momofuku Milk Bar was to share all the recipes from Milk Bar with the rest of the world. I know some chefs are a little bit more protective of their recipes and techniques, but for me, at least from a baking standpoint, it's so important to share your recipes to perpetuate the baking world and the world of food. The Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook is rather technical. I wanted it to feel like you were walking into the doors of our kitchen, it was your first day at work, and we were going to teach you everything.

I wanted a follow-up that felt more like you were baking and cooking with us at home. You're understanding how we create and bake the Compost Cookie, Crack Pie, and Cereal Milk all day every day, and where that spirit [comes from]: It comes from who we are, and how we live our lives, and what food means to us. That for me was the most important part of what Milk Bar Life is based upon and why it was important to write the book. You can have really fancy technique but also really pig out on Desperation Nachos when you come home after a day of crushing it: Approaching life with that sense of vigor, sense of humor, and ability to be a chameleon.

Speaking to the simplicity, to what extent was the home cook in mind as you were considering recipes?
It's a cookbook, so it's meant to be brought into another kitchen or another home, whether it's a professional kitchen or a person's home kitchen. I understand [this] from a marketing standpoint, but the thing I never understood from an author's voice standpoint is: when writing a cookbook, feeling like something is being dumbed down or edited in a way that undermines or tells less of the absolute, most personal part of a story.

" Hopefully it's a call to action in terms of inspiring people to get into the kitchen."

Most of these recipes are recipes from our homes. from our aunts, uncles, or our friends' homes. On that level, it's with the home cook in mind, but more than anything I want to share these recipes. It's meant to be a book that can be a cookbook, it can be a picture book, it can be a storybook. Hopefully it's a call to action in terms of inspiring people to get into the kitchen and have a really good time.

At no point is there this [question of], "Can a home cook really accomplish this?" That's not how we wrote Momofuku Milk Bar. That's not how we wrote Milk Bar Life. But because it's our off-the-clock story, it's absolutely full of one-bowl wonders and the simplicity of what you can put together with few ingredients. That, for us, is the beauty of cooking and creating food at home.

When did you decide that you were going to include savory recipes? Was that something you were at all nervous about?
No. We cook family meals for each other every day. A lot of our cooks have spent plenty of time in savory kitchens, savory restaurants, and we go home every night and cook, as well. I think that if you love food, you love everything about food. Just because we are working with 85 percent sweet things on a daily basis, I don't think you can love just one thing about food. I think part of our approach [is that] there has to be a sense of fearlessness. We're not a four-star restaurant, but our approach and our voice with savory food is very similar to our approach and our voice with sweets: We feel strongly about making things delicious, about coming up with really clever techniques.

It was really important to me to make a cookbook with savory and sweet recipes, not just sweet recipes. I thought, "We're going to get pigeonholed if we're not careful," to think all we know how to do is mix butter, sugar, flour, and salt. And that's so narrow-minded in terms of what our abilities are, both on the clock and off the clock. Savory and sweet recipes were always part of the plan: How you do anything is how you do everything. That is how we live our life.

Now that the book is almost on shelves, how are you feeling about it?
I just got the book, the actual book, in the mail two days ago. I can't believe it's real, looking through photos and pages that were so meaningful six months ago and eight months ago. It was a moment in time, and then reading your life on the pages — reading the voice and the stories of other people that mean so much to the story — all of a sudden, it comes rushing back to you. I'm just blown away. I'm so proud of the story we've told and how it came together, and just really excited. When you put yourself out there, there's always that moment of: "Are people going to get it?" Is it really going to come across the way you want it to come across, or feel the way you want it to feel, or be translated in the right way?

Broadly speaking, what do you wish there was more of or less of in dessert-focused cookbook writing these days?
I think the publishing world is hard because there's always a formula, more or less, to what a cookbook needs and has to be in order to be sold. But I think so many great great chefs are great chefs because they have their voice. They build a team that lives and breathes their mission. [I wish we could find] ways to get cookbooks to feel more personal and more like a look into people's worlds and less about the beautiful tiny things you want people to see, and more just, "Hey, this is what it is". Less about what people are going to think and more about the reality of what it means to work so hard in the food industry, to have a voice, and have a point of view.

" Most chefs are heady, we're neurotic, we're paranoid. It's hard to feel strong enough to want to open up."

And that's hard. Not every chef is a great writer and great at putting those things into words. Most chefs are heady, we're neurotic, we're paranoid. It's hard to feel strong enough to want to open up. Being humble is one of the most important things, and not being afraid to put yourself out there is important. I think really successful chefs put themselves out there on a daily basis. You can never fake authenticity, and I think the more authentic we can get — the stories, the recipes, the trajectory, and how you got to where you are, how this recipe got to where it is — the more of that, the better. Nothing replaces authenticity.

You didn't work with a co-author, which so many chefs do. What was that process like for you?
It's a lot of work, a disgusting amount of work. I could never really decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, and for a while I thought that maybe I wanted to be a writer. I've always loved to write, that form of expression. People started asking for recipes for the Compost Cookies and the Cereal Milk. [I was] at that crossroads of, "Should we write a cookbook for Milk Bar, or shouldn't we?" And I thought, "You know what? We absolutely should."

I went to write a proposal for the cookbook, and all of a sudden this proposal turned out to be almost the entire introduction of Momofuku Milk Bar, because I had all of this story bottled up in me. It was so personal. and I realized that we had to write this whole thing ourselves. Nobody else is close enough to it, and it's something that we're capable of. We're smart, do-it-ourselves women.

For Milk Bar Life we basically [did the] same sort of thing. I started to think about what we wanted to say. What is the proposal? What is this cookbook going to look like? Then the same cast of characters [ former Milk Bar chef Courtney McBroom to assist in writing and Lucky Peach's Peter Meehan to offer editorial guidance] came back together to tell the story, write the recipes, run through the editing process, run it through the gut check: Is this too ridiculous? Is it personal enough? Do we let people in enough? Do we let people in too much? There's no such thing. We spend way too much time writing and reading to each other and basically piecing it together, but I can't imagine it any other way, honestly. That's not to say that cookbook authors that bring in writers, or ghost writers, aren't doing it right. I think it's right for them, but for us, I just can't imagine telling so personal of a story to someone else to write it.

What makes a successful cookbook?
Authenticity. A really good balance of the story with great recipes, and recipes that aren't dumbed down. If I'm getting the Eleven Madison Park cookbook, my expectation is not that I can cook it at home. I want to feel like I'm part of the story when I read the Eleven Madison Park cookbook, which I do. I think that's a great cookbook, obviously.

" Reading a good book is like watching a great movie. You go there to escape. "

Don't shortchange the at-home reader. More and more people read cookbooks to learn and experience the fine-dining techniques or learn and experience techniques you use in a professional kitchen. I think that the cookbooks written by home cooks or chefs that don't necessarily have their own restaurant are always so great and popular because the recipes are developed in the home kitchen. But I think across the board, the more broad range of technique and situations we can get out of recipes, the better.

I love a good mixture of story, recipes, photos. We read to learn. We read to be transported. Reading a good book is like watching a great movie. You go there to escape. So those that are the most authentic in that way, that share the most, that open up the most, are always the most successful. I think that's the recipe to success when writing a good cookbook.


‘Chef’s Table’ star Christina Tosi on Milk Bar’s future, baking inspiration

With an arsenal of iconic desserts like crack pie and cereal milk soft serve, a seat among the judges on the reality TV show “MasterChef,” and a rapidly expanding chain of bakeries across the country and in Toronto, Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi is a baking and business powerhouse.

That’s why it came as no surprise when news broke in January that the latest season of “Chef’s Table,” a Netflix documentary series profiling the lives and passions of the top culinary talent across the world, would feature the New York City-based chef among its roster of pastry innovators.

In the first episode of the four-part, dessert-focused series, released Friday, the self-described “junk food junkie” guides viewers through a Virginia childhood defined by her grandmother and mother’s all-American baking, a post-college struggle to determine her life’s calling and a journey through culinary school and the kitchens of celebrated chefs Wylie Dufresne and David Change to refine her creative voice and establish her own food empire.

What comes across clearest through director David Gelb’s lens: her dedication to nostalgic American flavors and her dogged ambition to prove they’ve earned industry and public respect.

But as much as the show revealed to us about Tosi’s early years, the origins of her most familiar trend-setting treats and the inner workings of her Williamsburg commissary kitchen, we still had questions.

Read the batch of answers the compost cookie inventor and unfrosted cake evangelist, now 37, baked up for us below:

In the episode, you talk about how you didn’t have much of a social life outside of restaurants during the first 10 years of your career in New York City basement kitchens. You’re still really busy these days, so how do you balance your private life with all your work responsibilities? What’s a typical day in your life these days? Lead us through the morning through evening, if you can.

I thrive on being busy. I’ll go from a morning coffee meeting in the city, to an R&D tasting in our Williamsburg commissary, to a senior management meeting. It can be a lot, but I much prefer it to sitting still. I try to break up my day with 15-minute breathers — whether a Citibike ride to my next appointment, or a quick walk around the block during a phone meeting. Family and friends are still super important to me, too, so I make time in every week to see them. I’ll schedule early morning runs with my gals crazy enough to meet me before sunrise, dinner with friends pretty frequently (and use it as an excuse to check out the city’s new spots) and I try to block off my weekends for fam time.

When the lineup for this season of “Chef’s Table” was first announced, some were surprised and critical of the fact that you’re the only female pastry chef featured. How do you feel about it?

I’m excited to help pave the way for more amazing stories from amazing women to be told by talented teams — “Chef’s Table” and beyond.

The episode offers a rare, in-depth look at Milk Bar’s commissary kitchen in Williamsburg, where a lot of the magic happens. When you do take people on a tour, what surprises them most about the setup?

We rarely invite the outside world into our commissary, so this was a big deal for us. People entering for the first time are usually most surprised about the size. You can enter through our tiny Williamsburg storefront, under a counter and through a doorway, and suddenly you’re in a giant, 11,000-square-foot kitchen. The mixers are enormous — after all, we have a lot of cakes to make.

What qualities do you look for in employees you hire? Who makes the cut?

At Milk Bar, we hire what we call “hardbodies.” These are the people that have a sixth sense about them. A care, an edge, an independence and a work ethic. They work hard, but still have fun (and always break for cake).

In the episode, you talk about how chefs Wylie Dufresne and Dave Chang pushed you out of your comfort zone and forced you to get back in touch with your creative baking side when other tasks and responsibilities got in the way. Who plays that role in your life now?

My team first and foremost. It’s a gift you give, teaching others to be creative, then giving them the permission, the venue for that creativity. They keep me on my toes, keep me creative. My husband [restaurateur Will Guidara, a co-owner of Eleven Madison Park,] is one of the most creative people I know. I approach every day like an adventure — this builds in a sense of wonder and excitement that leads to creativity. My favorite unexpected part of the job is how many strangers and friends alike love having opinions and sharing ideas of what we should work on at Milk Bar next.

You obviously do a lot of research and testing before introducing a new item to the menu. How long does it typically take from the initial idea to the final product? How do you know when something is ready for the public?

It can take months. We workshop recipes endlessly. We tweak the flavor, texture, color, ratios, etc. We want to make sure that we are giving you the best possible version of a cookie or a layer cake or a cake truffle. We take flavor very, very seriously.

We’ve read that you were an applied mathematics major in college. How does that affect your baking and your creative process?

I studied math and Italian, and also graduated in three years. (I was so eager to get out into the real world.)

Math gives me an edge in the pastry kitchen because baking is so incredibly precise. That said, when it comes to innovation, I don’t always play by the rules. I studied math and a language because I’m curious about the world and how it works, and that same curiosity and inquisitive, playful spirit guides my baking.

Milk Bar is very diligent about trademarking its products. What’s the philosophy behind that and why do you think there are so many copycats out there?

We are super proud of the trends we’ve started — the return of soft serve, naked cakes (with unfrosted edges). We trademark our work to protect it. There will always be copycats that come and go, but they say imitation is the best form of flattery, right? I try not to get too worked up about it, but as a business, our work, our creativity, our recipes and their names are our identity and our value, so we have to be savvy about how we remain who we need to be for you .

What’s next for Milk Bar? What are your goals for the company over the next five years?


Christina Tosi's Net Worth And Her Sources Of Income

Christina Tosi's estimated net worth is around $1 million as per Celebrity Net Worth. Most part of her net worth is accumulated from her career as a chef, author, and television personality.

The 37-year-old who started her career as a Chef at Bouley and wd

50 in New York is the owner, founder, and Chef of Momofuku Milk Bar since 2008. Momofuku Milk Bar, which is the sister bakery of the Momofuku restaurant group, has nine retail outlets including in New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto, Canada.

CAPTION: The owner, founder, and chef of Momofuku Milk Bar since 2008, Christina Tosi has an estimated net worth of $1 million SOURCE: Refinery29

She was the judge in the cooking show, MasterChef for three seasons from 2015 to 2017 alongside co-judge Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay who has estimated net worth is $160 million has estimated salary of $225,000 per episode in the show. As a judge herself, Tosi also earned a salary around the same range.

Also, she is the judge of MasterChef Junior since 2015. Tosi was featured in Netflix's, Chef's Table: Pastry in April 2018.

Besides, Tosi has endorsed several brands and performed in a television ad for automobile company Subaru in 2014. In addition, she is marketing her cookie mixes in consumer retail company Williams-Sonoma stores.

Tosi is an author of cookbooks, Momofuku Milk Bar published in October 2011 and Milk Bar Life: Recipes & Stories published in April 2015. The hardcover of the books is available on Amazon for $28.18 and $29.08 respectively.


An airy, white-walled bakery drawing on Greek cuisine, Pi makes almost everything from scratch, including boxes of assorted Mediterranean cookies. Nibble on the shortbread confections to forget about the tourist mobs and Holland Tunnel traffic just outside the door.

This stylish Soho bakery has expanded since opening in 2014 to encompass a cafe with a full kitchen and event space. But the most passionate fans are here for the cookies — especially the nutty chocolate chip variety, chock full of macadamias, almonds, and walnuts — which pull off the hat trick of being beautifully browned and crusty while still moist and melty. They can also be turned into an ice cream sandwich. There are additional locations across the city.


Watch the video: Setting Yourself Up for Success: Ingredients and Equipment (January 2022).