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Chef Diaries: Christina Tosi

An Instagram Takeover from the Sweet-Toothed Founder of Momofuku Milk Bar

With five New York Milk Bars to attend to, the recent unveiling of her first Canadian outpost in Toronto, and the announcement of a second cookbook, Milk Bar Life, Christina Tosi has enjoyed a sugar-coated summer. Captured in Chef Diaries, NOWNESS’ week-long Instagram series, the founder of the beloved line of imaginative bakeries—the sister branch of David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants—is joined by her (almost) all-female gang of infamous ‘hardbodies.’ “It’s someone who goes above and beyond,” explains Tosi of the tight-knit food community behind such creations as Grasshopper Pie: part brownie and mint desert, covered in chocolate chips, marshmallows and liquid mint cheesecake. “A Milk Bar hardbody possesses the ability to adapt, revise and throw down for the greater team at any moment, by riding collective adrenaline in overdrive,” adds Executive Sous Chef Jena Derman, recipient of the first ever Milk Bar Hardbody Award. “While smiling the whole time!”

Three Endless Summer Creations From the Milk Bar Staff

Christina Tosi, Head Chef: Lemon Cream Pie Soft Serve, Chocolate Chip Passion Fruit Cake Truffles and the Black Sesame Tristar Cotija Bread.

Jena Derman, Executive Sous Chef: My all-time favorite soft-serve flavors, in no particular order are Purple Lemonade, Kaffir Lime Caramel, Blueberry Miso.

Zoe Kanan, Special Events Manager:
The Pea-Nut Soft Serve we had at our East Village location in early summer. It was based on a Pea Soft Serve recipe we did for Momofuku Noodle Bar a few years ago, layered with the addition of almond butter. A new classic. Strawberry Milk, classing it up with local strawberries (Tristar from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm) and Creamline organic milk. And the Thanksgiving Croissant.

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    Lucky Peach x Thickness

    McSweeney's’ Fetishized Gastronomy Journal Gets Intimate with the Erotic Comic Book Collective

    “A lot of indie cartoonists were playing with tropes in comics but it was always horror or cyberpunk or Dungeons & Dragons; it felt like porn wasn’t something that most were checking out,” says Ryan Sands, co-founder of comic anthology Thickness, who alongside artist Michael Deforge curates this graphic panorama of sexual desire. “For this installment, Michael and I approached our stable of contributors and asked them to turn their gaze and brushes to the fraught intersection of food and sex.” The fetishistic depictions are featured in this preview of the eighth issue of food quarterly, Lucky Peach. Founded by Momofuku’s David Chang and cookbook author Peter Meehan, it is published by the San Francisco-based literary powerhouse, McSweeney’s, obsessing on a single theme for each issue, in this case, gender. “Our goal was to present a blur of quick takes on the theme across sexual proclivities with some of our favorite cartoonists,” explains Sands, who gathered artists including Jonny Negron, Angie Wang and Brandon Graham to create the daring series, supporting new talent with his publishing house, Youth in Decline. “We’re interested in the off-kilter stuff. I like to try and not think of Lucky Peach as a food publication when I can,” adds Walter Green, the magazine’s Art Director. “Ideally, it is a place where illustrators feel like they can experiment. My dream is to eventually do an issue where we do not commission any drawings of food.”

    Lucky Peach, the Gender issue is published on September 10.

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    Riding Shotgun with Roy Choi

    The Maverick Chef Takes NOWNESS on an Odyssey Around His Food Truck Empire

    Flamboyant Korean-American chef Roy Choi ruminates on his holistic ideals of feeding both belly and soul in filmmaker Alison Chernick’s philosophical portrait. Choi burst onto the LA culinary scene in 2009 with a fleet of Kogi food trucks, a pulsating twitter account, and a high visibility blog, Riding Shotgun, which showcases the cook’s inspirations and new recipes alongside personal musings. Fusing the flavors of Korean BBQ with Mexican street food in such creations as the kimchi quesadilla and short rib tacos, Choi delivers his epicurean inventions to an estimated 10,000 Angelenos every day, satiating more appetites than any other chef in America. Food & Wine magazine called him Best New Chef in 2010—the first for a food truck in the award’s 22-year history—and feted as the iconoclast who sparked LA’s mobile street food revolution, Choi has expanded his empire to restaurants, including Chego, A-frame and Sunny Spot. “His motivations seem purely to want to feed his friends—cashing in doesn't seem to be on his radar and you can taste that,” says Chernick, who spent a day riding around with Choi visiting his multiple outposts and discussing plant communication and being kind to chickens.

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