If there was a queen when it came to all things sweet, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar would no doubt be her. It’s rare you get to chat with the baker (who’s as unbelievably sweet as the treats she thinks up) about everything from how sweet is too sweet, what ingredients are overrated, to why/if it’s hard for women to get recognition in the culinary industry.
Tosi herself is a living testament to it not being hard (for one woman at least), and to the idea that things like food, fashion and health are not mutually exclusive. Her recent Karlie’s Kookie’s collaboration with model Karlie Kloss was as much of a success as the slew of addictive baked goods you can get at MMB (which we more commonly refer to as crack). We even got the coveted birthday cake truffle recipe for you. Is there anything more you could want this Thursday morning? We think not.
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Strong Coffee and a pastry (or a warm chocolate chip cookie). A burger and a watermelon juice from El Mago de las Fritas in Miami. Cocktails at The NoMad in New York. Butter chicken at Angar in Abu Dhabi, followed by late night nachos from The Commodore in Brooklyn.
As someone that works around sweets all day, how do you manage to stay healthy and be balanced?
It’s all about being as active in a day as the food you fuel yourself with. If I eat a ton of cookies in a day, I’m definitely on my feet bouncing around; I may even sweat it out on a run. I”ll also try and make a point to eat something green at some point in the day…
In terms of baking, what ingredients are overrated?
I love creating with limitations. I’m a butter, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chip kind of gal. I don’t really prescribe to the school of bacon in my baked goods, or the fancier, high-end products. I think it is more rewarding to create something new out of basics.
Is there such a thing as too sweet?
That’s a tough one! I’d say there is such a thing as something being out of balance on the sweet scale. I don’t do sweet for sweet. Sugar, like salt and acid, is all about how it balances in a perfect bite.
How do you always start your day on a good note?
I love to listen to music when I brush my teeth and pick out my outfit for the day. I hit the pavement and walk or skip my dogs to work, with the promise of a strong cup of coffee not too far off!
Do you have morning and nightly beauty routines? What are they?
My routine is pretty simple, not very fussy. I think of my skin as always being thirsty, so I’m a big moisturizer. I always wear sunscreen, too. I have super straight hair naturally, so I wash my hair at night and sleep with it wet so it gains a little volume and wave while I sleep.
Your favorite Milk Bar go-to right now…
I eat something different every day to keep me on my toes and keep my snacking interesting and intentional. They’re all my babies, but I’m pretty smitten with the grasshopper pie these days!
As a kid growing up, did you always prefer sweet to salty?
YES! I don’t think I got into the sweet/salty game until I was a teenager!
What were you favorite sweets as a kid?
Sugar Babies warm out of my mom’s purse on a hot summer day.
Were there recipes your Mom used to cook that you reinvented or make now?
Gooey Butter Cake was my mother’s go-to. The crack pie is largely based on it!