Q&A with Chef Christina Tosi
We're ecstatic to partner with Chef Christina Tosi, founder and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar, in this month's My Dream Restaurant themed box. A huge congrats to Chef Christina on her recent recognition by Fortune and Food & Wine as one of the most innovative women in the food and drink world. Learn why Chef Christina became a chef, what inspires her daily, and why it's important to challenge the rules in this heart-felt, inspiring and entertaining Q&A!
On becoming a chef:
Q. Did you always want to be a chef?
A. I was an infamously picky eater as a child, but also had an infamously sweet tooth-- all I wanted was dessert for every meal of the day. My mother stopped allowing me to only eat dessert so I stepped into the kitchen to teach myself my favorite desserts. I loved it so much, I decided to go to culinary school and make it my profession!
Q. What were your favorite foods to cook and eat as a kid?
A. I loved and still love a classic chocolate chip cookie and mac & cheese. If you count a bowl of cereal and the milk that follows, as well, that was a standard for me and still is today!
Q. What was your first job in the restaurant industry?
A. I worked as a hostess in a restaurant, and though I loved learning the ins and outs of service, all I wanted was to work in the kitchen with the smelly boys!
On working in a restaurant:
Q. What is the hardest thing about working in a bakery?
A. The hours! You're working when everyone else is out enjoying what you've baked. It's a real labor of love, and the reality of the industry-- late nights, weekends and holidays mean you're working when everyone is out playing!
Q. What are important qualities for your team to have?
A. We are young at heart. We are bakers, pastry chefs, writers, photographers, painters, musicians, artists, and passionate individuals. The Milk Bar team inspires me daily. I could never do it alone. Our team comes from all walks of life. We love individuality and diversity. We’re up for anything, and never more than 5 seconds away from cracking a joke. We love food, we love to create. We have a family in one another, we challenge and push each other daily to be better than the day before. I am who I am and Milk Bar is what it is because of our undying sense of team and the individual players that make it happen each and every day.
Q. What is the key to success at Milk Bar?
A. Challenging the rules is vital. This translates not only to valuing staff (pushing to pay staff as much as possible, providing benefits to all staff, providing real room for growth) but every other aspect-- food, style of service, etc, as well.
Get Chef Christina's recipe and more in our September box, My Dream Restaurant. Order yours today!
Photo credit: Nicole Franzen
Raddish is a cooking club for kids! Created with a mission of bringing families together in the kitchen and at the table, our monthly thematic cooking kits take the guesswork out of cooking with kids while creating delicious kitchen memories along the way. Raddish is designed by a team of educators and chefs who believe the kitchen classroom is the tastiest place to learn. Join our membership today!