Interview by Nina Elder
Edited by Maddie Donnelly
When Anderson Cooper revealed on national television that both he and his mother were addicted to "crack," no one tried to haul him off to rehab. That's because he was talking about Crack Pie, Momofuku Milk Bar pastry chef Christina Tosi's most buzzed-about dish. The curious concoction-along with others like Cereal Milk Ice Cream, Birthday Cake Truffles, and Compost Cookies-has devotees rushing to the New York City hotspot for their fixes. But as it turns out, the ingredients Tosi uses to whip up her creations, like coffee grounds, marshmallows, and potato chips, can be found in the average American's kitchen. Bon Appétit sat down with Tosi and got the inside scoop on her inspiration, and what it takes to create a dish like Crack Pie.
And if you're curious to try it, click here. The $44 pie is now available for delivery nationwide.
Before the 28-year-old made a name for herself at Momofuku, she was just a little girl in Virginia eating Doritos sandwiches with Miracle Whip and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese mixed together with SpaghettiOs. "(Growing up), I had a different perspective on food," she says. "I knew my combinations, and I knew what I liked. My mom let me eat cookie dough (when she made it)-until it got out of hand," she adds. "That's when I decided that I needed to figure out how to make it myself."
Her Big Break
Tosi worked in two other New York restaurants before landing her job as a pastry chef at David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar and Ssäm Bar. The match was one made in culinary heaven. David Chang himself, a famed innovator and rule-breaker, quickly saw promise in her unusual recipes and tapped her to run his other venture, the delectable Milk Bar. Today, her recipes are served at all six Momofuku locations.
Getting started at Milk Bar, Tosi opted out of scouring the world for the finest stone-ground chocolate like many pastry chefs often do. Rather, Tosi looked to the city's bodegas for inspiration, and used ingredients like dried milk powder and oats to create her masterpieces.
How to Create Dishes Like Crack Pie
Believe it or not, Tosi cites limitations as the key to her success: "Restrictions help with creativity. You have to learn to make something out of nothing. How creative can you get?"
Try challenging yourself to create something new with household ingredients, or click here to get Tosi's Crack Pie Recipe.
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Interview by Nina Elder