Christina Tosi named rising star chef by Beards
Christina Tosi, of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York, poses with her Rising Star Chef of the Year medal during the James Beard Foundation Awards, Monday, May 7, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
NEW YORK (AP) — Compost, "crack" and something called cereal milk — unlikely ingredients that have propelled Christina Tosi to the head of her culinary class.
The protege and dessert maven of uber chef-of-the-moment David Chang was named rising star chef of the year on Monday by the James Beard Foundation, an honor earned largely by her knack for crafting unusual sweet treats — including soft serve ice cream made from milk flavored by breakfast cereal — and the almost fanatical following they have generated.
Chef Jacques Pepin arrives for the James Beard Foundation Awards, Monday, May 7, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
But garnering one of the so-called Oscars of the food world — one of more than 20 awarded Monday — didn't change Tosi's sense of the simplicity of what she does.
"For me, it's just about creating things that we feel really attached to," Tosi said during the 25th annual Beard Foundation awards. "The style that we do it is finding a flavor, a texture that we feel attached to and giving it back in a way that we think is cute or playful or approachable and at the end of it of course it's delicious and you want to come back for it.
Chef Wolfgang Puck arrives for the James Beard Foundation Awards, Monday, May 7, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
"And that's where we begin and we end with it," she said."
Tosi oversees desserts, breads and ice cream for Chang's Momofuku restaurant group, and is best known as the woman behind his Momofuku Milk Bar. That's where you can find her so-called compost cookies, oversized treats rich with coffee grounds, potato chips and pretzels, and her sticky-salty-sweet "crack pie," which is as addictive as its name implies.