After reviewing the advanced reader version, you better believe I’ll be picking up a final copy for my kitchen. Without a doubt, Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar is exactly what a good cookbook should be—illuminative, engaging, and filled with gorgeous, addictive desserts.
Following a terrific foreword by David Chang, author Tosi introduces herself and shares how Momofuku Milk Bar came to be. We learn how it evolved from a tiny spot—a prep table and a downstairs freezer—into a thriving entity in its own space. The origin story is entertaining on its own, but add the next section, which includes Tosi’s ‘hardbody’ tricks and tips, and you’ve got a stellar introduction to an outstanding menu of to-die-for treats.
And let me tell you, you won’t find three or four tempting recipes in these pages, you will marvel at the wonderland of options. Just glancing over the signature dishes (Crack Pie, Cereal Milk, Compost Cookies, Candy Bar Pie…) is enough to drive me to fire up the ovens. These dishes are so much more than the sum of their parts.
Tosi hasn’t just listed recipes, she narrates them. It’s as if the master chef is at your side, guiding you through preparation of all the dishes. And she does it in a way that’s manageable for all levels of cooks. Many shortcut substitute measurements and ingredients are listed beside the more complicated counterparts—you can measure by gram or by the familiar volume. (On a side note, now I finally grasp why creaming the sugar and butter is so critical to a perfect cookie texture.)
The narrative flavor speaks to one of the best qualities of the cookbook—it’s so incredibly versatile. Tosi doesn’t just give rigid instructions for discrete fare. She provides interchangeable building blocks of flavor and texture—so many crumbs, crusts, crunches, and curds(!) I can use in my own mad scientist sweet tooth lab. After reading the cookbook and trying a few things out, I felt confident about the foundational elements and techniques. Now I can combine them to suit my own taste.
Mmmmm….I’m giving this book a permanent place on my kitchen shelf. Tosi calls her work a labor of love. I call it scrumptiously brilliant.
Hungry for more? Try this L.A. Times rendition of Crack Pie.