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The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry: Lee Tran Lam quizzes chefs, critics, bar staff and other people from the world of food about their career highlights and lowlights, war stories and favourite places to eat and drink in Sydney.

Christina Tosi - Momofuku Milk Bar

Apr 4, 2013

Christina Tosi is a James Beard Rising Star Chef and the creative force behind the popular Momofuku Milk Bar bakeries in New York. But she's taken an unusual path to get to this point. She studied electrical engineering and, even when she ended up in the kitchen of the award-winning WD-50 (as a pastry chef, not an engineer!), she chose to take an unexpected next step: working as a cashier and resolving unsexy problems – such as unclogging toilets – at the newly started Momofuku. In fact, it was a boring paperwork problem that sparked her creative collaboration with Momofuku's David Chang. She went on to challenge his belief that "dessert is for wusses" and continues to prove to be the exception "to any assumption you make". We talk about her career; her famous creations, such as "crack pie" (it's "the dare of all dares to just have one slice and just walk away") and Australia's connection to it; the local flavours she fell in love with during her trip here, and much more.

Thanks to Bloomsbury (publisher of Christina's book, "Momofuku Milk Bar") and Crave Sydney International Food Festival for making this interview possible. It was recorded (in a crowded props room during my lunch hour – very glamorous!) while Christina was in Sydney as a festival guest last year.