Crack has made its way from Brooklyn to Canada over the years. Christina Tosi and the team at Momofuku are making sure an addictive namesake crosses the border, too -- and no authority is giving them a hard time. The Crack Pie, which is a sugar high, has become one of New York's most celebrated dessert items. It is among the habit-forming treats available at the newly opened Momofuku Milk Bar in Toronto.
Tosi's desserts focus on flavours combined with textures and are inspired by the beauty of simple ingredients such as milk, butter, and vanilla. Her recipes are homages to heartfelt memories of times spent baking in her family's kitchen, where she also developed a wicked sweet tooth by devouring as much cookie dough as possible.
Tosi, the Momofuku pastry chef, was in town on the weekend for the launch of the Milk Bar, which joins three restaurants in the 6,600-square-foot space adjacent to the Shangri-la Hotel. Momofuku is the brainchild of David Chang, whose Korean-fusion cuisine landed his New York flagship eatery, Ssam Bar, on the World's 50 Best Restaurants List from 2009-12. With Milk Bar, Momofuku adds a delectable dessert component that has satiated thousands of strung-out fans in the United States.
See Where Momofuku Rank Among the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada
All of the desserts are made at the Momofuku Milk Bar bakery in Brooklyn and shipped the same day across the border. Maintaining the consistency of the product is why the goods are made in New York, Tosi told me on Saturday during an opening party for the Toronto Milk Bar. "We wanted to ensure that everything tasted the same and looked the same. That people have the same experience here that they expect when they go to the Milk Bar in New York," she said.
During college Tosi studied electrical engineering, switched to applied math, majored in Italian all the while working part-time in a restaurant. Turns out it was in the kitchen where she was happiest. So soon after graduating she enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in New York. She worked for the respected WD50 chef Wylie Dufresne, who in turn introduced her to his friend, Chang. The innovative chef hired her as his facility manager eight years ago. She settled into a routine: office job by day then home to her tiny kitchen to bake at night. "It grew from that," Tosi said of her relationship with Momofuku.
Chang was so impressed with the home-baked goods she would bring into work each day that he pushed her into creating a desserts program for the menu at Momofuku, whose name is Korean for "lucky peach."
She was the winner of the 2012 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award and has turned Milk Bar into one of the trendiest dessert stops in Manhattan. Her first international outpost in Toronto figures to add to her busy work schedule. Thousands of people came out last Friday to get their fix on Milk Bar's first day.
Story by Julia Pelish
Vacay.ca Visuals Editor
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