Milk Bar Life

Milk Bar Life

Recipes & Stories

Book - 2015
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Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar bakes one-bowl treats, grills with skills, and embraces simple, nostalgic--and often savory--recipes made from supermarket ingredients.
Publisher: New York : Clarkson Potter/Publishers, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780770435103
Branch Call Number: 641.86 TOSI
Characteristics: 256 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm


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ksoles Apr 10, 2015

As in novels, a cookbook sequel often misses the mark, flailing to come up with material not included in the original. Indeed, "Momofuku Milk Bar" covered the gamut of bakery recipes but, though Christina Tosi had a voice in its text, she didn't steal the show. "Milk Bar Life," on the other hand, makes Tosi the star. The new book presents as a strange but funny, lush and utterly readable cookbook that serves as a roadmap not to the bakery empire she runs, but to Tosi herself.

Of course, recipes mostly fill the pages of "Milk Bar Life" but the heart of the book belongs to Tosi's crew, the people with whom she spends her time and who populate the photos, headnotes and sidebars. They crowd together in the sand toasting marshmallows over a bonfire or bundle up in scarves on a snowy rooftop pouring whiskey from a flask into mugs of coffee. The food basically exists to serve these relationships, which unfortunately does it a great disservice. Tosi divides the book haphazardly into thematic chapters: family recipes, recipes from the bakery, bizarre late-night home cooking and main course recipes culled from her chef friends. She devotes a full third of the book to entertaining at beach cookouts, BBQs and even slumber parties.

More breezy than clear, the recipes require some kitchen experience to turn out. But such an array of wacky, cockeyed dishes makes the book worth perusing cover to cover. Pickled strawberry jam, honey-butter kale and icebox cake with jelly and Ritz crackers grace its pages, making it clear that Tosi possesses genuine creativity and exuberance.

Those looking for a bona fide baking book will want to take a pass on "Milk Bar Life." But Tosi ultimately brings readers into the shared history of a friend group and charmingly reveals the language that shapes her relationship with Milk Bar characters.


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