If you’re anything like me, you believe that everything that comes out of Momofuku Milk Bar’s kitchen is the product of magical genius elves. The creativity–or, rather, the sheer ballsiness–of the food they make is pretty much unparalleled, and now even culinary civilians have the opportunity to see how the magic happens at one of Milk Bar’s baking classes.
Held in Milk Bar’s production kitchen in Williamsburg and taught by its chef and founder Christina Tosi herself, it felt like I’d won the golden ticket to Tosi’s factory of pure imagination even before the samples of grapefruit pie, cereal-milk-ice-cream pie, 17 cookies, pie crust, cornflake crunch and a beer to boot make the price tag seem worth it. (Classes are $75-95 each.)
The classes are all based on Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, which came out in 2011. Each class covers a chapter in the book; the first few months covered the basics (Cereal Milk, the Crunch and the Crumb). This month, before a summer hiatus, they’re tackling cakes.
I asked Tosi why she decided to start doing classes now–after all, though it totally makes sense from our point of view, it’s a big undertaking. “We wanted to kick off 2013 with something that would excite us behind the scenes at Milk Bar,” she says, “so we decided to open up our kitchen to you and invite you in to share in our daily, passionate grind–making desserts.”
The Crunch class I attended was the second class that Tosi and her team did, and their enthusiasm for the project was palpable. Each table was attended to by Milk Bar employees, whose cheerleading made everyone feel like they were legit bakers. Wearing our Tosi-approved headscarves (handmade by her mom), we mixed up a batch of Cornflake Crunch (used in a huge batch of cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookies baked in the Milk Bar ovens) and a saltine pie crust (which later came in handy for a chocolate-peanut butter mousse pie).
Asked to describe the classes, Tosi said, “We are who we are. And you get it all at our classes, from the prep tables we assemble layer cakes on to the butter we cream for 10 minutes to make a compost cookie to our bad-but-still-funny jokes to our morning stretches.”
Tosi and her team make working at the Milk Bar look like the most fun you could possibly have at work–short of quitting your job for the hardbody lifestyle, hanging with the crew for a couple of hours is the next best thing.
There are three classes left on June 4, 6, and 11 before Tosi takes a teaching hiatus for the summer.