The Sydney International Food Festival runs throughout October and there are special foodie experiences to be enjoyed throughout the city. The program includes everything from fine dining meal specials at top restaurants with international guest chefs to night noodle markets and breakfast at Bondi Beach. Whether you are a visitor from out of town enjoying the sights or a local getting out and about, the festival is a fun way to see and enjoy Sydney. And Sydney is at its Harbour sparkling best in spring.
One of the Festival’s special guests this year is Christina Tosi from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York. I went to see her talk about Milk Bar at one of the World Chef Showcase sessions. The baker in me was so inspired and excited to see her. It was amazing to hear someone proudly proclaim their love of sugar, and laugh about often preferring doughs and batters to the finished products. The great inspiration was the story of someone who has been able to turn her philosophy of having fun and not taking herself too seriously, along with a serious sweet tooth, into a successful business. This ‘fun philosophy’ (along with a nod to American food traditions) is the starting point of her recipe ideas and the heart of the success of Milk Bar.
Christina Tosi is particularly known for her cereal milk, compost cookies and crack pie, all of which are featured in her new cookbook: Momofuku Milk Bar. We tasted a compost cookie during the session and it was lovely – great crunch with a delicious tang from the coarse ground coffee bits. However, my three picks from the book are the pistachio cake, chocolate chocolate cookies, and the cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookies.
Milk Bar also bakes savoury treats, which also have their own unique twist – think unexpected fillings, savoury butters in croissants, etc. Some of these are meals in their own right.
Christina is currently developing new recipes focusing on gluten-free, sugar-free and other bakery options to meet a broader range of dietary preferences. I am looking forward to her new ideas, but in the meantime, I will enjoy the inspiration that she shared at the food festival and the recipes in her wonderful cookbook.