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Christina Tosi on Milk Bar and ‘MasterChef Junior’

Larry King NowMar 06 '17

’MasterChef Junior’ judge & Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi discusses making kids cry on the competition series, & how often they outcook the adult ‘MasterChef’ contestants. Plus, the dessert doyenne talks her expanding empire & treats Larry to a tasting.

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The King interviews the queen of desserts, Christina Tosi. A two-time winner of the James Beard award, Tosi is the chef, founder, and owner of Milk Bar, which has 11 locations across the United States and Canada. She is also a judge alongside Gordon Ramsay on ‘MasterChef’ and ‘MasterChef Junior,’ an amateur home cooking competition for 8-13 year olds. Tosi describes how the kids prove their capability as chefs, and how she thinks kids are currently quite sheltered, but can grow and develop under mentorship. A balance to the firm Gordon Ramsay, Tosi describes her childhood cooking with her mother and grandmother. A double-major in Math and Italian in college, Tosi wanted a job she could do every day and not get sick of: to “make cookies.”

Larry then samples some of these cookies, along with birthday cake, birthday truffles, and crack pie from Milk Bar. Tosi introduces the desserts and their inspirations, and joins Larry in eating. She describes Milk Bar as a “modern-day take on a Dairy Queen with some baked goods folded in.” Larry savors the sweets, which he says feel “familiar but…brand new.” He comments on the sugar content, and asks how Milk Bar is dealing with the backlash against sugar. Tosi mentions that they have sugar-free and dairy-free items, but that she also believes that indulgence is an important part of a balanced life.

This balance is further explored by Larry when he asks Tosi if there are certain desserts for certain meals. He gives an example of steak, and she suggests desserts with chocolate and caramel. For vegetarian meals, she recommends a corn cookie that Larry eats and enjoys. The conversation then shifts from treats to Trump, when Larry asks for her take on Trump’s immigration policies, especially since many restaurants are staffed by immigrants. Tosi acknowledges there is currently a lot of fear in the industry, and talks about how restauranteurs should make their teams feel safe and help staff get green cards.