My Holiday Tradition: Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi on Crack Pie, Hugh Grant, and V-Day vs. D-Day

Blair Pfander

HOLIDAY-TRADITION_VDAY-2As founder of Momofuku Milk Bar, pastry chef Christina Tosi is the lady to see about whipping up something sweet for your Valentine.
Actually, make that thirty-five valentines: This year, Tosi is celebrating the amorous holiday with a classroom of bakers-to-be. After all, who wouldn’t swoon for her signature “Crack Pie,” a salty-sweet confection of brown sugar filling and crispy cookie crust, or her nostalgic “Cereal Milk” ice-cream (made from milk soaked with cornflakes)?
Here, she discusses her Milk Bar cooking class debut, hand-written Valentine’s Day cards and a penchant for Hugh Grant movies.
“I’m not a pro or an anti Valentine’s Day gal,” says Tosi. “I never really bought into it one way or another—it’s easier to just embrace every day with the same zest and enthusiasm, no?”
Certainly, ample enthusiasm is required to get through Valentine’s Day as a sought-after NYC pastry chef. “We get a ton of Valentine’s Day orders, so the week leading up to V-Day ends up being more like D-Day,” Tosi explains. “But it’s a pretty sweet deal to get to see how much love gets sent all over the country in the form of compost cookies, chocolate malt cake truffles, and heart dusted crack pies! I think my one routine is that my step dad always sends flowers to all the guys and  gals at the commissary, and my mom still sends me a hand-written Valentine. This Valentine’s Day, I’ll be baking—with 35 other lovely people! We decided to host our maiden Milk Bar baking class on February 14 for lonely hearts and those well spoken for. Cereal milk and crack pie—a new Valentine’s Day tradition!”
As for everyday romantic preferences, Tosi admits to being “a big dinner and a long walk home gal. I’m as happy at Caracas as I am at Eleven Madison Park [New York City restaurants]. It’s about the company and the conversation, and the hand-holding, and the long walk home.” When it comes to logging Valentine’s time on the couch, Tosi opts for Katherine Hepburn’s Desk Set—”a true rom-com, featuring one sharp, well-dressed broad!”—or, when she’s in “a Hugh Grant mood,” nothing hits the spot like a little Notting Hill.