This week on VICE’s Munchies Christina Tosi, the culinary genius behind New York’s Momofuku Milkbar, hit the road with the “wonder women” who operate behind the scenes of one of the city’s most recognisable names in dining. We spoke exclusively to Christina about the new episode, road tripping with the ladies in the name of food and being a woman in a man’s industry…
Portable: How did you come to be involved with VICE and Munchies?
Christina Tosi: We’ve been adoring fans of both VICE and Munchies since Dave’s episode nearly 4 years ago.
P: Why did you decide to work with VICE? Where are the parallels between your work and what VICE does?
Christina Tosi: VICE has a great casual approach to life and a sense of humor and wonder that are very much what makes milk bar tick and tock.
P: Tell us about the Momofuku road trip for Munchies. How did you come up with this idea?
Christina Tosi: We wanted to create our ideal deal off. A great deal of our our approach to life hasn’t changed since we were 15 years old, so it was only fitting to hit up our favorite spots to keep it real and fresh and young (we are nearing our 30s if not already well into them). DQ seemed like an obvious, I’m always SO entranced with their model, and the straightforward approach: here are your salty fries, here’s your sweet, sweet, blizzard. Fun and games on the beach never gets old, and putt putt golf and an old fashioned tail gate just seems like the perfect way to end a day with your besties.
P: Have you ever made a video like this before?
Christina Tosi: Nope.
P: What did you learn on the road?
Christina Tosi: You can squeeze a hell of a lot of fun into a day before the sun goes down.
P: What’s it like being a woman in the restaurant business? And as a chef? This is overwhelmingly a man’s world (but then, which world isn’t, right?)?
Christina Tosi: I realize I’m a girl, but I don’t really let that be my crutch and never have. I’m a hard worker, so I always kept my head down and drove my way to the top, whether in a room full of ladies or a kitchen full of men.
P: How do you see food culture changing with the advent of online/new technology? Is there pressure for you to stay “relevant” in the web sphere, or are people still happy to keep their dining experience separate from this?
Christina Tosi: I think there are so many ways to approach adaptation to the world around us changing- it’s almost as though you’re exhausted before you even try to begin keeping up. We just focus on staying true to us and who we are, that’s what got us here and hopefully that’s what will keep what we do special, honest and legit.
P: If we could only try one thing on the menu at Momofuku Milk Bar, what would that be?
Christina Tosi: Cereal milk soft serve with cornflake crunch. It still gets me every time.