James Beard Awards: Christina Tosi Wins Rising Star

  • By Lindsey Antis
Chefs from all over country hung up their white coats last night and got all dressed up for the biggest night in food, The James Beard Awards.

Christina Tosi, the surprise winner of the Rising Star Chef award, spoke with The Chew about getting ready for the red-carpet event at Lincoln Center and her plans for the future.

"You're like, 'I don't even know if I remember how to put on eyeliner,'" she said. "There was this one tube of lipstick going around the kitchen, everyone's like 'I don't know, I'm not ready!' But it's nice to get dressed up."

This was the first James Beard Award for Tosi, a pastry chef.  The Rising Star Chef category was dominated by savory chefs and the win came as a huge surprise to her.

"I'm just in shock.  For so many reasons I didn't think that I would win, there's such a wealth of talent here."

Tosi said she's excited and inspired by many of the chefs who were nominated, including Daniel Bowien.

"I have a huge affinity for Danny Bowien, from Mission Chinese in San Francisco.  I feel like his passion towards what he does and his vision of bringing Chinese cuisine forward in this way - so clever and creative and playful and he's so passionate about it - and looking at something old and creating something new.  I just somehow relate to that in terms of what we do in a kitchen, in a totally sweet world but just in that same sort of way."

This tasty playfulness has fueled thoughts of a new cookbook, where she plans to expand beyond recipes from the restaurant.

"We've been talking about wanting to write another cookbook…There's so much more food that travels out of Milk Bar that isn't just the compost cookie and the cereal milk and we've been talking about doing something that highlights that."

Some of these new desserts might make it to the Momofuku menu, though the new dishes might be a tough sell for Tosi's die hard fans.

"The tricky thing is you can't take certain things off the menu so it's sort of about finding clever ways to create new things without upsetting the cereal milk fans or the crack pie fans."

For a full list of the winners click here.


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