But since then I have maintained my composure when in the presence of people that I consider to be famous. Which is good because I was in the presence of two such women recently when I attended Science and Food presents The Science of Pie lecture with Chef Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar and Chef Zoe Nathan of Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry, Milo & Olive and Sweet Rose Creamery.
After the judging, Chefs Tosi and Nathan shared their approaches to baking during the lecture. It was interesting to hear how different their styles and ideals for producing the best baked goods are. Even with almost opposite approaches, they both put out stellar products in my opinion. Tosi's thinking is that everyone already has their own favorite version of the classics like chocolate chip cookies and apple pie, so she doesn't want to compete. Her recipes push confections to the limit to give people something they've never experienced before, as exampled by her compost cookies (which they were handing out for free) that include everything from cereal to pretzels to coffee grounds. Chef Nathan takes a much simpler approach. Her opinion is that the reason the classics have been around for so long is because that's what people want, and it's what they crave again and again. She bakes traditionally and with very few ingredients.
I liked that they both emphasized the importance of salt in sweet items. So many cakes and cookies out there are just sugar bombs. You really need that healthy pinch of salt to enhance the other flavors in the item. I also loved when Chef Tosi said to "question everything". Even though my personal cooking style is much more on the simple side, like Nathan's, Tosi called us to question why we use certain ingredients in dishes and implement certain techniques. Is there another way it can be done better? Never stop asking yourself "why"?