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James Beard Awards: Momofuku chef honored

May 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The chef of New York City's Momofuku Milk Bar was honored by the James Beard Foundation on Monday night.

Christina Tosi was named the rising star chef of the year. The awards are considered the Oscars of the food world, honoring the best of the best.

Tosi oversees desserts, breads and ice cream for Chang's Momofuku restaurant group, but she's best known as the woman behind the Momofuku Milk Bar. That's where you can find her so-called compost cookies, oversized treats rich with coffee grounds, potato chips and pretzels, and her sticky-salty-sweet "crack pie," which is as addictive as its name implies.

"For me, it's just about creating things that we feel really attached to," Tosi said during the 25th annual Beard Foundation awards. "The style that we do it is finding a flavor, a texture that we feel attached to and giving it back in a way that we think is cute or playful or approachable and at the end of it of course it's delicious and you want to come back for it."

Boulevard in San Francisco won for outstanding restaurant, and Daniel Hamm of Eleven Madison Park in New York won for outstanding chef.

Local legend Wolfgang Puck won the lifetime achievement award, and another local winner was Matt Molina. He won best chef in the Pacific region for his work at Osteria Mozza.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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