Raised as a “bar baby” by his devoted jazz musician father and just-as-loving mother, it might have seemed that Milton Abel II was destined for a life onstage himself. But after a period of self-discovery, this Kansas City native found his way to the professional kitchen, eventually settling on pastry and rising to the top of such world-renowned kitchens as The French Laundry, Per Se, and Noma. Today, he’s a partner in the Copenhagen bakery and coffee roastery Andersen and Maillard and the subject of a new short film, “That’s My Jazz,” which recently debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. While he was in town to attend the festival, Milton sat down with Andrew to explore some topics not addressed in the film, and expand on those that are.
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