On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, we create the criteria for the perfect chocolate chip cookie with Mindy Segal. Her dessert bar in Chicago, Hot Chocolate, has long relied on modern twists to traditional classics, much like the music she listened to when younger. Her father was a jazz musician, and they made frequent trips to Rick’s American Cafe to listen to the likes of Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria, which inevitably lead her to a life of improvisation. It’s not to say she doesn’t have strong core technique, as seen in “Cookie Love”, her first cookbook, chock-full of drop cookies, bars, sandwich cookies, shortbreads, thumbprints, spritz, and those twice baked, but it’s the Peanut Butter Peanut Brittle Cookies, Fleur de Sel Shortbread, Malted Milk Spritz, Peaches and Cream Biscotti, Brownie Krinkles, Banilla Nillas, and motorcycle riding Best Friend Cookies, that best showcase Mindy’s riffs. There’s also a dark side, certainly of chocolate, but also of heavy metal, through Mindy’s ode to both the Oreo and Black Sabbath. The bridge: Starlite Mints. So sweeten up, bring your #CookieLove and bake with us! This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

“There are a lot of great chefs up there [In Chicago] but none of us know how to run a business.” [11:00]

“What separates men from boys…is the nuances of understanding balance.” [18:00]

Mindy Segal on The Food Seen