Daniel Angerer likes to get creative when he cooks. In 2008 he used Pop Rocks to beat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America
(he seasoned his shrimp carpaccio with the kiddie candy), and at his downtown Manhattan brasserie Klee, he makes his mac and cheese with spaetzle. But his most daring ingredient? Breast milk, taken from his fiancee, Lori Mason, the mother of his 11-week-old daughter, Arabella, and used to make cheese. "Lori is fortunate to have a lot of milk, but there was no space in the freezer!" he says. "I was curious."
So were readers of his blog. On Feb. 6 Angerer posted a recipe for breast milk cheese and eventually got 70,000 hits in a week (up from only 800). While reaction has included outrage (one local columnist denounced Angerer for going "too far"), several visitors copped to their own culinary adventures with breast milk, saying they had used it to make pancakes and key lime pie.
Meanwhile, at Klee, "the phone has been ringing off the hook," says Angerer, 37, with people wanting to try breast milk cheese. But while the chef has allowed about a dozen private citizens to sample the goods outside the restaurant, he insists he has no plans to serve it there. (Not that he'd be allowed to: A New York City Health Department spokeswoman says, "Breast milk is not intended for adults or for wide public consumption.") Instead the couple plan to donate the rest of Mason's extra milk to a milk bank in North Carolina and focus on opening a second restaurant. Says Angerer: "I'm on to spring vegetables!"