Some who’ve snuck a peek into my kitchen have wondered why I sprinkle sugar, instead of flour, on my table and roll the biscotti out in the crystals. Well, it’s one of the secrets to Gilda’s Biscotti, and as with most of my other innovations, this one happened completely by accident.

When I was still perfecting my biscotti recipe, I was working as a pastry chef at the famed Le Bec Fin, under the renowned, and irascible, Chef George Perrier – infamous for his kitchen tirades. One day at work, I was fooling around with my biscotti while I was supposed to be doing something else, and suddenly Chef Perrier appeared from around the corner. Panicked that I would be screamed at, I tried to gather up my dough and knocked a container of sugar all over my workspace, all over the dough.

Once Chef walked away, I ended up baking my now-sugar-coated dough…boom! The sugar melted and crystalized into an amazing craggly texture. And I still make my biscotti the same way 20 years later.

Michael Miller