David Chang (Korean: Chang Seok-ho 장석호; born August 5, 1977) is an American restaurateur, author, and television personality. He is the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, which includes Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Milk Bar, and Momofuku Ko in New York City; Momofuku Seiōbo in Sydney; Momofuku Noodle Bar and Kojin in Toronto; and Momofuku CCDC in Washington, DC. In 2009, Momofuku Ko was awarded two Michelin stars, which it has retained each year since. In 2018, Chang created, produced, and starred in a Netflix original series called Ugly Delicious.
Chang at the 2010 Time 100 Gala.
|Born||August 5, 1977|
Vienna, Virginia, U.S.
Trinity College, Hartford
French Culinary Institute
|Spouse(s)||Grace Seo Chang (m. 2017) |
|Cooking style||New American|
|Revised Romanization||Jang Seokho|
Early life and educationEdit
Chang grew up in Arlington, Virginia with two older brothers and one sister. Chang’s parents immigrated from Korea as adults in the 1960s, his father from North Korea, his mother from the South. They owned a golfing goods warehouse and two restaurants. As a child, Chang was a competitive golfer who participated in a number of junior tournaments. Chang attended Georgetown Prep and then Trinity College, where he majored in religious studies. After graduating from college, Chang pursued a variety of jobs, including teaching English in Japan, then bussing tables and holding finance positions in New York City.
Culinary training and careerEdit
Chang started attending the French Culinary Institute (FCI)—now known as the International Culinary Center—in New York City in 2000. While he was training, he also worked part-time at Mercer Kitchen in Manhattan and got a job answering phones at Tom Colicchio's Craft restaurant. Chang stayed at Craft for two years and then moved back to Japan to work at a small soba shop, followed by a restaurant in Tokyo's Park Hyatt Hotel. Upon returning to the U.S., Chang worked at Café Boulud, where his idol, Alex Lee, had worked. But Chang soon grew "completely dissatisfied with the whole fine dining scene".
In 2004, Chang opened his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village. Chang's website states momofuku means "lucky peach", but the restaurant also shares a name with Momofuku Ando—the inventor of instant noodles.
In August 2006, Chang's second restaurant, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, opened a few blocks away. In March 2008, Chang opened Momofuku Ko, a 12-seat restaurant that takes reservations ten days in advance, online only, on a first-come-first-served basis. Later that year, Chang expanded Momofuku Ssäm Bar into an adjacent space with his colleague Christina Tosi, whom he had hired to run Momofuku's pastry program. They named the new space Momofuku Milk Bar, serving soft serve, along with cookies, pies, cakes and other treats, many of these inspired by foods Tosi had as a child.
In May 2009, it was reported that Momofuku Milk Bar's Crack Pie, Cereal Milk, and Compost Cookies were in the process of being trademarked. In October 2009, Chang and former New York Times food writer Peter Meehan published Momofuku, a highly anticipated cookbook containing detailed recipes from Chang's restaurants. In May 2010, Chang opened Má Pêche in midtown Manhattan.
In November 2010, Chang announced the opening of his first restaurant outside the US in Sydney, Australia. Momofuku Seiōbo opened in October 2011 at the redeveloped Star City Casino in Southern-hemisphere. In an article with the Sydney Morning Herald, Chang was quoted as saying: 'I've just fallen in love with Australia. I'm just fascinated by the food scene in Sydney and Melbourne. People are excited about food in Australia. It's fresh and it's energetic.' The restaurant was awarded three hats from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide in its first year and was named Best New Restaurant.
In March 2011, Chang announced that he would be bringing Momofuku to Toronto, and opened it in late 2012. The restaurant is located in a three-story glass cube in the heart of downtown Toronto. Momofuku Toronto is made up of three restaurants, these are Noodle Bar, Daishō and Shōtō; as well as a bar Nikai. Daishō and Shōtō closed in late 2017, and the space was refurbished. A new Momofuku restaurant, Kojin, opened in the space in 2018.
Chang launched Fuku, a chain of fast food restaurants specializing in fried chicken sandwiches, in June 2015. In 2016, Chang launched his first digital-only restaurant, which offers a menu only for delivery in Midtown East and takes orders taken via an app named Ando. Later in 2016, Chang participated in a project hosted by a Silicon Valley startup named Impossible Foods. He prepared food that was later added on the menu of one of his restaurants, Momofuku Nishi, as a partnership between Impossible Foods and David Chang.
In June 2018, Má Pêche closed after operating for 8 years.
In 2010, he appeared in the fifth episode of Season One of HBO's Treme alongside fellow chefs Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert and Wylie Dufresne. His presence on the show was expanded in the second season when one of the characters, a New Orleans chef who has moved to New York City, takes a job in his restaurant. Chang has also served as a guest judge on the reality show Top Chef: All Stars. In 2011 he was a guest judge on MasterChef Australia. Chang hosted the first season of the PBS food series The Mind of a Chef, which was executive produced by Anthony Bourdain and premiered in the fall of 2012. In September 2013, David appeared on a skit on the Deltron 3030 album, Event 2. In 2018, Chang created, produced, and starred in a Netflix original series, Ugly Delicious.Chang also appeared in 2 episodes of The Chef Show, produced by his friends Roy Choi and Jon Favreau.
In summer 2011, David Chang released the first issue of his Lucky Peach food magazine, a quarterly publication created with Peter Meehan and published by McSweeney’s. The theme of Issue 1 was Ramen. Contributors included Anthony Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne, Ruth Reichl, and Harold McGee. The theme of Issue 2 is The Sweet Spot, and Issue 2 reached #3 on the NY Times bestsellers list. Contributors to Issue 2 include Anthony Bourdain, Harold McGee, Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, Daniel Patterson and Russell Chatham. Issue 3: Chefs and Cooks, was released on March 13 and was also a New York Times Bestseller. Each subsequent issue has continued to focus on a particular theme.
Epicurious described Chang as having a "bad-boy attitude" for having no reservations or vegetarian options. Chang created a controversy in 2009 by making dismissive remarks about California chefs, telling Anthony Bourdain "They don’t manipulate food, they just put figs on a plate.”
David Chang serves on the Food Council at City Harvest and the Culinary Council at Food Bank for New York City, two hunger-relief organizations. He is also a member of the board of trustees at MOFAD, the Museum of Food and Drink in New York City.
- 2004: Momofuku Noodle Bar (New York, NY)
- 2006: Momofuku Ssäm Bar (New York, NY)
- Booker and Dax – located in Ssäm Bar (New York, NY)
- 2008: Momofuku Ko (New York, NY)
- 2010: Má Pêche – located in Chambers Hotel (New York, NY)
- 2011: Momofuku Seiōbo – located in The Star (Sydney, Australia)
- 2012: Momofuku (Toronto, Canada) – includes Momofuku Noodle Bar, Nikai, Daishō and Shōtō
- Noodle Bar (Toronto, Canada)
- Nikai (Toronto, Canada)
- Daishō (Toronto, Canada)
- Shōtō (Toronto, Canada)
- 2015: Momofuku CCDC (Washington, DC)
- 2016: Momofuku Nishi (New York, NY)
- 2017: Momofuku Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
- 2018: Majordōmo (Los Angeles, CA)
- 2015: Fuku – East Village (New York, NY)
- 2015: Fuku+ – Midtown; located in Chambers Hotel (New York, NY)
- 2017: Fuku – Financial District (New York, NY)
- Fuku – Battery Park City (New York, NY)
- Fuku – Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
- Fuku – Citi Field (Queens, NY)
- Fuku – Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, FL)
- Fuku - Seaport (Boston, MA)
- Fuku - Hudson Yards (New York, NY)
- 2008: Momofuku Milk Bar – East Village (New York, NY)
- Momofuku Milk Bar – Midtown (New York, NY)
- Momofuku Milk Bar – Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY)
- Momofuku Milk Bar – Upper West Side (New York, NY)
- Momofuku Milk Bar – Carroll Gardens (Brooklyn, NY)
- 2012: Milk Bar (Toronto, Canada)
- 2015: Milk Bar (Washington, DC)
- 2017: Milk Bar (Las Vegas, NV)
- 2018: Milk Bar (Los Angeles, CA)
- 2019: Milk Bar & Pizza (Cambridge, MA)
James Beard Foundation Awards
- 2006 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Nomination
- 2007 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year
- 2008 James Beard Best Chef New York City for Momofuku Ssäm Bar
- 2009 James Beard Best New Restaurant for Momofuku Ko
- 2010 Momofuku – Cookbook Nomination
- 2012 James Beard Outstanding Chef (nominated)
- 2013 James Beard Outstanding Chef
- 2014 James Beard Foundation Who's Who in Food and Beverage in America
The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Momofuku Ko – #65 (2011)
- The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Momofuku Ssäm Bar – #37 (2012)
- The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Momofuku Ko – #79 (2012)
- The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Momofuku Ssäm Bar– #86 (2013)
- The S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants: Momofuku Ssäm Bar- #64 (2014)
- Ko : 2 Michelin Stars for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
- 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Michelin Guide: Momofuku Ssäm Bar and Momofuku Noodle Bar, Michelin Bib Gourmands Guide to NYC
The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide
Additional Awards + Accolades
- 2013 Momofuku Seiōbo, Restaurant of the Year
- 2013 Momofuku Shōtō and Daishō, The Best New Toronto Restaurants
- 2012 Momofuku, The Most Important Restaurant in America
- 2012 Momofuku Ko, Five Most Influential Restaurants of the Past Six Years
- 2012 Momofuku Seiōbo, Time Out Restaurant of the Year
- White Guide (March 2012) – Global Gastronomy Award 2012
- Crain’s New York (March 2011) – 40 Under 40
- 2010 Time 100 Most Influential People
- Food & Wine 2006 Best New Chef
- Bon Appetit's 2007 Chef of the Year
- GQ's 2007 Chef of the Year
- "pic". Instagram. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
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