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Genre: Celebrity Chefs
Price: Under $100,000
Availability: Generally Availability
David Chang’s rise to become one of the era’s most famous restaurateurs is nothing short of extraordinary. Born in Vienna, Virginia in 1977, David spent his childhood observing his Korean parents working at the various restaurants they owned throughout the suburbs of Virginia. Clearly, the seed was planted for a future in the culinary arts, but as a child Chang was more interested in competitive golf and other pursuits.
After graduating from the prestigious Georgetown Preparatory School, David entered Trinity College to pursue a degree in Religious studies. Following graduation, Chang began working in the financial field, but found himself quickly disappointed with the environment; clearly, working behind a desk was not going to satisfy such a creative and innovative talent.
That talent and innovation would eventually be realized through one of David Chang’s earlier passions – culinary arts. While studying abroad during his time at Trinity College, his experiences in London led him to envision a career in the field, but at the time Chang did not heed the calling right away. That changed a few years later, when he enrolled as a student at the International Culinary Center, pursuing a course of study in Classic Culinary Arts.
Chang’s experiences while a student at the International Culinary Center brought him to Japan, where he refined his creative approach to the noodle dishes which would eventually make him famous. He also spent time in the New York kitchens of Craft Restaurant ( Tom Colicchio) and Mercer Kitchen (Jean-George Vongerichten.) After graduating, David Chang set out to turn the culinary world upside down, starting with Momofuku Noodle Bar, in 2004.
To say that Momofuku Noodle Bar was a hit would be an understatement. Momofuku, meaning “lucky peach,” became a smash hit upon its opening in the East Village area of New York City. By 2008, David Chang had opened Momofuku Ssäm Bar and Momofuku Ko, his famous twelve-seat, reservation-only restaurant. Ko is known for it’s strict table-booking policy - no more than ten days in advance - making it one of the nation’s most in-demand restaurants for both the ordinary New Yorker and the influential and famous alike. Since opening, Ko has received two coveted Michelin Stars every year, and is listed among the world’s most influential restaurants.
Next was Momofuku Milk Bar, and since that opening, David Chang has also opened six additional restaurants in New York, five of them Momofuku Milk Bar in different locations. He has also opened restaurants in Toronto, Australia, and Washington, DC. His awards and accolades are too numerous to list in their entirety, but so far include nine James Beard awards and six S. Pellegrino awards. Chang was also listed as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010.
In 2009, in collaboration with Peter Meehan of the New York Times, David Change published his much anticipated cookbook, Momofuku, sharing various recipes form his restaurants. A quarterly food magazine, Lucky Peach, followed in 2011 and has included such notable contributors as Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain, and Harold McGee. Most recently, David Chang served as a guest judge on Top Chef: All Stars, and he and Anthony Bourdain also produced the sixteen-part PBS series, The Mind of a Chef.
In addition to further growing his Momofuku empire, David Chang serves on the board of New York City’s Edible Schoolyard, advocating for the slow-food movement, something which he features in all of his restaurants, choosing local farmers and local ingredients for his menus.
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