Then David Chang decided to conquer New York City.
Before he even had a space, he had a name: Momofuku, which means “lucky peach” in Japanese but was also an homage to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen, the staple that had gotten Chang through late nights in his Trinity dorm. He also freely admits that he liked how the word sounded like “motherfucker.”” - Time Magazine (x)
As Chang’s restaurants gradually entered the spotlight, so did his temper. His temper is known to flare often at incompetent staff with an unhealthy dose of profanity. He also managed to insult Australia and Toronto’s food scene as he was setting up his own restaurants there. But, according to him, he’s working on it. It’s just a part of his no bullshit rule in the kitchen.
The same rule goes for when he tries to veer away from becoming a celebrity chef. It’s quite ironic how he curves from the conventional road of fame in the culinary world. Although Chang has appeared several times on television, and even produced alongside his good friend Anthony Bourdain, I cannot imagine David Chang having his own cooking show.
Instead, what helps fuel his fame and power is his food magazine Lucky Peach, which can be found in print and online. Lucky Peach is a statement to all food magazines out there that there is no need famous names or to cutback on quality and originality to gain success. The magazine comes out with vibrant colors from, the outrageous food photography to the playful illustrations, and exhales freshness with the new perspectives that each article offers. David Chang and his crew has been able to churn what is familiar into something that is totally out of this world. Just watch Chang’s how to’s on using instant ramen noodles as an actual ingredient in dishes on Lucky Peach's YouTube Channel. Who would ever thought of making ramen gnocchi?
David Chang, with his Momofuku empire in NYC and a food magazine that shines among the rest, has indeed given us a morphed and twisted idea of a chef in power. Something clearner. Something much simpler. I look forward to all his endeavors, especially the next issue of Lucky Peach, which now can be bought in the Philippines.
Written and Illusrated by Anna Cayco
(click photos for sources)