David Chang is a Korean-American chef who is known for his unique combination of Asian food and French technique. After graduating Trinity College, Chang worked briefly in the financial services before embarking upon his career as a chef. Chang attended the French Culinary Institute and opened his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar, in Manhattan's East Village in 2003. Momofuku proved a resounding success; food critics as well as customers loved the restaurant's signature dishes, such as the Asian burrito and the kimchi and pork consomme.
In 2006, Chang opened his a second restaurant, Momofuku Ssam Bar. Chang was honored as both GQ and Bon Appetit's 2007 Chef of the Year. Chang is unapologetic about his food. "We do not serve vegetarian-friendly items," Chang has said. "Vegetarians are a pain in the ass as customers."
Question: How can we eat better?
David Chang: Go visit your farmers. That’s number.
I had no idea that the Catskills are as beautiful as they were. And I had no idea that there were farms just not even a two hour drive north [from New York City].
And growing great vegetables, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, the list goes on and on and on. Plus animals, livestock. It’s amazing to get out of the city and to see that. It’s something that you appreciate a whole lot more.
Question: Are greenmarkets enough?
David Chang: It’s not enough. I wish that there was a larger market where vendors could go – sort of like off of Essex Street [in Manhattan, NYC].
I wish there was a dedicated place where people could buy their stuff all the time. Not like Chelsea Market, I don’t know.
I think there’s still a disconnect. People don’t really know where their food’s coming from, even from the green market. They don’t realize, well this person actually harvested this stuff and then drove, has been up for 24 hours getting his truck packed and is driving. And they’re not wealthy and they’re doing it because this is what they know how to do.