David Chang On Dumb Luck
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: What role did luck play in your success?
David Chang: Gosh everything. From working in New York and working at a restaurant called Craft, and being sort of the first person there that had no real experience. I had worked at a couple of restaurants before that, and I felt I was the luckiest person in the world working at Craft because the staff was awesome. And I just felt like, “Oh my god, where is everyone else? I’m learning so much, and from amazing cooks.”
John _______ was a chef at ________. Mark _______. The list goes on and on and on.
And almost everyone that opened up that restaurant is a chef in America or abroad, and it was a real special time.
I just feel that whatever I’ve done in the industry, I made the right connections or it just happened. And I don’t know. I feel incredibly lucky about it.
"I just feel that whatever I've done in the industry, I made the right connections."