What do you make of food TV?
Question: What do you make of food TV?
David Chang: It’s totally strange. Food TV phenomenon is something that I find to be not even a fad. I think it’s just the beginning and it’s making cooking cool.
I wish they would do real world documentaries or whatever. I don’t even know what it’s called – a reality TV show for like farming or something like that, then kids would want to be farmers.
But cooking’s not that cool.
And they’re making it much more glamorous than it is. At the end of the day, it’s still backbreaking work. Literally backbreaking work. And it’s not the case.
And a lot of people want that instant fame and I’m not comfortable with that. I’ve been fortunate to have opportunities to be on TV; to do some reality things.
At this moment, I’m not comfortable to say yes. Like I don’t want a camera following me around. I didn’t sign on to be a cook to be on TV.
Sometimes I feel guilty. If I did, it would it make our restaurants constantly busy? Yes. But at what point do you sacrifice your personal integrity and your own private life to have a camera follow you around? Or even do something that you’re not that proud of on TV?
Some people can pull it off and do it really well, and others can’t. And I have a terrible feeling that I’d be one of those that would be on the latter.
It’s incredibly hard, but it’s not for me. And I think that it dumbs down food.
I think that the Food Network – oh they’re never going to put me on TV now – but all the cooking shows that were there are all gone now. It used to be instructional, and now it’s all about lifestyle. And that’s wonderful, but it adds to the dilemma of there’s more cooks now than ever before.
Cooking schools; the admission rates are higher than ever before. There are more cooks.
We need a lot of cooks but they don’t want to work in the kitchen. They only want to be on TV; or cook for six months at some famous restaurant and then apply to be on Bravo to be on Talk Chef.
Talk Chef’s the weird thing, though, because I know some of the cooks that have been on that. And I’ve been on it and I know that they’re really good, too. And obviously I know a lot of the judges, so it’s weird too.
I’m trying to find some type of harmony with that because I think that it’s a wonderful opportunity, but I don’t know. I’m trying to justify it and maybe feel good about having to do it down the road.
Question: Are there any benefits?
David Chang: It brings an excitement. Food TV like the Sandra Lees, Giada De Laurentiis’ of the world--they make it easy and approachable. But at the same time, there’s so much of that too.
I always use the analogy of music. Like there’s only so much Britney Spears and Top 40 music you can listen to. There’s got to be other things, and not everything should be easy and approachable. Not everything should be Harry Potter. There’s too much in the cooking world that’s like Harry Potter. There’s too many adults that will be like, “I finished a book! I finally read a book,” and it was Harry Potter. And I was like, “Yeah, it’s a children’s book. You should finish them.”
I just feel that too many restaurants are the steak house.
And part of it is New York’s fault. Part of it is the media’s fault. Part of it is our fault. But it’s the path of least resistance -- opening restaurants, to introducing people to food is the lowest common denominator.
So what are you going to do about it?
"I think it's just the beginning and its making cooking cool."
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.
- China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
- Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
- Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.