David Chang

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David Chang
David Chang David Shankbone 2010.jpg
Chang at the 2010 Time 100 Gala.
Born (1977-08-05) August 5, 1977 (age 43)
EducationGeorgetown Prep
Trinity College, Hartford
French Culinary Institute
Grace Seo Chang
(m. 2017)
Culinary career
Cooking styleNew American
Current restaurant(s)
    • Momofuku Noodle Bar
    • Momofuku Ssäm Bar
    • Momofuku Ko
    • Má Pêche
    • Momofuku Milk Bar
    • Momofuku Nishi
    • Fuku+
    • majordōmo
Korean name
Revised RomanizationJang Seokho
McCune–ReischauerChang Sŏkho

David Chang (Korean: Chang Seok-ho 장석호; born August 5, 1977)[2] is an American restaurateur, author, and television personality. He is the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, which includes Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Milk Bar, and Momofuku Ko in New York City; Momofuku Seiōbo in Sydney; Momofuku Noodle Bar and Kojin in Toronto; and Momofuku CCDC in Washington, DC.[3][4] In 2009, Momofuku Ko was awarded two Michelin stars, which it has retained each year since.[5] In 2018, Chang created, produced, and starred in a Netflix original series called Ugly Delicious.[6] In 2019, he produced a Netflix original titled Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. On November 29, 2020, he became the first celebrity to win the top prize for his charity, Southern Smoke Foundation, on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Washington, D.C., [8] Chang grew up in Arlington, Virginia with two older brothers and one sister. Chang's parents immigrated from Korea as adults in the 1960s, his father from North Korea, his mother from the South.[9] They owned a golfing goods warehouse and two restaurants.[3] As a child, Chang was a competitive golfer who participated in a number of junior tournaments.[10] Chang attended Georgetown Prep and then Trinity College, where he majored in religious studies.[11] After graduating from college, Chang pursued a variety of jobs, including teaching English in Japan, then bussing tables and holding finance positions in New York City.[12]

Culinary training and career[edit]

Pork ramen dish from Momofuku Noodle Bar
Momofuku pork buns, the restaurant group's signature dish

Chang started attending the French Culinary Institute (FCI)—now known as the International Culinary Center—in New York City in 2000. While he was training, he also worked part-time at Mercer Kitchen in Manhattan and got a job answering phones at Tom Colicchio's Craft restaurant. Chang stayed at Craft for two years and then moved back to Japan to work at a small soba shop, followed by a restaurant in Tokyo's Park Hyatt Hotel. Upon returning to the U.S., Chang worked at Café Boulud, where his idol, Alex Lee, had worked. But Chang soon grew "completely dissatisfied with the whole fine dining scene".[12][13]

In 2004, Chang opened his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village.[14] Chang's website states momofuku means "lucky peach",[15] but the restaurant also shares a name with Momofuku Ando[16]—the inventor of instant noodles.[17]

In August 2006, Chang's second restaurant, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, opened a few blocks away.[18][19] The Infatuation rated it a high 8.4/10, calling the menu "inventive, exciting, and different."[20] In March 2008, Chang opened Momofuku Ko, a 12-seat restaurant that takes reservations ten[21] days in advance, online only, on a first-come-first-served basis.[22] Later that year, Chang expanded Momofuku Ssäm Bar into an adjacent space with his colleague Christina Tosi, whom he had hired to run Momofuku's pastry program. They named the new space Momofuku Milk Bar, serving soft serve, along with cookies, pies, cakes and other treats, many of these inspired by foods Tosi had as a child.[23][24]

In May 2009, it was reported that Momofuku Milk Bar's Crack Pie, Cereal Milk, and Compost Cookies were in the process of being trademarked.[25] In October 2009, Chang and former New York Times food writer Peter Meehan published Momofuku, a highly anticipated cookbook containing detailed recipes from Chang's restaurants. In May 2010, Chang opened Má Pêche in midtown Manhattan.[26]

In November 2010, Chang announced the opening of his first restaurant outside the US in Sydney, Australia. Momofuku Seiōbo opened in October 2011 at the redeveloped Star City Casino in Southern-hemisphere. In an article with the Sydney Morning Herald, Chang was quoted as saying: 'I've just fallen in love with Australia. I'm just fascinated by the food scene in Sydney and Melbourne. People are excited about food in Australia. It's fresh and it's energetic.'[27][28] The restaurant was awarded three hats from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide in its first year and was named Best New Restaurant.[29]

In March 2011, Chang announced that he would be bringing Momofuku to Toronto, and opened it in late 2012. The restaurant is located in a three-story glass cube in the heart of downtown Toronto. Momofuku Toronto is made up of three restaurants, these are Noodle Bar, Daishō and Shōtō; as well as a bar Nikai.[30][31] Daishō and Shōtō closed in late 2017,[32] and the space was refurbished. A new Momofuku restaurant, Kojin, opened in the space in 2018.[33]

Chang launched Fuku, a chain of fast food restaurants specializing in fried chicken sandwiches, in June 2015.[34] In 2016, Chang launched his first digital-only restaurant, which offers a menu only for delivery in Midtown East and takes orders taken via an app named Ando.[35] Later in 2016, Chang participated in a project hosted by a Silicon Valley startup named Impossible Foods. He prepared food that was later added on the menu of one of his restaurants, Momofuku Nishi, as a partnership between Impossible Foods and David Chang.[36]

In July 2017, Chang announced the opening of his first West Coast restaurant in Los Angeles. The restaurant, Majordomo, opened in January 2018.[37] [38]

In May 2017, Chang announced the opening of a new restaurant at the Hudson Yards development in New York.[39]

In June 2018, Má Pêche closed after operating for 8 years.[40]

On December 30, 2019, Chang opened the 250-seat Majordomo Meat & Fish restaurant in The Palazzo tower of The Venetian Las Vegas.[41]

In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Momofuku restaurant group made the decision to temporarily close its restaurants.[42] Later that year, they decided to consolidate some restaurants, and permanently close Momofuku Nishi in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, and Momofuku CCDC in Washington, D.C.[43]

Media career[edit]


In 2010, he appeared in the fifth episode of Season One of HBO's Treme alongside fellow chefs Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert and Wylie Dufresne. His presence on the show was expanded in the second season when one of the characters, a New Orleans chef who has moved to New York City, takes a job in his restaurant. Chang has also served as a guest judge on the reality show Top Chef: All Stars.[44] In 2011, he was a guest judge on MasterChef Australia. Chang hosted the first season of the PBS food series The Mind of a Chef, which was executive produced by Anthony Bourdain and premiered in the fall of 2012. In September 2013, David appeared on a skit on the Deltron 3030 album, Event 2. In 2016, he guest starred as himself in the IFC series Documentary Now! episode "Juan Likes Rice & Chicken", a parody of Jiro Dreams of Sushi.[45] In 2018, Chang created, produced, and starred in a Netflix original series, Ugly Delicious.[6] Chang also appeared in two episodes of the Buzzfeed web series Worth It, and another Netflix series The Chef Show, produced by his friends Roy Choi and Jon Favreau. In 2019, he produced a Netflix original titled "Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner" with guest stars including Seth Rogen and Kate McKinnon. He's also a guest star of the Blue's Clues & You! episode "Welcome to Blue's Bistro" in the Mailtime segment


In summer 2011, David Chang released the first issue of his Lucky Peach food magazine, a quarterly publication created with Peter Meehan and published by McSweeney's.[46] The theme of Issue 1 was Ramen.[47] Contributors included Anthony Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne, Ruth Reichl, and Harold McGee. The theme of Issue 2 is The Sweet Spot, and Issue 2 reached #3 on the NY Times bestsellers list.[48] Contributors to Issue 2 include Anthony Bourdain, Harold McGee, Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi, Daniel Patterson and Russell Chatham. Issue 3: Chefs and Cooks, was released on March 13 and was also a New York Times Bestseller.[49] Each subsequent issue has continued to focus on a particular theme.

Public persona[edit]

Epicurious described Chang as having a "bad-boy attitude" for having no reservations or vegetarian options.[50] Chang created a controversy in 2009 by making dismissive remarks about California chefs, telling Anthony Bourdain "They don’t manipulate food, they just put figs on a plate.”[51]

David Chang serves on the Food Council at City Harvest and the Culinary Council at Food Bank for New York City, two hunger-relief organizations.[52] He is also a member of the board of trustees at MOFAD, the Museum of Food and Drink in New York City.[53]


  • David Chang; Peter Meehan (2009-10-27). Momofuku. Clarkson N Potter Publishers. ISBN 978-0-307-45195-8.
  • David Chang; Chris Ying; Peter Meehan (2011- May 2017). Lucky Peach.
  • In September 2020, Chang released his memoir, Eat a Peach, in which he talks about his difficult relationship with his father, his long-time struggles with depression and anger, and recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.




  • 2004: Momofuku Noodle Bar (New York, NY)
  • 2006: Momofuku Ssäm Bar (New York, NY)
    • Booker and Dax – located in Ssäm Bar (New York, NY)
  • 2008: Momofuku Ko (New York, NY)
  • 2010: Má Pêche – located in Chambers Hotel (New York, NY)
  • 2011: Momofuku Seiōbo – located in The Star (Sydney, Australia)
  • 2012: Momofuku (Toronto, Canada) – includes Momofuku Noodle Bar, Nikai, Daishō and Shōtō
    • Noodle Bar (Toronto, Canada)
    • Nikai (Toronto, Canada)
    • Daishō (Toronto, Canada)
    • Shōtō (Toronto, Canada)
  • 2015: Momofuku CCDC (Washington, DC)
  • 2016: Momofuku Nishi (New York, NY)
  • 2017: Momofuku Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
  • 2018: Majordōmo (Los Angeles, CA)


  • 2015: Fuku – East Village (New York, NY)
  • 2015: Fuku+ – Midtown; located in Chambers Hotel (New York, NY)
  • 2017: Fuku – Financial District (New York, NY)
  • Fuku – Battery Park City (New York, NY)
  • Fuku – Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
  • Fuku – Citi Field (Queens, NY)
  • Fuku – Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, FL)
  • Fuku - Seaport (Boston, MA)
  • Fuku - Hudson Yards (New York, NY)

Milk Bar[edit]

  • 2008: Momofuku Milk Bar – East Village (New York, NY)
  • Momofuku Milk Bar – Midtown (New York, NY)
  • Momofuku Milk Bar – Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Momofuku Milk Bar – Upper West Side (New York, NY)
  • Momofuku Milk Bar – Carroll Gardens (Brooklyn, NY)
  • 2012: Milk Bar (Toronto, Canada)
  • 2015: Milk Bar (Washington, DC)
  • 2017: Milk Bar (Las Vegas, NV)
  • 2018: Milk Bar (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 2019: Milk Bar & Pizza (Cambridge, MA)

Moon Palace[edit]

  • 2020: Moon Palace (Las Vegas, NV)


James Beard Foundation Awards

The S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants


The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide

Additional Awards + Accolades

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "pic". Instagram. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Chang, David". Current Biography Yearbook 2010. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2010. pp. 99–103. ISBN 9780824211134.
  3. ^ a b Finn, Robin (2007-05-18). "Rising Star Knows What, Not Who, Is Cooking". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Momofuku website, retrieved 2015-10-26
  5. ^ Leventhal, Ben (2009-10-05). "BREAKING: Michelin '09 Star Picks Here! Now!". Eater.
  6. ^ a b Ugly Delicious, David Chang, Peter Meehan, Aziz Ansari, retrieved 2018-02-27CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ "The Million-Dollar Win". Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (2020). Season 2. Episode 6. November 29, 2020. ABC.
  8. ^ Durano, Genevie (October 15, 2020). "From His Memoir to His Las Vegas Restaurants, Chef David Chang's Rise has Been Unique". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  9. ^ MacFarquhar, Larissa (24 July 2008). "Chef on the Edge" – via www.newyorker.com.
  10. ^ "David Chang". Authors@Google. Google. 16 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Chef on the Edge". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  12. ^ a b Bertoni, Steven. "Inside David Chang's Secret Momofuku Test Kitchen". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  13. ^ Bruni, Frank. "David Chang (Chef)". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Meehan, Peter (2005-04-13). "At a Noodle Bar, the Noodles Play Catch-Up". The New York Times.
  15. ^ momofuku > about us Archived July 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Mr. Ando's given name is "" and literally means "hundred luck". Momo is an old Japanese pronunciation for 'hundred' and a homophone of the word 'peach' (桃).
  17. ^ Thompson, Andrea; The New Yorker (2006-10-16), Tables for Two: Momofuku Ssäm Bar, retrieved 2008-11-25
  18. ^ Bruni, Frank (2007-02-21). "More Than Just a Sequel to a Noodle Bar". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Bowen, Dana (2006-10-26). "Korean Simplicity Morphs Into Lavishness". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "Momofuku Ssäm Bar - East Village - New York". The Infatuation. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  21. ^ BRUNI, FRANK. "Frank Bruni on Momofuku Ko".
  22. ^ Spiegel, Brendan. "Race for Reservations Turns New York Eatery Into Net Obsession", Wired.com, July 2, 2008.
  23. ^ Fabricant, Florence (2008-11-18). "Food Stuff - Unusual Pastries from Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar". The New York Times.
  24. ^ Bruni, Frank (2008-12-03). "Serious Strides, but Keeping it Cool". The New York Times.
  25. ^ Hugh Merwin (May 7, 2009). "Momofuku Milk Bar Moves to Trademark Goods. The milk bar is most known softserve cereal milk". Gothamist.com. Archived from the original on May 10, 2009.
  26. ^ Amanda Kludt (2010-05-04). "Ma Peche Will Open For Dinner TONIGHT - MomoWire - Eater NY". Ny.eater.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  27. ^ Bennett, Sue (2010-11-13). "New York's finest chef takes a punt on Sydney". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  28. ^ Paula Forbes (2011-10-24). "Momofuku Seiobo Opening This Week in Sydney - Expansionwire - Eater National". Eater.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  29. ^ "Winners, losers, and lots of hats". The Sydney Morning Herald. September 3, 2012.
  30. ^ "David Chang Bringing Momofuku to Toronto After Drunken Weekend". Buzz Blog. Zagat. 10 March 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-03-13.
  31. ^ "All Four Momofuku Restaurants in Toronto: NOW OPEN". Eater. 26 September 2012.
  32. ^ "Momofuku closing restaurants in Toronto and starting something new". blogTO. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  33. ^ "Momofuku's New Toronto Restaurant Pays Respect to Ontario's Farmers". Eater. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  34. ^ "About Fuku". Fuku. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  35. ^ Crook, Jordan. "Momofuku's David Chang launches Ando, a delivery-only restaurant". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  36. ^ Stefan Etienne (26 July 2016). "Eating the plant-derived Impossible Burger cooked by Momofuku's David Chang". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  37. ^ "David Chang to Open Restaurant in Los Angeles". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  38. ^ "David Chang's Majordomo Opens Tonight: Here's What to Expect". Eater LA. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  39. ^ "Restaurants Fall Into Place at Hudson Yards". Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  40. ^ "David Chang's Má Pêche Shutters Tonight". Eater NY. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  41. ^ Wang, Andy (December 30, 2019). "David Chang's New Vegas Restaurant Is His Biggest Ever—and More's Coming". Food and Wine. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  42. ^ Marchese, David (March 27, 2020). "David Chang isn't sure the restaurant industry will survive Covid-19". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  43. ^ Nierenberg, Amelia (May 13, 2020). "David Chang Permanently Closes 2 of His Restaurants". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  44. ^ Ost, Carina (2010-12-16). "Top Chef: All-Stars, Week 3: David Chang and a Kitchen Packed with Sweaty Amazeballs - San Francisco Restaurants and Dining - SFoodie". Blogs.sfweekly.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  45. ^ Ziemba, Christine (27 September 2016). "Documentary Now Dreams of Chicken and Rice in Brilliant Jiro Parody". Paste.
  46. ^ "Luck Peach Subscription". The McSweeney's Store. Archived from the original on 2011-12-07.
  47. ^ "2011's Best New Food Magazine: David Chang's 'Lucky Peach' - Daniel Fromson - Health". The Atlantic. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  48. ^ Cowles, Gregory (4 December 2011). "Print & E-Books". The New York Times.
  49. ^ Cowles, Gregory (1 April 2012). "Print & E-Books". The New York Times.
  50. ^ "The World's Most Influential Chefs". Epicurious. Condé Nast.
  51. ^ Mackay, Jimmy (November 26, 2009). "Bay Area Chefs Dodge New York Knives". The New York Times.
  52. ^ "TIME 100 Roundtables - TIME". Time. 2010-05-20. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  53. ^ "Trustees - Museum of Food and Drink MOFAD". MOF6D.
  54. ^ Addison, Bill (September 19, 2020). "David Chang on restaurants and his own life: 'The old ways just don't work anymore'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  55. ^ "Michelin Guide Announces NYC Bib Gourmand Picks for 2011". Eater. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  56. ^ "Michelin Guide Announces Bib Gourmand Picks for 2012". Eater. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  57. ^ "Michelin Picks 138 New York Restaurants Offering Value". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  58. ^ "Michelin Guide Announces NYC's 2014 Bib Gourmands". Eater. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  59. ^ Reichl, Ruth (April 29, 2010). "David Chang - The 2010 TIME 100". TIME. 175 (18): 48. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved May 7, 2010.

External links[edit]