Monday, October 19, 2009

dog days with david chang

This summer, while at Saveur, I got to talk to David Chang about his new cookbook. One of my favorite bits didn't make it onto Saveur's site, but I wanted to share it with you:

JA: Well’s it’s funny—it seems like you’re confounded with this rapid rise [to success], so I was wondering if doing the book might have helped you to process the last couple of years in any way…

DC: Yeah, it totally did. Just going over all that stuff—it’s sort of insane. It just feels like dog years. You know, it feels like it went by very fast, but it literally feels like 30 years.

JA: I think that's New York years too.

image from

Dog years!

And by the way, I love the book (click). It reminded me of graffiti artist Claw Money's scrapbook (click), only with pickle recipes, and gave me a good sense of the Momofuku dynasty as it stood when he wrote it.

Although David Chang doesn't really vibe "dad," I kept thinking of the restaurants as his kids:

There is the firstborn and eternally popular Noodle Bar, reliable home of sweet and fiery Ramen broths; Ssäm Bar, the temperamental late-bloomer that courted death before exploding into the late-night pork orgy it is today; Ko, the fine-boned beauty whose two Michelin stars Chang lives in terror of losing; and, last but not least, Milk Bar, the sugar-buzzed little sister attached to Ssäm’s side.

Paging through Chang’s stories of fleeing pants-less chefs in Tokyo and converting East Village dens of iniquity into risky restaurants left me intrigued. Recipes like spicy pork sausage with rice cakes and pan roasted asparagus with a poached egg and miso butter made me hungry. So I called up David Chang for more details...get some here (click).

That St. Louis shout-out at the end was completely unscripted.

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