At age 33, David Chang has successfully opened four restaurants and two bakeries. The four-time James Beard Award winner has been instrumental in popularizing Modern Asian cuisine, and what makes Chang's achievements even more remarkable is the fact that he did not begin his culinary career until his mid-twenties.
David Chang was born and raised in Arlington, VA as the youngest of four boys. He found his passion for food at a young age, as his father owned two bistros in Washington, DC. Chang attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where he majored in religious studies. Following college, Chang went on to work briefly in the New York City financial sector before he decided to become a chef.
Chang got his culinary degree from the French Culinary Institute and went on to work at Mercer Kitchen. For Chang’s next move, he was hired to work at Tom Colicchio’s newly opened restaurant, Craft. Two years later, Chang moved to Japan, where he worked at the Park Hyatt Tokyo and at a number of kaseki, izakaya, and ramen restaurants.
Upon his return to the United States, Chang worked for a year at Café Boulud before opening Momofuku Noodle Bar in the summer of 2004. His next venture was Momofuku Ssam Bar, which opened in 2006. In 2007, Chang moved the noodle bar to a larger location and opened Momofuku Ko in the original location the following year. He also opened Momofuku Milk Bar in 2008 as an extension of Ssam Bar. In the spring of 2010, Chang opened Ma Peche, which includes a Milk Bar as well. Chang's first book, Momofuku, was released in 2009.
Chang has garnered many awards and accolades throughout his eclectic culinary career. In 2006, Food and Wine Magazine named Chang as one of America’s Best New Chefs. The James Beard Foundation named Chang Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2007 and Best Chef in New York City in 2008. In 2010, Time Magazine noted Chang in their list of the 100 Most Influential People.
Culinary Style: Modern Asian
Signature Dish: Soft-Cooked Egg with Caviar, Compost Cookies, Bo Ssam,
DID YOU KNOW?
David Chang's previous occupations include junior golf champion and teaching English in Japan.