My guest today is the chef and founder of Momofuku and the star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious, David Chang. Since opening Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City back in 2004, he’s been honored with six James Beard Awards and has been recognized as a TIME 100 honoree. In this episode, David opens up about his many life struggles as he illustrates in his new memoir, “Eat a Peach”.
The 5 questions I ask in this episode:
- You had a lot of insecurities in your childhood, such as not being a great chef and feeling like an outsider as a Korean when most chefs were white. How were you able to cope during that dark period in your life and what did you learn about yourself in the process?
- You are extremely self-aware through the pages of this book. You said that “working so hard was a side effect of depression” and I felt like that during my 20s working over 100 hours a week. The work was my outlet. How did your mental health issues motivate you to become a successful chef?
- In the book, you explain that despite your success you feel like you’ve created your own prison because you’re a workaholic with numerous responsibilities between the book, your show, restaurants, and your kid. Plus, you’ve had to close restaurants due to the pandemic. Now that you’ve reached the top of your profession, what are some ways you can escape the prison you created for yourself?
- Your father was a pivotal player in helping you break into the restaurant industry by getting you a $100,000 loan. Can you describe the complicated relationship you had with your dad, what you learned from him, and his impact on your life?
- What is your best piece of career advice?
Follow David’s journey: