Meet David Chang – One of the most influential restaurateurs today

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David Chang, the mastermind chef from New York, is arguably one of the most influential restaurateurs today. In the last decade, several chefs all over the world have copied his style, trying to emulate his success.

Born on August fifth, 1977, David Chang is founder of the iconic Momofuku, a group which contains 13 restaurants, two bars, a bakery, and a unique culinary lab. Chances are that if you’re a foodie, you’ve heard of David Chang, or at least of his restaurants. What made him so successful? Read on to find out.

Early years

Although this chef has a net worth of $60 million, he didn’t start his professional career as a chef. When Chang was a child, his father wanted him to become a professional golfer, another profession which is quite a challenge to break into. After finishing his course in Trinity College, he worked in several finance jobs but was unhappy with his profession.

Soon, he decided to follow his dreams and venture into the world of food, by enrolling in the French Culinary Institute, now known as International Culinary Center. Once he graduated from cooking school, he worked in Mercer Kitchen, before getting a job at the restaurant Craft.

Failure isn’t always the worst thing

In 2004, David Chang bit the bullet and started his first restaurant in New York, the legendary Momofuku Noodle Bar. While most of the restaurateurs spend years perfecting their culinary skills and creating mouth-watering dishes, Chang approach to food is different. He was always into experimenting, coming up with different recipes on a regular basis. His aim was to create dishes which mesmerize the diners by flooding their taste buds with exquisite and unforgettable flavors. His different approach is clear in his cooking, and has contributed to his massive success.

His first smash hit was the Momofuku Pork Bun, which had people visiting his downtown restaurant, and waiting in a long line just to get their hands on this iconic dish. He even used this dish as the benchmark for other dishes, as he wanted diners to flock to his restaurant for other specialties just as they did for his Momofuku Pork Buns. 

David Chang combined fine dining with street food from Asia, a style which became synonymous with his brand. One aspect which separates Chang from most of the other chefs in the world is his ability to look at his failures from a different perspective.  Rather than disregarding his mistakes, he embraces them, and converts them into signature dishes. In the culinary lab, Chang continues to innovate by taking all sorts of risks, which could either be a disaster or a dish which leaves his diners wanting for more.

At the same time, he understands that not everyone wants to pay high prices for the fine dining experience, which is why he ventured into media. He started the Dave Chang Show, a podcast, Majordomo Media, a media company, and Ugly Delicious, a show on Netflix. In a time where everything is changing, David Chang continues to be an influential figure, showing restaurateurs how to be successful by embracing the mistakes in the kitchen.

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