David Chang


Jackie's? Matt influences presented by Mohit doll lice memorable. Moments. Must be moesha. Don. Welcome to mad influence. I'm your host Jim Nelson editor in chief of G Q Matt influence is a podcast about artistic breakthroughs, and what I like to call it a long arc of creativity. There are any number of ways you could describe my next guest. David Chang, a pioneering chef a big thinker about food and the way it intersects with culture, a TV personality. A retired magazine editor I like to think of him as someone who refuses to let others to find him who is constantly redefining himself fighting for the ground around him. Which is why we wanted him here on mad influence a podcast about interesting ever changing careers in the long Arctic creativity. Like a lot of people I've been interviewing for this podcast. He is restless and ambitious in the best way always ripping up the script and starting over and he's ambitious not primarily because he wants to get rich though. I know he wouldn't mind, but because it's in his nature. I don't think I've ever met anyone so relentlessly self motivated. Right now, his plate is entirely full. He's got a fascinating and really thoughtful show on Netflix called ugly. Delicious, he hosts the Dave Chang show podcast or the ringer. Got restaurants in New York, including Momofuku, which has two Michelin stars restaurants on Australia. Toronto my hometown, Washington DC, he opened major Domo. He's I LA restaurant early. This year reviews have been almost uniformly ecstatic. He's here in New York. Opening new restaurants. He's got his head in his palm of answer. Now. Give out. Everything's gotta Dave Chang. Welcome the Matt influence. Yeah. Just made it down here from opening day of our new restaurant Bong bar. We'll see this is really interesting because I'm thinking back I've been thinking about when you first started wasn't two thousand and four year for and how you didn't want to take any investment money. You said you would not have succeeded if you had an investment money that you needed to fail on your own terms. He didn't want shithead bankers. But what happens is it that you have to fail and then at a certain point you have to you need that banker money what? Well, we started friends with shit head. Yeah. Well, we started the business and on like, basically one hundred thirty thousand dollars, and we continue to take loan after loan after loan for almost ten years. I never took investors. And when I say, I didn't think about long term decisions like sounds like hyperbole that I would make a decision thing in that. I wouldn't be alive past a certain age. But like that's legitimately. How I was living my life and running our business with blinders on and just. Yeah. Just like, okay. Whatever. Who cares? We won't be. We won't. That's a problem. That'll happen down the road across a bridge when we get there, we probably won't ever get there. So who really cares? But and you know, I think about that. I I have paused because I'm like, well that is crazy. But that's exactly how we operate our business, which is ultimately, why think it we were allowed to shape a different voice as to how business in the restaurants where operating and one of the things we were all in. There was no room for failure. Like. Very few people. I think understand what that's like to be in the pressure of it to not fail you fail. You lose everything. Like, that's a terrible place. Not just for yourself with other people around you as well. So that sort of screws with my sense of how of your story because I felt like you did fail at the beginning. Oh, yeah. We did fail. And that's the thing is once you realize like I was just like everyone else. And then when you fail you're you realize what's at stake, and when you continue to fail you're like, oh, wait, you know, it's almost like a term paper exam. Like, wait. I can't push this back. This is this is do or die almost. And that's how we looked at it. And then all of a sudden something clicks. And you're like, oh, wait we have to do anything in our power to not fail. So what we need to do is try all the things that might work out and failure wound up becoming the only thing that I think we were actually good at. Right because it allowed us to have a very organic. And when I mean, organic, I think people use the word inappropriately when describing organization at least for us. It was not having any idea what to do. See it's funny because the way I remember it is noodle. Bark comes out. I like two thousand and four y'all and kind of doesn't get it doesn't figure out what it is. Right. And then because no one knew what a noodle bar was crazy, but didn't exist. Yeah. You, but it did they didn't it existed in maybe some version of it didn't Chinatown, right. No. No, no, really you had one Romania. And that was like one Rami. Nah. And there are a few places midtown that serve like sushi that would have also Ron, but the Ramadan. That's still there. Right. Can that survey Chinese version? So there was no one doing like a their interpretation arraignment. There was actually not a ramen shop that was serving off we like contemporary style. Tokyo is that we were serving either. And I had spent time like the closest noodle bar that I could work at was in Bally's casino. Chris. And I worked there for Jake's. Yeah. I also worked at riot Ken for like two months and just starting around interning just where I could work at a quote unquote noodle bar. That's where I worked. So you originally deal was that I'm gonna make this. I'm gonna make the idea of a noodle bar. I don't even know what that was. Right. I was like does it need dumplings do eat fried rice can I serve kimchi with my noodles. Like these are questions that I didn't have anywhere to turn to. So. And to be honest, if I had to think about it. We didn't really have good food either. Because we were like wait we have to operate a restaurant. We don't even know how to like, I didn't know what sales tax was. Yeah. Right. I had no idea. I was like wait I have to deduct this. And then save it and pay later like learning how to clear the registers and do like soup to nuts. You spend all your time. Worrying about the fun of the house and management and running. Right. Yeah. And then you gotta figure wait. We also have to cook the food and figure out that part. And so it was six months of just sort of flailing around and following what I thought that people might want to eat, and that was like some Americanized version of what noodle bar was and then through that failure. And then realizing that we had a couple of months left to operate. That was when I realized oh who cares? That's really when I realized it's like getting a terminal illness. And that's unfortunately, when you see some people starting to live, and you're like, wait a second. That's that's great. But also incredibly bittersweet that you haven't been doing this entire line. They start to live only when they're about to die. And that sounds like fuck it. Let's just go, and that's sort of what happened, and we were free to do all the things that we were not supposed to do would you do differently right away. We got rid of what we thought that a noodle bar was. And we started cooking food that we thought was going to be important. We played music more annoyingly in loud than normal like. Like, I remember very clearly I think enter the three six champions one of my favorite albums all time. And I was like can never be played in a restaurant ever. You can never play in a restaurant. I was like fuck it. Perfect examples like, you know, what we're just gonna play it out loud. And see what happens. Solely. But surely, we're just started like putting crawfish on the menu. And Chris and things that you would never see. But we are just a position everything anything and everything like ox tells and try and was the east village crowds digging it, or did, you know, when did you know that it was do you? Remember when you're like, okay. This is working. I don't know. We just started getting a line. And then we'll line started a great psychic things too. Yeah. Yeah. Tells people that something's going on there and cook started come in. It was just we were like freak shows to people originally, and we had an open kitchen, and I was not. I should I say like I wasn't. I didn't care that there were people. There didn't care. No. Because like I wanted to close kitchen I didn't to open kitchen if I had the money to have a close kitchen, I would have had a close kitchen. So I appreciated without having any idea that my actions, we're going to be perceived by the people so I would have meltdowns several times a day. And it was I remember it was kind of a little bit like theater, go to dinner theatre, Dave Chang show. And like no now wildly inappropriate. How I yelled and screamed and was just not ready, and I a very famous chef came to me one day, and he saw me just having a meltdown and. Probably yelling at a cook or something or or berating cook. And he pulled me aside. And he said the reason you're yelling is because you have insecure you're insecure and you're not confident your own abilities. And I'll never forget that moment. Because I was like fuck you in my mind. I was like fuck you like, you don't know. This is war every day. It's war. We have to like get this ready. Everything's on the line. What do you know, you you can come here in eating not work at your own restaurant? What do you know? And I never forgot that moment. And the reality is when I see one of my cook, my younger, chefs younger in terms of like years put in this business and anytime someone's in a management position. And they're having a hard time getting someone to do something. I mean this happens all the time, and they're so frustrated that they wind up losing their temper. I'm like, I say the same thing. The reason you're yelling, you're not good enough. You're not good enough. And you have a lot of insecurity, and the factors that chef was one hundred percent, right. And it took me several years to unpack with them because you were doing those. You're like throwing your fist through all your staff. Call them Korean termites. Yeah. No. And you know, it's funny. It's like I. I didn't know it's taken me a long time to understand why would ever get that upset or anything? Because in the thing is right around that time is I started seeing a psychiatrist right around two thousand four two thousand three two thousand four was when I started seeing the psychiatrist I still see now. And I all of a sudden had a anger issue that I never had when I worked for other people because I was always being the subservient cook. And all of a sudden when I would like freak out. I was not prepared. I did not have the ability to to I didn't have the tools all right or the maturity to learn how to to handle myself or manager frustrations by frustration. I know I DEA the one of the few things that I found to be truthful. Why actually love to cook? Cook was that it didn't fail me. Right. Like, I felt like everything in my life sort of failed me in cooking was the one thing that if I do it, right? Like, it's right. It's. Pure pure. Yeah. It's like the way I feel about music could never lets me down. Never lets me down in like if I label something, right? If I condense everything, right? If I cook something, right? If I wash my hands properly and dry properly, I season it that is like ultimately care and that had never failed me. And that's why I actually love cooking was wait all these things that don't matter. But if I care about it, I might suck at it. But repetition, I'll get better at it. And when I would see someone for the first time being in a position management. I never even been a sous chef before all of a sudden not care about the things that I care about that were quite frankly, like, I wouldn't say save my life. But gave it purpose that like just couldn't fuck it understand why someone to do that. And it would be like then trying to take from me somehow, some something how did you eventually change your move because your mood has changed, and I can imagine in the restaurant people who work under you feel that keenly. Yeah. I mean, I feel like I've just tried to grow up, and unfortunately, it's been in the public eye for for a lot of it. And and those that I work with and you know, there are people that have been with me, thankfully for for many years. So almost fourteen fifteen years, and and when they make decisions like how we used to make decisions I have to say like that doesn't work anymore. You can't. I think for whatever reason I think trying to be a better person more thoughtful and adjusted has has become like my hobby. I mean, 'cause I think that translates to running a better business somehow, I also think you're becoming I'm noticed in the arc of ugly delicious. And also in your podcast that you are trying very hard to find a positive line of thinking. Yeah. Because you know, you I I would be out with you. Sometimes I'd hear you. You would go down the dark tunnel of despair and criticism, and it's very funny to watch you and Renee RDS because Rene is disposition Lee optimistic. Yes. Right. And you and you'll sit there and you'll you'll be dissecting something and you're trying to lament it. And he's trying to say this is what be useful. Yeah. Is that true? Yeah. I mean like I'm trying right? And one of the things like it's funny. I never thought I'd talk about like my mental illness after all these years, but after boarding pass. I was like fuck like, I have I feel like there's some responsibility. And ultimately, I feel like had I been more forthright and sharing with him. Maybe something could have changed. I am someone that is probably the most pessimistic person you've ever met. If anyone met me, they're like, yeah. I may not be the guy listening, Morrissey, the cure and just chew gazing. But as a whole, I tend to think incredibly negative negative thoughts about everything that's just who. I am. And a lot of that stems from how I feel about everything. Right. So it's listen what else can I do other than try to get help for it. Right. It's not it's not a lifestyle that I would like to live. But it's the prison that the world is it's a negative cast to your mind is it about what you think of human nature. Yeah. Yeah. And everything it's not always the most like the best outlook of things. But also my own thing. Like how I how I fit into the world. Right. It's very much everyone's against me which goes back into like, if someone doesn't do something that I cherish. It's not selfish. It's like some. That gives me meaning and someone's trying to trash it. I get incredibly defensive about that. So like today, for instance, I yelled at one of my sous chefs, and I immediately polish is five minutes afterward. I was gonna say it's only eleven AM. And like, and I didn't yell like I used to. But I definitely like lost my voice. I raise my voice in a way. That was like everyone's like oh. And I could I could sense. Like fuck I got so mad at myself. I fuck. Because they didn't do something that I've been asking. And ultimately, I could have done a better job. I realized that's on me whenever someone fucks up. Ultimately, that's on me because I could have prepared them better. I could put them in a position where making a better decision was easier. Right. And ultimately that's on me. So I'm media was like fuck, I'm such a fucking hypocrite. I'm an asshole. I was like go to the sous-chef. I was like, hey, let's go to the other room. And I brought another chef to and I explain to them what happened. And I tell I told him I was like listen, and this is going to sound crazy. But when you did this the reason I behave that way was this. And I said like when you didn't do that. And you didn't listen to me. I took that as you try and hurt me. Yeah. Right. I'm telling you, this may not make any sense. I know that's not true. So I was reacting to something that wasn't real. So I'm apologizing in. I was like, and I think he's like what the fuck and the what the fuck face immediately turned in dude. This is like years of fucking ropy to get here to this moment. Right. And like, I was a very motion moment for us. And I was like, you know, we hugged it out. And it was like, you gotta understand man. Like, I don't wanna I don't wanna behave this way. But like if I do like, you know, this is it's not. I'm not trying to find rationale to to behave that way. But I'm simply saying like, I now know why behaves. Oh, certain way, and I'm trying to like knock go down that road. Going back and thinking about how you changed your restaurants. Every step of the way, you're remarkably adaptive person, and you might see it as a as a kind of fucked up. But I always see it the other way, which is maybe it's just again, the cast that you to something. But like a well Chang recognized pretty quickly that noodle bar wasn't working. And then Sombor also same thing. Right. And you you weren't you doing like Mexican we're doing burrito? Which actually probably now would work, right? You're just. Yeah. I feel very strong about any idea that was so insane. But I think I look back on her now is maybe I was trying to fail. But it was basically Crean and Asian food served in vehicle of Mexican burritos and tacos seat sounds delicious to me. Made sense to me no-one no-one went for it. Just dead. Was this is how it looks after years ten plus years later as like for many years. I blamed everyone else. And then I realized I could have made that better I could marketed that better I could present it this better. So it's been a lot of analysis of to y y fucked it up, and ultimately again, most the responsibility was on me. So I didn't know how to do it then either. So weirdly through a lot of different paths. We get to bang bar in bond bars, basically Sombor two point, oh, at least original version of it done in a completely different way. Again, because another thing that I am for sure is the moment with the most stubborn Astles you've ever met, particularly when someone tells me you can't do something or it doesn't fail account in twelve years. See I can't live with myself. Right. Like a half to scratch that each when you think about your influence. Does it bother you that when you see people copying you? I I went to John mine, I went to a restaurant in in Maui. Oh on Hawaii. It was like a fucking Chang. Copycat? It was like food created by not David Chang. They should've had it like trademarked, and it was like the plastic bottle. You know, the little Qassam sauce. It was the steam bonds, even the decor that just everything about of the box. It looked like your restaurant, and I was like Changsha beginning money for this. This does that not pissed you off for I think for a while it did. And then when I have to think about it. I have to realize I haven't really invented anything. I was just sort of change ratios repackage it a little bit differently. And how the juxtaposition of certain things come together. I think that also does it differently. Like, we say it in a different way that was ever presented before like that. I have to be humble about me. Like, you know, what fine. And then maybe I have to hope that that restaurant might evolve into something else. And maybe that's the first restaurant or like, I'm. Learning not to cash judgments Zo like immediately because I'm the new positive again. Like what I'm trying to do. Right. I realize like if I behave the way I'd behaved before it's a dark path. Right. Yeah. So I have to think about that and be like empathize. What if this person was like immigrant, and they saw some that channel that we're on. And they're like, oh, we can open up this restaurant. It's like what I'm the. I'm going to be the worst person world. If I say fuck, you you can't do that. If I hope if I believe as a person that my the world, I wanna live in is diverse full of new ideas, and like inclusive all of these things, then I have to represent those feelings too. Even though sometimes I may not want to an intruder actually was an awesome meal, and it was great. And I actually I thought well, it's not so bad. If they're a bunch of Momofuku offs all over the world. At least it'll be delicious. We had the money to do. So. But like the other thing about that in it certainly can be flattering. And I try. Not to believe anything that's positive because I feel like, you know, my head is physically big enough. I don't need it to be bigger. Is like the only thing I get sad about when I see that as I fucking hate imitation. I. I don't know who said it. But it's like it's suicide, right? Like, you only have so much time on this planet. Why would you endeavor to do something that's not your own? Ultimately, it's interesting that you say that you don't think you created anything original or or new because I was rereading the profile that Alan Richmond, dating G Q in two thousand seven, and I was struck by how far we've come culinary culinary as a country since then he was expressing expressing the pleasure and surprise of discovering something new, and he sort of captured the food world sentiment when Sombor came onto the scene. This quote struck me eating mumble Cousteau bar is like falling in love with the woman who's language you don't speak captivating. But mystifying at Sombor, you won't understand the food. But you will immediately regret all the years you live without it. And I was thinking when I read that I totally understand that food. Not only do I recognize it. But I recognize it now as American is that what you wanted all along, isn't it like just? I think it's sort of like this worldview thing, and you know, it's funny like John Heilemann political commentator, sorta summarize my life in a weird like two sentences when we're talking about Brad Kavanagh because I graduated from the same school, unfortunately as as him, and he's like your whole life is the. Antithesis of what like that kind of world is supposed to be and and I want I I don't know. I mean, a lot of it has to be how I was raised and how I viewed things, but a lot of it was I feel like I was forced that when there's one way that's the only way and I hate that. That is something that I have to fight against like, I think that just makes me so fucking angry when someone says that that whether it's a cultural bias nece or totalitarian state or something like we're talking about food here to ultimately, I think he can represent the worst part of like ourselves. It's like there's only one way you can get to this goal. And that's this way. Right. And I always rejected not just do that and food like in anything, whether it's religion or or particularly religion, I guess for me. But there's gotta be more than one way to get to the end. Food in the end goal and food is simply this when you eat a meal, are you happy that you're there was a delicious. And is this something you want to eat again? Did it bring you joy, right? How the fuck you got there who fucking cares who cares seriously as long as it's done in a moral universe. Where you're not fucking hurting anyone in your good custodian who gives a shit if this French guy says this is the only way in like some dude in Indonesia says this is the best way. If how you've leave this meal is joyous. Who's fucking right or wrong is someone spent five hundred dollars in someone's been five dollars. What's the fucking difference? Hey, I want to take a quick break here to thank me. Sean, don't as you know, because you've been listening Matt influence features personalities and performers who shape our culture focusing on moments that have mattered. Most of them we explore artistic breakthroughs in hard one discoveries helped forge alleged season defined careers the stuff in other words that's worth celebrating. So it's fitting that this season. Matt infant is presented by moesha who has stood for celebrations for over two hundred seventy five years, as we examined the ingredients of some pretty unforgettable creative fears for grateful in support of the most love champagne and for their encouragement to celebrate. Moods. I want to make sure that I asked you about something that we've talked about before that I think it's really interesting and actually hits to this larger theme of how you build a longer life of creativity. You say that chefs don't recognize that they do the best of their work in a limited amount of time that most of them are going to do their best work between what did you say like between twenty and thirty five. Yeah. Twenty seven and thirty five. So the problem is that they don't understand that. They don't face it. What what is the problem? And can you explain the theory what you should and what you should take from it, Jim. And I've had this conversation over the years in variety formats, and this is another sometimes I disagree to I'm wrong all the time on a lot of things. So. And I've asked this to a lot of people in some kind of craft or creative endeavor. I'm sort of infatuated and obsessed with idea when you're at your best. And people can disagree. But I think that in the variety of fields there are certain moments. And certainly there's going to be exceptions to the rule, but there come some framework some window in your life, where if you are dedicated to it you are going to be at your best. And that's just to me a truth. Right. That you can get your if you're dedicated to it that is where you pursuing something that you are single-minded track focused on it. And you want to do some excellent work at some point on that journey that trajectory. You know, there's going to be a moment where you are peaky. You. You're just at the best. Possible powers. You see that on flex you. See that a mathematics. He didn't visit music. You see that in film? And I think when I asked this question to a lot of my comedian, you can name it a lot of people don't like thinking about it because it's creative mortality. Yeah. And I fucking love it because it's like I never want to be on like realize like, oh like I should have like retired. That's to me the worst. Worst thing is to put out shit. When you think you're still good enough? I know I'm I'm always been obsessed with the idea of hacks. Like, I want to do a book called. Hacksaw user's manual because there's so many they need help recognizing when you're hack, right? Yeah. And that's the worst terror to me is like waking up one day and realizing your hack, and listen, I'm not coming up with this theory other than for my own sort of like use. But I if I chart out a lot of the chefs that were meaningful to me both men or women as to what they're sort of most famous dishes war almost everyone like that. They they might be known for three to five dishes happened from the ages of twenty six to thirty five almost everyone. And I dare anyone to do the same thing and plotted out you're gonna see a correlation of data that all suggests that it's around that time and what happens at that moment in someone's life. Right. I think that's very telling you mean, it's before they get settled in before they wisdom. Okay. I is wisdom stopped in innovation at some point. You. Wow. Yeah. That is depressing though because wisdom should be somebody. That's well. Wisdom should be something that's gained it is gained. But I also logic. Wisdom is something. That is always, you know, the common denominator as to what happens in life, right and through experience. Wisdom is experienced. You realize that certain things are gonna work and certain things aren't and for me when I see it. It's like, and I've talked to other chefs when they are in their sort of later twenties, and they for the most part don't know enough, but they believe in themselves. So so fiercely that they don't think that any ideas a bad idea. Right. And and because of that naievety, they believe that they're going to try something so reckless and so possibly stupid that anyone with more wisdom would never have attempted it, and the thing is what I really believe strongly about is when you are able to try to do something like. That when the odds are stacked against, you know, getting this is obviously me projecting my own life in so many ways was. Everyone's going to tell you what's going to work, not work. But until you actually know, and I believe like so fiercely in this is that when you fail. You don't really know if it's a failure. You're not self aware. It's almost like scarring new dimension in reality right in your weight. Everyone wants to edit in their head, right? And I say this a lot to younger to some of my sous chef's when they make a dish. I just happened the other day as prep for noodle bar. Someone was making a cabbage dish. And I just was like make it a delicious sauteed cabbage dish in the version that I was given and taste and he's been slaving away. At this dish was ripping spicy. It was like muddled it at rice cakes. It was like seventeen different things. And I was like what version is this? Honestly, he's like probably like forty right? And like if you mapped all of these versions out was it worth it is that you're asking, no. As like, how many of those did you just edit out in your head? And how many do you actually physically do because you you're saying forty, but I doubt you actually this is version forty one point. Oh, right. I bet you this is version three. Right. Right. And he's like, yeah. And I'm like dude you have to understand in your head. When you're getting something if you have the current verte by the time, you get to like version, forty one in your head you're so far removed from where you actually started to be that you don't it's like it's like telephone game in your own brain, at least creatively, and it becomes his warp fucking thing. And I was like so often you forget that you might have to go back to ground zero to start again. And it was like this dish that you're making is not even remotely based on cabbage. You've lost the cabinet shit. And all I'm trying to say is like don't edit in your head. And if you fuck this up version one two three four five if you continue to interet on that dish physically and Mike make notes and be logical and rational and take all of this information in if you did it if you did it that way, and you got the version forty again, I doubt that you would be at the place you're at right now. I would I wish he'd guarantee you wouldn't be at that point. So for me, it's like, you know, there's this quote, and it's not I can't remember who said it because it's such a fucking impossible book. Ulysses jobs, but like Arizona, the portals discovery errors of the portals discovery genuinely like if I got one tattoo, which I never will. That would be something. I would believe in. I do believe in so failure in that regard is the most important thing. So when you're young and you're stupid, but you have enough training that you can actually execute something. You're more willing to fuck up and figure out from that mistake, something that someone. Had more wisdom or experience would never have even seen. What are your friends chef friends like Rene say when you throw out this theory 'cause they're like aren't they like fuck you? I'm still waiting. I'm still doing everybody. Chint the best of, you know, people have to sort of believe that the their best work is a head. Yes. I believe that. And I think though that what a lot of some even like someone like Rene he is. And he would still disagree anything. If he's here, I'm saying he is not physically doing it himself anymore. He is now using his wisdom to put other people in positions of success. And that's still the creative process, but he's more of a producer. Yeah. And I just want to figure out how to maximize each point on this trajectory as best. I can is that true of you. Because we're going to say I could counter that you have become a better chef over the years that I think major Domo is it's a mature restaurant. So. Oh, yeah. Yes. So doesn't that sort of crush your theory? Yeah. I guess it does. Killed nobody. I mean for me, though, major dome was like, ultimately, I think what might Trump that is when you have something to say hike like I had to get it off my chest. Right. That restaurant was I felt very strongly that if that failed my crew was over really. Yeah. I'd put all of that pressure on. And I I wanted to make sure that tenuously about your career. Well, I just felt like nothing matters if this fails. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. And that's just how I. Yeah. And it wasn't even it's not when I rephrase it wasn't just me. It was the people in the team that we have there that we believe in each other to get to a goal that. We we all shared. We actually all share what we wanted the restaurant to be and I shared with them. What I some of the ideas, I hadn't they shared some of their ideas. And we work really hard to get to that goal. Ultimately, an I've told them this major Domo doesn't have to be like I just wrote the first paragraph. I want to end on a positive note, the new the new positive Dave Chang who out there now is underrated either chefs or restaurants, who when you go out there who who inspires you. It makes you think Dan, that's the next. That's the next wave. I mean why? Now when people come in the town, I feel like everyone wants to eat Ed via Kuroda I have to ask myself. It's like what is Rita and even though Jody's is not technically there. But like, they're I think they're both involved in everything they do together. It's like somehow they they're in the spotlight just enough and people love their fucking restaurants, and they're homey to. Yeah. And they all put it's also fucking delicious. Yeah. And. They make a kind of simulation of burger that I actually do dream about that is fucking awesome. And I just think that that's cool. It's like, oh, wait like they do their thing. And if they get more recognition greatest, not they don't care they have restaurants in Japan, and France, it's like Bouvet and Peres in Tokyo. Outside of the world. I don't know in terms of like doing cool shit. You know, I mean like, you know, run as one of my best friends. I just think what known was doing right now is like the closest thing we sort of have to like, the fashion like putt couture. Like right now, it's like so fucking out there in the best positive way. Everyone asks me for Paris. Like, I think PASCAL Bo is still like pound for pound the best chef in the world. Where is he in near the Eiffel tower? I don't remember the the the district strong is the three Michelin stars. But how he does it. Right. You in in some ways, you have two schools of cooking. Now, you have the robo Sean way, which is very systemized and it works like clockwork. And then you have the free flowing improvise ation of the peer gone year or Peche way that which is the veg- vegetables. Yeah. Small centric. So our page you say of two schools. Yeah. The robot Sean wing, which is like Swiss clockwork. And then you have the the improvise ational ingredient driven -ness of all on Sar. And that to me are like the prevailing like your p insensible American Centric ways. And weirdly enough. I would never have thought that petard would probably be the most influential chef of the past fifty years, but I'd probably say that I think he's clips for non. So you know, like if you can cook in that vein. That's something that I I I like a lot more because I think it's both are very difficult. Very different schools of thought why do you say is the most influential just because he's the first guy to really embrace vegetables in sort of way. She just was. She was so ahead of the curve. And and he's. Been more ingredient driven. And he was the first person to do like like in the ninety s he is the jacuzzi against the meat industry. He did so many things that I think people might see as noxious, but I can't see another chef right now as influential as Ron and Heston and Keller and all those guys are also waters. I think casare today if I go out to dinner is the most dominant chef in most restaurants that I I see then people may not even realize it. But how he looks at food. How he plays food. That's to me everywhere. And I mean easily I could be wrong, but I see his patterns and fingerprints in more restaurants than any other chef in the world. Do you think L as the most influential food city now, I do believe that one hundred percent and sorry, New York? Like, listen, I I've been here a long time and it pains me to say that. But if you have been here a long time if you haven't recognized a shit. Shift like then your heads in the sand. And I think entirely that has to do with hubris and economics, why would a younger cook live here as difficult as it is when they may never get their opportunity to open up a restaurant when they could make more money in Tennessee and have their own spot or Austin, and then Houston, like it's just the fact that every city in America, literally has a great restaurant and a sustainable economy can open up restaurants and the democratization of food has been great for America and bad from New York and New Yorkers just gotta deal with it. And instead of bitching about it. Everyone's New York's just got to do a better job. Where have you eaten in besides Koreatown? Because you always take your town in LA besides midge Domo that you'd say everyone's gotta go there. I mean, just 'cause oh God bless her. I think squirrel is just one of my favorite places anywhere because it's a food. You want to eat all the time and people think that it's just like breakfast food. And when you eat it, it's really good. It's. Good because she's thoughtful. And she's a great chef. And she uses techniques that are incredibly smart. So I don't think she gets nearly enough credit the animal guys obviously with their growing empire. It's amazing. Jon Benet, Jon Vinnie. You know, you have a lot of different people Dave baron. I still haven't been there yet and twenty logged dialogue in the sin. Santa Monica at next you have Jessica Lardy who I think is we had her on my pod has opened up a in the arts district called Simone. I haven't yet to nine there. But I think she might be the most talented chef like in America today under a certain age group. Right. But even that's sort of stupid. I just she sort of like this weird prodigy that hasn't fucked it up, and she so sensible immature. It's scary. Really? Wow. I'm I to go there. And I also hear you talking about it about L A so much more exciting than you talk about New York. Because again, it's not because of New York and not talking positively like we're here. We're opening more stuff in your than anywhere else. New York is still going to be the greatest city to live in. And when I say, it doesn't have the best food culture. That's not true. It's still the best like technical eating town. But there are more people trying to fuck up in LA. I think that's it. It's like school. You don't have people that are trying weird shit, man. And I love that it's weird. And it's getting more weird. There is a beat to LA that's hard to replicate anywhere else. And again, like, I'm so pro Houston because of the diversity and people, and this is where I get positive, right? Yeah. Yeah. That's trying to end appreciative mode. Because like I while I'm a pessimist I say, I'm weirdly the best kind of optimistic because I'm a pessimist that hopes to be wrong. Right. So. I think that LA, and I spent a lot of time there when I I I can see when people get upset from LA when they say the New Yorkers or people from the east coast say, oh, yeah. L really good. Now. I see I understand. Now. Why though like, oh, you're just discovering Greenmarket are discovering are giant Latino population. The fact that we have world-class Korean food Thai food, you name it Filipino food across the board. It's like the world wasn't ready for what? And we didn't need your fucking approval. For New Yorkers to finally come over and say, hey, this is a pretty quick respect to their like you guys. We don't need you to tell us that we've got to go on on. We gotta going on which is why we chose to live. But I gotta say the food scene is way way better and both L A and Houston or two places where you go there now. And it's almost like you can't it's like that that, you know, try and take a sip out of water out of a fire hydrant where you just you just get blown away. Hot people can try shit out man and not to me so excited when people are willing to do something in any anytime you start a business, and this is again trying to mature because I used to shit talk my business all the time when anyone would do anything. How stupid it was now? I'm like, dude any time. Anyone tries to open up a business. God bless them. And I hope nothing but success because it's so fucking hard. You have no idea if some individuals like myself leverage, everything, right? And they're just hoping for a better date. And they don't know what the fuck that is so. Anytime someone opens up a business you want them to succeed because I've seen too many people lose their fucking shirt. So when people don't succeed in this business. It is like so fucking San right because there's alternately it's not a business of that's going to reward you financially. You know, it's got it's got a feed the spirit or something like that. Dave Chang, talk to you all day, we got to wrap it up ending on a positive note. Thanks so much and everybody go eat at MoMA FU. Check out the new restaurant watch ugly, delicious. Listen to the Dave Chang show the podcast. Thanks for being my guest. Thank you. Hey, thanks for listening to Matt influence. We'll be releasing new episodes every two weeks. And if you liked what you heard leave us a review or a comment on itunes, or whatever platform you used to listen. Thanks, and we'll see you next time.

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