Bonus: David Chang Interview


Camila Johnny Hi Emily v Gordon and wow you're getting a bonus this is a bonus episode of staying in with Emily and Komal. You guys have been going so you get a bonus. This bonus episode is an interview with our friend. David Chang who is a chef and restaurateur restaurants? All her also and Artur. He has a show on. Netflix called ugly delicious. Which is one of my favorite shows. I cry watching not. He's not but what makes an tour? I mean I don't. Let's keep someone who does things clear. Think goods this things good. He's not talk as he does things we interview with him and we it was. We kind of ended up chatting for a while. I will say that he you'll hear on the episode. He's on the phone trying to grab Wi fi where he can to talk to us. So the quality. Don't yell at us about the quality. We did our best and I will tell you that the first three minutes to quality isn't great and then the quality improves. Yes but it's I. Don't think so bad that will make you want to tear your eyes out and throw them at a bus. But perhaps we haven't been studio turns your eyes out and throw the Metro bus. Wow I don't think I've ever been dad upset. I get on the bus. If you've torn your eyes up. Is it a stationary purchase topped bus? It's not a moving bus stop at a bus stop. Maybe you gotta hurry before. All the customers derives house fast. I don't think I could rip my eyes out that quickly. Okay let's get back right. Oh sorry the buses gone. It's a lovely. It's a lovely conversation with a lovely man who has very passionate about the restaurant industry. Obviously I'm very passionate about food so we wanted to talk to him about that in this new day and age you wanted to. Yeah we wanted to hear about whether restaurant industries stands in this day and age as you just said and we wanted to get some cooking tips from him like how. How do we take care of ourselves? How do we do good job cooking when now all of us have cooking a lot more than we perhaps not all of us but some of us are cooking more than we're used to so with less ingredients at times? Yep less ingredients that enjoyed this conversation with David. J Hey Dave Chang. How're you doing good? It's been a pretty brutal say fertile week. I felt that from hanging. Then I if you went with where in the world are you located currently not in New York. I'm staying at play and like family members here that are stuck to fly my goodness. I have a Literally and ask the friend helped out and he literally all here but the Wi fi is terrible. So I'm calling you out by the liquor store in the you know the way the most of us aren't getting your all your cell phone. Yeah I'm calling cell phone on the Wifi near your liquor stores that I I've packed into these are essential services. This is what they meant when they had essential services literally. I start of having you on the podcast. Because you were so vocal tweeting about people in the service industry who are gonNA be so hit hard. Hit so hard by this. Obviously there are so many people that are going to suffer but I feel like that that sort of subset of people. It's going to be very very difficult for him. Apart from all the actual sickness. This is one of the big fallouts of this thing. I've been keeping tabs of covert nineteen for a while because I have friends in the industry in Asia and obviously in how decimated their industries and their restaurants and lot ways allies. And I don't know if there's a disconnect but I knew it was going to come here but like no matter what like I wasn't as prepared as health and you know I'm still processing why it wasn't like doing ladder about it because I I guess I was afraid. People are gonNA be like chicken little little bit but that's what commands new nickname in fact. That's what I call myself. I've been calling myself chicken little and like I was really scared. I didn't WanNA cause or so I knew what was going to happen. So and it did help and No cost to hear the hyperbolic sort of tone of this'll be the doom of your business but it really is here and You know whether people realize they're not restaurants are tied cash flow business. So you need money possibly in your doors in order to pay your employees and you have a little farther than it just set up or if you're not open you're gonNA hemorrhage money and And there's this great article written about The so that chain reaction if the restaurants slow from pick service restaurants too small mom and pop restaurants and everything in between the economy is going to be shut down because they're not the people who do the laundry completing their trash fish monger put sure the farmers the people that play like gets an entire heating system. That's around axel restaurants and it's not just he's an hourly employees and documented undocumented workers that lose their job to benefit and it literally. Everybody and I was like foolish that happened. I mean I'm not an economist but I just don't see how this work and it was pretty clear to me that there was no unified voice. And there's those solidarity because you know we're a band of independent restaurant operators whether you have one restaurant or several like we do Just don't have the cash flow to continue to tape people We just don't and as much as I would love to people think I'm Richard. I actually am all my money. There was in the restaurant so you know it's it's a it's a it's a promptly situation and restaurants are far to get loans even in good times. I don't know if people realize that. A lot of chefs personally guarantee loans or get investors to open up a restaurant because they'll think it's going to give restaurant low Because Batting Besson and is considered by the economy as a non essential distance and I was just really scared. Because I think we're going to happen is every once in a gift. Her but the people that have representation and huge balance sheets. And Are you seeing? Bide important businesses like banks and hotels and their lives and cruise ship. They're going to get paid. I you know they're they're they're well oil machine particularly in the lobbyists sector and whatnot. And there's no organization even though there's a lot of solidarity we don't have the mechanic to sort of mobilize our opinions and and in a time of need. I was really scared. That trump was going to best on your and that there's no lobbyists for restaurants. That's not a thing I mean I i. There's a national restaurant association. But like I think they. Their interest aren't always align with independent operators. And you know that's that's it. That's like most restaurants that you go to if they're not a chain restaurant or literally owned by you know someone that is in business for themselves or the you know like there's no coalition you know and so that there is no lots and I know that chefs or scrambling to figure out how to get lobbyists. And when I heard a number was being thrown at thrown around to get a lobbyist was three hundred a half million bucks I guess so man I was like. How could some human being not try to do this? Pro Bono is beyond. Yeah and you know. It's a restaurant as someone who obviously goes to restaurants. All the time loves restaurant. World Food is such a way to important part of my life. I'd never actually thought about the restaurant industry. And how it sorta sustained itself until just now. I mean obviously new. Since I was a little kid I go to a favorite restaurant. And if their people weren't there I would get like sad I'd be like Oh this place isn't going to last but I haven't thought about. It's the first time that I've thought about like the entire restaurant industry as a whole where it seems like as you were saying big restaurants. Small restaurants everybody. Everybody's in a tough situation right now. It's it's such a weird thing to think about Because it's never happened for it's hard to contemplate and You know people need to understand that we're as vital to the economy as the banks and insurance companies in two thousand and eight that got saved by the government and that was the Hashtag too big to fail and a lot of people rightfully mad at these banks and institutions. Because they got us into this mess on the other end of the spectrum. We didn't restaurants didn't do anything to get us into this mess. Yeah you gotTa do Shit Everything. You guys are blameless and yet also like we. Everybody desperately misses you desperately. Needs you know we were watching. We started watching the new season of your show ugly delicious by the way people at home if you haven't seen ugly delicious on Netflix. It's an amazing show. I will say when we started watching. Swe Watching your fried rice episode. Which is the first episode. I got so like I got this curious. Mix of like anger and sadness and like it was like singing ex-boyfriend onscreen just watching people sitting around a table enjoying food at a restaurant. I emily started bawling of you know Alan Yang is their mutual friend of ours and and food critics and and chefs and stuff and you and emily. I looked over and your show makes me cry. I told you this before. I've cried it your show before but I looked over to the right. We're few minutes into the episode. Emily is balling in a fetal position. Just crying and it just hit me quite hard. I was like that is something I think. All of us maybe took for granted is is how important just sitting down to eat with friends in a in a public place how important that has been to all of us no matter the amount of money you have. If you're going to a denny's if you're going to one of your it doesn't matter where you are like. That's something that I didn't realize how much I was going to miss. And it's only been a week and a half barely any time so it was hard I we had to turn that episode off. Unfortunately I I'll I'm GONNA get back and I finished watching it and I. I loved that episode because it sort of gets to what your show is. Obviously you know I love food shows cooking shows but you're show really captured sort of the social aspect of food and the cultural aspect of food so that episodes of mud fried rice and really talk about how racism against Asian people sort of fits into Americans enjoyment of Chinese food and many many episodes of sort of like that fried chicken. Abbas from last season was awesome. Really good that's what I love about the show. I've never seen a show like that's really about how throw parts of and how food brings us together and we take for granted but it's about community it has always been about community and telling stories over food is one of the sort of like. I think that's that's like part of humanity and you know I I mean like everyone else. I've been critical of trump. Because you know it is important what you eat. And this has a direct correlation to what the stimulus packages or their lack of support from a federal governments end. Because you know trump eat fast food and he doesn't want to eat food from state MUZIO PIA or you know Mexico or countries that she just you know. Is You know afraid of trying new things. So if he doesn't care about that he doesn't care about the people there. Why would he care about a restaurant you know? That's trying to make some food from region of the world that he doesn't care about. Why would he want to save this restaurant? And that's frustrating. And I think I honestly think you guys are artists and unique in the way that the art you make the food you make literally becomes part of the person like you literally consumed that art. It becomes a part of you. There's no other artists that really has that. You can't get kicked out. Try to eat a renoir. Once I I couldn't pick him out of a lineup but basically that it really biologically becomes part of you. Do you have any suggestions? We one thing that I do now. I don't know if I have. I've been suggesting to people personally but I'll do now to buy a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant now if that restaurant is not open for take out just to show a way of showing support for that restaurant. Do you have any other thoughts on what people can do to support their favorite local restaurants? Yeah you know. There are a multitude of things you can do gift certificates as one. I would say almost every restaurant that I know has a gun. Gofundme page to support their employees that are currently out of work But but there is one suggestion. I think you can do that. Actually costs money right now as as important as it is to support our employees and hourly employees. I think it's do make sure that you call your congressman and your senators to ensure that restaurants small businesses and people don't have the voice get her and you may not think that matters again but your local restaurant that you love so much needs to know that government is looking out for them so call the hotline switchboard. It's two zero two two two four three one to one and just tell them that they happen. Support this restaurant because the stimulus package is going to happen. I still don't know what's actually in it. But they have to fall through because if we don't take care of our employees in this time of Covert Nineteen I. I'm really scared about America in the world over because we don't want people to die we don't want people to feel scared and these are the people that make up our restaurants that make good for everybody. Oats wild import. We checked our does little diner around the corner from us very very small diner that we would eat at two or three times a week and they had a gofundme page. Emily sort of contacted them and was like. Hey what's going on with you guys? They said we go fund me page so we donated and then we got food from a restaurant. You know very well Jim Ladder. Yea we called in went in. It was so heartbreaking to go there you know. You're getting emotional. Going to the experience of it. Part of it is like you're going to wait. I hope there's a table. I hope it's going to be packed. We went it was emptied. The door was locked and let one person and I went and got food for the week. We spent we a lot of money just as we could eat missing it so much because we had just sorta cooked for ourselves for two weeks and just been eating the same exact thing and then getting this food felt like it felt like a miracle and she's the best That restaurant and that's exactly that like Jit. Ladas an institution and we're going to lose some of our favorite places and not just lose like people need to be ready that maybe your favorite restaurant or restaurants may not open up again and then there's a real reality. That's a more probable outcome. I don't know how many restaurants are going to survive and people are throwing numbers on seventy five percent off. I actually think it might be ninety percent of all restaurants if we don't get adequate aid we'll never open their doors because it's just impossible and I don't WanNa live in Los Angeles with Jim. Oughta now I mean either. Yeah we wouldn't be went over to this diner bias. We were retarded. They might be open for takeout into a fully closed. And I had to start. I was like dismayed. Displacement never open again. This might not the last time we ate. There might have been the last time we ate. Then we didn't even know it. I think we all take for granted like we want stuff now. We want it convenient. We want we want all that stuff and I think for too long. We've kind of not as a group. We have not been thinking about all the people that have busted their asses to give us the food that we like so good wakeup call for that a terrible way to do it but good Waco we've had we've all had I would say you know if you can do it trying to support your local restaurants at the very least you can call your congressman. We've all had so many amazing memories at restaurants you fall in love you've proposed to people you've broken up also fell in love and Andy's a little bit yeah. That was a restaurant in Chicago. Called Andy's that was like Persian food and that was our first date and we go by there every time we go back to. Chicago does so much so much of so many great memories associated with so many restaurants. I mean it's it's hard to fathom man. It's it's so tough to think about but There are restaurants that are doing delivery and that's a whole nother debate like restaurant tours and chefs owners have been presented real moral dilemma to close your doors And not get income so you might not be able to help out your employees or remain open to do delivery but expose workers to potential. You Know Kobe. Nineteen and that's a really tough dilemma. And I I. I don't blame anyone for doing any decision because it's not a good decision either way but you have to do what you have to do. And if you do order delivery I encourage people to tip very well Yeah like how an you know. Don't do your best not to order delivery sites. Call the restaurant up. Because delivery sites are taking thirty percent of the top line revenue of a restaurant and I just find that to be not right especially in this time right now so call the restaurants if you can and I know that a lot of restaurants are doing delivery the lines busy but unfortunately I don't have that stuff in front of you. I know one of the delivery services was going to waive those fees for the restaurants. I think I look it up. Yeah we'll look it up. I don't have enough information. Artists take a quick break here. We'll be right back. Hello I'm Harry Nelson. I'm the producer of this podcast. Please excuse the interruption but I would like to talk to you about different podcast and that show is today explained. Okay let's be real. There are a lot of Daily News. Shows out there on twenty twenty. But there's not one that's anything like today explained from box every day. The team picks and essential new story that defines the moment and then John Rama's forum sits down with some the world's best journalists academics and policymakers to help us understand it from corona virus. The twenty twenty election today explained really explains the news. All of it. Subscribe if you haven't already today explained for free right now and your favorite podcast APP to get new episodes automatically. Know back to the show what we did so you know. Obviously food is a big big on dates. All the stuff so what we did last week. Was We cooked at home? We got dressed up when we sat down and we had like date night at home and for us it was a little bit challenging because neither of us are like great cokes. Absolutely not great chef. This is the most we've cooked in a long time. If you wanted to talk to you and see you know. There are a lot of people who are sort of dealing with limited ingredients at home right now or they're intimidated by cooking. Do you have any general tips for people? How to sort of demystify? The process a little bit how to reuse ingredients. Yeah I mean. That's that's basically what I've been focusing on her while now as a home cook. 'cause I've recently never cooked at home until the birth of my sons had been cooking a lot at home and discover all these new tricks but first things I it's hard to get ingredients right now. It really is so you gotta make do and I think it makes you really appreciate what you had and I and I want people to remember that when we come out of this and we will to appreciate when things are going to be good again and and when you go out to dinner or make stuff at home and right now. I don't have exit home because I decided to blow them out for a big custer that I made a savory custard that I made for my family for breakfast and I'm feeding six adults and one baby so like it makes me like sort of freak out about trying to get enough food. I mean that's a weird thing to say in twenty twenty but I think it depends on what you have in your fridge but I think most people are have pasta. So that's an important thing. I think every fridge should try to have some type of cheese or Parmesan in because like even. If it's not like a fancy Parmesan it's still going to be good enough. Make a cut you a pet. Bay is one of the easiest dishes in the world. It really is and there's tons of recipes so I don't even have to tell you what the recipe but that was like a goto staple in terms of a chicken. I think stretching something out I always tried to make chicken soup. It's pretty easy in my opinion. I I'm saying it's pretty easy but trust me. I think it is because you put a chicken in a pot covered with water and you boil the hell out of and then you add some salt to taste and you can add some celery onions garlic. You wanted to make it more of a traditional chicken soup or you can add. She talking mushrooms and and noodles and soy sauce. If you wanted to make it a little bit more Asian and the other thing that I've been doing is using a lot of frozen foods a lot of frozen vegetables and and my microwave. I Cook with the microwave. A lot happy. My mom would be like so excited. She would make scrambled eggs in the microwave. Which I don't know that I would recommend you can actually make a pretty nice custard microwave for view. If you reduce the power of a Mike would do thirty percent. Keep it covered. You could actually make beautiful ex. Okay all right I hear you. I don't think you mom was reducing. The way that my mom was doing it was not turning out that way. Yeah we've been like so we've been cooking. You commented on this. I was so excited you commented on this. I basically made like Brioni. Which is my favorite dish. But I made it with cauliflower rice because we didn't have rice and also you know we were like. I'm just trying to find healthy versions of the things I love and obviously some people got upset at me for that but I also am also like we have a history of like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. My family's on trying to figure out I have both those things even though I watch what I eat. I exercise jacked. I just I'm trying to find versions of the food. I love that I grew up with that. I can sort of eat without having that sort of health thing be an issue and then I'd put Jalapeno peppers because that's what we had and someone was like. You didn't use like Real Chili's I'm like it's hard to get ingredients right now. We had cauliflower rice and we had Jalapenos so there you go and you can get the best advice you can give to your listeners. Exactly what you did. Screw the recipe. Make it delicious. You know. That's all that matters. And that's looked amazing. I bet it was delicious. Free and who cares if it's not authentic. We're in epidemic. I mean I mean I made a tomato sauce. I put it on instagram. And I have Barilla's pasta which isn't like a fancy pasta and I got a bunch of comments like oh guerrilla pasta and I was like it's all they had at the market. Screw you add chicken Bouillon to mayor sauce. People like in hall or a gas the that I would like file. Italian cuisine knows like I don't have Parmesan this is all. I have to add flavor to this my goal number one goal. Everyone's goal is exactly what you did. Have a memory of something you want and do your best to make it as delicious as possible and screw the rule book and it'd be cool if there's like ushered in a new trend when this is all over. This ushered in a new trend of of food. That's like all stuff that was born out of necessity from this. I think it'd be really cool. Yeah but that's actually what food has been to begin with almost all food. That's delicious worn out of necessity. Yeah and honestly that thing I made was really really good. I think about it. I've been thinking about it since then it was. It was really really good. You bring up an interesting point. I used to be different like when I was when I was a kid. I ate a lot of Pakistani food. I moved to America for me. Anyone anyone that tried to sort of change. That food was really upsetting to me right. I didn't like that I was thinking has to be a didn't like fusion food. I didn't like people making substitutions. I wanted to be exactly how it was but then over time I've learned obviously food. There's a lot of creativity to it and if people WANNA take different influences. Put them together as long as it tastes good. That's what matters it matters and it's and it's honestly kind of beautiful you creating a new thing out of these older things that's exactly and you guys the beautiful apple show and and and and and it's literally is like the same thing like my mom came to. America and she moved to Virginia in nineteen sixty nine got. I don't even know how she survived and she needed to make cream food. And there's no Asian supermarkets. So she improvised. You do the best you can with what you got. And that's just the way it's gotta be and authenticity is important to preserve culture and tradition but given the circumstances making delicious food in. This moment is more important than getting it. Perfect away that so I thought this while watching your episode about about fried free. You're talking about America Chinese food. Do you know. Have you ever had Pakistani Chinese food or Indian Chinese food? I have I unfortunately in the last this delicious we cut out a whole like segment of Indian Chinese food. Because it's amazing. How good. Yeah and that's what you know. That's what I though that was and it's different than what American Chinese food. Yeah different beautiful. What we call recall the Chinese food just like you call this Chinese food but it was always like Sweden Sour. Something was a big stable like beef with green chilies. Sixty five no. We didn't have that chicken corn soup. Everybody got chicken corn soup. You know what was interesting and I went to one of these kitchens. It's like the name was one of the most famous Chinese restaurants in Mumbai and I went to see what the staff was eating because like staff meal employees. There's always to me like the best meal in a restaurant at the cane customary never gets east and I saw them making like northern Indian food like on the board of China like. That's where a lot of the cooks were from or closer tiny think and they were Oh no no. I'm not trying to Vietnam and Southeast Asia. They were making a dare Indian food from that region with Chinese ingredients. That's so cool. Yeah that's exciting. I'm GonNa Pitch you the idea for the show I've had for a long time. Which is I want to do a travel cooking. Show where 'cause you sort of see like the influence of food as you go from like a Far East too like India Pakistan over to Africa. Then how sort of the rata type? Yeah like PIRATA is in so many different cultures like we have Samosas and then in Africa parts of Africa they have some boozers which is a very similar thing. So I want to trace the history of how these spices sort of went around and how it influenced all the food like you could see like Thai. Food is sort of like has some some elements in common with Chinese food some elements in common with Indian food. So I want to do a show at some point when I travel around tracing the whole history of spice trade. That'd be beautiful show and I think about it all the time and there are a lot of a main stories that you know. I think have only been told in academic settings and I think. Tv would be a great place for you to tell these stories. That'd be cited. I also say he pitches to me on our first date at Andy's talked about this on a hairstyle. Problems with follow through. I will get well. We'll thanks so much for talking to US man. This is really really helpful and your advice about cooking at home. It's so good. It's like whatever ingredients you have trying to make something good because I found like for me. I'm not a great cook at all. I used to cook a lot. I used to Pakistani food all the time and I didn't really measure stuff out. Sorta go by taste and things like that and sometimes it'd be great sometimes. It wasn't as great but I think that's part of the excitement for me. You're really getting creative with cooking. Which not everybody is for sure? I would put in like new different things I like this. Let's just see how it goes together and sometimes it would be a disaster. Sometimes you'd find something that was awesome. You know like I made French toast. I don't know how you feel about rosewater. Where do you stand? I think with French toast. I think that would be delicious. The sweetness a little bit of cinemanow cardamom. A little rosewater. I put a little bit of Cardamom rose water and French toast because those are like things that you know Pakistani desserts us and it's flavor in love that I never get to taste but that's the thing. Why would that be bad? That sounds amazing. It was it was very good so so. That's great advice. Just try and make something delicious from what you have get creative with what you have. Call Your Congressman Congressperson. Let them know and save the restaurant industry tip like hell and tip lake. Oh thank you thank you so much for talking to us and enjoy your time with your family. When you're getting a lot of law a lot be safe guys bye bye.

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