Chef David Chang of Momofuku - Biography

New York, NY

May 2012

Known as a “bad-boy” of the culinary industry, David Chang is the owner of the Momofuku restaurant group, unapologetic in both his outlook on food and his big personality. He has been credited with increasing the popularity of modern Asian cuisine through his culinary empire, now numbering five restaurants, several dessert bars, and a cocktail bar. Growing up in Arlington, Virginia, Chang was exposed to the restaurant industry from a young age as his father owned two bistros in Washington, DC. Despite this early influence, Chang did not immediately don an apron. He majored in religious studies at Trinity College and worked briefly in finance before deciding to attend the French Culinary Institute. Chang started at Mercer Kitchen and helped open Craft before moving to Japan where he worked at local ramen shops and izakayas as well as the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

After Japan, Chang spent a year at Café Boulud before bidding farewell to the fine dining world to start his own venture. Momofuku Noodle Bar was born in summer of 2004 and Ssäm Bar opened in 2006. Next for Chang were Momofuku Ko in 2007, Momofuku Milk Bar in 2008, and Má Pêche in 2010. Chang’s most recent venture is Seiōbo.

Chang has received numerous nominations and awards, including two Michelin stars for Ko, 2007 James Beard Rising Star of the Year, 2008 James Beard Best Chef: New York City for Ssäm Bar, and 2009 James Beard Best New Restaurant for Ko. In 2012, Chang was nominated for the James Beard Outstanding Chef award.