ramen and pickles

science, technology, and medicine served up with some tasty noodles

David Chang | City Arts & Lectures, July 17

Adam Savage’s interview with David Chang last night was very enjoyable.  They discussed some of David Chang’s history and biography, and although much of this information is in his book, Momofuku, it was fun to hear some of the details live and in person.  He talked a little bit about his love for noodles and how he came to start a ramen shop in New York City.

I’m not sure how the broadcast will go over on the radio, as they will have to edit out a lot of expletives and it won’t be nearly as fun without his great facial expressions.

Someone did bring up his previous negative comments about Bay Area food and that he has said he will never open a restaurant in California.  He said that he stood by his previous comments and that people in the Bay Are are so progressive and innovative in pushing the boundaries in everything else, but they really aren’t doing the same in food.   Despite having access to one of the widest palettes of fresh, local ingredients, he doesn’t seen any really exciting innovation.  I guess that might be true.

He also hinted that some of the upcoming issues of his great, quarterly food magazine Lucky Peach are going to be interesting and a little controversial (to foodies):

He also talked about his recent efforts to research how to develop a local, American capacity to produce top quality food products like miso and katsuboshi, key base ingredients in Japanese-style cooking.  This is very exciting, as it sounds like he’s developed some very good new techniques in his “lab”.  I think it was interesting to hear also about his general investment in research and development.  He operates his restaurants on what is a considered a shoe-string budget in the world of high end cuisine, and yet he dedicates considerable time and energy to continually coming up with new things and improving his previous work.  It’s that spirit of trial and error and innovation that has propelled him to such success, along with what sounds like a serious compulsion to keep things clean.

Overall, it was fun to hear from the leader of American ramen.


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