Chang chronicles rise to culinary success

Tue Feb 2, 2010 4:45pm EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - David Chang, who has been praised for his innovative dishes that combine Asian and Western ingredients, chronicles his ascent to Michelin-star chef in his first cookbook.

In "Momofuku," which means lucky peach in Japanese, Chang and writer Peter Meehan describe how his noodle obsession blossomed into a successful career and the story behind his three New York eateries -- Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar and Momofuku Ko.

The 32-year-old spoke to Reuters about being his own toughest critic and why customers are not always right.

Q: What do you want people to take away from the book?

A: "We don't want a legacy or anything like that. No one is going to care about this in 20 years. Currently if someone gets the book, I hope he says 'Wow, I'm really happy. I got the book and I learned some things.' And I hope they tell everyone else to buy this book as well."

Q: Why did you write this book in this format rather than straight-forward book of recipes?

A: "We have been under the microscope at least in the blog world and the food media. Peter (Meehan) and I wanted to document what happened because of this everyday feeling that Momofuku won't exist in a week. It's a cool story to tell from a mediocre writer and a mediocre chef. With our combined mediocre talents, we made a something that's mediocre-plus."

Q: What drives you and your staff to serve the best food every day?   Continued...