Meet Chef David Chang — Star Of Netflix's New Celeb Travel Documentary 'Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner'

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Who Is David Chang? New Details On Chef And Star Of Netflix's New Celeb Travel Documentary 'Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner'

Chef David Chang is the man behind the acclaimed restaurant Momofuko. He's also the star of one of Netflix's latest binge-worthy shows, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Netflix's description of the show says: "Chef David Chang takes his insatiable curiosity about food, culture and identity on the road, in the convivial company of fun-loving celebrity guests." Does this sound familiar? Is Chang trying to fill the very big shoes that Anthony Bourdain vacated when he died and production of his long-running show Parts Unknown' ceased airing. his isn't Chang's first go-around with Netflix, either. In 2018, he created, produced and starred in Ugly Delicious. 

Who is David Chang? He's the founder of Momofuku restaurant group which includes New York City' Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Milk Bar and Momofuku Ko; Sydney's Momofuko Noodle Bar; Toronto's Kojin, and Washington D.C.'s Momofuku CCDC. He was awarded two Michelin stars in 2009 for Momofuko Ko and has held onto them each year since. 

Read on for all the delicious details about David Chang and his new Netflix series.

1. Early life

David Chang was born in 1977 and grew up in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Arlington, Virginia. His parents immigrated from Korea in the 1960s. As a kid, Chang was a competitive golfer. He attended Georgetown Prep and went on to Trinity College to major in religious studies. After college, he bounced from job to job and did everything from teaching English in Japan to working in finance in New York City to bussing tables. 

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2. Culinary Training

In 2000, Chang enrolled in the French Culinary Institute (now known as the International Culinary Center) in New York City. During his studies, he worked part-time at Mercer Kitchen and got a job answering the phones at Tom Colicchio's restaurant Craft. He was at Craft for two years. After that, he moved to Japan to work in a soba shop and a restaurant at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Toyko. He moved back to New York City to work at Cafe Boulud. However, he soon grew "completely dissatisfied with the whole fine dining scene," as he said in an interview with Forbes.

3. The Momofuku Empire

Momofuko means "lucky peach," but it is also the name of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant noodles. Chang opened his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2004 in Manhattan's East Village. In 2006, he opened his second restaurant, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, a few blocks away. In 2008, he opened Momofuku Ko, a 12 seat restaurant that takes reservations 10 years in advance, online, on a first-come-first-served basis. Needless to say, the demand for reservations exceeds the number of reservations. Also in 2008, Momofuku Milk Bar, a dessert restaurant, opened. Today, he oversees more than 30 restaurants and has won numerous awards, including nine James Beard awards.

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4. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

In his new Netflix show, Chang eats his way through different cities with celebrities. His guests include Seth Rogen, Chrissy Teigen, Kate McKinnon and filmmaker Lena Waithe. The celebrity guests get to choose the city to dine in and they try and shoot the whole episode in one day, eating the three meals throughout the day. The Seth Rogan episode takes place in Vancouver, Canada. The Chrissy Teigen episode is in Marrakesh, Morrocco. Kate McKinnon's episode is in Cambodia and Lena Waithe's is in Los Angeles.

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5. Cooking doesn't come naturally to him

In an interview with CBS News regarding his new show, Chang revealed that cooking doesn't come naturally to him. This all comes out in the Kate McKinnon episode of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, which takes place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He told her that he doesn't think that he is talented at anything. He said: "I think I'm a really good cook, but there are other people that started out who are better than I am. Cooking is the one thing that I know that a lack of natural talent doesn't have anything to do with where you're going to wind up, if you just work very hard at it and are committed to it. I think I'm a result of that."

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6. He dissed the California food scene

Chang is known for having a "bad boy" attitude. Epicurious put this label on him for having no reservations at most of his restaurants and for refusing to offer vegetarian options. In 2009, Chang dissed the entire state of California's food scene. He told the late Anthony Bourdain, "They don't manipulate food, they just put figs on a plate," the New York Times reported

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.