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David Chang: Outstanding Chef, James Beard 2013 Nominee

The groundbreaking chef/founder of the Momofuku empire has already taken home three James Beard Foundation Awards: for Rising Star Chef in 2007, Best Chef New York City in 2008 and Best New Restaurant for Momofuku Ko in 2010.

david chang

David Chang (Photo: Hernan F. Rodriguez)

He may earn his fourth if he wins Outstanding Chef in the nation this year. The Virginia native opened his wildly popular Noodle Bar in the East Village in 2004, after years of training in Japan and in the kitchens of U.S. chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud and Tom Colicchio. The high-quality and intense flavors of his pork buns and ramen drew fervent fans and prompted an empire of Asian flavors. Momofuku Ssam Bar, also in the East Village, followed in 2006. Then Momofuku Ko opened in 2008, with a more refined menu, earning the chef two Michelin stars. The first Milk Bar also opened in 2008, with its distinctive “crack pie” and “cereal milk” soft serve ice cream. The empire crept uptown in 2010 with the opening of Má Pêche, before recently expanding to Sydney and Toronto. Visionary cocktail bar Booker & Dax opened as an adjunct to Ssam bar in 2012, and Chang has also collaborated with New York Times writer Peter Meehan to publish a Momofuku cookbook and Lucky Peach, a quarterly journal of food writing. Most recently, Bon Appetit magazine named Chang’s oeuvre as the number one “Most Important Restaurant in America.” The most amazing aspect of Chang’s accomplishments: having done all of this, he’s only 35 years old.

Where to eat David Chang’s food:

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 First Ave.
212-777-7773
momofuku.com

Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 Second Ave.
212-254-3500
momofuku.com

Momofuku Ko
163 First Ave.
212-228-7293
momofuku.com

Má Pêche
15 W. 56th St.
212-757-5878
momofuku.com

Milk Bar
251 E 13th St.
15 W. 56th St.
561 Columbus Ave.
382 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn
360 Smith St., Brooklyn
347-577-9504 (for all)
Milkbarstore.com

This chef profile is part of a series we’re running as part of the annual James Beard Foundation Awards and Gala, commonly referred to as the “Oscars of the food world.” Winners will be announced on Monday, May 6, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. For more information, see our introductory story

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