David Chang and Martha Stewart have a Sirius love fest, talk Ma Pche, yuzu and more
Wed Nov 4 2009
Martha and Dave, beautiful people (Photo: Maro Hagopian)
Over cookies and cereal milk, Momofuku founder David Chang sat down to be interviewed by Martha Stewart yesterday at the Sirius XM Satellite Radio station. The noted chef was on his best behavior, refraining from any of his trademark expletives. According to Chang, he and Stewart "get along great," and the homemaking doyenne certainly lavished praise on Chang, whom she calls "the hardest-working man I know" and "a national treasure." She even offered him the first fruit from her newly planted yuzu tree after Chang waxed (nearly) poetic on the Asian citrus variety.
For his part, Chang responded to calls from listeners, suggesting that the best way to begin cooking Korean food—besides buying his just-released cookbook, Momofuku, coauthored with Peter Meehan—is to "get lost in an Asian supermarket." Chang also described his pet peeves in the kitchen (unsharpened knives), his inspirations (Oriental Garden in Chinatown) and his training in Japan, where he lived in a men's shelter and worked for one the worst ramen chefs in Tokyo (with the help of his former boss Tom Colicchio, he quickly found a new job). All along, Chang explained, he has had "this crazy passion for noodles."
Whether ramen will appear on the menu at Ma Pche is anybody's guess—most of the details of the much anticipated French-Vietnamese midtown expansion of Momofuku have yet to be worked out, Chang told the Feed. However, the restaurant will feature both an la carte menu and a prix-fixe option, combining the street food ethos of Noodle Bar and Ssm with the more elaborate plating of Ko. Set to open sometime this winter, hopefully by January, the two-level Ma Pche will feature an outpost of Milk Bar on the main floor with a dining room downstairs.
Further down the road, Chang would like to open a Momofuku Milk Bar with his bakery co-owner and pastry chef, Christine Tosi, in the Virginia/Washington, D.C., area where they both grew up, as well as build his own noodle factory for use in his restaurants. Chang also told Stewart he would love to explore Mexican cuisine one day, too. But first, the newly single chef said half-jokingly, he wants to take a much-needed "extended vacation"—a comment no doubt instilling fear in foodies everywhere...or at the very least, in the East Village.—Lara Rabinovitch