21 questions

David Chang Worries All Day Long

Name: David Chang
Age: 33
Neighborhood: Chelsea
Occupation: Chef/owner of Momofuku restaurants, including the recently opened Má Pêche. On Friday he’ll be co-hosting tastings of artisanal whiskeys and specialties from his restaurant with Vogue food critic Jeffrey Steingarten at Andaz 5th for Fashion’s Night Out. Next Monday he’ll be discussing his experiences in the New York and global food scene with Anthony Bourdain at the 92nd Street Y.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
John Starks, because of The Dunk, and if someone can go from grocery clerk to an NBA all-star, then they are amazing. Close second is Rick Ocasek, because he gives all men hope.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
My best meal was in 1999 at 71 Clinton Fresh Food, which has since closed. The first time I ate there, it was a total revelation. Wylie Dufresne single-handedly revolutionized the Lower East Side. He should get royalties for every building that has gone up since that restaurant.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?

What was your first job in New York?
Working as a stock boy at New York Golf Center.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
On the recommendation of a friend, I saw the play Red about Mark Rothko. It’s the only Broadway play I’ve ever seen.

Do you give money to panhandlers?

What’s your drink?
Pappy Van Winkle fifteen-years, neat with a twist and a side of Bud Light. In the summertime, anything with gin.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Biweekly … actually, almost never.

What’s your favorite medication?
I pretend I have glaucoma.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
Photo of Ben Hogan hitting his famous one-iron shot on the eighteen-hole during the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion. It became the poster for the Ben Hogan Tour, which was once the name of the satellite tour for the PGA.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
If you even have to ask that question, then it’s probably too much.

When’s bedtime?
Usually three or four in the morning.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
The old Times Square just because of Siberia Bar, which used to be a bar in a Times Square subway stairwell.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
Why does he have to be so tacky? Now I’m thinking he’s going to kill me.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
There is no immediate access to nature.

Who is your mortal enemy?
It’s a careful manicured list, and I’m trying not to add any more names, which is very hard.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
About three months ago, visiting Fossil Farms and Goffle Road Poultry Farm in New Jersey.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
It hasn’t. I still buy high, sell low.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
I read the Times, but I adore the Post because the headlines are ridiculous.

Where do you go to be alone?
I go to Wyoming. It’s big state with lots of Asians.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
The eight-year rule. If you stay over eight years, then you’re pretty much here for life.

David Chang Worries All Day Long