Dan HunterBraeSeiji YamamotoRyuGinRodrigo OliveiraMocotóDavid McMillan & Frédéric MorinJoe BeefSean BrockHuskMatt AbergelRōninWylie Dufresnewd~50Lau Chiu ShingFook Lam MoonAlice WatersChez Panisse RestaurantChristian PuglisiRelæPascal BarbotAstranceMauro ColagrecoMirazurOlivier RoellingerLa table Le Coquillage at Les Maisons de BricourtTim RaueTim RaueDavid ChangMomofuku Ssäm Bar
Massimiliano AlajmoLe CalandreRiccardo CamaniniRistorante Lido 84Kelly WhitakerBastaHajime YonedaHAJIMESimon RoganL'EnclumeClare SmythCore by Clare SmythTetsuya FujiwaraFujiya1935Virgilio MartinezCentralRené RedzepiNomaDavid KinchManresaRoy ChoiL.A. SonDaniel HummEleven Madison ParkDominique AnselDominique Ansel KitchenDan BarberBlue Hill at Stone BarnsMartin PicardAu Pied de Cochon
Tory McPhailCommander’s PalaceNathan MyhrvoldModernist CuisineBlaine WetzelThe Willows Inn on Lummi IslandGert De MangeleerHertog JanKobe DesramaultsIn de WulfPeter GoossensHof van CleveJames Knappett & Sandia ChangBubbledogsIsaac McHaleThe Clove ClubJason AthertonPollen Street SocialSat BainsRestaurant Sat BainsStephen HarrisThe SportsmanMichel GuérardLes Prés d’Eugénie - Michel GuérardAlexandre GauthierLa GrenouillèreMatt OrlandoAmassAdeline Grattardyam’Tcha
Harald WohlfahrtRestaurant Schwarzwaldstube at Hotel Traube TonbachHans HaasTantrisAlex SanchezThe TableNiko RomitoRistorante RealeGennaro EspositoTorre del SaracinoMassimo BotturaOsteria FrancescanaHisato NakahigashiMiyamasouHiroshi SasakiGion SasakiChristophe HardiquestBon BonByung Jin KimGaonEsben Holmboe BangMaaemoGastón AcurioLa MarAlbert AdriàTicketsCarme RuscalledaSant PauAndoni Luis AdurizMugaritz
Juan Mari & Elena ArzakArzakPetter NilssonSpritmuseumAndreas CaminadaSchloss SchauensteinLanshu ChenLe Moût RestaurantDavid ThompsonNahmMehmet GürsMiklaAlex Hozven and Kevin FarleyThe Cultured Pickle ShopBryant TerryAfro-Vegan, Vegan Soul KitchenTanya HollandBrown Sugar KitchenJames SyhaboutCommisThomas HaasThomas HaasCecilia ChiangThe MandarinAnthony MyintThe PerennialDaniel PattersonCoiChristopher KostowThe Restaurant At Meadowood
Chad RobertsonTartineThomas KellerThe French LaundryDan GiustiBrigaidCarlo MirarchiBlancaSven ElverfeldAqua at The Ritz CarltonDaniel BouludDanielRichard EkkebusAmberAnn Redding and Matt DanzerUncle BoonsAnita LoAnnisaChris ShepherdUnderbellyJoshua McFaddenAva Gene’sCassidee DabneyThe Barn at Blackberry FarmPeter GilmoreQuayNormand LapriseToqué!Sven ChartierSaturne
Dong ZhenxiangDa DongDan HunterBraeSeiji YamamotoRyuGinRodrigo OliveiraMocotóDavid McMillan & Frédéric MorinJoe BeefSean BrockHuskMatt AbergelRōninWylie Dufresnewd~50Lau Chiu ShingFook Lam MoonAlice WatersChez Panisse RestaurantChristian PuglisiRelæPascal BarbotAstranceMauro ColagrecoMirazurOlivier RoellingerLa table Le Coquillage at Les Maisons de BricourtTim RaueTim Raue
David ChangMomofuku Ssäm BarMassimiliano AlajmoLe CalandreRiccardo CamaniniRistorante Lido 84Kelly WhitakerBastaHajime YonedaHAJIMESimon RoganL'EnclumeClare SmythCore by Clare SmythTetsuya FujiwaraFujiya1935Virgilio MartinezCentralRené RedzepiNomaDavid KinchManresaRoy ChoiL.A. SonDaniel HummEleven Madison ParkDominique AnselDominique Ansel KitchenDan BarberBlue Hill at Stone Barns
Martin PicardAu Pied de CochonTory McPhailCommander’s PalaceNathan MyhrvoldModernist CuisineBlaine WetzelThe Willows Inn on Lummi IslandGert De MangeleerHertog JanKobe DesramaultsIn de WulfPeter GoossensHof van CleveJames Knappett & Sandia ChangBubbledogsIsaac McHaleThe Clove ClubJason AthertonPollen Street SocialSat BainsRestaurant Sat BainsStephen HarrisThe SportsmanMichel GuérardLes Prés d’Eugénie - Michel GuérardAlexandre GauthierLa GrenouillèreMatt OrlandoAmass
Adeline Grattardyam’TchaHarald WohlfahrtRestaurant Schwarzwaldstube at Hotel Traube TonbachHans HaasTantrisAlex SanchezThe TableNiko RomitoRistorante RealeGennaro EspositoTorre del SaracinoMassimo BotturaOsteria FrancescanaHisato NakahigashiMiyamasouHiroshi SasakiGion SasakiChristophe HardiquestBon BonByung Jin KimGaonEsben Holmboe BangMaaemoGastón AcurioLa MarAlbert AdriàTicketsCarme RuscalledaSant Pau
Andoni Luis AdurizMugaritzJuan Mari & Elena ArzakArzakPetter NilssonSpritmuseumAndreas CaminadaSchloss SchauensteinLanshu ChenLe Moût RestaurantDavid ThompsonNahmMehmet GürsMiklaAlex Hozven and Kevin FarleyThe Cultured Pickle ShopBryant TerryAfro-Vegan, Vegan Soul KitchenTanya HollandBrown Sugar KitchenJames SyhaboutCommisThomas HaasThomas HaasCecilia ChiangThe MandarinAnthony MyintThe PerennialDaniel PattersonCoi
Christopher KostowThe Restaurant At MeadowoodChad RobertsonTartineThomas KellerThe French LaundryDan GiustiBrigaidCarlo MirarchiBlancaSven ElverfeldAqua at The Ritz CarltonDaniel BouludDanielRichard EkkebusAmberAnn Redding and Matt DanzerUncle BoonsAnita LoAnnisaChris ShepherdUnderbellyJoshua McFaddenAva Gene’sCassidee DabneyThe Barn at Blackberry FarmPeter GilmoreQuayNormand LapriseToqué!
Sven ChartierSaturneDong ZhenxiangDa DongDan HunterBraeSeiji YamamotoRyuGinRodrigo OliveiraMocotóDavid McMillan & Frédéric MorinJoe BeefSean BrockHuskMatt AbergelRōninWylie Dufresnewd~50Lau Chiu ShingFook Lam MoonAlice WatersChez Panisse RestaurantChristian PuglisiRelæPascal BarbotAstranceMauro ColagrecoMirazurOlivier RoellingerLa table Le Coquillage at Les Maisons de Bricourt
Tim RaueTim RaueDavid ChangMomofuku Ssäm BarMassimiliano AlajmoLe CalandreRiccardo CamaniniRistorante Lido 84Kelly WhitakerBastaHajime YonedaHAJIMESimon RoganL'EnclumeClare SmythCore by Clare SmythTetsuya FujiwaraFujiya1935Virgilio MartinezCentralRené RedzepiNomaDavid KinchManresaRoy ChoiL.A. SonDaniel HummEleven Madison ParkDominique AnselDominique Ansel Kitchen
Dan BarberBlue Hill at Stone BarnsMartin PicardAu Pied de CochonTory McPhailCommander’s PalaceNathan MyhrvoldModernist CuisineBlaine WetzelThe Willows Inn on Lummi IslandGert De MangeleerHertog JanKobe DesramaultsIn de WulfPeter GoossensHof van CleveJames Knappett & Sandia ChangBubbledogsIsaac McHaleThe Clove ClubJason AthertonPollen Street SocialSat BainsRestaurant Sat BainsStephen HarrisThe SportsmanMichel GuérardLes Prés d’Eugénie - Michel GuérardAlexandre GauthierLa Grenouillère
Matt OrlandoAmassAdeline Grattardyam’TchaHarald WohlfahrtRestaurant Schwarzwaldstube at Hotel Traube TonbachHans HaasTantrisAlex SanchezThe TableNiko RomitoRistorante RealeGennaro EspositoTorre del SaracinoMassimo BotturaOsteria FrancescanaHisato NakahigashiMiyamasouHiroshi SasakiGion SasakiChristophe HardiquestBon BonByung Jin KimGaonEsben Holmboe BangMaaemoGastón AcurioLa MarAlbert AdriàTickets
Carme RuscalledaSant PauAndoni Luis AdurizMugaritzJuan Mari & Elena ArzakArzakPetter NilssonSpritmuseumAndreas CaminadaSchloss SchauensteinLanshu ChenLe Moût RestaurantDavid ThompsonNahmMehmet GürsMiklaAlex Hozven and Kevin FarleyThe Cultured Pickle ShopBryant TerryAfro-Vegan, Vegan Soul KitchenTanya HollandBrown Sugar KitchenJames SyhaboutCommisThomas HaasThomas HaasCecilia ChiangThe MandarinAnthony MyintThe Perennial
Daniel PattersonCoiChristopher KostowThe Restaurant At MeadowoodChad RobertsonTartineThomas KellerThe French LaundryDan GiustiBrigaidCarlo MirarchiBlancaSven ElverfeldAqua at The Ritz CarltonDaniel BouludDanielRichard EkkebusAmberAnn Redding and Matt DanzerUncle BoonsAnita LoAnnisaChris ShepherdUnderbellyJoshua McFaddenAva Gene’sCassidee DabneyThe Barn at Blackberry FarmPeter GilmoreQuay
Normand LapriseToqué!Sven ChartierSaturneDong ZhenxiangDa DongDan HunterBraeSeiji YamamotoRyuGinRodrigo OliveiraMocotóDavid McMillan & Frédéric MorinJoe BeefSean BrockHuskMatt AbergelRōninWylie Dufresnewd~50Lau Chiu ShingFook Lam MoonAlice WatersChez Panisse RestaurantChristian PuglisiRelæPascal BarbotAstranceMauro ColagrecoMirazur
Olivier RoellingerLa table Le Coquillage at Les Maisons de BricourtTim RaueTim RaueDavid ChangMomofuku Ssäm BarMassimiliano AlajmoLe CalandreRiccardo CamaniniRistorante Lido 84Kelly WhitakerBastaHajime YonedaHAJIMESimon RoganL'EnclumeClare SmythCore by Clare SmythTetsuya FujiwaraFujiya1935Virgilio MartinezCentralRené RedzepiNomaDavid KinchManresaRoy ChoiL.A. SonDaniel HummEleven Madison Park
Dominique AnselDominique Ansel KitchenDan BarberBlue Hill at Stone BarnsMartin PicardAu Pied de CochonTory McPhailCommander’s PalaceNathan MyhrvoldModernist CuisineBlaine WetzelThe Willows Inn on Lummi IslandGert De MangeleerHertog JanKobe DesramaultsIn de WulfPeter GoossensHof van CleveJames Knappett & Sandia ChangBubbledogsIsaac McHaleThe Clove ClubJason AthertonPollen Street SocialSat BainsRestaurant Sat BainsStephen HarrisThe SportsmanMichel GuérardLes Prés d’Eugénie - Michel Guérard
Alexandre GauthierLa GrenouillèreMatt OrlandoAmassAdeline Grattardyam’TchaHarald WohlfahrtRestaurant Schwarzwaldstube at Hotel Traube TonbachHans HaasTantrisAlex SanchezThe TableNiko RomitoRistorante RealeGennaro EspositoTorre del SaracinoMassimo BotturaOsteria FrancescanaHisato NakahigashiMiyamasouHiroshi SasakiGion SasakiChristophe HardiquestBon BonByung Jin KimGaonEsben Holmboe BangMaaemoGastón AcurioLa Mar
Albert AdriàTicketsCarme RuscalledaSant PauAndoni Luis AdurizMugaritzJuan Mari & Elena ArzakArzakPetter NilssonSpritmuseumAndreas CaminadaSchloss SchauensteinLanshu ChenLe Moût RestaurantDavid ThompsonNahmMehmet GürsMiklaAlex Hozven and Kevin FarleyThe Cultured Pickle ShopBryant TerryAfro-Vegan, Vegan Soul KitchenTanya HollandBrown Sugar KitchenJames SyhaboutCommisThomas HaasThomas HaasCecilia ChiangThe Mandarin
Anthony MyintThe PerennialDaniel PattersonCoiChristopher KostowThe Restaurant At MeadowoodChad RobertsonTartineThomas KellerThe French LaundryDan GiustiBrigaidCarlo MirarchiBlancaSven ElverfeldAqua at The Ritz CarltonDaniel BouludDanielRichard EkkebusAmberAnn Redding and Matt DanzerUncle BoonsAnita LoAnnisaChris ShepherdUnderbellyJoshua McFaddenAva Gene’sCassidee DabneyThe Barn at Blackberry Farm
Peter GilmoreQuayNormand LapriseToqué!Sven ChartierSaturneDong ZhenxiangDa DongDan HunterBraeSeiji YamamotoRyuGinRodrigo OliveiraMocotóDavid McMillan & Frédéric MorinJoe BeefSean BrockHuskMatt AbergelRōninWylie Dufresnewd~50Lau Chiu ShingFook Lam MoonAlice WatersChez Panisse RestaurantChristian PuglisiRelæPascal BarbotAstrance
Mauro ColagrecoMirazurOlivier RoellingerLa table Le Coquillage at Les Maisons de BricourtTim RaueTim RaueDavid ChangMomofuku Ssäm BarMassimiliano AlajmoLe CalandreRiccardo CamaniniRistorante Lido 84Kelly WhitakerBastaHajime YonedaHAJIMESimon RoganL'EnclumeClare SmythCore by Clare SmythTetsuya FujiwaraFujiya1935Virgilio MartinezCentralRené RedzepiNomaDavid KinchManresaRoy ChoiL.A. Son
Daniel HummEleven Madison ParkDominique AnselDominique Ansel KitchenDan BarberBlue Hill at Stone BarnsMartin PicardAu Pied de CochonTory McPhailCommander’s PalaceNathan MyhrvoldModernist CuisineBlaine WetzelThe Willows Inn on Lummi IslandGert De MangeleerHertog JanKobe DesramaultsIn de WulfPeter GoossensHof van CleveJames Knappett & Sandia ChangBubbledogsIsaac McHaleThe Clove ClubJason AthertonPollen Street SocialSat BainsRestaurant Sat BainsStephen HarrisThe Sportsman
Michel GuérardLes Prés d’Eugénie - Michel GuérardAlexandre GauthierLa GrenouillèreMatt OrlandoAmassAdeline Grattardyam’TchaHarald WohlfahrtRestaurant Schwarzwaldstube at Hotel Traube TonbachHans HaasTantrisAlex SanchezThe TableNiko RomitoRistorante RealeGennaro EspositoTorre del SaracinoMassimo BotturaOsteria FrancescanaHisato NakahigashiMiyamasouHiroshi SasakiGion SasakiChristophe HardiquestBon BonByung Jin KimGaonEsben Holmboe BangMaaemo
Gastón AcurioLa MarAlbert AdriàTicketsCarme RuscalledaSant PauAndoni Luis AdurizMugaritzJuan Mari & Elena ArzakArzakPetter NilssonSpritmuseumAndreas CaminadaSchloss SchauensteinLanshu ChenLe Moût RestaurantDavid ThompsonNahmMehmet GürsMiklaAlex Hozven and Kevin FarleyThe Cultured Pickle ShopBryant TerryAfro-Vegan, Vegan Soul KitchenTanya HollandBrown Sugar KitchenJames SyhaboutCommisThomas HaasThomas Haas
Cecilia ChiangThe MandarinAnthony MyintThe PerennialDaniel PattersonCoiChristopher KostowThe Restaurant At MeadowoodChad RobertsonTartineThomas KellerThe French LaundryDan GiustiBrigaidCarlo MirarchiBlancaSven ElverfeldAqua at The Ritz CarltonDaniel BouludDanielRichard EkkebusAmberAnn Redding and Matt DanzerUncle BoonsAnita LoAnnisaChris ShepherdUnderbellyJoshua McFaddenAva Gene’s

David Chang, Momofuku Ssäm Bar

New York City

“I know my place in the whole culinary world. I’m a classicist at heart. The only reason we carved out this niche is that there was no room for me there. I had to find another path.”

Many traits of today’s hybrid casual-fine dining restaurant model can be traced back to tastemaker David Chang and the Momofuku empire. In reaction to the conventions of fine dining, he applied ambitious execution to traditionally lowbrow dishes, injecting umami-filled Asian flavors laced with irreverence. The offshoot epicurean journal Lucky Peach has become an authoritative resource for culinary storytelling and space for candid discussions about the food industry.

Spicy Pork Sausage & Rice Cakes  (2007)

From Lucky Peach Issue 15. Copyright Lucky Peach, May 2015.

“In 2006 mapo tofu was pretty much the only food I was eating. I’d pick it up from Grand Sichuan, which had just opened on St. Marks Place, and eat it at Ssäm Bar, which was just getting going at the time.

“Joshua McFadden was in the kitchen then—he had been staging at Del Posto before joining up. If this were a music documentary about the creation of a hit song instead of a popular dish, he would have been the person who came up with the beat. He combined a Sichuan chili sauce with a mix of Italian ragu ingredients. I remember him struggling at the time; he wanted to contribute. And it was right there: I remember tasting it and being like, Holy shit, this guy just did a Chinese ragu.

“And then everybody started to chime in. Tim Maslow was like, Oh, we need some texture, and then the fried shallots went on top. And then I was like, We should add the whipped tofu as a kind of dairy-like component. (We always had leftover whipped tofu around because no one was buying our burritos, which used it.) And then it dawned on me: Oh shit, this is mapo tofu, and it went on the menu. Without everybody’s parts in it, it never would have happened.”

ssambar.momofuku.com

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