Eat a Peach: A Memoir

David Chang with Gabe Ulla. Clarkson Potter, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5247-5921-6
Chang (Momofuku), Momofuku restaurateur and star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious, starts this self-effacing, heart-on-sleeve memoir with a disclaimer: “Frankly, I just don’t understand my appeal.” Chang writes about being a hard-driving Korean-American kid with an anger problem who channeled his frustrations into an eagerness to test limits and himself. He left a “soul-sucking” post-college finance job after discovering that, though he was far from a natural at cooking, it was something he “didn’t hate doing.” He opened his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar, in the East Village in 2004 at least partially to stave off suicide, and in the course of becoming an international restaurateur, Chang tried to upend people’s expectations of ethnic culinary categories while pushing himself to the financial and emotional brink. Chang writes about the sweaty tension of his manic episodes and his dark depression, and there are stories of kitchen screaming fits, reflections on being in the “cool chefs club,” and particularly affecting passages about Chang’s late friend, Anthony Bourdain. In the book’s most heartfelt section, Chang rhapsodizes about the egalitarian Asian dining ethos he wanted to import to the West and even allows himself a rare pat on the back for his influence (“Food across the country had become porkier, spicier, brighter, better”). Foodies and chefs alike will dig into Chang’s searing memoir. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/11/2020
Release date: 05/19/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-5247-5922-3
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