David Chang on the brand new Recipe Membership podcast and residential cooking
David Chang may be a Michelin-starred chef and founder of Momofuku, but even the culinary superstar admits that his home-cooked adventures make mistakes.
“I cut myself twice in one day in the kitchen this summer,” Chang says in Men’s Journal. Nowadays, even before the quarantine, the restaurateur cooked more often at home with the birth of his son Hugo. “The way I prepare food for my family is completely different from what I do at work. It’s a different animal. “
It was this newfound appreciation for the household that led Chang to start Recipe Club, a Spotify podcast in which he and Chris Ying explore different variations of popular dishes. We spoke to the Ugly Delicious host about the new podcast, his favorite food on vacation and the kitchen equipment.
How did this new show, Recipe Club, come about?
I’ve been doing podcasts for a while now and really enjoy experimenting with different topics and subjects on my regular show. There were certain segments that found their way back, but perhaps the most popular one was the Recipe Club. The first episodes concerned dishes like chicken parmigiana and BLTs. The concept is like a book club in which everyone has the framework, but everyone should have their own interpretation.
Why did now seem like the right time for a show like this?
I think we were motivated by the fact that more people are now cooking at home than ever before, and it seems that this is going to stay the course for the foreseeable future. I’m also currently working on a cookbook. This seemed like a great time and opportunity to share with people how I personally cook.
I want to help people understand that a recipe can be more of a guideline than a mandate. We really try to pick dishes that aren’t too difficult because we want people to participate. We don’t want them to just cook by numbers, we want them to teach them how to improvise and ultimately have fun.
In addition, we are in the middle of a very unusual holiday season.
I agree. There are many people who have not been able to visit their families during this time, and we are finding that more people are cooking these big holiday meals, perhaps with little to no experience. They don’t have their parents or other family members just taking care of everything.
How was it for you personally to spend a lot more time cooking at home?
I would say that having more time to prepare meals at home was one of the reasons for this current situation. But I was already on my way to doing more at home, especially giving birth to my son with my wife. I made her food while she carried it and now that she feeds it, a lot of care goes into these meals. Since then, I’ve cooked in a way I’ve never had before.
What do you think of the difference between cooking at home and in one of your restaurants?
Cooking at home is not all about precision. It’s more like hitting the target than trying to hit the porthole. I think it’s much more present to what’s going on around you, the atmosphere, the people. Cooking for my family has opened up new ways of looking at cooking, and that made it even more important to really try to care for and feed someone. Not just to impress. [Laughs]. I know that sounds cheesy.
What strategy do you recommend for people to make cooking easier during their holiday meals?
I want people to hug the microwave this year. So this is the biggest advice I would give. Buy a good one and discover the amazing things that you can do. I make my mashed potatoes with a microwave. I don’t cook them anymore because it’s much faster and just as good to use that microwave. I know people don’t consider this to be that cool in some ways, but the fact is, it works.
Do you have a favorite recipe for someone looking to impress their household?
I think Edna Lewis has the best recipe with their corn bread, pecan filling. I think it’s great as a dressing and also outside of Thanksgiving. We discussed whether or not to fill the bird on our Thanksgiving episode, and I personally oppose it. That’s the one [recipe] I would go with It has that from the ground up element.
This is a difficult time for the hospitality industry. What’s the best way for restaurant owners to support their local restaurants?
Give your local businesses as much support as possible and buy direct from them rather than through a service provider whenever possible. Second, I would say that if someone has friends or family members who can vote in the Georgia runoff, it is of tremendous importance to the future of the industry.
There are a lot of people who can’t travel right now, but a great way to explore other cultures is through food. Is there one type of kitchen that people usually ignore when it comes to delivery?
I would say Korean food is ideal for takeout and delivery. Like New York, there are so many great places on 32nd Street. The only place I order when in town is a tiny bodega shop with really good Korean food – Kofoo. I’m not looking for a glamorous restaurant when looking for Korean food, I want dishes that taste like home.
Do you think you will do Korean recipes in the Recipe Club?
I would like to eat bindaetteok, a mung bean pancake. It may not sound good in English, but it is delicious in Korean. I like recipes that expose people to Korean foods that are not as common in the rest of the world. Everyone knows kimchi.
Everyone spends a lot of time at home these days. How do you and the family spend the nights?
We streamed a few shows that everyone is watching these days. The Mandalorian and the Queen’s Gambit. For snacks, I’m a big fan of homemade popcorn. I do it in a large saucepan, add our momofuku salt and a touch of the sparkling salt. I’ve also been drinking a lot less lately, especially since the boy was born, but I’ve enjoyed these non-alcoholic beers from Athletic Brew.
DAVID CHANG’S HOME KITCHEN NEEDS
Wok: Anolon Advanced hard anodized non-stick wok pan
I’ve become a huge fan of a really good non-stick saucepan. They are great for everything and so easy to use. [$79.99]
Messer: Wüsthof Classic 6-piece block set
The knives you buy don’t have to be fancy. You have to be able to keep a head start. [$299.95]
Sharpening stone: Wüsthof Whetsone
This is the best way to keep your knives sharp and to make sure that you buy ones that you don’t mind using. Learn how to do it right. [$49.95]
Cutting board: JK Adams maple wood Pro-Classic cutting board
The cutting board is a very important piece of the puzzle. [$64.98]
Microwave: Toshiba EM131A5C-BS
I want people to hug the microwave this year.
Dutch oven: Great Jones Duchess Oven
I use this from Great Jones for a lot of different dishes. It is great.
Chang recently published a powerful treatise entitled “Eat A Peach”.
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