Our kind of chef

David Chang of Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC takes no shit from the veggie hordes:

Back before Momofuku Noodle Bar was a certified hit, before it won widespread critical acclaim, before there was a rabble of foodies parked outside its door every night at 5:30 sharp, clamoring to get in, Chang remembers receiving a phone call. “It was a lady who said she was a vegetarian,” he says, “and that she got something to go, and there was broth on the side, and she drank it.”

“I said, ‘We don’t have any vegetarian broths,’ and she said, ‘Well, you should, and anyway, somebody said it was,’ and I said, ‘Well, that must have been a miscommunication.'”

“You can’t do this to the vegetarians!” the lady bellowed, before threatening to sue Chang and put Momofuku Noodle Bar out of business.

“I got so pissed off,” says Chang.

So pissed off, in fact, that the very next day, in a public-relations gambit that would give Danny Meyer night sweats, Chang and his co-chef, Joaquin Baca, removed every vegetarian dish from the menu (back then there were still a few) except the ginger-scallion noodles. (Emph. added.)

“We added pork to just about everything else,” says Chang, giggling like a schoolgirl.

“We said, ‘Fuck it, let’s just cook what we want.‘””


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