Why David Chang Will Never Accept Mediocrity

Chef David Chang talks about the importance of respecting your craft, because life is too short to be willfully mediocre at anything. You either do something right or you don’t do it at all. Powered by Montblanc

Released on 7/21/2015

Credits

Starring: David Chang and Michael Hainey

Transcript

00:00
(bright electronic rock music)
00:05
You've got places in Australia, Canada, New York.
00:09
It seems you're always sort of exploring
00:10
poking in different corners of the world.
00:12
Is there anywhere that's feeding your creativity these days?
00:16
In general now, I'm looking after that experience that
00:19
doesn't have to be that fine dining experience.
00:21
To me, at least on the culinary end,
00:23
that's what I'm really after is
00:25
the plain and simple idea is
00:27
that people don't wanna do it because it's not cool.
00:30
I wanna go to Tokyo, I want to eat at
00:32
a couple sushi counters, not because I can't get sushi here,
00:35
but what I wanna taste is the 40 years of experience.
00:38
Right.
00:39
You know, and I feel like the internet
00:42
has certainly made food better.
00:44
It's amazing to me how
00:47
food knowledge is more important than ever before.
00:49
People care more about food.
00:51
But I feel like the innovation
00:52
is taken over for craftsmanship, a little bit.
00:55
That's what I want, I wanna taste food from somebody
00:58
that's been doing it forever.
01:00
You've always placed a high premium on craftsmanship.
01:03
To me, craftsmanship is you either make it right,
01:04
or you don't do it.
01:05
There're just, life is too short
01:07
to be mediocre at something.
01:09
I always yell at cooks, when I'm like,
01:11
If you took this job to make money,
01:13
you're a fucking idiot.
01:15
Why would you sacrifice your education
01:18
so you can make money?
01:20
I understand you have to make money to pay rent,
01:22
but at a certain point, it's about learning
01:25
and getting better at this craft, this job of yours,
01:28
so I have to remind myself that.
01:30
It could be something like,
01:32
you know, we were gonna launch a fried chicken sandwich.
01:34
Not something that you would say is craft,
01:37
like a real art to it all,
01:39
but in my mind, it's like what if somebody tastes it
01:42
and says, That's my best food experience of my life?
01:45
Because if I think about the best
01:46
food experiences of my life, I'm not thinking about
01:48
the decor or even the company I'm with,
01:51
I'm thinking about these moments.
01:52
And that's what I'm after is that moment
01:54
where someone tastes something like,
01:55
Ah, that's the fuckin' best thing I've ever had.
01:58
(bright electronic rock music)