David Chang has always possessed a passion for noodles. However it wasn’t until he discovered Alan Yau’s Wagamana while studying abroad in London that he contemplated cooking as a career. After graduating from Trinity College with a degree in Religious Studies, he briefly held a financial job, before quickly realizing he did not belong behind a desk. So, he decided to pursue his real passion and enrolled in the International Culinary Center’s Classic Culinary Arts program. His time at the International Culinary Center led him into the kitchen of Jean-George Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen, and Tom Colicchio’s Craft Restaurant. After his time at Craft, David traveled to Japan where he studied the art of soba making, refining this knowledge into creating his own dishes at Noodle Bar. In 2004, David Chang opened Noodle Bar, his first Momofuku restaurant in New York City. Today, there are four Momofuku restaurants in Manhattan, including Ssäm Bar, Ko, and Má Pêche, and a bakery, Milk Bar, with two locations.
Nomination: Outstanding Restaurant (Momofuku Noodle Bar)
For more information on the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists, click here.