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In 2004, David Chang opened a noodle restaurant named Momofuku in Manhattan's East Village, not expecting the business to survive its first year. In 2018, he was the owner and chef of his own restaurant empire, with 15 locations from New York to Australia, the star of his own hit Netflix show and podcast, was named one of the most influential people of the 21st century and In 2004, David Chang opened a noodle restaurant named Momofuku in Manhattan's East Village, not expecting the business to survive its first year. In 2018, he was the owner and chef of his own restaurant empire, with 15 locations from New York to Australia, the star of his own hit Netflix show and podcast, was named one of the most influential people of the 21st century and had a following of over 1.2 million. In this inspiring, honest and heartfelt memoir, Chang shares the extraordinary story of his culinary coming-of-age. Growing up in Virginia, the son of Korean immigrant parents, Chang struggled with feelings of abandonment, isolation and loneliness throughout his childhood. After failing to find a job after graduating, he convinced his father to loan him money to open a restaurant. Momofuku's unpretentious air and great-tasting simple staples - ramen bowls and pork buns - earned it rave reviews, culinary awards and before long, Chang had a cult following. Momofuku's popularity continued to grow with Chang opening new locations across the U.S. and beyond. In 2009, his Ko restaurant received two Michelin stars and Chang went on to open Milk Bar, Momofuku's bakery. By 2012, he had become a restaurant mogul with the opening of the Momofuku building in Toronto, encompassing three restaurants and a bar. Chang's love of food and cooking remained a constant in his life, despite the adversities he had to overcome. Over the course of his career, the chef struggled with suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety. He shied away from praise and begged not to be given awards. In Eat a Peach, Chang opens up about his feelings of paranoia, self-confidence and pulls back the curtain on his struggles, failures and learned lessons. Deeply personal, honest and humble, Chang's story is one of passion and tenacity, against the odds.


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In 2004, David Chang opened a noodle restaurant named Momofuku in Manhattan's East Village, not expecting the business to survive its first year. In 2018, he was the owner and chef of his own restaurant empire, with 15 locations from New York to Australia, the star of his own hit Netflix show and podcast, was named one of the most influential people of the 21st century and In 2004, David Chang opened a noodle restaurant named Momofuku in Manhattan's East Village, not expecting the business to survive its first year. In 2018, he was the owner and chef of his own restaurant empire, with 15 locations from New York to Australia, the star of his own hit Netflix show and podcast, was named one of the most influential people of the 21st century and had a following of over 1.2 million. In this inspiring, honest and heartfelt memoir, Chang shares the extraordinary story of his culinary coming-of-age. Growing up in Virginia, the son of Korean immigrant parents, Chang struggled with feelings of abandonment, isolation and loneliness throughout his childhood. After failing to find a job after graduating, he convinced his father to loan him money to open a restaurant. Momofuku's unpretentious air and great-tasting simple staples - ramen bowls and pork buns - earned it rave reviews, culinary awards and before long, Chang had a cult following. Momofuku's popularity continued to grow with Chang opening new locations across the U.S. and beyond. In 2009, his Ko restaurant received two Michelin stars and Chang went on to open Milk Bar, Momofuku's bakery. By 2012, he had become a restaurant mogul with the opening of the Momofuku building in Toronto, encompassing three restaurants and a bar. Chang's love of food and cooking remained a constant in his life, despite the adversities he had to overcome. Over the course of his career, the chef struggled with suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety. He shied away from praise and begged not to be given awards. In Eat a Peach, Chang opens up about his feelings of paranoia, self-confidence and pulls back the curtain on his struggles, failures and learned lessons. Deeply personal, honest and humble, Chang's story is one of passion and tenacity, against the odds.

30 review for Eat a Peach

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    The mental and physical toll of working in restaurants is corrosive. It will take generations to undo the harm and build an industry that is equitable for people of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexualities, and beliefs. We need to be responsible for one another. This was a very interesting book. I'm not someone who usually cares to read chef memoirs and I don't think of myself as particularly interested in the restaurant business, but the author opens his heart in Eat a Peach and tackles The mental and physical toll of working in restaurants is corrosive. It will take generations to undo the harm and build an industry that is equitable for people of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexualities, and beliefs. We need to be responsible for one another. This was a very interesting book. I'm not someone who usually cares to read chef memoirs and I don't think of myself as particularly interested in the restaurant business, but the author opens his heart in Eat a Peach and tackles a lot of tough subjects on the road to telling his life story. Plus, I just quite like David Chang. My husband got me interested in David Chang. He’s a big foodie, which seems to be synonymous with “human” if you happen to live in Los Angeles. He also speaks highly of the way Chang talks about mental illness and its stigma among East Asian Americans. Chang goes into a lot of depth about his struggles with his mental health in this book and-- while his sense of humour does shine through --I should point out that it's a pretty dark read. Chang has dealt with, and continues to deal with, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and no small amount of Impostor Syndrome that crept upon him as his restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars and he was named among Time’s 100 most influential people. I know reading about this can be upsetting for some, but I really appreciated the candid way he wrote about his insecurities and personal demons. Race and racial stereotyping come up a lot in Chang's memoir. He has spoken out in the past on the stigma against mental illness in East Asian American families and communities. Due to cultural norms, many East Asian Americans do not seek the help they need. But in this book, he goes a step further and looks at the experience of growing up Korean in America, and how certain stereotypes set East Asian Americans up for failure and/or anxiety. He talks about the "smart Asian" stereotype and how demoralizing it feels if you're not academically gifted; he talks about the perceived limited career options for East Asians and how being a chef seems ludicrous to most; and he also offers a critique of the "tiger mom". This is something I first heard when I came to California and it always struck me as both deeply racist and sexist. David Chang has other thoughts, though, about the parenting style itself. I found it very interesting how he calls it a way of giving a cute name to a type of parenting that is dejecting and exhausting for a child. He believes it is a cultural norm that should be strongly discouraged. I also really liked his "Blind Spots" chapter. He talks here about the ignorance that goes along with privilege and how he himself was able to look the other way when women received misogynistic treatment in the industry. He acknowledges that he was part of the problem by ignoring it. Obviously, he can't change the past, but his voice matters a lot in this industry, so I am glad he is taking some steps to point out where he (and others) could have done better. Eat a Peach is a not a standard "fun" chef memoir full of shenanigans and laughs, but its importance cannot be overstated. David Chang never tries too hard to be inspirational, and somehow that makes it even more so. Facebook | Instagram

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”For all my bluster, I was scared shitless. Writing about the facts of my life here, it seems like a logical progression, This happened and then that happened and I slowly learned this and by the time this moment came I was ready. But in between every triumph or epiphany I’ve described in this book, there were five hundred moments of doubt. There were embarrassments and mistakes, people I pissed off or disappointed, chances I squandered. There were dishes that sucked and services that made me wa ”For all my bluster, I was scared shitless. Writing about the facts of my life here, it seems like a logical progression, This happened and then that happened and I slowly learned this and by the time this moment came I was ready. But in between every triumph or epiphany I’ve described in this book, there were five hundred moments of doubt. There were embarrassments and mistakes, people I pissed off or disappointed, chances I squandered. There were dishes that sucked and services that made me want to tear my eyeballs out. And there was the constant thrum of depression in the back of my skull.” I’ve become a recent fan of David Chang. Well, fan might be too strong a word. More accurately, I’ve recently discovered an appreciation for David Chang. I watched a couple of episodes of his show Ugly Delicious, and even though I didn’t love the episodes the same way as I did Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown series, I felt this tingling in my head that this Chang guy was someone I needed to keep an eye on. He might eventually become someone interesting. Soon after watching a couple of episodes of his show, I had one of those book magic moments when I was contacted about reading an ARC of his memoir. I try to make sure that I listen when the universe is speaking to me...I said, send me a copy. I had a similar feeling about Ali Wong’s memoir. I had just watched one of her scorching, hilariously irreverent tv specials when I was asked about reading her book. I usually like books to percolate and simmer out there for a while before I decide to read them, but there was something about the groundbreaking intelligence of these two personalities that reassured me that my time would not be wasted. It was most assuredly not wasted. In the intro to Chang’s book, he talked about the struggles with selecting a cover. He had an idea; his creative team had a different idea, and his publisher had an even more different idea. They sent mock up covers to a focus group, which if I were an eye-roller, I would have rolled my eyes, but in this case he found out some very interesting information. ”Okay, so my face and my name were the problem. I have to admit that was a little confusing for someone who (1) has historically been sensitive about the particulars of my appearance and the general Asianness of my face and name, and (2) was already struggling to understand why people would want to read this book. But again, I respect data. We deemphasized the name and removed the face. If it helps you enjoy the book, I have no problem with your imagining it was written by a white author named David Chance.” What is interesting is that David admits he is a twinkie. He might look Asian on the outside, but he is white on the inside. He is the youngest boy in his family, and when I watched the Thanksgiving episode of Ugly Delicious, it was obvious that his parents were at a different economic level when they raised him from when they raised his older siblings. His mother calls him Baby King, and that might explain a lot of why he has been successful with opening restaurants, but also why he has been unsuccessful in many of his interactions with people on a personal level. His anger issues feel so rooted in privilege, even though over time he has discovered some deeper psychological reasons for his anger. So the focus group saw him as an Asian and nothing beyond that, and they considered his Asian features to be a detriment to them enjoying the book. *sigh* David joked about this, but there is no doubt that this confirmed much of his inherent insecurities about the way he looks. America really needs to grow up and evolve out of its inherent racism, sexism...well, all -isms. One thing I want to make clear is that, for all his thorns, he clearly exposes the barbs and how they have made him bleed. When he had a consultant analyze his business, one of the first things he was told by this expert was that he was really fortunate to be so successful, considering how many people in the structure of his business hate him. His rocket rise has been amazing. He was a man with the right idea and the right execution at the right time. He is, for all intents and purposes, a made man...at least until the next great concept person comes along and knocks him out of the clouds. I don’t really feel that will happen. He is always questioning why he believes things, why he does things a certain way, and his food menu will always get stale for him long before his customers get tired of it. If he can now figure out how to be happier with himself, he can maybe be a better person for everybody else to know, too. Kudos to him for ripping off the bandages (he’s seriously a walking mummy) and talking candidly about what drove him and also what has held him back. One of his favorite quotes, that really does fit his personality, is from the Ethan Hawke move Gattaca:”’This is how I did it, Anton,’ says Vincent. ‘I never saved anything for the swim back.’” For those who haven’t seen the movie, that quote may not mean much, but for us who have watched that movie many times, it is one of the moments in cinema history that defines what is best about us being mutts. We can be hindered by our perceived weaknesses, or we can strive to be more than the sum of our parts. He shared a couple of interactions that he had with Bourdain. Tony was the guy he would occasionally meet up with to chat and in the process hopefully recenter himself. I only wish that Tony had weighed how important he was to so many people before he took his life and how many people, such as Chang, benefited from his acquired wisdom. I worry about the long-term, negative influence his suicide will have on those who respected him and, in some cases, idolized him. For a guy like David, who suffers from serious bouts of depression, I do hope that Bourdain’s decision does not unduly influence him. Life will continue to throw David curveballs. It doesn’t matter how rich someone is or how successful they are; none of us get through this life without facing major, critical, soul-crushing losses and setbacks. As David says at one point in the book,...so you might be asking yourself how I’m still alive? Currently, Chang is opening new restaurants as quickly as he can. He sees that as being successful. He no longer cooks. He has become a personality. He is the face of his expansion. He has found people to manage his restaurants, and there are certainly many sighs of relief from kitchen staff, but his creative input will be essential for the needed evolution of his original concepts. I ultimately don’t think he will be happy with the expansion of his ideas into a national conglomeration of cookie cutter store fronts. As he says, a workaholic only hits bottom when he reaches the top of his profession. Well, he is about to hit bottom, and then what? If he survives his success, I wouldn’t be surprised to find him in twenty years working in the kitchen of a Midnight Diner in Tokyo. He is precocious and irritating, but he is equally fascinating and honest. I really felt like I had some good Chang synergy going as I read this book and watched episodes of Ugly Delicious. His 33 rules for being a chef in the back of the book will also benefit anyone who wants to be successful in business. One of my favorites was #3, where he urges people to go to college rather than culinary school and “study Shakespeare or the Medicis, the Ottomans, Genghis Khan, the Aztecs, Jared Diamond, Darwinism.” To be successful at one thing you have to know about a lot of things. Broaden your exposure to what the world has to offer, and that stew of knowledge is where the creative ideas will be spawned. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/jeffreykeeten/

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    SPOILERS ... inside ..... but will only make sense to the people who have read this book—( or know David Chang’s history) ONLY GIVING MY OPINION- FEELINGS - and THOUGHTS..... so none of my spoilers should take anything away from the book who have not read it who also want to read this review. Here goes ( written from under my covers - barely waking) WOW!!!!! A TERRIFIC AUDIOBOOK MEMOIR!!!!! READ BY DAVID CHANG.... the author ... I have the physical book too ..... with the stunning eye catching - SPOILERS ... inside ..... but will only make sense to the people who have read this book—( or know David Chang’s history) ONLY GIVING MY OPINION- FEELINGS - and THOUGHTS..... so none of my spoilers should take anything away from the book who have not read it who also want to read this review. Here goes ( written from under my covers - barely waking) WOW!!!!! A TERRIFIC AUDIOBOOK MEMOIR!!!!! READ BY DAVID CHANG.... the author ... I have the physical book too ..... with the stunning eye catching - heartfelt - powerful - compelling book COVER that sooooo represents the true story inside!!! First — and foremost- this is a very engaging audiobook memoir. The physical book is too but I haven’t read it as thoroughly as I have listened to the audiobook. My fault. I had the physical book months ago but just got to the audio book recently. I cannot stop thinking about specifics in this book. I love David Chang’s honesty- not sure I’d like very many of food concoctions — I’m not a foodie. Sorry - I’m more of a plain Jane eater. Not into ‘too’ fancy - ‘too spicy’ - too many food combinations going on at one time. But I do love noodles - I’d love a try at his noodles. More about DAVID.... the man... the consequences from things he has said to people that hurt- and angered them... I UNDERSTAND having struggles - mental disorders - I absolutely LOVE DAVID’S RAW STRAIGHT- TALK... AND/BUT.... I admit getting emotionally triggered a couple of times - and felt mad at him myself. 98% of David Chang —- I ADORE - LOVE LOVE LOVE — everything David Chang ( including 100% love for his wife and son) That said ... I have my little beef, too (and sorry, I’m not a beefy girl either), .... so here goes: LISTEN TO THIS, DAVID..... ( and to other readers who have read this book): A PLAIN FIG is delicious. SOME OF US IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LIKE THEM AS NATURE MADE THEM..... Please don’t judge me - or our city TOO HARSHLY.... if I/ we don’t like to mix FIGS with other foods. I FELT REALLY SAD WHAT DAVID SAID ABOUT PEOPLE IN THE SFBAY area!!! Not that he expressed what he did, and I’m sorry that chefs were so angry, and I’m sorry his book tour was canceled in San Francisco.... sorry so many people felt David was a jerk—- But what I’m MOST SAD ABOUT WAS HIS QUICK response “THAT HE WILL NEVER OPEN A RESTAURANT in San Francisco”. THAT FELT *MORE* harsh. Personally I wish David were more flexible about his NEVER.....it’s like David crushed everyone and threw the baby out with the bath water too. (ha....but with a pandemic -no restaurants are opening --covid-19 happened!!!) I DID LAUGH - got a great chuckle that people in SF should smoke more weed. Not a horrible idea! Lol But I also wish bygones were bygones .... the old David Chang ‘sting’ were all forgiven from all sides!!!! I WISH YOU FELT WANTED - SAFE - in SAN FRANCISCO ..... were a little understanding of why people were angry at you. — ALSO.... I’m still sad and am left with thoughts between David and his father. This is NOT an attack on David or anyone.... BUT..... I’ve read sooooo many books this year where adult daughters criticize their mothers, adult sons criticize their fathers, and every other combination of criticism, criticism, criticism from the adult-child about their parents. I’m so sick of it!!!!! I want to slap the adult-child and therapists who point to the sagaciousness - righteousness - and certainty of their farsightedness..... that everything stems back to childhood.... and it’s always the parents fault. It’s a rare person or therapist who focuses on being at caused in the matter, taking responsibility, ( not blame or guilt for themselves or others), simply willing to own their part, and grow themselves up, be sincerely forgiving, compassionate, and kind.... contribute back to their parents: let their parents off the hook; express love and gratitude, rather than continue to be self-centered, narcissistic, right, and unforgiving. I just WISH THIS .... you know? There are MANY THINGS TO ENJOY IN THIS MEMOIR.... lots to think about - readers feel involved!!!! We get an inside look at how David Chang thinks, feels, expresses himself, operates, eats, manages and mentors others. I wish David didn’t have the mental struggles he does - but hell - I wish I didn’t have physical struggles I have .... Life is the way it is!! Life isn’t the way it’s not!!! David PERFECTLY DEMONSTRATES - IN FRONT OF OUR EYES - THAT ‘SUCCESS’ is HARD!!!!! Success.... like David has experienced it..... is HARD WORK.... Its HARD to BE SUCCESSFUL at being SUCCESSFUL! When all is said and done - good- crappy - ugly - mean and wonderful..... I have a BIG LOVING SPOT in my HEART for this American Korean successful restaurant owner, personality .... I’d love to go fly fishing with him - his wife - and son! I’d like to taste his noodles. I’m very sorry for the loss, regret, sadness, anger, and memories that still may haunt David. I’m happy - really really thankful-happy- that David has his wife and son. I’m sincerely moved that David’s most primal need is fulfilled...( his wife and son), David has exceptional raw talent ... He is exceptional in that he had a type of unreasonable vision - willing to face failure in the face over and over again..... David is a risk taker ... Struggles with bouts of anger outbursts- that hurt others.... But he is SUCH A SOFTY LOVE BUG AT THE SAME TIME!!! Eat a Peach is TREASURE!!!! I look forward to the opportunity to zoom with David later this month!!! I honestly like the man he is - flaws and all. I’ll still prefer figs plain. Lol Highly recommend the AUDIOBOOK DAVID ADDS comments on the audio that are not in the physical book — making for a very intimate connection. 5 EASY GIVEN STARS!!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bkwmlee

    4.5 stars Let me start off this review with a full disclosure: prior to deciding to read this book, I had never heard of David Chang or Momofuku. I know it’s probably hard to believe, especially since there is a Momofuku restaurant in Los Angeles (though to my defense, it’s in the downtown area, which is far from where I actually live) and from what I understand (after the fact, of course), Chang is “prolific” enough to have his own Netflix show, podcast, as well a bestselling cookbook (which me 4.5 stars Let me start off this review with a full disclosure: prior to deciding to read this book, I had never heard of David Chang or Momofuku. I know it’s probably hard to believe, especially since there is a Momofuku restaurant in Los Angeles (though to my defense, it’s in the downtown area, which is far from where I actually live) and from what I understand (after the fact, of course), Chang is “prolific” enough to have his own Netflix show, podcast, as well a bestselling cookbook (which means he is not some unknown chef who spends his time holed up in the kitchen), so it’s not like there aren’t plenty of opportunities to have heard of him. In all honesty, I chalk up my ignorance to the fact that I’m not a “foodie” (I love food, but I’m definitely not the “food connoisseur” type), plus I don’t like to cook so there’s not a whole lot of reason for me to pay too much attention to the food world here. So the big question then is how did I hear about this memoir and why would I want to read it in the first place? Well, the answer is a bit complicated. I first heard about Chang’s memoir on a podcast that I was listening to, then later on, coincidentally, I came across an article about Chang that talked about the “rarity” of his success as a chef (and now media personality as well) of East Asian (Korean) descent who was able to “make it big” in the American culinary world. Being of East Asian descent myself (Chinese), this naturally piqued my interest, and so despite not having much clue beforehand who David Chang is and even less idea of what goes on in the culinary world, I decided to pick this memoir up anyway and go with it. In this memoir, through the “war stories” he tells about his experiences coming up the ranks as a chef and then later, a restaurant mogul, David Chang gives us a candid, fascinating glimpse into the culinary world. What I appreciated most though was the way he presented the culinary industry – and his place in it -- with an intensity and raw honesty that I wasn’t really expecting. On the one hand, he talks about the rewarding satisfaction of creating something that others enjoy, even admire, and why some people would be attracted to the world he inhabits, but on the other hand, he also presents the harsh realities of his world (the grueling hours, the constant stress and pressure, the physical and mental exhaustion, the emotional toll that the often fast-paced and sometimes toxic environment can have on you, etc. ) and why it’s not a profession that everyone is cut out for. In one of my favorite sections of the book, the chapter at the end where Chang outlines 33 Rules for Becoming a Chef, he starts off by saying : “For those who became chefs because they HAD to, it’s crazy that anybody with other options would WANT to work in restaurants” – then subsequently lays out point by point what to expect, in a way that, by the time you get to the end, you get the feeling that being a chef is one of the worst jobs you can possibly choose. In addition to his candid take on the culinary / restaurant industry however, Chang is also honest about his personal struggles and shortcomings. He talks openly about his anger issues, about his battle with depression that essentially pushed him to open Momofuku in the first place, about how he still struggles with suicidal thoughts, about how he sees a therapist on a consistent basis and oftentimes relies on medication to function. He’s also resigned to the fact that these issues will likely continue to follow him the rest of his life, yet he refuses to let that stop him from continuing to do what he loves. What makes this revelation a big deal is the fact that he comes from a culture where mental illness is an uncomfortable topic that is not usually discussed publicly (it’s very seldom acknowledged or talked about within the family unit either). This part of Chang’s story, as well as when he talks about his family background, resonated the most for me on a personal level. A lot of what he experienced and struggled with as a second generation Asian-American (whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from an East Asian territory) were definitely familiar, as I’ve encountered much of the same as well in my childhood (the same can probably be said of most Asian kids who grew up in immigrant households). The cultural influences relevant to the family environment he grew up in, the nuances of his relationship with his parents and siblings, the racial discrimination he encountered at school and elsewhere, the struggle with his own identity and never really feeling that he fit in anywhere (he refers to himself as a “twinkie” – yellow on the outside, white on the inside – hence, rejected by white kids because his face is “too Asian” while at the same time rejected by the Asian kids because everything else about him is “too white”) – these were all things that he struggled with growing up, though the hardest part is actually having to reconcile all of it physically, mentally, and emotionally as an adult. Ironically, in Chang’s case, he ended up choosing a career that exacerbated these issues rather than alleviate them. Summarizing these childhood experiences in one of the earlier chapters of his book, Chang writes: “This all leads me to question whether kitchen custom created my personal brand of rage. I think the job – the fear, the stress, the habits I’d learned, the culture – unlocked what was already roiling inside me.” What is interesting to note is that Chang’s struggle with his own identity and cultural background is reflected in his restaurants. As with many Asian cultures, when it comes to food, there is a “traditionalist” sentiment that dictates what can and can’t be done with certain dishes, especially ones that are culturally significant. Chang put it best when he described a meal he attended put on by a Korean chef living in Japan who came up with a celery kimchi dish: “I began to understand that what holds us back from culinary progress is often some cultural roadblock that we honor in the name of preservation – the kind of arbitrary roadblock that says, You’re not supposed to do that with kimchi.” This cultural sentiment played a huge role growing up too, as Chang also wrote about the overwhelming need to blend in as kids, which basically meant hiding the “traditional” foods that he would normally eat at home from his white classmates out of shame and also fear of being further made fun of and teased. All of these experiences made it difficult for Chang to completely embrace his Korean heritage and for many years, with his restaurants, he worked to bury “any sign of Koreanness under other influences and disguises” – for example, all of his restaurants have Japanese names rather than Korean, and up until he opened Majordomo in Los Angeles, he avoided having Korean dishes on the menu (even with Majordomo, there is actually no “traditional” Korean food on the menu , but many of the dishes do have Korean influences, as does the design of the restaurant itself). This is also one of the things that makes the Momofuku enterprise unique, as it doesn’t identify with any one particular culture – rather, it’s an eclectic mix of influences from various cultures (Chang said that whenever he is cornered for an answer on what type of cuisine his restaurant should be categorized as, his number one response is usually “American”). Even though I can be quite picky when it comes to memoirs, over the years, I’ve read my fair share of both really good ones and really bad ones. David Chang’s Eat A Peach definitely falls under the “really good” category and is a memoir that I absolutely recommend. For those who are interested in joining the culinary industry, this is an insightful read, especially the last section 33 Rules for Becoming a Chef – the advice that Chang gives in this section is invaluable! For those who, like me, aren’t really interested in the culinary world, but just want to read a well-written, fascinating memoir about a person whose experiences are relatable and resonant, even for someone coming from completely different backgrounds, this is definitely a great choice. Reading this memoir actually spurred me to research Momofuku online so I could learn more about it. Oh and I now have Majordomo on my bucket list of restaurants that I would like to visit and eat at some day (once this whole pandemic thing is over of course)! Received ARC from Clarkson Potter via NetGalley

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I devoured this memoir by Chef David Chang. I have enough of a background in the culinary world to know how hard it is, how few people succeed, how easy it is to completely burn out. It can be such hard work when you're only responsible for yourself; taking on the risks of managing and opening a restaurant are unfathomable to me. Every once in a while you find someone who despite those same struggles pulls off something amazing and changes the landscape forever, and that is this story. Even if yo I devoured this memoir by Chef David Chang. I have enough of a background in the culinary world to know how hard it is, how few people succeed, how easy it is to completely burn out. It can be such hard work when you're only responsible for yourself; taking on the risks of managing and opening a restaurant are unfathomable to me. Every once in a while you find someone who despite those same struggles pulls off something amazing and changes the landscape forever, and that is this story. Even if you aren't into food but you have an interest in the creative process, in how to fail and use it as fuel, this will be inspiring on that level too. The irony is that he is not trying to be inspiring, but just to talk about what happened and how. He also discusses struggles with his own mental illness and how this line of work almost manifested as its own addiction (that's my diagnosis/connection and may not be what he really said.) I know the pandemic has gutted the restaurant industry and his brand didn't escape it either. I cried the night he posted about closing one of his restaurants. In some ways the memoir captures the hopeful period right before all this happened, and maybe that is one reason I kept finding reasons to listen to it. I've followed so many of his endeavors over the years from Lucky Peach to the tv shows; I even remember watching a televised report on the foraging competition (Eat it Raw) in 2010. I've never been to his restaurants because I've never been to NYC but after listening to this audiobook I feel like we've been on that journey together. Such a creative thinker, such a world builder, I finish this book astounded even more than I already was. As for the title, I know most will assume it comes from The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock ("I grow old ... I grow old ...I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled...Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?") but I like to think it's a more obscure reference to Nicolas Cage in Face Off ("I could eat a peach for hours..")

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This is a fantastic memoir that is primarily about the creative spirit. David Chang is definitely an artist. I did not know much about him personally when I picked up this book, but I knew about and had been to his restaurant sensation Momofuku and was interested to learn about the man behind it. I got much more than I expected in this memoir which is honest and real and insightful into the human condition as well as food. Just as the chef is known for his innovative and creative approaches towar This is a fantastic memoir that is primarily about the creative spirit. David Chang is definitely an artist. I did not know much about him personally when I picked up this book, but I knew about and had been to his restaurant sensation Momofuku and was interested to learn about the man behind it. I got much more than I expected in this memoir which is honest and real and insightful into the human condition as well as food. Just as the chef is known for his innovative and creative approaches towards food, the book itself is innovatively structured. In one chapter he crosses out his previous self-important thoughts about himself and replaces them with a more measured and insightful critique. In another he discusses some passionate conversations he had with Tony Bourdain. In others, he very frankly discusses his therapy, and the ways he failed to be a good person or reflect on his issues when he was away from his therapist. There's also a lot of really thoughtful discussion on racism and racist stereotypes, starting with an introduction discussing some covers that were tried and rejected by readers. The book is peppered with conversational footnotes, hilarious and personal staff emails, literary references, and all kinds of information that make you really feel like you have gotten to know everything about the writer - his soul laid bare. At the end of the book there are 33 Rules for Becoming a Chef. These are pretty wonderful -- very funny, very creative and very encouraging. Example: "All my favorite singers couldn't sing. Don't worry if you lack talent or skills. Tenacity is all you really need." It's really refreshing to read a memoir by someone this successful who admits he was scared all the way through his success that he was on the edge of disaster. It's also impressive to read about the restaurant scene, the grueling work and the sometimes abusive atmosphere in a way that is not at all glamorized. I find a lot of restaurant memoirs tend to lionize the chefs who behave this way - and not only does Chang recognize it in himself but he has reached a point where he can fully appreciate the problems it caused. He also does an incredible job discussing his bipolar diagnosis and the ways it affects his life. You get a sense, reading the book, that for all the troubles and obstacles his mental health caused, his unique brain was also responsible for so many of his out-of-the box creative successes. This is a really empowering message and one that I think resonates with a lot of artists and creative types. I just loved everything about this memoir, and this guy: his honesty, his tenacity, his creativity, his mind and his whole book, which is beautifully written. One of the best chef/foodie memoirs I have ever read, but it transcends that and, like all the best memoirs, ends up being just a fascinating story about a very interesting and talented human being. 5 stars. Thanks to NetGalley, Penguin Random House and David Chang for the ARC of this fantastic book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lorilin

    David Chang is the uber-successful head chef of many restaurants, including Momofuku, Ko, and Milk Bar. You’ve probably seen him on Netflix’s Ugly Delicious and Bravo’s Top Chef. Honestly, he’s everywhere—opening a restaurant or publishing a new cookbook like every other year. He’s a machine. I was so excited to read his memoir, Eat a Peach. He strikes me as an intense, quiet, and interesting guy, so I was curious to know more of his story. This book isn’t what I expected it to be. In fact, it to David Chang is the uber-successful head chef of many restaurants, including Momofuku, Ko, and Milk Bar. You’ve probably seen him on Netflix’s Ugly Delicious and Bravo’s Top Chef. Honestly, he’s everywhere—opening a restaurant or publishing a new cookbook like every other year. He’s a machine. I was so excited to read his memoir, Eat a Peach. He strikes me as an intense, quiet, and interesting guy, so I was curious to know more of his story. This book isn’t what I expected it to be. In fact, it took me some time to fully process how I feel about it, but here goes. First, the positive… I sailed through this one in no time. The book is written well and totally bingeable. Who wouldn’t love hearing all the crazy war stories from one of America’s top restauranteurs? Seriously, this guy has rubbed noses with the elite of the elite. Also, for anyone who is a chef or is considering becoming one, you’ll want to check out the “33 Rules for Being a Chef” at the back of the book. It’s one of the strongest sections by far. So yes, lots to love. The weird thing, though, is how misled I felt when I finished reading. From the start, Chang talks about being an outcast as a child, a misfit. He describes going to therapy and struggling with depression his whole life. He sets his story up for the reader to think of him as an earnest, well-meaning, introspective “nice guy,” just doing the best he can. Even when he’s describing his rage fits and frustration in the kitchen, his all-consuming anger that is ever with him, the emphasis is on his internal struggle with feelings of unworthiness. And I’m sure that’s true—his anger probably IS fueled by his deep insecurities. But these justifications also start feeling like copouts real quick. David Chang doesn’t strike me as an especially happy person, but I think David Chang is still pretty happy with David Chang. I’m going to assume that Chang is not being intentionally dense. I think he’s probably just a tormented soul, who oscillates between rage and despair, but has enough self-awareness to (sometimes) recognize when he’s hurt another person’s feelings. I think Chang’s main problem is that he feels justified in his rage and so doesn’t feel strongly that he needs to change (which kind of feels, uh, abusive?). I actually loved the chapter on Chang’s time spent with an executive coach who calls him out on exactly this. (And to Chang’s credit, he did choose to include this in his book, when he could have easily not.) “You have to eat the shit,” he repeated over and over during one of our first sessions. He had the tone and zeal of a boxing trainer. “Shit tastes good!” “What does that even mean?” I chuckled. “Don’t laugh,” he said sternly. Marshall told me that my job wasn’t to cook food. It wasn’t about looking at numbers or commanding people, either. My company would live or die based on my capacity to eat shit and like it. “I am going to watch you eat as many bowls of shit as our time will allow,” he said. We had plenty of time. Eating shit meant listening. Eating shit meant acknowledging my errors and shortcomings. Eating shit meant facing confrontations that made me uncomfortable. Eating shit meant putting my cell phone away when someone was talking to me. Eating shit meant not fleeing. Eating shit meant being grateful. Eating shit meant controlling myself when people fell short of expectations. Eating shit meant putting others before myself. This last detail was important. With Dr. Eliot, I got away with describing my MO as self-destructive—my managerial tendencies were harmful, but only to me. Now, according to Marshall, I was using that assessment as cover for my poor behavior. In my mind, all the people who had left Momofuku were leaving me. When they failed at their jobs, they were betraying me. Marshall pointed out the ugly truth that this belied. I believed that the people at Momofuku were there to serve me. On the one hand, Chang is strong enough and determined enough to never lower his expectations. Which good for him, right? But that’s a luxury, too. It’s a privilege to never have to settle in life, to never have to put someone else’s needs before your own—even if you feel depressed about it afterward. And you especially don’t get to have it both ways. If you’re a dick, be a dick…but don’t try to make me think you’re a good guy at the same time. Anyway, it will be really interesting to see what being a parent does to him. I’d love to read his next memoir, ten years from now—or better yet, his son Hugo’s memoir twenty years from now. What a fascinating story that will be. Big thanks to Net Galley for the ARC!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Disclaimer: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Chang’s name wasn't immediately familiar to me, but I’ve read enough chef memoirs and watched enough Food Network to recognize his flagship restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar. David Chang is a chef, with multiple successful restaurants to his name. Eat A Peach tells the story of how he did it. Not that he necessarily gives away any closely guarded secrets, mind you. Yes, hard work and determination were factors, but Chang readily ad Disclaimer: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Chang’s name wasn't immediately familiar to me, but I’ve read enough chef memoirs and watched enough Food Network to recognize his flagship restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar. David Chang is a chef, with multiple successful restaurants to his name. Eat A Peach tells the story of how he did it. Not that he necessarily gives away any closely guarded secrets, mind you. Yes, hard work and determination were factors, but Chang readily admits to a fair amount of luck as well, and seems as much mystified by his success as he is proud of it. One of the things that struck me about this book was the tone. Throughout his life, Chang has battled manic depression, and had problems with his temper. He readily admits to past mistakes, but doesn't wallow in them. The impression is of someone who owns his past, but refuses to let it define his present. He’ll do better, and you know he will. I can think of no better summary of this book than Chang’s own concluding sentences (yes, since this is an ARC, there's a possibility that this quote may be altered or nonexistent in the published version. If so, then the editor is clearly an idiot, because it's a great quote. I’ll chance it.): “Right now, at age forty-two, I feel certain that I know all the answers to this business. But if I'm living the way I should, then hopefully I'll think back on this time and be embarrassed by how shortsighted and foolish I was. I'm expecting to open this book in ten years and cringe like I’m staring at a picture of myself with a bad haircut. I’m looking forward to it.” Highly recommended!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wendy'sThoughts

    4 Revealing Stars * * * * Spoiler Free- A Quick Review If you have any interest in food, then you know of David Chang. His impact on the industry is huge. He has given many of the Named Chefs or Food People their start. His story is not the one line of this happened and then the success. It is layered and revealing to someone so talented has had a hard journey and is still dealing with his concerns. I am sincerely pleased to have read this, seen what Chang has experienced, and appreciated all he h 4 Revealing Stars * * * * Spoiler Free- A Quick Review If you have any interest in food, then you know of David Chang. His impact on the industry is huge. He has given many of the Named Chefs or Food People their start. His story is not the one line of this happened and then the success. It is layered and revealing to someone so talented has had a hard journey and is still dealing with his concerns. I am sincerely pleased to have read this, seen what Chang has experienced, and appreciated all he has accomplished and shared. ~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~ There Are Some Major Food Icons... People The Lay Person... Even Knows About... David Chang Is One Of Those Wonders... He Has Singlehanded... Changed The Industry... He Has Been An Inspiration... To So Many... He Has Helped Others... In Their Quest... Now He Shares... More Than The Norm... He Takes Us On His Journey... I Am Ready To Dive Right In... And Do Whatever He Asks... Even If It Is To... Eat a Peach-September 8, 2020 A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    In his own voice, David Chang presents his candid memoir, warts and all. Although he seems to be able to meet new challenges and do well, he has struggled with extreme self doubt all his life, experiencing racism from a very young age despite. Also, although he came from a loving home, his father's strictness resulted in some very questionable choices which have haunted Chang to this day. But he is talented, meeting challenges and turning away from accomplishments such as excelling at golf at a In his own voice, David Chang presents his candid memoir, warts and all. Although he seems to be able to meet new challenges and do well, he has struggled with extreme self doubt all his life, experiencing racism from a very young age despite. Also, although he came from a loving home, his father's strictness resulted in some very questionable choices which have haunted Chang to this day. But he is talented, meeting challenges and turning away from accomplishments such as excelling at golf at a young age. His experience as a Michelin-award winning chef garnering him a large following as a restaurant owner has not come easy, and he is honest in presenting his own hot tempered personality and acknowledges that he has not made working for him easy. But those who have the luck to gain employment from him and prove they are worthy, will find someone who gives as good as he gets.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    Today is Pub Day: Sept. 8, 2020 This is not your typical chef memoir. Read this! David Chang is a complex individual as well as multitalented. He probably has as many enemies as he does friends, which is not intentional; it is a byproduct of his brain. While a part of him is creative, visionary, almost ‘out-of-the-box; no, out-of-the-universe, creative; another part of him boils, simmers, like a volcano at 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, raging and fighting against itself. The only way he can get the Today is Pub Day: Sept. 8, 2020 This is not your typical chef memoir. Read this! David Chang is a complex individual as well as multitalented. He probably has as many enemies as he does friends, which is not intentional; it is a byproduct of his brain. While a part of him is creative, visionary, almost ‘out-of-the-box; no, out-of-the-universe, creative; another part of him boils, simmers, like a volcano at 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, raging and fighting against itself. The only way he can get the two sides to call a truce is to work. Work, like workaholic work. Like do not stop work. Maybe open two, or ten restaurants, everywhere, whatever. He. Cannot. Stop. David Chang is the well-know Chef that opened the restaurant, Momofuku, famous for its distinct ramen dishes and pork buns, in New York City, and several others around the country and the world. You may have seen him on his TV shows on Netflix, “Ugly Delicious” and “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.” He is always smiling. David was born in Vienna, VA to Korean immigrant parents who arrived here in the 1960’s. He grew up in the Alexandria area with three siblings, went to good schools and had a successful junior golfing career until he started really growing at age twelve. Although always competitive he could not deny his Korean heritage in his largely white community. As with most adolescents, you’d rather fit in, than stand out. Although David is extraordinarily successful, he battles depression and bipolar disorder. He hates that, ‘his calling card is rage.’ He has been working hard with his Doctor to understand his type of mental illness and various ways to treat it. There is not one medicine or antidepressant that works for everyone, and trying different meds involves time, weeks usually, for effectiveness, then if not, weaning off. Therapy is always combined with the medications. It is always a work in progress, probably forever. This memoir, which David hates to call it, was an eye-opener for me. I am a huge fan of David Chang, but I did not realize his suffering with mental illness was so intense. I am pleased someone so talented has found a doctor he can work with to help guide him to understand how his brain works with him, and sometimes against him. I recommend this book to all his fans, and especially to his foes. Thank you NetGalley, Penguin Random House, and David Chang Now listening to the audio! 9/8/20

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brei

    David Chang does not hold back in Eat A Peach. He speaks about his mental health and restaurant struggles. I really appreciated his candor. Not many chefs or people in general will speak so publicly about their mental health. David also speaks about the trouble in the restaurant industry. The troubles of keeping his restaurants open. I loved this book. I was a fan of David Chang before I read the book and I am an even bigger fan of his now. I appreciate that David doesn't hold back and that I am David Chang does not hold back in Eat A Peach. He speaks about his mental health and restaurant struggles. I really appreciated his candor. Not many chefs or people in general will speak so publicly about their mental health. David also speaks about the trouble in the restaurant industry. The troubles of keeping his restaurants open. I loved this book. I was a fan of David Chang before I read the book and I am an even bigger fan of his now. I appreciate that David doesn't hold back and that I am getting an inside look into the life of a Top Chef. I think this book is for anyone that appreciates honesty and a behind the scenes look.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    Yes!! I love David Chang, and can’t wait to hear his story. Thank you to Clarkson Potter (PRH) for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Love a good food memoir. Chang is such a fascinating figure in food and has so many relevant things to say. This didn't disappoint.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    I'll do a full post on this book shortly but for now -- I really don't read "celebrity" type memoirs as a rule, but I've been a fan of David Chang since my first issue of Lucky Peach arrived in 2011. It wasn't just the recipes that caught my attention (his tonkatsu-style ramen has been my go-to recipe for ten years now), but also his writing in the magazine left me entertained and informed. I wasn't "entertained" with this book (although I did laugh here and there), but most certainly informed. I'll do a full post on this book shortly but for now -- I really don't read "celebrity" type memoirs as a rule, but I've been a fan of David Chang since my first issue of Lucky Peach arrived in 2011. It wasn't just the recipes that caught my attention (his tonkatsu-style ramen has been my go-to recipe for ten years now), but also his writing in the magazine left me entertained and informed. I wasn't "entertained" with this book (although I did laugh here and there), but most certainly informed. It takes guts for people to put their personal lives out there and I appreciate his doing so here. I found his discussions on depression inspiring for personal reasons, and the story behind his food and his success the same. more to come.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    (Review copy, courtesy of my very dope job) It's unclear why, but I was expecting this to be more amusing, and honestly, more anecdotal. It felt more like a screed on how success is complicated. Which...ok?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathy (Bermudaonion)

    David Chang is well known for his restaurants and his Netflix show, Ugly Delicious, and he shares his journey to his success in his book EAT A PEACH. The main focus is on his life as an adult but readers do get glimpses into his childhood as well. He comes across as open and honest in his book because he tells of his failures as well as his successes. He’s also up front about his battle with bipolar disorder. I enjoyed my time listening to the audio version (narrated by the author) and would lik David Chang is well known for his restaurants and his Netflix show, Ugly Delicious, and he shares his journey to his success in his book EAT A PEACH. The main focus is on his life as an adult but readers do get glimpses into his childhood as well. He comes across as open and honest in his book because he tells of his failures as well as his successes. He’s also up front about his battle with bipolar disorder. I enjoyed my time listening to the audio version (narrated by the author) and would like to eat at one of his restaurants now. The book was written pre-Covid and released post-Covid and, in the Afterword, he acknowledges the virus’s impact on the restaurant industry.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy

    An intense and raw memoir about the journey of creating a meaningful restaurant empire against all odds. I like Dave Chang, I really enjoyed his Netflix series Ugly Delicious and it was interesting learning about Momofuku from the ground up. I wasn’t here for the name drops, they went way over my head. I was here for Dave talking openly about his serious mental health issues, getting a better perspective about how to improve his leadership within his business, becoming a husband and dad, and alw An intense and raw memoir about the journey of creating a meaningful restaurant empire against all odds. I like Dave Chang, I really enjoyed his Netflix series Ugly Delicious and it was interesting learning about Momofuku from the ground up. I wasn’t here for the name drops, they went way over my head. I was here for Dave talking openly about his serious mental health issues, getting a better perspective about how to improve his leadership within his business, becoming a husband and dad, and always being open to change and growth personally and professionally.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anurag Ram Chandran

    Brutally honest and powerful. As much a memoir as it is a philosophical exploration of human frailty, mental health, obsessiveness, racism, friendship, love, and of course, food. Though I started off with the e-book, I cannot recommend the audiobook enough. I highly recommend letting David Chang read it out to you, in his no bullshit style - after all, these are his lived experiences. Wonderful!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    It is a memoir. Let’s get that out of the way first. But if you’re at all familiar with David Chang, this book is what you’d both expect and were hoping for: 300 pages of Chang’s quirky conversational style that simplifies complex cuisine, tying it to pop culture, food you’re familiar with and makes you want to grab a beer with the guy, even if you don’t get samples of pork belly-infused pintxo out of the deal. Chang has established himself as a worthy successor to Tony Bourdain: if Bourdain is It is a memoir. Let’s get that out of the way first. But if you’re at all familiar with David Chang, this book is what you’d both expect and were hoping for: 300 pages of Chang’s quirky conversational style that simplifies complex cuisine, tying it to pop culture, food you’re familiar with and makes you want to grab a beer with the guy, even if you don’t get samples of pork belly-infused pintxo out of the deal. Chang has established himself as a worthy successor to Tony Bourdain: if Bourdain is the Jesus Christ of chefs-turned-spiritual guide, Chang is Paul waking up on the road to Tarsus. He’s on his way, as worth watching as anyone, and vastly entertaining to boot. There’s the expected share of tiresome genius chef-as-tortured artiste tropes, and from a food industry perspective, EAP isn’t revelatory like Kitchen Confidential. It sheds some light on the celebrity-chef empire-building process, but a more lasting contribution to the genre might be that Chang gives valuable airtime to the challenges of mental health issues that face both those in the food services industry as well as leaders in any field. Chang doesn’t try to hide these struggles by using his success as a shield, or even try to mask them as minor nuisances he’s become better for having overcome. Instead he is forthright on how debilitating and potentially devastating his illness has been. For that if nothing else, EAP is worth a read. However, if you’re a Chang fan, there are plenty more reasons to dig in. If you’re not a Chang fan, reading EAP may just convert you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    Q: What's the last book that made you laugh out loud? A: Eat a Peach by David Chang Q: What's the last book that made you cry? A: Eat a Peach by David Chang I loved this book. I expected it to be good, and it far exceeded my expectations. Chang writes with humor, pathos, and honesty. He philosophizes. He tackles mental health, racism and xenophobia (that which he has internalized and that which he has observed), familial and romantic relationships, friendship, mentorship (both being a mentor and bein Q: What's the last book that made you laugh out loud? A: Eat a Peach by David Chang Q: What's the last book that made you cry? A: Eat a Peach by David Chang I loved this book. I expected it to be good, and it far exceeded my expectations. Chang writes with humor, pathos, and honesty. He philosophizes. He tackles mental health, racism and xenophobia (that which he has internalized and that which he has observed), familial and romantic relationships, friendship, mentorship (both being a mentor and being mentored), sexism, drugs and alcohol, as well as the ins-and-outs of starting and growing what has turned into a restaurant empire. Along the way, he writes with respect and gratitude about the food and people who have shaped Chang and Momofuku into what they are today. The first half of Eat a Peach is told more-or-less chronologically. The second half deals more with moments of reckoning and Chang’s reflections on specific topics. A couple of other noteworthy aspects of the book: Chang writes a lot about therapy and how much it has helped him. While therapy has become more normalized, his willingness to repeatedly bring the conversation back to therapy and its role in his life strikes me as important—especially in contrast to Chang’s often (self-admittedly) bro-ish persona. As someone who has lived in New York City for the last 12 years, I loved Chang’s references to New York restaurants and chefs. “Why would anybody get so mad about food? Because it is just food. And when your co-workers are lazy or inconsiderate or don’t seem to care as much as you—when they treat food as just food—they call your entire worldview into question. They make you feel foolish for believing.” A big thank you to NetGalley and Clarkson Potter at Crown Publishing for providing me with the ebook and the opportunity to review Eat a Peach.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    “It’s harder to unfuck yourself than it is to fuck yourself.” [from Chapter 17, 'Hyung'] The first time I heard/seen DC on the telly was almost a decade ago when 'The Mind of a Chef' was first aired. I was so intrigued by DC's eccentricities and was also quickly spellbound by most of the chefs that were introduced in the program. I had a very high expectation of the book but I was still blown away by it. I've written lots of notes in the two days I've spent reading it because I love it so much an “It’s harder to unfuck yourself than it is to fuck yourself.” [from Chapter 17, 'Hyung'] The first time I heard/seen DC on the telly was almost a decade ago when 'The Mind of a Chef' was first aired. I was so intrigued by DC's eccentricities and was also quickly spellbound by most of the chefs that were introduced in the program. I had a very high expectation of the book but I was still blown away by it. I've written lots of notes in the two days I've spent reading it because I love it so much and/that I didn't want to forget loving it/having loved it. But of course I will try to keep this review as short as I can and easy to digest . “Deliciousness is a meme. Its appeal is universal, and it will spread without consideration of borders or prejudice.” [C. 20, 'What You See Is What You Get'] Prior to reading the book, I was already a fan of DC because he was always unashamed of the things/food he liked/likes (at least on TV). And he knows that food is something that connects people (which I know sounds like a fucking cliché but I'm writing this quickly so I'm not giving much thought to writing a better sentence). At the start of the book, he writes about the time when he had invited his school mates over to his house for dinner. His popularity as cool kid ended there and then because the kids were disgusted with 'kimchi' being served. I think I wouldn't have been able to appreciate this book as much if it was just a simple manual on how to become a 'good chef'. The personal bits really made this book so brilliant - even though I found that some of it were so personal - I didn't know if I deserved to read/know about it. DC breaks down the process and progress of his mental health which I find myself relating to/with very much, almost so much so that it almost hurts . DC starts opening up about his mental health early on in the book - as if to say that - yeah well this is me take it or leave it . It's not a thing anyone chooses to have but you can either die or live with it . “I don’t know if all suicidal people fixate on suicide, but I did. I saw myself in Mel Gibson’s character in Lethal Weapon, waking up every morning to a solitary game of Russian roulette. I’m aware of how stupid that sounds, but I’m saying it anyway... I’d make it look like an accident, or just put myself in enough cars with shitty drivers.” [C. 2, 'Rational Choice'] “My threshold for sadness is insane, because sadness is the only solace.” [C. 2, 'Rational Choice'] In the second chapter of the book, he talks about the progression of his feelings about his mental health/suicidal thoughts after seeing a few therapists that didn't stick (before he met the one who he had been seeing for over a decade now). The first time I had realised that I had a 'weaker' mind than some was when I was in sixth-forms (but I was also having the time of my life with my mates so it was pretty confusing). It was probably the first time I thought of 'death' as a choice, but someone I was closed to took to it before I did and ironically it made me not want it (at least for a good while) . Like DC, I didn't think I deserved 'help'; like DC, I didn't think my life was 'fucked up' enough to deserve it. And like DC, I didn't have the sort of parents who would 'understand' that. The first time I went to see a therapist, my mother told me that I should re-consider it and think about it carefully because 'you know they only make you hate your parents, right?' I was surprised by DC's decision/choice to write so much about mental health in such a revealing and unashamed way. It's not even something a 'regular' person would feel comfortable to talk about freely. I think to be in his position, and then using his 'fame' in this manner - just feels like such a 'right' thing in a sea of so many 'wrongs' in the world right now. “But if you’ve fought depression or know somebody who has, you know that no amount of money can fix it. No amount of fame. No logic. The continuing stigma around suicide and mental illness tells me that not enough people truly understand it. I don’t really blame them—it’s impossible unless you’ve lived it. But there’s this puritanical notion of suicide as evil, depression as some kind of failure of character. Too many of us assume that antidepressants and suicide hotlines and generalized compassion are antidotes—that painting the train station a calm color is going to stop people from jumping. You wouldn’t suggest to a cancer patient that calling a hotline would cure them, would you?” (C.24, 'A New Deal') “This all raises the question of whether depression is something you can control by simply sucking it up. My answer is no, I don’t think you can overcome it with willpower, but I do believe that dealing with depression is a choice that needs to be made. You have to choose to stand up every day and keep going. To reject your default settings. To offer another silly analogy, I always liken it to being a Jedi. It’s easier—and probably cooler—to give in to the dark side. The only way to be a Jedi is to do the hard thing and reject your base instincts. On good days, the fight will push you into experiences you would never have known otherwise. You will have purpose, even if the purpose is only to stick around.” (C.24, 'A New Deal') Like DC, I kept thinking that I can get rid of it at first - that I don't have to live my life being mentally sabotaged from time to time. There isn't really a 'cure' but we can make things easier/better by living differently. Like DC, I stopped cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and meaningless relationships. In the book, he wrote the uncontrollable/hard-to-manage anger after quitting all that. I don't think anyone could've explained the experience better. I was so angry at first I forgot what I was even angry about; and I was so angry that I eventually channelled that anger inwardly. And after all that 'rage' is settled, it's the 'guilt' that remains. DC talks about the feelings of 'guilt' quite a bit - particularly - 'survivor’s guilt.' He states that, “people around me have died—literally and figuratively—and I’m still here. It truly feels like surviving a plane crash.” In an earlier chapter, he even wrote a whole bit about how he had stubbornly refused to work with someone who openly encouraged him to not feel 'guilty' about anything - and that that is a better way to go about life. I think the book is very well-paced, well-organised, and well-edited which truly makes it a great experience for the reader. I don't know if I could finish it so quickly otherwise since it's packed with a lot of different/heavy topics. DC talks about his mental health and being a chef/restauranteur alternatively. The ups and downs of his mental health paralleled to his achievements/failures in the restaurant business. I enjoyed the part where he talked about how if you want to be a chef - you should go to college and/but study Shakespeare instead of the culinary arts because to be a 'good chef' you'll need more than just culinary skills. In the later half of the book, DC explores current issues like agricultural crises/food sustainability, racial injustice, sexual harassment and misogyny in the 'restaurant business'. He doesn't talk about it all like some self-obsessed writer, but he continuously reminds the readers that he doesn't know if he's doing/writing the right thing but he's just another human being trying - trying to live; and also to be a better person to live with in this world. At the end of the book, DC brings up the documentary of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson (The Dawn Wall). I had watched that documentary with my mates around Christmas last year, so I remembered it quite clearly. “I’m on Team Tommy Caldwell. Before Honnold performed his solo feat, fellow climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made history by free-climbing a different route up El Capitan together... At one point during their three-week journey up the rock, Jorgeson gets stuck, unable to complete the most difficult part of the climb. He urges Caldwell to proceed without him. But as he approaches the homestretch, Caldwell stops and decides that he won’t finish without his friend. He goes back down and spends days helping Jorgeson, so they can finish the ascent together. Why? In the words of the documentary, “I can’t imagine a worse outcome than doing this alone. Most people will view what Caldwell did as an act of selflessness. I would argue that helping his friend was actually the only possible choice for Caldwell. He had harnessed years of tragedy and heartache into this impossible undertaking... But with his goal in sight, he realized that it would be meaningless to stand on top of the mountain by himself.” At the end of the book, DC writes about how the more 'shit' you've plowed through in life, the more you realise that if there is no one to go 'home' to/with, then there would be no point in doing it. This reminds me of a mate's mother who got herself into a relationship with someone new shortly after the death of her husband. For a while, my mate was very angry/sad about that. But I think the point is - that people need people to survive. How can one 'live'/power on if they had to go on alone after all that they've been through? Maybe they could if they were 'strong' enough, but it would be so much harder; and really - what's the pride/point in that? I used to be so hooked on the idea of being an 'independent woman', but can anyone truly be independent? And isn't the romantic/idealised idea of an 'independent woman' just a tool of patriarchy? I don't know, but what I know is that now that I'm older - I am more drawn towards the idea of a mutual dependency that makes both parties feel free-er than they were when they were supposedly 'independent' individuals. I have a lot more that I want to say about DC's wonderful book, but before my review turns into an unintended novella, I'll just have to end it here with Bourdain's last email to DC : “ From: Anthony Bourdain Date: Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 8:02 PM Subject: Be a fool. For love. For yourself. What you think MIGHT possibly make you happy. Even for a little while. Whatever the cost or good sense might dictate. Good to see you. Tony ”

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dede

    Seemed more like ranting then writing. He seems utterly amazed he founded a successful restaurant because of pure luck.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Celebrity chef David Chang's memoir. His publisher wanted a memoir. He wanted to write a How-to-succeed-like-I-did. I'm not sure either of them won that argument. Though I do like reading books and watching shows about cooking, Chang has never been on my radar. I don't know, just didn't grab me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Rainwater

    I wasn't in love with this book, but the chapter entitled "33 Rules for Becoming a Chef" should be required reading for every high school and college student. It applies broadly to anyone embarking on an education or a career.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    If you’ve never heard of David Chang or his accomplishments, it’s fine. He will fill you in on everything. Then keep telling more and more. This book seemed to me that he is trying to define his brand (Momofuku) by who he knows and other famous places where he worked or has eaten. So much name dropping and stories about “celebrity chefs” or highly rated restaurants that didn’t accumulate the accolades his restaurants did. Despite his multiple statements that his restaurants are uniquely Korean a If you’ve never heard of David Chang or his accomplishments, it’s fine. He will fill you in on everything. Then keep telling more and more. This book seemed to me that he is trying to define his brand (Momofuku) by who he knows and other famous places where he worked or has eaten. So much name dropping and stories about “celebrity chefs” or highly rated restaurants that didn’t accumulate the accolades his restaurants did. Despite his multiple statements that his restaurants are uniquely Korean and Japanese type foods.His brand is expanding both in types of businesses and global location. There was no need to compare the unique stylings of his restaurants to other dissimilar restaurants. Stand on your own merits. #GoodreadsGiveaway

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    First I would like to state that I have received this book through goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity and honor in being able to read this book. When I received this book I began reading it at once. This book was a very interesting read. It pulls you in and keeps you wanting more. I would recommend this book to others. It is a very good read

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    4.5 stars. I really like David Chang. That feeling has only intensified since reading this book. I was first introduced to David Chang through his Netflix show, Ugly Delicious. I watch a lot of food programming and am picky about what I like. Chang won me over through his discussions about authenticity in ethnic food and who gets to be the authority on what is authentic. Chang's career has been subtly dedicated to subverting the norm and playing up the unexpected. He is a Korean American who make 4.5 stars. I really like David Chang. That feeling has only intensified since reading this book. I was first introduced to David Chang through his Netflix show, Ugly Delicious. I watch a lot of food programming and am picky about what I like. Chang won me over through his discussions about authenticity in ethnic food and who gets to be the authority on what is authentic. Chang's career has been subtly dedicated to subverting the norm and playing up the unexpected. He is a Korean American who makes Japanese food with Korean influences and also has a Italian restaurant with food made from Korean ingredients. He navigates the complexity of being yourself and your history while also forging new paths and being creative to a fault. The man sees the food industry and gives it the finger. I love that. I knew he struggled with mental health, but I didn't know to what extent until I read the book. Chang is honest about his demons and knows he should do better. Screaming at his cooks and servers does not make them better at their jobs and makes him look like a dick. Restaurants have always been rife with abuse and it's not ok. He knows that. It doesn't mean it's easy to change. Would I want to work for him? Hell to the no. But do I appreciate that he's trying to overcome barriers while also being heavily scrutinized and judged constantly? I do. This memoir is a perfect mix of insider restaurant anecdotes (yeah, it's the boys club, but honestly I'd listen to a hundred more stories about cooking with Rene Redzepi) and honest personal storytelling. Chang repeatedly says how he didn't really want to write a memoir, but I think this is the perfect embodiment of who he is as a chef, son, father, husband, consumer, and person. His reflections on #MeToo and the restaurant industry left me wanting a bit more, but I'm glad he addressed it instead of ignoring it. He has a platform and holds responsibility for lifting others up. He hasn't always done a great job of that. We should hold him accountable to his promise of doing better. I would eat anything David Chang cooked. I would watch any show he created. I will now read any book he writes.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Divya Shanmugam

    Reading experts on food talk about food sort of feels like listening to a really nice song in a different language. It is so pleasant!! My favorite things about it were the emphasis of his writing on process instead of outcome and the credit he gives to his community. I never knew the descriptions associated with Michelin stars; 'a one-star restaurant as “high quality cooking, worth a stop.” Two stars is “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” And three is “exceptional cooking, worth a special jour Reading experts on food talk about food sort of feels like listening to a really nice song in a different language. It is so pleasant!! My favorite things about it were the emphasis of his writing on process instead of outcome and the credit he gives to his community. I never knew the descriptions associated with Michelin stars; 'a one-star restaurant as “high quality cooking, worth a stop.” Two stars is “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” And three is “exceptional cooking, worth a special journey."' Translated to books, one star is probably a plane read, two stars a weekend read, and three stars is a drop-what-you're-paid-to-do read? Maybe a more reliable system than my every-book-is-a-4 philosophy. Or the points corresponding to different food violations: "An empty paper towel dispenser over the hand sink is ten points, yet rodent droppings are only a five-point deduction." The whole section on health violations gave me more sympathy for Cambridge restaurants with not-enough-hot-water violations. If you're curious, all health violations in Cambridge are public (and there are a lot!!) https://data.cambridgema.gov/Inspecti...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Hilliard

    Coronavirus (update: Coronavirus + Rebellion 2020) book review #47 – 3.75 stars Eat a Peach is one man’s battle with depression and anger whose workaholic tendencies to escape himself made him a superstar chef at a fairly young age. That man is David Chang, head of the Momofuku empire, and I want to eat all his food. Kudos to David for being self-reflective on how harsh he’s treated himself and the people who have worked with him throughout his rise to stardom and yet, he’s one of those people wh Coronavirus (update: Coronavirus + Rebellion 2020) book review #47 – 3.75 stars Eat a Peach is one man’s battle with depression and anger whose workaholic tendencies to escape himself made him a superstar chef at a fairly young age. That man is David Chang, head of the Momofuku empire, and I want to eat all his food. Kudos to David for being self-reflective on how harsh he’s treated himself and the people who have worked with him throughout his rise to stardom and yet, he’s one of those people who I don’t need to meet IRL. I'm just happy he's out there, cooking it up, living life. Momofuku Noodle Bar in Toronto served up the best ramen I’ve ever eaten. Now I’m off to dig up some past issues of his Lucky Peach magazine because it sounds amazing. Best of luck fighting those demons, DC.

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