What's this? Another Anthony Bourdain television project: The Mind of a Chef premieres on PBS November 9, exploring "the kitchen, the world, and the mind" of New York chef/Momofuku overlord David Chang. The show is executive produced and narrated by Bourdain; it's produced by Zero Point Zero, the producers of No Reservations. Bourdain also calls it season one in the preview, implying there's more where this came from.
Below, a list of episodes which shows the season pretty much focuses on Chang. Some of the episodes sound a lot like topics Chang's magazine Lucky Peach has covered — there's even an episode called "The Sweet Spot," the same as the theme for issue two. Perhaps these are videos from the iPhone/iPad app that never materialized? Below, Chang travels the world and hangs out with comedian Aziz Ansari, food scientist Harold McGee, chefs Juan Mari Arzak, Ferran Adrià, Rene Redzepi, Wylie Dufresne, and more. Check out the preview video, and more, below:
Video: The Mind of a Chef Preview
· Squeal Like A Pig This unique travel/cooking series features Chef and Author David Chang making connections between food and nature, science, music, art, sports, history and just about anything else that he can stir up. In Montreal, David and Comedian Aziz Ansari try Wilensky's famous fried bologna sandwich. In the kitchen, David makes a "red-eye mayo;" his pastry chef shows how to make a salty sugary late night snack--the corn cookie ham and cheese. Anthony Bourdain narrates.
· Noodlin Author and Chef David Chang visits a noodle factory in Japan; eats the best bowl of ramen in his life; and, cooks two incredible dishes with the instant ramen variety. Food Scientist Harold McGee explains how alkaline salts make ramen noodles unique. Anthony Bourdain narrates.
· Spain In Spain, Author and Chef David Chang explores the streets of San Sebastian with friend and legendary chef Juan Mari Arzak. El Bulli's Ferran Adria talks about the current state of cuisine. David prepares a salt cod omelet, and in honor of Adria, he cooks a microwave sponge cake. Anthony Bourdain narrates.
· Memory Lane Author and Chef David Chang revisits a ramen shop in Japan, where he ate while apprenticing at a restaurant in Tokyo. He also visits the Callaway Golf factory where, for the first time in the 14 years since he threw his clubs off a cliff, he hits a golf ball. Later, he prepares a cold Korean soup, naeng myung, that his mother prepared for him and his father when they went golfing.
· Rotten David Chang travels to San Sebastian, Spain, to exhibit his experiment in rot: pork butabushi. His pastry chef shows that the best flavor in a banana cream pie comes from rotten bananas. Rene Redzepi cooks a "garbage plate" using potatoes left in the ground months longer than what is considered fresh.
· The Sweet Spot David Chang travels to San Sebastian, Spain, to exhibit his experiment in rot: pork butabushi. His pastry chef shows that the best flavor in a banana cream pie comes from rotten bananas. Rene Redzepi cooks a "garbage plate" using potatoes left in the ground months longer than what is considered fresh.
· Simplicity David Chang visits a sushi master in Tokyo and a yakitori chef who has been grilling chicken for 30 years. In the kitchen, David makes a simple chicken noodle soup.
· So You Think You Are A Chef Wylie Dufresne cooks carrot-coconut sunny-side up egg, Rene Redzepi cooks clam chowder and David Chang cooks a buttermilk apple dashi. This series dares to make connections between food and nature, science, music, art, sports, history, and pretty much anything else a renowned chef can stir up.
· Phresh Vs. Phrozen This program addresses various theories of food preservation. In Japan, David Chang examines a technique of killing fish, called ike jime, that inhibits rigor mortis. In the kitchen, he cooks with space food, while his pastry chef makes a corn cookie using freeze-dried ingredients.
· Japan David Chang travels from Tokyo to Kyoto to meet and eat with friends and to explore the different ingredients and culinary techniques of the eastern world. He visits a street market in Tokyo, a fish auction in Kyoto and finishes the trip at a Michelin three-star restaurant, Kikunoi. In the kitchen, he cooks yakitori--or Japanese grilled chicken.
This comes in addition to other major Bourdain happenings: he's writing the restaurant scenes for Treme, there's the upcoming season of The Layover, his reality/competition series on ABC with Nigella Lawson called The Taste, his book imprint with Ecco (publishing the likes of Marilyn Hagerty and Roy Choi), and then his upcoming series on CNN. Also, his novel Bone is being adapted into a feature film, he's doing a nation-wide tour, and nevermind his fledgling career as a graphic novelist. Busy guy.
· The Mind of a Chef | Preview (Coming to PBS Nov. 9th) [YouTube]
· The Mind of a Chef [MPTV]
· All David Chang Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Anthony Bourdain Coverage on Eater [-E-]