David Chang and Peter Meehan took part in the second episode of Zach Brooks' Food Is the New Rock podcast, and the topic at hand was critic anonymity. After all, the chef and former critic have been friends for some time, and have worked on several projects together.
So what's up with anonymity? It doesn't matter, according to Chang, and notes that it's not standard practice everywhere in the world: "Europeans laugh when American critics come to their restaurants because they always pay for everything, everything seems to be always on the up and up."
Nevertheless, Chang had reservations about becoming friends with Meehan when he wrote for the Times:
I knew there was no way that relationship could ever work. If [they] happened to ever review us again, he would never review us. He wouldn't be that guy. At that night, I realized, he's already been to the restaurant so many times and he would probably continue to go to the restaurant...it would be pointless for me to pretend that he's not there.
Nevertheless, Chang & Meehan became buddies. Meehan cowrote the Momofuku cookbook, the two helped start Lucky Peach, and the rest is history.
Oh, and Chang also admits that he knew who Sam Sifton was before he took the NYT job — and, indeed, "everybody knew who Sifton was, but it still doesn't matter."
· Podcast Episode 2 is Now Out feat. David Chang & Peter Meehan [Food Is the New Rock]
· All Food Is the New Rock Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All David Chang Coverage on Eater [-E-]
[Photo: Food Is the New Rock]