Here's a fascinating, hour-long interview with chef David Chang with MythBusters' Adam Savage. It's the first episode of Savage's new web series, the Talking Room, and they talk about all kinds of things, including MSG, the Cheesecake Factory, the difficulties of hiring, the evolution of Momofuku, creativity, and more:
· On expansion: Chang says he'll have over 700 employees by the end of the year.
· What's wrong with kids these days: After getting a dressing down from Chang, a cook told him: "Dude, do you know what decade it is? You can't talk to people like that." Said Chang, "Needless to say, he's moving on."
· On teaching: "Sometimes the best cooks never translate to being the best chef."
· On eating out: "There are very few times where I don't know how they make it now... I'm constantly criticizing. It's terrible... I actually stopped going out to eat for the most part. Because It's just not fun. It's like work all the time."
· On learning: "Now that I feel that I know more about gastronomy than ever before, I still realize that I know nothing about gastronomy... The more knowledge I gain, the less creative I become."
· On creativity: "More and more now, the creative process is thinking about flavors that most people consider trash, or overlooked. I wouldn't say it's like the Moneyball of flavor, but it's finding the flavor that one's paying attention to."
· On mistakes: "That's what we want, we're after the big mistakes. In emails, I'm telling everybody, I don't care about the success, please document the failure... I think that flavor actually comes from flavor."
· On future goals: "Right now minimum wage in New York is ten bucks an hour... It would be great if we can get Momofuku to the point where we can pay our cooks well above, to like 20, 25 dollars, even 30 dollars an hour. That to me, is when I know we're doing it right."