Culture

David Chang's Role as the Winter Olympics' Food Correspondent

The Momofuku founder is showing viewers what Korean cuisine truly is
David Chang Is the Winter Olympics Food & Culture Correspondent
Photo: Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images

"I think the best way to learn about a place is to eat your way through it," David Chang says in a new segment released by NBC. The Momofuku founder is leaving balmy Los Angeles (where he just opened his first West Coast restaurant, Majordomo), to serve as the food expert and correspondent for this year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

In the preview released just yesterday, Chang points out the Japanese, Chinese and American ingredients (specifically, Kraft Singles) that have made their way into Seoul's street food. But as he tells Sports Illustrated, Korea's cuisine is far too often lumped into the "pan-Asian category." "What I hope to show is that it's distinctly different, that it has its own history," he says.

"One of the great things about eating in Korea is that great food can be delicious everywhere," he continues in the video, while tucking into a bowl of budae jjigae (Korean army stew) at a truck stop. You'll later see him foraging alongside a Buddhist monk for ingredients to delve into the country's vegan cuisine and acquainting himself with the famous female divers on the island of Jeju before checking into Gaon, a three-Michelin-star restaurant back in Seoul.

"The next time you're eating Korean food, just realize it's so much more than barbecue and kimchi," he concludes. "You're only scratching the surface."

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