How to Eat a Peach by Diane Henry
The celebrated chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious gets uncomfortably real in his debut memoir.
‘David Chang writes about a chef’s life in a way that feels completely fresh. The recipes, including those from the ginger-scallion noodles and roasted pork belly served at Noodle Bar, are almost perks; this would be a great read even without them.’
The New York Times
‘Ever since I slurped my first Momofuku ramen bowl, I knew David Chang was a special chef. Now, with this soulful memoir, David has added another feather to his cap: brilliant writer. David is a personal hero - funny, wise, humble, and self-aware. With Eat a Peach, he puts words to so many of the things we all feel, sharing generously of his own journey so we can all benefit in the process.’
Chrissy Teigen, New York Times bestselling author of Cravings
In 2004, Momofuku Noodle Bar opened in a tiny, stark space in Manhattan’s East Village. Its young chef-owner, David Chang, worked the line, serving ramen and pork buns to a mix of fellow restaurant cooks and confused diners whose idea of ramen was instant noodles in Styrofoam cups. It would have been impossible to know it at the time—and certainly Chang would have bet against himself—but he, who had failed at almost every endeavour in his life, was about to become one of the most influential chefs of his generation, driven by the question, “What if the underground could become the mainstream?”
Chang grew up the youngest son of a deeply religious Korean American family in Virginia. Graduating college aimless and depressed, he fled the States for Japan, hoping to find some sense of belonging. While teaching English in a backwater town, he experienced the highs of his first full-blown manic episode, and began to think that the cooking and sharing of food could give him both purpose and agency in his life. Full of grace, candour, grit, and humour, Eat a Peach chronicles Chang’s switchback path. He lays bare his mistakes and wonders about his extraordinary luck as he recounts the improbable series of events that led him to the top of his profession. He wrestles with his lifelong feelings of otherness and inadequacy, explores the mental illness that almost killed him, and finds hope in the shared value of deliciousness. Along the way, Chang gives us a penetrating look at restaurant life, in which he balances his deep love for the kitchen with unflinching honesty about the industry’s history of brutishness and its uncertain future.
Eat a Peach is an intimate account of the making of a chef, the story of the modern restaurant world that he helped shape, and how he discovered that success can be much harder to understand than failure.
About the Author
David Chang is the chef and owner of the Momofuku empire, with 15 locations from New York to Australia, and the creator and producer of the hit Netflix series Ugly Delicious. Chang has been named a Food & Wine Best New Chef, a GQ Man of the Year, a Rolling Stone Agent of Change, and a Bon Appetit Chef of the Year. He has taken home five James Beard Awards, including Best New Restaurant (2009, Momofuku Ko) and Outstanding Chef (2013). His game-changing and New York Times bestselling cookbook, Momofuku (Clarkson Potter, 2009) has sold nearly 200,000 copies.