Last night, Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall played host to the James Beard Awards, the Oscars/Emmys/Tonys/Grammys of dining. Grant Achatz, the 34-year-old Chicago chef whose cruelly poetic battle with tongue cancer is recounted in this must-read New Yorker piece, won the top award of the night, the Oustanding Chef Award. Hometown winners included Danny Meyer's Gramercy Tavern, for outstanding restaurant; Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, for outstanding restaurateur; and up-and-comer Gavin Kaysen of Cafe Boulud, who bagged the Rising Star Award. And what culinary event would be complete without some groveling display of deference to David Chang? The Momofuku chieftain was handed the award for best chef in New York City.
"'Servers are such greedy bastards,' he says. A server at Ssäm Bar could bring in seventeen hundred dollars in a week working thirty-two hours; a cook working the same hours would earn three hundred and fifty"—from a new New Yorker profile of Momofuku founder and Pork King of New York David Chang. Our next job: server at Ssäm Bar, hopefully! [via Eater]
The best part of today's profile of David Chang in the Times isn't that the reporter notices Pearl Jam playing on the stereo (no big deal, I have a limited edition of Ten!) or the news (unconfirmed) that Chang will be opening a Vegas Momofuku. No, the best part comes from Chang himself. Apropros entrepreneurs, Chang asserts that restaurateur "Jeffrey Chodorow is the antichrist." A quick marshaling of the evidence proves that Chang is factually correct.
Let us start by stipulating that we love both Momofuku and Ssam Bar, David Chang's East Village restaurants. Let us also mention that we've enjoyed his occasional posts on the Eater blog thus far. And let us further add that we rather liked today's, which instructs on the concept of soign , the V.I.P. treatment chefs accord reviewers or other special patrons. Especially because now he's making soign into a random lottery.
Restaurateur David Chang (mmm, asian burrito!) makes our hearts go pitter-pat. So we wanted to be right there with him as he anxiously awaits reviewage of his new-ish Ssam Bar by notorious Times touch-football tackler Frank Bruni. (See what we did there?) Luckily, Eater gave him the opportunity to share his feelings and predictions with us. Chang forsees a one-star review for Momofuku Ssam, however, if he gets a goose egg, he has a plan: