Eat a Peach: Book summary and reviews of Eat a Peach by David Chang

Eat a Peach

by David Chang

Eat a Peach by David Chang X
Eat a Peach by David Chang
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Book Summary

From the chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix's Ugly Delicious - 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.

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 endeavor 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, candor, grit, and humor, 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In the book's most heartfelt section, Chang rhapsodizes about the egalitarian Asian dining ethos he wanted to import to the West and even allows himself a rare pat on the back for his influence...Foodies and chefs alike will dig into Chang's searing memoir." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Chang's memoir eventually becomes a smorgasbord of random recall, covering everything from contemplating the ideal volume of the music in his restaurants to his extended bouts with depression and anxieties about his open-ended future in food. An entertaining, admirably candid self-assessment of life in the foodie fast lane." - Kirkus Reviews

"Eat a Peach is not merely an autobiography of a great creative; rather, it's a compelling philosophy of a man who believes in a beautiful life beyond reach. It is profoundly gratifying to witness Chang marching uphill, step by step, toward his sublime vision. As Chang suffers, rages, and fights for his quest, we can't help but admire his vulnerability, courage, and conviction." - Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires and Pachinko, a finalist for the National Book Award

"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

"Dave Chang's writing is honest and vulnerable. As a child of immigrants, the DNA of his story spoke to me. Now I just have to keep up with his drive and tenacity!" - Hasan Minhaj, host of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

"If you're looking for a cookbook, this is a terrible choice. Herein you will find the recipe for one of our brightest, most energetic, talented, and inspiring Americans (who also happens to be a chef). David Chang is a great storyteller with a great story to tell." - Jimmy Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

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Author Information

David Chang

David Chang is the chef and founder of Momofuku. Since opening Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City in 2004, he has been honored with six James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Chef, and has been recognized as a Time 100 honoree. His cookbook, Momofuku, is a New York Times bestseller. In 2018, David founded Majordomo Media and launched The Dave Chang Show podcast. He is the host of two Netflix original documentary series, Ugly Delicious and Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

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