• David Chang joins chef heavyweights on the media landscape. (Getty Images / Washington Post)Source: Getty Images / Washington Post
The Momofuku founder is launching a new media company to fill the Lucky Peach-shaped hole in our hearts. 
Lucy Rennick

20 Mar 2018 - 10:40 AM  UPDATED 20 Mar 2018 - 10:40 AM

James Beard award-winning chef David Chang is known as somewhat of a rebel in the food world. While other chefs are washing white tablecloths after a night of conventional silver service, Chang is more interested in breaking all the rules, bucking trends and riffing on the classics. When he uses instant ramen to make cacio e pepe, his culinary renegade spirit is on full display. 

Chang has recently ventured into the world of entertainment with a show on Netflix called Ugly Delicious. In it, he explores his penchant for “ugly” foods, where they came from and how their popularity evolved. Writing for the New York Times, Mike Hale says Ugly Delicious is “an extended television essay, in the form of free-associative, globe-trotting conversations about food and culture.” 

Media, it seems, is a hat Chang wears fairly well. Together with his business partner Christopher Chen and former Wired editor-in-chief Scott Dadich, Chang is launching his very own media platform, complete with a podcast, television slate and editorial. Majordomo Media, as it will be known, will focus on content that investigates “food and culture in a way that nobody has ever really tried.” With a bit of luck, Majordomo will fill the Lucky Peach shaped hole in our hearts created when Chang’s much-loved publication folded last year. 

"Majordomo is a place for people to connect over the things I believe define culture: travel, food, music, sports, exploration," Chang has said in a statement. "I don't want to tell people what to do or show them the new cool thing. Plenty of places do that. I want to teach them how to find — and understand — new and different things themselves and let them bring their friends along for the ride. I want to create experiences where it’s okay to have honest conversations — where people can consider culture and race and have strong opinions while exploring their passions."

This Dutch restaurant owner is also the chef, sommelier and dishwasher
The team is small, but interest in Restaurant De Haan is big: sometimes you have to book six months ahead to get a reservation.

Chang’s foray into entertainment isn’t all that surprising for a chef who’s cemented his place firmly in the new guard of cooking experts. Like cooking personalities Action Bronson, Anthony Bourdain, Matty Matheson and Dan Hong, David Chang has made a name for himself partly from being multi-talented. He’s not only a technically trained chef, but a restaurateur (Chang founded Momofuku Restaurant group), an author and an entertainer, too. In Ugly Delicious and the shows of Chang’s peers depict gen-Y chefs bringing delicious, nourishing food down a notch so that it’s accessible to everyone – not just those who intimately understand the precise science of baking, or how to craft all the mother sauces from scratch. As Josh Baines writes in The Guardian, “Ugly Delicious uses street food and home cooking as a kind of global equaliser.”

Chang’s rise notwithstanding, there is, of course, an elephant in the room: most of the chefs and personalities driving this revolutionary approach to food media are male. When we only see three female chefs in the 2017 World’s Best 50 Restaurants list, the proverbial ‘boys club’ of brash, tattooed, fried-chicken eating TV show hosts gives us a bit more to think about; Where do female chefs like Jo Barrett, Sara Kramer, Danielle Alvarez and Niki Nakayama fit in?  

Here’s hoping Chang uses Majordomo Media and a fresh approach to food entertainment to shine a light on the work of his female peers, while simultaneously delivering the very best food content straight to our screens. Stay tuned! 

To keep up to-date with all things Majordomo Media, check out the website and Twitter page.

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