Does David Chang think all chefs should aspire to work in fine dining establishments?
You couldn’t try to do something more revolutionary than bringing food — good food in America, great food — to most people, to everyone. For the most part, if you wanted to have a great meal in New York City in the ’90s, it wasn’t like, “Let’s check out this little tiny corner shop that’s serving this blah, blah, blah.” It might have been like, “Check out this Punjabi Stand. It’s fantastic.” Or, “There’s this great place in Flushing that’s serving insanely good Thai food.” If you wanted great food, it was most often, “Let’s go to Lespinasse. Let’s go to La Bernardin.”
There’s nothing wrong with that, but having traveled the world — particularly Asia — food was for everyone. If I could pull off opening a fine dining restaurant, I would, because I love the beauty of it. But there certainly is a barrier to allowing everyone to eat that. That’s what I think fine dining is. It’s a certain level, a stratification within society, that can eat that [food].