How important is simplicity in David Chang’s cooking?
I think simple is fine, but too simple is not something I look after. Unless it’s something like… let’s just say we stumble upon a can of Beluga caviar, which is totally illegal. I wouldn’t turn that into a sauce, for instance. I wouldn’t turn it in to the authorities, but certainly it would be a treat. Or say a dry aged côte de boeuf, I wouldn’t be turning that into sausage. I’d be roasting that and serving it as is, with a sauce on the side. So there are certain things that I feel adamantly that should be served simple. But not everyone needs to be serving simple. I think there are enough restaurants out there that are serving simple and beautiful, and cherishing the product and the farmer and that entire cycle.
I want our food to be deceivingly complex. I want someone to look at a dish and to slap themselves on the head and be like, “Why didn’t I think of this? Wow, these flavors are fantastic. It was totally within my frame of reference to do this dish, but I didn’t think of it.” We want to put a lot of thought into our food, and we want it to be simple, but not really simple.