My obsession with David Chang began the same way as I imagine every other Changophile’s did- with my first visit to one of his restaurants. After a short wait in line at Milk Bar, I dove right into my 3-4 dishes and fell in love (with both Christina Tosi and Chang). My next few visits to Ssam Bar and Noodle Bar were equally as orgasmic. And by that, I literally mean, I sat alone, moaning over each bite of my dish surely making other diners uncomfortable. And I received my first cookbooks of his the way I probably should’ve my college diploma, proudly clutched to my chest, a ticket into the real world.
So, it should come to no surprise to myself how blown away I was after viewing my first episode of The Mind of a Chef, airing on PBS stations but streaming on Netflix. As my boyfriend snored next to me, I repeatedly mumbled “shut the fuck up…..” as I watched him use ramen to make a variety of “italian” pasta dishes and lay on some thick history about a food most American’s know as practically-free-cardboard-with-broth. Within 23 minutes, I learned more about noodles, alkalinity, ramen, broth, and Japan, than I have in the last 32 years of my life.
The show is similar to the cooking and travel setup of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, but it could be his voice over that sets it up that way. But it’s far more than a cooking show. History combined with science, personal anecdotes, and travel prove the title of the show is accurate and telling of what you’ll see. I LOVED the first episode, and can’t wait for the second. Does that make me a total food dork that it’s not the way that the food tastes that gets me the most excited about the subject? Probably. But it just elevated my $0.34 bowl of shitty ramen to an entirely new experience.