David Chang is the chef behind Momofuku and host of the Netflix original series Ugly Delicious, where, in each episode, he dives into a different dish and how it’s interpreted around the world. Dave recently came out with his first memoir, Eat a Peach.
Below are the five movies that have had the greatest impact on him.
Eat Drink Man Woman is probably still my favorite movie that involves food. Its meaning for me has changed over time, though. Originally, it used to just be a fun way to watch Taiwanese food being cooked, but as I grew in my culinary career, I learned that I could relate to the chef in the film. The only way he could express love was through his food, and I oftentimes feel like I’m in the same boat.
Despite its mediocre ratings, this movie inspires me the most to push forward. The notion of saving nothing for the swim back is one that I’ve held on to through the years. It’s the ultimate underdog movie.
Sometimes, life imitates art. This movie is a great picture of what happens when someone is so determined to do something, despite better judgement. Even though the circumstances were different, I could really relate. Even though everyone said not to, I somehow knew deep down that cooking is what I should be doing. Plus, I’ve tried avoiding desk jobs my whole life.
Not only is it unquestionably a great movie by Bong Joon Ho, but it also represents what can happen when people are given opportunities to share their voice and stories.
Ok, so this isn’t a movie per se, but this special marks a key moment in my life. At the time it came out, I was just a kid and wasn’t allowed to watch it. I loved Eddie Murphy so much, though, that I still figured out a way to watch it. It was probably the first time I remember sneaking around my parents. Weirdly, I really think about this special as a benchmark of nostalgia. “Did that happen pre-Eddie Murphy Raw, or post?” That was basically the way I was able to remember if whatever happened was acceptable or not.