The Olympics Food Correspondent explores PyeongChang through its food.
In November, celebrity chef and restaurant juggernaut David Chang was announced as the official Olympics Food Correspondent for NBC Sports. Chang, who’s been busy cooking at his new L.A. restaurant Majordomo since it opened on January 23, headed to South Korea on February and will be in the PyeongChang area for the games until the 25.
“This is one of those things that I still don’t believe has happened to me," Chang told Variety when the news was announced. "First, it’s the Olympics. It’s this significant event that I’ve watched my entire life. Secondly, it’s happening in the country that my family originates from. I want to make sure that I deliver.”
As could be expected, the chef has already eaten his fair share of local delicacies, in between filming segments. But Chang isn't just in it for the food.
“I love sports,” he told Food & Wine. “Not that I cover professional sports, but when you talk to these [Olympic] athletes, they’re just far more interesting than a professional athlete. Because this is what they do: They’re just going after something they really believe in, and there’s nothing else.” In fact, he draws a parallel to “the stupidity of cooking,” where you can be super-focused on something that’s over in an instant.
“You work your ass off, you do something, you make it, and then it’s gone,” he says. “I think a lot of people wonder why you would do it.”
Here are some of the most beautiful things he's eaten while in South Korea so far:
Churro ice cream sandwiches.
With gold medalist Chloe Kim.
So much seafood.
Crab makes our hearts go pitter-pat too, David Chang.
Convenience mart prepared foods.
This is beautiful.
Korean street food.
"No question the best way to learn about a country is eating your way though it."
#UglyDelicious Snow Crab
Shellfish from Jeju
Chang filmed a segment in Jeju Island with the haenyeo, the women divers who brave harsh conditions to harvest shellfish by hand off the ocean floor.
“That was super intense and bitterly bitterly cold,” Chang said. “Jeju’s like the Hawaii of Korea where everyone goes for honeymoons. I had never been. For whatever reason, I was thinking it was going to be relatively warm. Everything was so fucking cold.”
“That was really eye-opening just to see,” he continued. “You read about it, but until you see it … You’re like, ‘Oh my God, what these people do is truly insane.’ They do this every day, and it’s not safe at all with these undercurrents. There’s no oxygen, and they go down really deep. And many of these women are really old, well over 60, some in their 70s.”
... More seafood
We're incredibly jealous of this lifestyle. (Follow his Instagram Stories for even more seafood action.)
Have we mentioned crab yet?
Oh, we have? Cool.