The Momofuku chef stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to dish on his guilty pleasure foods.
David Chang might have two Michelin stars to his name, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t appreciate ‘lowbrow eating’ (his words) every once in a while too. The superstar chef stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night and revealed why he decided to feature Domino's on his hit Netflix show Ugly Delicious.
“People think they paid us to have them on the show,” he explains, “but I just wanted to prove a point, that you can like something and not be a barbarian. It’s okay to like something that isn’t a food snobby thing.”
Chang says that he grew up eating Domino's and that his taste for the fast food pizza hasn’t waned at all in adulthood. He even revealed his go-to Domino's order: a thin crust pizza, covered in Alfredo sauce, and topped with bacon and onions.
Ugly Delicious isn’t just a love letter fast food—the show also addresses tough questions of how food can sometimes reflect our perceptions of other cultures. Chang explains how the stigma of MSG can relate back to enduring racism against Chinese people.
“It’s almost always localized in Chinese food, Asian food, that ‘Oh I can’t eat that because it’s going to make me ill,’” he says. “MSG is most widely consumed in junk food, but no one ever says they got ill from eating Doritos.”
To that end, Colbert reveals a platter of hot dogs, complete with some condiments like sauerkraut and kimchi. Chang points out that he grew up eating kimchi, which only recently became popular in the Western food world—even though sauerkraut and kimchi are essentially the same things. To prove that a kimchi hot dog is just as delicious as one topped with sauerkraut, the pair tries out both versions. Guess which one came out on top?
“That’s better. That’s more American,” Colbert says of the kimchi covered hot dog.
The pair also discussed what it’s like to get a bad review (a topic Chang also addresses in his new podcast). As a performer, Colbert compares bad reviews to “dying,” while Chang likens the experiences to asking your high school crush out in front of everyone, and getting rejected, but “way worse than that.” Given that he’s got multiple restaurants, a Netflix show, and that he’s eating hot dogs with Stephen Colbert, it looks as though he recovered just fine.