Mind of a Chef: Chang and Bourdain, Kitchen Badasses

Momofuku has been all the rage in Toronto. I haven’t visited yet but I’ve become obsessed with a new travel cooking show featuring Momofuku owner, David Chang. The Mind of a Chef literally takes viewers into the mind of culinary trailblazer, David Chang. Narrated by David Chang’s buddy, Anthony Bourdain, and created by the producers of No Reservations, The Mind of a Chef takes viewers around the world and into David Chang’s own kitchen to learn about all different types of food and customs, from ramen to raw scallops.

For diehard fans of Aziz Ansari, you’ll love the episode where he, David Chang and Montreal’s famed Chefs, Fred Morin and David McMillan visit a unique deli in Montreal called Wilensky for fried bologna sandwiches. The sandwich is so special, it has its own trademark.

True to the name of the show, David Chang brings viewers into his kitchen. We get a taste of what goes on in his mind as he intricately dissects seemingly simple dishes like a puffed egg.

Have you heard of a hot brown? I haven’t but it was invented as the ultimate hangover food: created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky  in 1926. The hot brown is ‘an open faced meat and cheese fest smothered in sauce; arteries beware!’ warns Anthony Bourdain in the voice over dripping with his trademark hyperbole. I think I would eat the hot brown even it I wasn’t hung over.

For a taste of fine dining, in the Seafood Freestyle episode, David Chang introduces viewers to his best friend, Chef Rene Redzepi of two-Michelin star restaurant, Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. I also love raw scallops more than cooked ones but what piqued my curiosity the most about this episode were the green strawberries.

Why are we watching David Chang if he’s not revealing some secrets about that famous ramen at Momofuku? Well he does, bringing viewers to markets in Japan, he talks about ‘building layers’ in Momofuku ramen broth. Other episodes include exploration into old world culinary techniques like the making of tofu in a Tokyo village as well as demystifying modern cuisine as David Chang demonstrates how strawberry foam is made.

The show is high in production quality, scenes are interspersed with sharp, clever and whimsical graphics like the egg carton in the puffed egg clip labeled with ‘Puffed Egg.’ The camera lingers for just the right amount of time on steaming dishes to make viewers drool but cuts away with just the right clean, stylized animated images that connotes a rebellious, innovative tone as opposed to drole formulaic food travel documentaries. In other words, this is the combo of two food masterminds: Bourdain and Chang exposing everything there is to know about food from Canada to Asia to Europe. Tune in at PBS, full episodes can be found here.

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