America has always prided itself as a place where anyone, regardless of their ethnic background and profession can be successful. For the most part, this has been true, particularly in the case of David Chang, the son of Korean immigrants who has become a renowned chef with international acclaim.
A highly idolized figure in the food industry who boasts a chain of restaurants that cut across nations, Chang’s vast popularity and talent have earned him multiple awards, it has also made him a regular face on television.
To every success story, there is a beginning and in order to understand how Chang was able to become a very successful restauranteur, it’s best to take a trip down his life before opening his first restaurant and the events that led him into taking that route.
How David Chang Became A Famous Restauranteur
David Chang was born on August 5, 1977, in Vienna, Virginia. His parents were immigrants from Korea who moved to the USA with hopes of having a better life. Chang attended Trinity College where he graduated with a degree in Religious Studies and intended to become a chef but his father (who was a chef for 30 years) was highly dismissive of his dreams and cited his lack of achievement in life as one of the reasons why being a chef was a terrible career choice.
Feeling discouraged, Chang took up a job as an English teacher in Japan, before moving back to the United States where he briefly worked for a finance firm in New York City. Clearly dissatisfied with his progress in the finance industry, he decided to follow his passion and the very first step he took was to enrol in the French Culinary Institute in 2000.
During his time at the institute, Chang was known to work part-time as a phone attendant at Craft, and Mercer kitchen in Manhattan. In 2002, he moved back to Japan where he worked as a chef in a thin noodles restaurant called Soba after which he worked at Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo, before moving back to the USA where he worked with Café Boulud 7 days a week.
One might assume that Chang’s decision to set up his first restaurant was basically due to his entrepreneurial and visionary skills, but in actuality, it was his fear for regret that gave him the push to take that risk.
As a beginner, he borrowed some money from his dad and set up Momofuku Bar in 2004. Despite all the uncertainties involved, he was determined to make it a success and spent the next two years giving it his all to make sure he succeeded.
At the age of 29, Chang surprised everyone by opening his second restaurant Momofuku Ssäm Bar, located in close proximity to his first restaurant in New York. His nontraditional way of doing things with food, great customer service and affordable prices soon caught the attention of several other chefs and restaurant recommendation websites in New York City, all of whom had nothing short of praise for Chang. In March 2008, Chang cemented his position as a hotshot restauranteur following the launch of his third restaurant Momofuku Ko.
So far, he has established Momofuku in different cities of the United States, including Los Angeles, Manhattan, Las Vegas, Brooklyn, Washington, Miami, Boston. The restaurant also has a branch in Australia and Canada (Toronto).
His TV Appearances and Other Ventures
On May 9, 2010, Chang made his surprise entry into television by appearing as a guest star on the American television drama series Treme, marking the start of a successful career in television for the already popular chef.
Later that year, he opened yet another restaurant in New York which he named MÁ PECHE. The following year, he starred as a guest judge on Masterchef Australia and ended up opening a restaurant named Momofuku Seiōbo in Pyrmont, Sydney, in October 2011. He has since gone on to open more restaurants such as Momofuku Toronto (in 2012), Fuku (in June 2015), Momofuku Nishi (in 2016), Majordomo (in January 2018), and Momofuku Kāwi (in 2017), as well as a food delivery app named Ando in 2016.
He has also made appearances on several shows such as The Mind of a Chef in 2012, Ugly Delicious in 2018, Chef Show and most recently, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner alongside Seth Rogen and Kate Mckinnon.
Memorable Career Moments
Chang has won series of awards for his contributions towards the food industry, such as the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award, GQ’s Chef of the year, Food and Wine Best Chef and James Beard Rising Star Chef of the year, among several others. In 2010, he was listed among Time 100 Most Influential People.
David Chang’s Marriage To Grace Seo Chang
Comparing the speed at which rich and powerful celebrities call it quits on marriage with the speed of light might be somewhat too hyperbolic, but metaphorically speaking, it isn’t far fetched. This is as a result of several factors such as infidelity, busy schedule, huge income, cultural difference, age, and narcissism among several others. Hence, it’s only normal that the question regarding the marital status of a popular celebrity like David Chang arises every now and then.
The good news is that Chang and his wife Grace Seo Change are among the few celebrities’ successful relationships. The couple got married in 2017, it came as a surprise to fans and observers when Grace Seo Chang was announced as his wife that year.
For a very outspoken and popular person, Chang surprisingly loves to keep his personal affairs private and as such, there is no information on the exact date or the private location where he got married.
All that could be found about their journey as a couple is that they began dating a couple of years after David Chang and his ex-fiancee, Gloria Lee, separated in September 2013. Gloria, who was a public relations executive for Gucci in the United States, had parted ways with David because she feared for the impact of his fame on their relationship.
Following the unfortunate end of his love story with Gloria, David Chang found the will to move on. He met Grace Seo Chang and they fell in love, a fact he shared with the world in April 2016.
Fans waited to watch their favourite chef tie the knot, but that wasn’t to be because, in 2017, Grace Seo and David Chang eloped and got married in a very private ceremony in front of just a few close friends and family.
His plan to have a very discrete wedding wasn’t without some loopholes as famous chef Christina Tosi ended up surprising the couple with a very sumptuous cake at the private ceremony.
Since their marriage became official, David Chang and his wife have continued in the same way they lived before they exchanged vows in a very private ceremony – keeping their personal affairs away from the media.
However, in our investigation, we have found and compiled bits of information across several interviews she has granted to learn a few things about the wife of the famous chef. For starters, we now know that Grace Seo Chang used to work in the fashion industry, and while she might not be a chef like her husband, she is equally passionate about food, especially Korean food, one of which is Mille-feuille nabe.
Here’s What Marriage To Chang Feels Like
Marrying someone as successful and popular as Chang comes with its perks (an increase in popularity) and forfeitures (a loss of privacy) but Grace Seo seems to be having the best of both worlds at the moment. Ever since getting married to Chang, she has witnessed a massive surge in popularity and currently has over 26.2k loyal followers on her Instagram account (@graceseo).
But in the face of the newfound fame, Grace Chang tries to maintain a very private lifestyle and is yet to disclose several details about her personal life such as her date of birth, and educational qualifications. Nevertheless, judging by her updates on Instagram it’s easy to deduce that she is an ardent traveller who loves animals and owns a dog whose name is pretty much unknown.
As for her background, Grace Seo Chang, just like her husband, is also of Korean ancestry, although it is unknown if she immigrated with her parents or was born in America. She was raised by her mother, along with her sole sibling, a brother.
Who Are Their Children?
So far, very little information has filtered to the media about the details of their marriage. However, following a mouth slip from their friend, Chrissy Teigen, which was then confirmed by David Chang himself, we know that Grace Seo Chang and David were expecting their first child sometime in 2019.
In March 2019 after about 2 years of marriage, the couple welcomed the birth of their son Hugo in exhilarating fashion.
With the exciting news of the arrival of a baby in the Chang family, it is safe to say that all is well in their household and they are very much still married and enjoying the time of their lives together.