David Chang opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York’s East Village in 2004, and in short order an empire was born. These days, Chang still runs restaurants, while also publishing cookbooks, selling pantry staples, developing television projects, and hosting a podcast. This month marks the publication of Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave), which Chang co-authored along with Priya Krishna, the New York Times food reporter and author of the best-selling cookbook Indian-ish. On this occasion, he shares his key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker
Airports: Changi Airport in Singapore, Haneda Airport in Tokyo, and the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul, because the eating choices are phenomenal—and where you least expect it.
Bedtime: It’s changed throughout my lifetime. Currently, it’s around 9:30, but it used to be three or four in the morning, so the average is probably 11:30.
Birthday: Until you’re around three years old, it’s great to celebrate. But there’s no point in celebrating after 40. No birthday after 40 is fun. Anyone who says otherwise is just wrong.
Breakfast, weekday: Bacon, egg, and cheese on a kaiser roll from a New York City bodega.
Breakfast, weekend: Dim sum.
Cocktail: Wine spritzer. I like a light cocktail that’s not too sweet. You can have a few of them and not be wiped out. What’s wrong with a refreshing bubbly drink?
Dinner, weekday: Korean barbecue, if I’m going out.
Hotel: The Grand Hyatt in Roppongi in Tokyo.
Anything that will induce a massive coronary. It has to be so delicious that I just fall over at the table, like in a movie.
Lunch, weekday: Cobb salad—the only salad I’ll eat these days.
Nonfiction book: Biographies of people who accomplished great things, because you often find they’re just like everyone else.
shoes: Slip-ons. Anything that I don’t have to tie or bend over, but still looks like I’m not a total sloth.
Restaurant: Anyplace where locals, tourists, gourmands can all eat together, the food is just good enough, and there’s no BS. Think Balthazar in New York, Contramar in Mexico City, and Parks BBQ in Los Angeles.
Singers: All my favorite singers couldn’t sing—David Byrne, Bob Dylan, and Lou Reed.
Spice: Kerala black pepper. Its taste is so strong and makes you realize how this spice changed the world.
Time of day: Between 1:00 and 1:30 in the afternoon, when my son is napping.
Wake-up time: It used to be two p.m. … I think it’s still two p.m.