July 31, 2014

Chef David ChangThose taking chef courses are probably familiar with the widely renowned Momofuku eateries. Simply translated to “lucky peach”, the name Momofuku has become a legend in modern culinary history. Momofuku Noodle Bar, one of a dozen award-winning restaurants by David Chang, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with an August throwback menu. Over the last decade, Chang has seen a lot of success, after opening his first restaurant in 2004. By 2011, Chang had gone international, opening Momofuku in Toronto. There are also now several Momofuku Milk Bars, led by pastry chef Christina Tosi, which are dessert shops that support the Momofuku restaurants. Momofuku also has a publication simply titled “Lucky Peach.” After 10 years of rapid growth, Momofuku is starting to look like a culinary empire.

Momofuku Noodle Bar throwback
Momofuku Noodle Bar is located in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The Noodle Bar was Chang’s first restaurant venture. Chang is widely credited as one of the pioneers of the rise of ramen noodles restaurants, both in New York and across the country. When the Noodle Bar opened, Chang had to use lo mein noodles, as quality alkaline noodles weren’t available on a large scale. As alkaline noodles became more popular, Chang and others introduced American eaters to the versatility of a good bowl of ramen.

From August 18 to 24, the noodle bar will serve a throwback menu that includes archived dishes from the past decade. The celebration will likely dig up some of the restaurant’s most successful plates from over the years. The milk bar will join in the festivities with the sale of lucky peaches ‘n’ cream cookies, which were created specifically for the anniversary. Limited edition merchandise will also be available.

A portion of the proceeds from the anniversary items will go to Edible Schoolyard NYC, an organization that partners up with public schools to plant gardens and build kitchen classrooms. Edible Schoolyard NYC gives students a hands-on learning approach to forming a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits. This is particularly important in New York City and the surrounding area, which is the home of many of the Momofuku eateries. Nearly half of students in NYC public schools suffer from being obese or overweight, a problem that has much to do with many neighborhoods in the city not having easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The program was originally founded in Berkeley, California, by the farm-to-table culinary legend Alice Waters.

New Momofuku developments
A new Momofuku Milk Bar will be opening in SoHo this fall. The small dessert shop will operate out of one window of a soon-to-open fashion boutique called Band of Outsiders. This is the clothiers flagship store, and the collaboration with Momofuku shows a tremendous blend of culinary and fashion creativity. The new location will have an emphasis on cookies, citing that the designers and their fashion friends in the new clothier are equally passionate about these sweet treats. As the Milk Bar is already well- known for its delicious “compost cookies”, the new venue should bring heavy traffic for both Band of Outsiders and Momofuku.

Milk Bar has also just released a new menu, which includes pocket-style sandwiches called “bombs.” The new menu boasts both an egg and cheddar bomb as well as a Cubano bomb. Though Momofuku Milk Bar already offered sandwiches similar to the bombs, these new products strive to take the classic sandwiches to the next level. The Cubano bomb is crafted with bagel dough, which has the health benefit of less butter than the bread Milk Bar used for its former Cuban sandwich.