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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

From the chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious - an intimate account of the making of a chef, the story of the modern restaurant world that he helped shape, and how he discovered that success can be much harder to understand than failure.

Named one of the best books of the year by:

  • NPR
  • Fortune
  • Parade
  • The New York Public Library
  • Garden & Gun

In 2004, Momofuku Noodle Bar opened in a tiny, stark space in Manhattan’s East Village. Its young chef-owner, David Chang, worked the line, serving ramen and pork buns to a mix of fellow restaurant cooks and confused diners whose idea of ramen was instant noodles in Styrofoam cups. It would have been impossible to know it at the time - and certainly Chang would have bet against himself - but he, who had failed at almost every endeavor in his life, was about to become one of the most influential chefs of his generation, driven by the question, “What if the underground could become the mainstream?”   

Chang grew up the youngest son of a deeply religious Korean American family in Virginia. Graduating college aimless and depressed, he fled the States for Japan, hoping to find some sense of belonging. While teaching English in a backwater town, he experienced the highs of his first full-blown manic episode, and began to think that the cooking and sharing of food could give him both purpose and agency in his life. 

Full of grace, candor, grit, and humor, Eat a Peach chronicles Chang’s switchback path. He lays bare his mistakes and wonders about his extraordinary luck as he recounts the improbable series of events that led him to the top of his profession. He wrestles with his lifelong feelings of otherness and inadequacy, explores the mental illness that almost killed him, and finds hope in the shared value of deliciousness. Along the way, Chang gives us a penetrating look at restaurant life, in which he balances his deep love for the kitchen with unflinching honesty about the industry’s history of brutishness and its uncertain future. 

©2020 David Chang and Gabe Ulla (P)2020 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“With humor, pathos and heaping spoonsful of self-deprecation ... Eat a Peach is an honest, ugly, raw dish of a book.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“An entertaining, admirably candid self-assessment of life in the foodie fast lane.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Foodies and chefs alike will dig into Chang’s searing memoir.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

What listeners say about Eat a Peach

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Life lessons for any business person

David says all in his book which can be adapted to all business people but those that have worked in hospitality will feel a kinship to the words David has expressed.

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A great and inspiring story

I appreciate the openness, the struggles and the hope for the world that was presented in this book. I loved listening to David tell his story, so glad I listened to the audiobook. I would recommend this book to anyone really but especially anyone interested in food, cooking, culinary arts. There’s much more than just being a chef in this memoir that is worth listening to. I am inspired by this story and will keep following David on his journey!

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Lessons of life experiences not just for cooks

I’m in the biomedical world. Listening to Dave’s experiences and attitude of the cooking industry, I was surprised how much able to relate in my own world! Thank you Dave for being so honest, I learned a lot. I hope for more successes to you and you team.

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Great Memoir.

Thanks David for sharing your amazing stories about health, well-being, culture, career, family and chef friends especially Anthony Bourdain. I feels that I've similar stories to yours as my family and I arrived to Canada in 1980 as Vietnamese Boat people from refugee camp in Hong Kong. You reminds us that we all human being. We all make mistakes. We hopes to learn from our mistakes that we can achieve greatness and live our life accordingly that we wanted to be.

Your 33 Rules for becoming a chef are like rules of thumb that can apply to anyone who start their career in any industries.

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Raw and Real

Greatly appreciate David Chang laying it all out, the good, the bad and the ugly. It reminds you that we are all human, and can achieve greatness while hiding the truth, mostly from ourselves. He is generous with praise where due and gives such insight into the professional life of a chef. Highly recommend especially if you are an entrepreneur.

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Fantastic

Love this book has lots of interesting insights and points. I would recommend anyone wanting to cook or in the industry read it.

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Fantastic. Not just for foodies! Essential reading for humans.

Thank you David. Your humility, expertise and insight are a gift to us all. Blessings on the journey.

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  • Suzie
  • 2020-09-12

So many threads coming into a wonderful tapstery.

David Chang said this book can be a history text of the food world of the last 20 years, it is that and so much more. This book can help those wanting to start any kind of business, young people who are looking for their place in the world, those wanting to change and those with depression and other mental illnesses. I am giving this book to my sons who are in their twenties as there are so many important life lessons contained in this entertaining book.

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  • 2020-10-09

Was a little too wordy to keep listening.

I couldn’t finish the story as it was too wordy. I like the story but I wish some parts were skipped while some part had more detailed. I was somewhat confuse of the timeline throughout the whole thing.

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  • guerillaw
  • 2020-09-20

Honest eviscerating self-critique well worth reading.

Itd be easy to think that whoever wrote this book is David Chang’s most fervent critic who has it in for him, except it is an autobiographical account. I use the word account purposefully because it is not really a true memoir or autobiography. Those who are expecting to hear the inspirational story of a son of immigrants picking himself up by his own bootstraps and making it to worldwide fame will be sorely disappointed. Chang and his collaborators aim for something much greater here and hit a near Bullseye. The intriguing histories of Dave Changs meteoric rises and falls are the perfect backdrop to tell important truths about not just Chefs or the restaurant industry but family and, ultimately life‘s purpose. Well worth a listen just set your expectations appropriately as if you are looking for a flowery recounting of achieving celebrity this is exactly the opposite.

Otherwise unreservedly recommended; trigger warnings for mental health issues.

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  • Lincoln
  • 2021-11-09

very average memoir

sums up to "family is the most important."

He says a lot about the strength of diversity for someone that only hires people that are Hispanic or Asian. There are hints of understanding here and there, like him saying that lobsters became his team's mascot, but still he married within racial and ethnic bounds. I don't hold it against him, but it must be said as a counterpoint: diversity of THOUGHT is what's important. Perspective, viewpoint, problem solving skills, not skin color.

The first philosopher that comes to his mind is Descartes, which tells you a lot about his worldview. Deconstruct everything, offer no help putting it back together. He appears to be an advocate for advocacy's own sake, mentioning the me too movement at length for an appearance of solidarity. Well, it's good to have a difference of opinion in the world.

I don't know what I was expecting (I came upon this one as a related work to another mental health audiobook), but to me this story just said how awful working in a restaurant is. I haven't dined at one in months anyway. His advice on mental health issues is actually really good, the quality and depth of observation you only arrive at after years of abject suffering. If it could only be separated from everything else...

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  • Laura
  • 2020-09-24

Honest and thorough

I truly enjoyed this memoir. Chang has come a long way and his journey is harrowing, inspiring, thoughtful and powerful.

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  • Travis Forbear
  • 2020-09-15

Much love and respect for David Chang

I'll be honest, I've been a huge fan of David Chang since I discovered him on the Mind of Chef. Little did I know the secrets about that show and so many other corners of David's off camera life. It is so wonderful to hear his story and struggles both on screen and in his personal life. This is a wonderful memoir filled with growth and insight. I walked away from this audiobook with a much greater respect and love of David Chang. Totally worth the admission price.

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  • PrinczBma
  • 2021-06-17

Great listen

I'm a big fan of David Chang's podcast, and really enjoyed hearing about his life and career. My only wish is that he was much more relaxed during the reading. Still a huge fan tho!

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  • Brett Fulmer
  • 2020-09-17

Great honesty and a fresh perspective

I thought David Chang did a great job highlighting the roots of the restaurant industry, the past 20 years of innovation that he's been a part of, and where he sees things going. I appreciated his honesty and humanness throughout the protrail of his "heros journey," and the invitation to try if you're gonna work damn hard.

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  • Clare
  • 2020-09-15

Brutally honest and entertaining...

Dave’s podcast has helped
Keep me sane during this pandemic. This book feels like and extension of that in some ways. Real, Raw, funny, engaging and entertaining. Thanks for drawing back the curtain.
Dave - It took balls to share this much of yourself. Thank you for doing it.

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  • Christopher Lamb
  • 2022-07-30

This one is Important. Forget what you think you know

David Chang helps all of us push our own boulder up our own mountains. I’ve taken the wisdom shared here in this book as bold and honest - he speaks with a humility and earned confidence that is deeply understandable, inspirational and important to hear. If you’ve ever gone into a movie, believing without a doubt, you know what to expect, only to be humbled and changed upon leaving, then you know it is worth the journey and investment of your time to either read or listen to this memoir. For me, there is something extra I got out of hearing David tell his story.