Chang, the founder of Momofuku restaurants and a second generation Korean American, will contribute to NBC Sports’ coverage with segments looking at the food and culture of Korea.
“This is one of those things that I still don’t believe has happened to me,” Chang says. “First, it’s the Olympics. It’s this significant event that I’ve watched my entire life. Secondly, it’s happening in the country that my family originates from. I want to make sure that I deliver. It’s really important to me that as a Korean American talking about the food and cultural items that I represent them not just an honorable way, but in a way that is inclusive and engaging.”
NBC Sports and Chang have already filmed two pieces shot in Korea and set to be broadcast during the games. The first begins on the streets of Seoul, where Eastern and Western cultures and foods are being reinvented in uniquely Korean ways, then explores the vegetarian temple cuisine of ancient Korea as well as Gaon, one of two South Korean restaurants to hold three Michelin stars. Chang’s second piece is about the ancient matriarchal communities of diving women on Jeju island, where women, some of them in their 80s, free dive 20-plus feet daily into 40 degree water.
Chang will also be on the ground in Pyeongchang during the games, appearing in field pieces and studio segments.
“The food experience is paramount to understanding any culture, but it seems especially to be the case in Korea,” says Jim Bell, president, NBC Olympics production and programming. “We wanted to have someone unpack that for us, and David is the right guy.”
In addition to founding Momofuku restaurants in New York, Washington D.C., Sydney, Toronto, and Las Vegas, Chang has received five James Beard Awards. Momofuku Ko in New York has held two Michelin stars since 2009.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang in 2018.