Momofuku’s founder says the internet is bad for food

Momofuku’s founder David Chang claims the internet has ruined food. ‘Everything tastes the same,’ he told an audience at SXSW, ‘and it’s the internet’s fault.’

The internet’s clearly done a lot of things it should be ashamed of, from hosting leaked celebrity selfies to those cheesy ‘inspirational’ quotes some people fill their Facebook with. But little did we know it was committing culinary crimes as well. In fact, many of us have found great new places to eat from info we find online. But according to The Guardian, Chang says that’s part of the problem.

He thinks that culinary success should be hard-won after years of trial and effort, rather than the result of a good review going viral. He also thinks that food blogs and online reviews put too much pressure on a restaurant to be perfect from the get-go, meaning chefs aren’t adventurous enough, whereas he puts his own success down to having room to get things wrong. Talking about his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar, which he set up in New York 2004, he says he and his staff ‘f**ked up for nine months straight’.

Now the internet makes it much easier for chefs to find out how to change their recipes for the better, but Chang argues this has flattened regional differences, saying that ramen’s now the same wherever you buy it.

He’s not a total Luddite, though: he says that done well, apps have a lot of potential – allowing customers to eat exactly what they want with no waiting. To that end, he’ll be launching one of his own, Fuku (rude), for his next restaurant – a fried chicken shop.

Image via Paul Keller’s Flickr.

Diane Shipley