Momofuku chef David Chang is best known for dishing out delicious, fatty, adventurous food. But anyone who's read anything about him knows that Chang likes to dedicate an ample portion of his overall consumption to liquids. He's a regular late night sight at boites near his East Village restaurant empire -- which is, not incidentally, rapidly developing a serious bar program. In short: the man likes to drink, and the man drinks well.
But Chang is not shy about sharing his culinary knowledge. He spreads recommendations and advice far and wide. So it's no surprise that, when he appeared on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" a few nights ago to dispense bourbon tips, he gave sage wisdom.
But as education as the clip is, it's also entertaining in equal measure. Chang admits to having already had a few bourbons before the taping. His inebriation keeps him safely away from pedantry -- and also helps up the candor factor. He tastes a few relatively inexpensive bourbons he likes, including Old Weller, Elijah Craig and Old Grand-Dad, and also teaches viewers the basics of drinking good bourbon. (Add a splash of water, ice cube or lemon rind if you don't want to drink it straight, he says, but avoid Coca-Cola.)
At a certain point, though, he just starts riffing on drinking culture. In his discussion of Elijah Craig, he mentions that he's often seeing double-fisting a cup of that and a pint of American beer, which leads him to a discussion of the latter. "All the beers that Europeans make fun of, I think are delicious," he says. "I think Americans should be very proud of our crappy beer, because you can drink a lot of it. It's like water. And it goes very well with Elijah Craig or any of these bourbons."
At the end of the clip, though, he admits that bourbon decisions ultimately come down to personal taste. He also says that, when it comes to inexpensive whiskey, drunkenness can be the best sauce. "If you're going to be drinking this late night and you're already drunk," he says, "It doesn't really matter what you're drinking." Amen!