The Talking Room: Adam Savage Interviews David Chang

Adam Savage presents a new series in which he invites friends for a chat in his home library. In this first episode, chef David Chang of Momofuku and Lucky Peach stops by to talk about the creative process of cooking, running his restaurants, and why MSG gets a bum rap. Two people, one room, one delightful conversation. We hope you enjoy it.

Comments (41)

41 thoughts on “The Talking Room: Adam Savage Interviews David Chang

  1. Uuuuuh! Interesting! I’ve only just started watching this video, but do you think this would work as a podcast as well? 🙂

  2. I was born in 1990, and I still aspire to be a game designer. Many people told me all throughout my childhood I had good ideas, and I still feel I do. Yet that gave me a sense of entitlement for a long time, but I have realized that I am not entitled to anything and no one is. Now if I can just stop being so lazy. Haha.

  3. @Vetterli

    Uuuuuh! Interesting! I’ve only just started watching this video, but do you think this would work as a podcast as well? 🙂

    I second that. Seeing that both Still untitled and This is only a test are distributed that way, this should be a no-brainer.

  4. As soon as David mentioned fly-fishing I thought to myself “when he’s in Sydney he should hop over to New Zealand.” As someone from New Zealand now living in Australia, all of the last three minutes of the talk is true. It really, honestly is.

  5. I’ve tried replaying it, but I keep missing the tail of the John Belushi quote “… I only yell at the ????

  6. What a great interview, looking forward to the next one. Also, coming from Australia i can confirm EVERYTHING CAN KILL YOU.

  7. Thanks, johndeere97!

    Great interview and completely refreshing change of pace from the “usual” chef interviews!

  8. I know pretty much nothing about professional cooking and this was still an awesome video, super pumped to see more of these 😀

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. All I could ask for would be a short introduction for those unacquainted with David Chang.

  10. Having just read “Cooked” by Michael Pollan, I have a very different view of MSG than I might have once had.

  11. Nice! Tested goes from interviewing Adam, to Adam taking some ownership of the site and doing his own interviews. This will be really interesting to see where it goes. Of course the question would be: Will Jaimie do his own interviews? Actually I could see Jamie going Mr. Rogers and doing tours of manufacturing plants.

  12. Really excellent interview. Love the format and Adam’s ability to follow tangents but bring it back to a consistent line of discussion. Just sent a message to our local library that they need to start carrying the Lucky Peach journal.

    If you are taking requests for other interviewees:

    Mike Rowe – a San Francisco local – currently campaigning about smart and hard work

    Anthony Bourdain

    Alton Brown – was on Mythbusters but it would be great to see an in-depth conversation between him and Adam

  13. I would think Alton Brown is a very real possibility.

    I would love to see a talk with Jim Newton, the founder of Techshop, about the makerspace movement. I believe he used to be part of the MB crew at one point and Adam did the opening for Techshop in SF.

    Other friends of Adam who would make for cool interviews:

    Chris Hardwick or Craig Ferguson on comedy (Hardwick could also talk about going from doing geeky YouTube videos to hosting a show on BBC America). Wil Wheaton on general geekery. Any ILM-guys or other prop-makers, maybe some of the high-profile makers on the RPF, or Volpin (I’d love to hear how Adam would have tackled the Needler differently for example).

    Penn and Teller on magic, although Penn does his own excellent podcast (I recommend the episodes with Adam, Teller and the one with James Randi, the latter has some incredible stories, also check Penn’s appearances on the Nerdist podcast where he talks about being instrumental to the invention of contact juggling).

    Mythbusters people on non-Mythbusters stuff, such as Grant Imahara on robot-wars, cosplay, being C3PO for Lucasfilm events and the impact of products like Arduino and Raspberry Pie on the next generation of amateur robotics enthusiasts. Tory Belleci on model-making. Kari Byron on presenting a kids-show about science and being a Geek Mom.

  14. This was amazing, David Chang is a complete inspiration. It is so refreshing to hear someone talk about the focus on the quality of life of his staff and his(and their) creative health. Honestly blown away, this has been my favorite piece of Tested content.

    “We are looking for the next big mistake.”

  15. I did some reading on David Chang after the space-vids since I was only familiar with Momofuku, but was kinda surprised to hear he had *that* many employees. That has to be super-intense, especially since he says he has trouble relaxing from that side of his life.

    Hope he gets some more flyfishing time.

  16. yep. this was great.

    I like that Tested can bring all these different topics, and still glean universal usefulness. I’m not super into any one thing that the site covers, but the combo is great. Learn something every visit.

  17. If this interview series continues, Please make it available as a separate podcast, or include it on the Still Untitled Feed.

    Please!!

  18. Genuinely engrossing, I didn’t expect Adam to be such a good interviewer. Put it on expecting to check out five minutes and suddenly the full hour had gone by. Thanks for this, more please!

  19. This was an amazing interview and I hope Adam continues it as a regular occurrence. I continue to be amazed at the range of Adam’s abilities. One thing that I would really love to see in the future is an extended tour of this room – a person’s library speaks volumes (no pun intended!) and after I watched the interview, I spent who knows how long going thru it again, continually freeze-framing to catch glimpses of the various titles on Adam’s shelves. On the shelf near David Chang’s left elbow, I spotted Theo Gray’s “Mad Science” and just a couple of cubbies down, near Adam’s right arm, I could make out Alexander Weygers’s “Complete Modern Blacksmith”, Richard Rhodes’s “Making of the Atomic Bomb”, a couple of Timothy Remus’s sheet metal fabrication books and “The backyard Blacksmith” by Lorelei Sims. All of these titles are part of my personal library as well and I can’t help but wonder just how much more our libraries might have in common. Please Adam please, give us an extended tour of your bookshelves!

  20. 1. family meal for staff

    2. Health care

    3. Living wage for all his employees

    all before “expanding the brand” so to speak.

    I have a new respect for David Chang. He deserves all the success he gets.

    And I am looking forward to more of the talking room. If this is a hint of whats in store, I can’t wait for more. Bravo, Adam.

  21. This was great, to look at a subject such as this from an engineering perspective is such a stellar idea. Thank you so much for doing this, i look forward to just what is coming down the pike. I also learned a few things about the MSG myths I’ve heard for many years. So I guess you have Busted another one.

  22. As soon as David mentioned fly-fishing I thought to myself “when he’s in Sydney he should hop over to New Zealand.” As someone from New Zealand now living in Australia, all of the last three minutes of the talk is true. It really, honestly is.

    I am going to New Zealand at the end of December to the end of January to have a wedding and visit my wife’s family. For the first 2 weeks, I will mostly be up north near Rotarua but will come south later in the trip, where is the best place for fly fishing? Are their places to rent fly fishing equipment?

  23. There are loads of places to rent equipment, it’s a very popular pastime.

    You’re spoilt for choice in regards to which river or lake you choose, they’re everywhere, you can drive for half an hour and just leap out of your car at any river you see, but places like the Rakaia river, near Christchurch, or the Waitaki river, near Oamaru, would be the easiest to get to immediately. Other picturesque spots in the South Island would include Lake Ohau, Lake Tekapo, and Lake Hawea, and the Waimakariri and Taramakau Rivers in Arthur’s Pass, which is a location you could probably hang around in long term.

    Rotorua is also surrounded by lakes.

    btw, I’m not a sport fisherman, I just grew up in New Zealand.

  24. There are loads of places to rent equipment, it’s a very popular pastime.

    You’re spoilt for choice in regards to which river or lake you choose, they’re everywhere, you can drive for half an hour and just leap out of your car at any river you see, but places like the Rakaia river, near Christchurch, or the Waitaki river, near Oamaru, would be the easiest to get to immediately. Other picturesque spots in the South Island would include Lake Ohau, Lake Tekapo, and Lake Hawea, and the Waimakariri and Taramakau Rivers in Arthur’s Pass, which is a location you could probably hang around in long term.

    Rotorua is also surrounded by lakes.

    btw, I’m not a sport fisherman, I just grew up in New Zealand.

    Awesome man, will take note. I have never fly fished before, but I am going to try to take in as much as NZ as possible while we stay with my wife’s family. Will have to plan a few day trips and practice my technique!

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