As of yesterday, chef David Chang’s surprise new Majordomo Media podcast is live. It’s, naturally, called The Dave Chang Show, and (at least for now) it’s offering early listeners an incredible amount of insight into just how hectic — and, to hear him tell it, terrifying — it was for Chang to open his Downtown restaurant Majordomo earlier this year.
While the focus of the podcast will ultimately be on all things culture, from sports to food to movies and beyond, the initial handful of Dave Chang Show episodes are being labeled as Pre-Opening Diaries. These off-the-cuff conversations with The Ringer CEO Bill Simmons were actually taped at several intervals in the past few months, including Thursday’s opening episode that lands the pair back in December, discussing the soon-to-come opening of the restaurant Majordomo.
It’s rare that chefs offer the kind of unfiltered insight into the process of starting a restaurant that Chang seems to be aiming for here, and it will be interesting to see these stories play out in real time. So far in this first episode, Chang offers a slew of unique details on his new widely-reviewed restaurant, from how the name Majordomo came about to tidbits on the lease, the space, and Chang’s own decision to move with the project to Los Angeles.
Also on this episode (again, recorded in December before the restaurant opened in January), Chang discusses his disastrous opening for New York City restaurant Nishi, and says that the Pete Wells review of the place “nearly killed” him. He worries openly about a bad review for Majordomo, saying he truly does not know what people will expect. And while Eater national critic Bill Addison offered rave reviews, LA Times luminary Jonathan Gold was far less effusive, writing what may have been his most critical review in years. The Dave Chang Podcast runs every Thursday on The Ringer Podcast Network.