"I'm thinking of this is a textbook of what not to do when starting a business," David Chang declares in the third paragraph of this book, which goes on to offer almost 300 pages recounting how he became the chef who started multiple successful businesses, the most famous of which is Momofuku. In this frank, wry, and self-deprecating book,
Chang addresses his complex and difficult family life, his experiences with bipolar disorder and thoughts of suicide, the entrenched and offhand racism that he encountered nearly everywhere. And yes, the founding of a restaurant kingdom.
Restaurant memoirs are rarely full of nothing but sunshine and happiness—who would believe such a book?—but Eat a Peach is uncommon not only for the remarkable chef whose story it tells, but for its willingness to address how issues of mental health and systemic prejudice amplify the struggles inherent in the hospitality business. So while Chang does make some mistakes from which any aspiring cook or business owner can learn, the more important takeaway here is how he adapted to and overcame the obstacles before him.