This weekend at SXSW, Momofuku empire builder David Chang argued that restaurant cuisine and chefs have been (and continue to be) hurt by the Internet.
During his talk, Chang also dropped this bomb: He’s opening a chain concept devoted to fried chicken sandwiches, called Fuku. The first Fuku location will open in the former Momofuku Ko space at 163 First Avenue.
Chang is is down with fast food made for the masses—he cited both Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out as inspiration. Eater reports that during his SXSW speech, Chang explained, “We thought about taking both and merging them into one sandwich,” he says. “No one ever thought to do that. [What if you could] ask for spicy chicken Animal-style?”
It’s no secret that fried chicken is Chang’s spirit animal. He’s been hinting at doing big things with fried chicken sandwiches for a while now. Check out this tweet from last December.
About Fuku, Chang tells The Guardian,
Chang also announced that alongside the restaurant, he would launch a Fuku app. Chang told the Guardian, “The coolest thing ever is the Taco Bell app.”
But why fast food? Chang wants to effect change in a positive way by getting into the chain-restaurant game—which is exactly what L.A. chef Roy Choi attempts to do with his soon-to-open chain, Loco’l. The Momofuku chef says,
I think that the only way you can effect change in a positive way is by effecting it from big business. If Momofuku can get big, we can really affect how people eat.
Everyone wants to make a David Lynch Blue Velvet movie, but no-one wants to watch that all the time! I really want to each Star Wars. To make a movie, or food, that everyone wants to enjoy, that’s hard. Right now, to make something that is enjoyable by everyone is intrinsically rewarding.
Cheers to Choi and Momofuku running the next McDonald’s and Taco Bells of the world. Our kids are about to grow up on some next-level fast food.