If you’ve ever waited hours in the rain to get a seat at Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village, you know how good David Chang’s food is. Mr. Chang, 35, leads the Korean food revolution sweeping New York. A genius at brand extension, he was the first of the modern bad-boy chefs, visionary for his unself-conscious mix of high and low. He is building an empire; hot noodles are dripping from the lips of New Yorkers—and, increasingly, people around the world.
Mr. Chang hit the New York food scene in 2004, when he opened his first restaurant. Diners went wild over his Japanese ramen-centric dishes, and Mr. Chang opened a second eatery two years later. Since then, his culinary empire has gone international, with five restaurants in New York, four in Toronto and one in Sydney. Diners might have to try for months to get a reservation—or wait for ages to get into his walk-in-only locations—but Mr. Chang’s continued success suggests that no matter the difficulties, guests will stop at nothing to get their hands on his signature noodle bowls, duck dishes and pork buns.