David Chang Joins NBC to Cover Food at the 2018 Winter Olympics

The Momofuku founder—a second generation Korean-American—will be on the ground in Pyeongchang.

By Ethan L. Johns
November 17, 2017

Image: Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The 2018 Winter Olympics are just around the corner, and while the world’s eyes will most obviously be on its greatest athletes, the games are also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the host country’s culture. That’s one of the reasons why NBC has hired a foodie informant—a civilization sleuth, if you will—to provide crack cultural commentary for the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Who better to play the part than New York City restaurateur David Chang, owner of the Momofuku restaurant group and second generation Korean-American? Chang will provide field coverage of the games, as well as pre-prepared segments on South Korea’s food, culture and traditions.

“This is one of those things that I still don’t believe has happened to me,” Chang told Variety. “I want to make sure that I deliver. It’s really important to me that as a Korean American talking about the food and cultural items that I represent them not just an honorable way, but in a way that is inclusive and engaging.”

Keep an eye out for Chang on TV and online as he explores East-meets-West street food, Michelin-starred temple cuisine and 80-year-old cliff divers.

“The food experience in Korea means so much more than just having a meal—it’s how families come together, how friendships are made, and how business gets done,” said Jim Bell, President of NBC Olympics Production and Programming, in a press release. “And there is no one more qualified to introduce us to this extraordinary cuisine, take us inside these special rituals, and share some of the unique stories they represent than David Chang.”

In 2014, NBC invested $7.75 billion dollars in the games, giving it exclusive broadcast rights until 2032. Despite a twofold increase in digital plays, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro fell short of the network’s anticipated live viewership. Adding more non-sport content in the form of food and culture coverage is seemingly a play by NBC to grab the eyeballs of an increasingly food-obsessed nation.

Looks like it’s working; we’re already feeling the Korean inspiration. Looking for some basics to get yourself fired up for competition? Start with bulgogi or try bibimbap for breakfast. And whatever you do, don’t forget to slather it all with spicy gochujang sauce.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns