david chang
Chef David Chang (Portrait by Melanie Dunea/CPI)

David Chang took Manhattan’s East Village dining scene by storm with the launch of Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2004. Today, he oversees multiple restaurants in NYC, Sydney, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. – as well as his food magazine, Lucky Peach. This winter marks the opening of his nearly 300-seat Momofuku at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (with an outpost of Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar). “I travel to explore and get new ideas,” Chang says. “Every time I’m in a new city, the first thing I do is map out how we’ll get to know the city through food.”

On His Radar

“Every time I go to Tokyo, I try to bring someone who has never been there. Last June, I brought Sean Gray, our executive chef at Ko. It takes time for anyone to believe that everything is as good as it is – and it really is that good.”

The 179-room Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo stands tall among its peers with three Michelin-starred restaurants (out of 11 bar and restaurant options). Among them: eight-seat Tapas Molecular Bar, where chef Ngan Ping Chow and his team lead diners through a two-hour interactive feast.

“If you visit Toronto, take a ride out to the suburbs for some of the best Chinese food you’ll find anywhere. I’d even venture to say that the best food in Canada is in the Markham Chinatown – there are six Chinatowns in Greater Toronto alone.”

“Houston has the most exciting food scene in America right now – you can get everything from Texas barbecue to Vietnamese-Cajun food. Chef Justin Yu of Oxheart serves one of the most seasonal tasting menus in the country, while Underbelly’s Chris Shepherd blends a variety of food cultures in a way that’s both crazy fun and also delicious.”

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