He adds that he builds relationships with his suppliers by going out to their farms or into farmer’s markets. He says, “For example, I’ve tried a bunch of different suppliers for pork but I went with Gelderman Farms. The farmer there, Jerry, has been doing it for a long time and his pigs have space to run. It definitely isn’t a factory farm. For produce, I get a lot of it from Shalefield Organic Gardens which is a biodynamic farm. They’re a bit more than organic. Their greens are amazing. The taste doesn’t lie.”
Chang says that he wants to embody care and compassion as a chef. He continues, “I think it’s important that we all cook together and work together. I’m on the pass most nights but other nights we switch and we’re on the line and we throw ideas back and forth. I like to create an environment where we play with ideas.”
The chef’s respect for care and compassion extends to what he looks for in his kitchen team. He explains, “I like to quote Lorenzo (Loseto) who said, “ ‘You can teach any monkey to cook, but you can’t teach a monkey a good attitude.’ That’s the most important thing. It’s such a tough job to work in that if you don’t truly care about it and love what you’re doing, it’s going to be the worst job ever.”
Motivation, for Chang, comes from simple things. He points out, “It comes from the people I work with, it comes from a guest comes up and says, ‘Thank you. That was the best meal I’ve eaten.’ That brings me genuine joy!”
1. Hellshire Beach: Hellshire Beach in Jamaica is famous for fried fish and safe swimming.
2. Festival: Jamaican cornmeal fritters.
3. Escoveitch: Fish marinated in vinegar, onions, carrots and Scotch bonnet peppers. From the Spanish escabeche.