David Chang to Kiwi Chef: Bao Out or I’ll Sue

These aren't the buns you're looking for.
These aren't the buns you're looking for. Photo: D.O.C. Bar /Facebook

The chef at an Auckland, New Zealand, bar was so moved by the steamed buns he sampled at Momofuku during a recent New York visit that he went straight home and started holding “Momofuku Bao Pop-up Dining” events, using the restaurant’s name and the recipe from David Chang’s 2009 cookbook, at his restaurant. The ever-popular pork buns with cucumber and hoisin served at David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants have spurred all kinds of bao action, but up until recently, no one had actually used the restaurant’s name to sell their own. “It kind of made our night,” says D.O.C. chef Ben Barton, who received a cease-and-desist letter from Chang’s lawyers. “After spending hours making this really long-winded, fiddly recipe, we get phone calls and messages threatening us with legal action … We saw the funny side of it.” The restaurant says it no longer is promoting pop-ups using Momofuku’s name, but the promo flier is still up on its vaguely NSFW Facebook page. [New Zealand Herald, Related]