David Chang took a risk when he opened his first New York restaurant in 2004. The restaurant, called Momofuku (meaning "lucky peach") featured elegant ramen dishes chock full of meat. Momofuku opened in the East Village, a finicky, foodie New York neighborhood. But the franchise quickly developed a cult following -- Chang now has six restaurants and bars in New York, each with its own personality, specializing in everything from stiff drinks to a dessert so addictive it's called "crack pie."
The craze for Chang's carefully crafted dishes has gone global. In October 2011, Chang opened his first non-New York restaurant outside in Sydney, Australia. This September, the franchise made its debut in Toronto, spurring Chang to hire about 225 people. Next year is an open book: new hire totals will depend on how many more restaurants Change opens, but for now, the chef predicts to bring between 25 and 50 more people on board.
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