Chef and restaurateur David Chang finally spoke out against billionaire and Momofuku investor Stephen Ross’s upcoming presidential fundraiser today in his podcast — where he tells listeners that he hates Donald Trump and implores Ross to cancel the fundraiser.
“I personally am a staunch opponent to President Trump and everything he stands for. I fucking hate him,” Chang says on the podcast. “This is a complicated situation for me, personally, and I know it raises a lot of questions for people who dine at our restaurants.”
He goes on to explain that Ross was “the only potential investor” that believed in Chang’s vision for Momofuku and offers the brand the freedom to follow through with that vision, though he admits they’re on “the wrong side here.” Chang tells Ross he respects him as a businessman and commends the support he’s given to his restaurant group — then calls on him to reconsider the fundraiser.
“It flies in the face of everything we believe in at Momofuku,” Chang says. “It frightens many of the people that work for you and it contradicts what I hoped to accomplish before taking your money in the first place.”
On Wednesday, social media lit up with people encouraging others to #CancelEquinox when news came out that Ross would be hosting a Trump fundraiser in the Hamptons on Friday. Ross owns the luxury gym and has a stake in restaurant companies including Momofuku, Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar, Australian cafe chain Bluestone Lane, and fast-casual pizza chain &Pizza. Though the restaurants with ties to Ross didn’t get as much attention as his luxury gyms, people began calling to boycott Momofuku and Milk Bar online as well.
Chang joins celebrity chef José Andrés, whose Spanish market is housed within Ross’s Hudson Yards development, in publicly asking him to cancel the upcoming fundraiser. In a video posted to Twitter, Andrés pleads Ross to drop the fundraiser, saying the real estate developer is a “good man” and supports “good causes,” then encouraging him to “do the right thing.”
Others like Tosi issued statements saying Milk Bar is “in no way affiliated” with the fundraiser and like SoulCycle and Equinox, glossed over the fact that Ross is one of many investors in her company — “all of whom come from different perspectives.”
Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.