At a time when chefs and food trucks were members of distinctly different classes of the food world, Roy Choi had the gall to rent a truck of his own and hit the streets of downtown Los Angeles. With a pedigree including the CIA, Le Bernardin, and the Beverly Hills Hilton, Chef Choi might not seem the most likely candidate to go roadside, hocking tacos on street corners. But that is exactly what Choi did, and that’s precisely what’s garnered rabid praise and attention of the food press and public ever since.
Of course, serving upscale Angeleno street food out of a moving vehicle wasn’t always in Choi’s sights. He worked for fifteen years prior, executing classical technique in professional kitchens and banquet halls in New York, San Francisco, Portland, and Lake Tahoe. But a night of carousing and brainstorming led Choi and his future business partners to an unlikely formulation: gourmet food served straight to the streets.
With his Korean-Latin tacos as the marquee star, Choi found a way to develop and carry out the vision that drives him to this day. With Kogi BBQ, Choi is serving top quality food at a great price to the very people who don’t normally have access to it—Angelenos, the kids and neighborhood people Choi grew up with on the streets of K-town and beyond. And building on his accrued success (including television appearances and major buzz in local and national press), Choi will be providing yet another source of culinary revelation for his Angeleno clientele with his first sit-down restaurant, Chego in Mar Vista, in March of 2010.