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Roy Choi

Roy Choi photo

Kogi taco mixmaster Roy Choi is currently filming a new show for CNN. This weekend, Choi — who just last week opened an impressive new restaurant in Los Angeles — broke the news on Twitter: “I got my own show it’s from the heart on the biggest platform down2the smallest detail. #CNN #StreetFood thank YOU!”

After telling the WSJ that it was in the process of partnering with “a protege of Anthony Bourdain,” CNN confirms that Choi has joined the network. A rep was tight-lipped: “I can confirm that a collaboration with Roy is in the works but we’re not prepared to release details about the project.” Based on several tweets, the show appears to be named Street Food. The theme seems like a natural fit for the man who popularized food truck culture.

Reps for Choi did not immediately respond with a comment. It’s hard to tell, based on the teasing Choi and his friend Jon Favreau have been doing on Twitter if the show will be a tasting tour of street food or if it will be a cooking show starring Choi — or a combination of both. And exactly how Favreau is involved is also unclear. The director and star of Chef released a Vine video teaser in which he shows off some knife skills.

Find the original article at Eater.com <here>

Roy Choi Food Truck Love Quote

“For me, I never abandoned the truck. Even though I’ve opened other things, the truck is still the lifeblood of who I am. That’s because I enjoy it. I believe in it. It’s everything that I am.” – Roy Choi

Jon Favreau Roy Choi

LOS ANGELES, CA – Most successful filmmakers don’t go back to school in the midst of their careers. But at 47, Jon Favreau decided that if he was going to get the smallest details right in “Chef” — and as any cook knows, the best dishes are defined by the littlest things — he had to learn a thing or two. So he called food truck maven Roy Choi, who enrolled Favreau in culinary school and then brought him in to work in Choi’s kitchens.

Before long, the “Iron Man” director was handling knives and plating dishes as if he had worn a chef’s coat for years.

Opening May 9, “Chef” is Favreau’s love letter to food and, more forcefully, the people who cook it. A foodie who is now prone to smoke his own briskets for 14 hours and is installing a wood-fired pizza oven in his remodeled kitchen, Favreau was forever trying to work a chef into one of his movies but couldn’t make the fit. “There’s something really authentic and sincere about cooking,” Favreau said. “And it looks really good on film.”

In “Chef,” which he wrote, directed and stars in, Favreau plays Carl Casper, a talented cook who has settled into turning out mediocre food that is no more daring than French onion soup, lobster risotto, frisée salad and chocolate lava cake. After Casper has a very public falling-out with the restaurant’s owner (Dustin Hoffman), he tries to reinvent himself not only as a chef but also as a parent, taking his young son on a culinary road trip as Casper teams with a loyal assistant (John Leguizamo) to launch a food truck specializing in pressed Cuban pork sandwiches.

As many chefs will tell you, when Hollywood tries to dish up a restaurant movie, the results are often about as appetizing as curdled custard: The few food movies that get it right — “Mostly Martha,” “Big Night,” “Eat Drink Man Woman” and even “Ratatouille” top most lists — are dwarfed by those that get it wrong, typically by making food preparation look too pretty.

After writing the script but before filming commenced, Favreau hired Choi — best known for his Kogi taco truck — as his food consultant. “And I told him, ‘If I’m going to do this, we really need to honor the craft and the code of cooking,'” Choi said.

They soon started talking about how a kitchen is run: It’s not as strict as the army, but there’s a military precision to its organization and chain of command. More important, chefs typically pursue cooking less as a career than as a calling. What matters most is the satisfaction on a diner’s face, and the joy of working with great ingredients. “When a chef sees a big bag of shallots, he’s excited that he gets to peel them and use them,” Favreau said. “That’s something I never thought of.”

After honing his knife and saucing skills in a weeklong culinary school crash-course — “You’re not coming into my kitchen until you’re trained,” Choi told him — Favreau spent a couple of months working alongside his mentor, starting with the most menial tasks. “I had him work an eight-hour shift, just prepping,” Choi said of an underling’s work preparing ingredients. “You can’t make a movie about a chef if you don’t understand what it is to be a cook.”

Find the entire article at the LA Times <here>


Roy Choi Food Truck Quote

“The tortilla was our stage and our canvas. We filled it with our own voice and our own perspective.” – Roy Choi

kogi truck

IRVINE, CA – The last several years haven’t been good for Taco Bell. There was the E. Coli outbreak in 2006, the salmonella illnesses in 2012 and the accusation that the fast-food chain’s beef is barely beef. (Taco Bell strongly denies this.) So, understandably, the restaurant is gearing up for a total makeover.

Brian Niccol, the president of Irvine-based Taco Bell, announced late last night that he and Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ have agreed on terms of an agreement that would license the use of the Kogi truck name as well as the recipes from the founder of the gourmet food truck industry.

Starting April 17th, Taco Bell will begin a national rollout of a much-hyped new menu item: the Kogi Short Rib Taco. It’s aptly named, because instead of just your everyday taco, the Kogi Truck Taco has a filling that none of their other products have; Korean style beef short rib.

The Original Kogi Truck BBQ beef short rib taco is housed in warm corn tortillas and carry a perfect mix of Korean BBQ, dressed with a wonderfully fresh cabbage-based slaw. With Choi’s help, Taco Bell has perfected the combination and is ready to unleash it on the country.

The partnership is two years in the making, and many people in the industry are expecting it to be an enormous hit.  Along with the new taco, Taco Bell is attempting something it’s tried and failed in the past: food trucks.

“Roy has shown us how to do it right. He has shown the systems we need to have in place to bring Taco Bell food trucks to every region of the county.” Niccol stated.

The Taco Bell food trucks will be hitting the streets with the Kogi BBQ Taco on April 17th in the following cities:

  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • Philadelphia
  • Portland
  • San Francisco
Kogi Truck BBQ Taco Is A Big Change For Taco Bell

Considering the sweeping changes the 5,600-unit chain is undertaking, it will also soon roll out a new slogan. Say goodbye to “Think outside the bun” and welcome in “Live Mas.” Mas is Spanish for “more,” and it evokes the rather popular “Yo quiero Taco Bell” that the fast-food chain successfully used along with their recognizable talking Chihuahua.

It’s a move to make customers think of Taco Bell as a lifestyle choice rather than just a place to pick up a cheap taco. Taco Bell is hoping that the new slogan, as well as its series of bold moves, will translate into customers visiting and spending mas as well.

UPDATE: Please read our April Fool’s Day Recap

Google recently shared a video of Roy Choi, co-founder of Kogi BBQ, whipping up some of his “new spin on Irish cooking” for St. Patrick’s Day. Why? Because he’s a Google Glass explorer, and uses Glass to search for recipes.

roy choi google glass

While wearing the device, and dodging a call from his mom, he makes the “East Los Leprechaun Burrito”.

“What’s great about Glass is I can record it,” Choi says of using the device while creating his recipes. “I can share it immediately. Maybe that will influence someone else to find their own angle.”

He wanted to make something special to serve on the trucks for St. Patrick’s Day. He used Glass to find components in an Irish dish (stew, in this case), and take said components to put his own LA food truck spin on them. What he came up with was the leprechaun burrito.

According to Google, the Kogi truck will be serving the “limited edition” leprechaun burritos in LA this week.

the-tasteTonight on The Taste the mentors are challenging their teams with creating delicious dishes inspired by classic “street food.” Sandwiches, seafood – and, of course, the classic English delicacy of fish & chips – are on the menu this week as 12 remaining competitors battle it out for the chance to stay in “The Taste” kitchen another week.  

Chef Roy Choi is guest judge this week where Anthony Bourdain shares a secret weapon with his kitchen. Spam! Find out who wins on “The Taste” THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

“The Taste” features no-holds barred Chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef/author Ludo Lefebvre, and joining “The Taste” this season, chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. It is from Kinetic Content and is executive-produced by Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltowski, Emma Conway, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Brian Smith who is the director.

For more information on “The Taste,” visit ABC.com/The Taste.

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Roy Choi LA
image from ridingshotgunla.com

Kogi BBQ co-founder Roy Choi wrote a blog post earlier this week that has the online world stunned or swooning. In it, he questions the meaning of life, reminisces about the LA Riots, declares that he will no longer consume meat, says he is thinking about leaving cooking, and calls out to Jamie Oliver himself. Direct quotes from Choi:

“I’ve been going through some deep shit this week. Butterfly block party. I’ve been thinking about leaving cooking for awhile. I can’t find meaning anymore.”

“I stopped eating meat this week. That’s why I’m thinking about leaving cooking. How can I cook with out using meat? I will taste, for now as that is my profession. But I will no longer eat meat for my own consumption. Animals be talking to me. They told me..stop. Stop, Roy. Please.”

“Are we supposed to put our faith in this man Jamie Oliver? A Brit? If so, then if anyone who reads this tell him to holla at me. Really. I can’t get to him. Tell him come see me, no PR, no publicist, no barriers. We can sit on the curb and join forces.”

Chef Choi is working on a memoir that will be published by Anthony Bourdain’s new imprint at Ecco Books.

tip of the day
Today’s business tip from Roy Choi with some added news.

Roy Choi fuses Korean and Mexican flavors in the galley kitchen of Los Angeles’s celebrated Kogi BBQ’s gourmet food truck, which has become a viral sensation on Twitter. “Our first set of customers were transients, runaways, hookers, and drunks,” he says. “Tacos were looked at like the gum on the bottom of your shoe, but now it’s the sexiest thing around. People really started to react to these flavors. In America, it’s extremely hard to get food on a spontaneous level other than fast food. I feel like we’re part of a cultural revolution.”

What’s coming next on your menu? Tendons, knuckles, joints, tails, necks, shins coming to A-Frame. Kogi, Alibi Room and Chego are always changing through the specials based on what I experience the previous week. The specials are kind of like my diary through food.

Latest ingredient obsession? Coconut milk and pineapples. Thailand changed my life.

Favorite day off away from the kitchen? I don’t take days off. Sunday and Monday I’m transforming into something new for the next week. But I like to fade away at Venice Beach into the herbal horizon.

Favorite kitchen soundtrack: In the kitchen it is Latin music only. Mana, Ana Gabriel, Aventura, Banda Limon, Los Bukis, Vicente Fernandez, Reik, Camilla, Wisin y Yandel, Shakira. Whatcha know about that?

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