Neo-Seoul: Chopping It Up with L.A. Chef Roy Choi

The man behind Kogi BBQ philosphizes about Yelp reviews, food TV, and Action Bronson.

roychoi_lead

Photo: Fridolin Schoepper

Roy Choi has nothing to hide. He's got tattoos, he smokes weed, but more importantly, the man isn't bashful about the effect his cooking has on people. "It makes the women wet and the men want to cry," he jokes, likening his food to a Maxwell concert.

Oh snap, Neo-Seoul!

The L.A.-bred chef became a foodie darling back in 2008, when he and his partners, Mark Manguera and Caroline Shin-Manguera, launched a fleet of Korean-Mexican taco trucks, instantly recognizable now as Kogi BBQ. Since then, he hasn’t slowed down, opening three restaurants (Chego!, A-Frame, and Sunny Spot) and writing a book, Spaghetti Junction: Riding Shotgun with an LA Chef, to be released with the help of his buddy—and No Reservations star—Anthony Bourdain.

In our interview, he opens up about going from burnout to chef, veganism, and why he doesn't bother reading the reviews on Yelp. The book is due out next year, but until then, step into the mind of Roy Choi and hold on for dear life. This one's a trip.

As told to David Lee (@rekstizzy)

Click to start the list
Newsletter

Feed your inbox.

Subscribe