360° Coverage : 'Kogi's' Roy Choi Uses Tech To Bring Food To...

2 Updates

'Kogi's' Roy Choi Uses Tech To Bring Food To Underserved Areas

May 8 2014, 6:01pm CDT | by

Combining food with tech, Roy Choi beats his own drum to make food more accessible. Roy Choi could easily hike up prices at his restaurants with the kind of empire he’s been building, but that would...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

24 weeks ago

'Kogi's' Roy Choi Uses Tech To Bring Food To Underserved Areas

May 8 2014, 6:01pm CDT | by

Combining food with tech, Roy Choi beats his own drum to make food more accessible.

Roy Choi could easily hike up prices at his restaurants with the kind of empire he’s been building, but that would defeat the purpose.

The Korean American chef’s restaurants, Alibi Room, Chego, A-Frame, Sunny Spot and more recently, POT at Line Hotel, are spread out in different regions of Los Angeles and serve mindboggling fusions of various cuisines, each one demanding its own write up that Choi himself doesn’t describe systematically. What the food truck king’s restaurants do seem to have in common is that they are all birthed from impulse, spontaneity and soul.

“There is no typical day, not when there are so many people out there that I care about that can’t access good food in their neighborhoods,” said Choi.

When it came to creating each restaurant’s menu and theme, Choi said, “I let the moment tell me what to do. Like a melody then I make a song.”

Though he shares an alma mater with TV personalities Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern from the Culinary Institute of America, Choi has become a star in his own right, having been a judge on Top Chef, a consultant to Jon Favreau for his latest movie called “Chef,” and a guest speaker at this year’s L.A. Times Festival of Books, where he talked about his first book, “L.A. Sons: My Life. My City. My Food.”

An immigrant from Seoul, there are no limits to how Choi’s part memoir, part cookbook weaves his turbulent life story with recipes in a way where they couldn’t exist without the other. Flashbacks to L.A. are intertwined with Choi’s recipes for chorizos and carne asada. His days in New York are attached to recipes for fancier meals like pounded pork schnitzel, coconut clam chowder and seared beef medallions with sauce Robert. Some of the more surprising recipes include his own adaptation of instant ramen and buttermilk pancakes–a reminder that good food doesn’t always have to be lavish.

They’re also a reminder that Choi is far from being your average celebrity chef. He’s been proudly breaking rules and blurring lines in the culinary world.

Once upon a time, food trucks, including taco trucks, or “loncheros” in Spanish, were at war with L.A. authorities.  State and local regulation forces argued that food trucks unfairly competed with restaurants and viewed them as eyesores that were indicative of a poor neighborhood. But the rise of Choi’s Kogi BBQ as gourmet cuisine changed the stereotype and spurred a food truck craze across the nation.

“Those same officials are now eating off trucks right in front of city hall. Ha! The same racist views of calling someone’s cultural food from a truck unsanitary is now eradicated from popular culture,” said Choi.
The change was good for the city. I’m proud of this.”/>

Unafraid of uncharted territory, Choi has long been combining food and technology. From the beginning, part of the Kogi BBQ truck’s allure was that it always changes its location. The truck is parked at different locations and times that are announced on its Twitter TWTR +4.24% account, which has 123,000 followers as of May.

Recently, you might have seen Choi’s Google GOOGL +0.35% Glass Explorer storythat dropped on the internet on St. Patrick’s Day, or his reported investment in food startup Munchery, which delivers prepared gourmet food meals on demand. Both opportunities came from friends who thought he would be perfect for the roles.

“Munchery came to me through Jon Favreau. He introduced me to this food startup and I was very impressed with how this could be the facet of the future of food delivery and accessibility for all,” said Choi.

In 2009, Choi had openly told media Kogi grossed $2 million its first year of rolling out. Later in 2012, in an angry rant on his site, Choi wrote about possibly leaving cooking after some difficulty finding meaning in his work.

“Maybe I talk like I’m from Saturn but I don’t understand profitability,” Choi wrote. “Profitability when our whole existence is at stake? F*** you.”

These days, however, Choi is simply tight-lipped about revenue figures but exudes optimism about his operations./>/>

“I don’t think of business like that,” said Choi. “I operate in terms of energy and connection. The energy is strong, my friend.”

What’s next on the Food Truck King’s list?

“I want to reshape fast food in America,” Choi said.

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 a ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Ebola cases exceed 10,000: WHO
London, Oct 25 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO), in its latest report Saturday said the number of Ebola virus cases has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths.
 
 
Sundar Pichai to head key Google products, services
New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) Search engine giant Google in a reorganisation of its management has assigned Sundar Pichai the leadership of core Google products, technology magazine Recode reported.
 
 
Ocean circulation: a major factor in climate change
Washington, Oct 25 (IANS) It isn't just the atmosphere, but the circulation of the oceans plays an equally important role in regulating the Earth's climate, new research shows.
 
 
Pakistan hails UN for granting D-8 observer status
Islamabad, Oct 25 (IANS) Pakistan Saturday welcomed the UN's decision to grant observer status to the Developing-Eight (D-8) Organisation for Economic Cooperation.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Second MERS case reported in Qatar
Doha, Oct 23 (IANS) A 43-year-old man in Qatar has tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the second confirmed case of the deadly virus in 10 days, media reported Thursday. The patient had...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Two people die in Pakistan bomb blast
Islamabad, Oct 23 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 12 others injured in an explosion that took place in Pakistan's Balochistan province Thursday, media reported. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle, Dawn...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Trott extends contract with Warwickshire till 2017
London, Oct 23 (IANS) England batsman Jonathan Trott, whose mental issues led to his abrupt departure from last winter's Ashes tour, has confirmed his successful comeback to competitive cricket by signing a new three-...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap big movers in BWF rankings
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Alvin Stardust dead
London, Oct 23 (IANS) English singer Alvin Stardust died after a short illness. He was 72. Stardust's manager confirmed the news about his demise Thursday, reports mirror.co.uk. He was recently diagnosed with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian man reunited with family after 40 years
Dubai, Oct 23 (IANS) An Indian man, who had disappeared from his hometown in Kerala nearly 40 years ago, has been found by his family at a hospital in Dubai in the UAE, a newspaper report said. Now in his 60s, Abdulla...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap, Saina rise in world rankings
Kala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Flintoff signs for Big Bash side Brisbane Heat
Brisbane, Oct 23 (IANS) Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who retired from international cricket in 2009, Wednesday confirmed that he will play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) this...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price falls again
Vienna, Oct 23 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed at $81.94 a barrel Wednesday compared to $82.09 Tuesday, the OPEC Secretariat said. The new OPEC...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lopez to sign multi-million dollar deal?
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (IANS) Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is reportedly in the final stages of securing a multi-million dollar deal to perform in Las Vegas. The 45-year-old is being offered $350,000 per show at The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla