10 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...

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11 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 story that 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
10

7 weeks ago

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Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told t ...
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Update
9

7 weeks ago

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Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was br ...
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Update
8

7 weeks ago

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KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat t ...
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Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri ...
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Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern sta ...
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Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.7 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 mil ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansa ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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