Korean American chef Roy Choi is renowned as one of the godfathers of the food truck scene. Known by many foodies as the creator of Kogi, a Korean taco truck, Choi has long emphasized the culinary tenet that food doesn’t have to be extravagant. The chef of the upcoming CNN show has quite the resume to illuminate his advanced cooking chops.
In 2010, he became the first food truck operator to win a spot on Food & Wine magazine’s best new chefs. Besides attending a distinguished culinary school and interning at Le Bernardin, Choi has also done the traditional Escoffier-style chef gig of cooking for hotels. That is of course before opening several restaurants of his own. Now having earned his spot among the culinary elite, CNN has selected the chef to host a new culinary series.
The Wall Street Journal stated back in April that CNN would be airing a new show featuring a protege of Anthony Bourdain. The network recently confirmed Choi is on board, although the specifics of the show are still very hazy. Several tweets from the chef along with his pal and film director Jon Favreau hint at the title being “Street Food.” Choi worked with Favreau closely on his culinary work in the film “Chef,” even allowing the actor and filmmaker to practice in his restaurants. Choi served as a consultant on the film, providing insights on the authenticity of the cooking shots and general foodie culture. Based on Choi’s familiarity with the food truck scene, there’s certainly potential for the rising young chef to highlight the culture he helped catalyze.
Choi’s television debut is not preventing the chef from expanding his culinary offerings. Choi just opened a new restaurant, Commissary, that has a focus on fresh vegetables. The restaurant sits inside a rooftop greenhouse at the peak of the Line Hotel. The walls and ceiling are completely composed of glass, giving this eaterie an outdoorsy feel that matches its produce-based theme. However, Commissary is not a vegetarian restaurant, rather, it is just focused on educating eaters about various veggies with expansive offerings. Even the craft cocktail menu offers up a vegetable theme, but Commissary also serves steak, scallops, fish and much more. The menu is formatted creatively, complete with illustrations and a legend so guests can fully take in the restaurant’s offerings.
With a new TV show and numerous creative venues, it’s clear Roy Choi has become a staple of the American culinary scene.