Riding Shotgun with Roy Choi
The Maverick Chef Takes NOWNESS on an Odyssey Around His Food Truck Empire
Flamboyant Korean-American chef Roy Choi ruminates on his holistic ideals of feeding both belly and soul in filmmaker Alison Chernick's philosophical portrait. Choi burst onto the LA culinary scene in 2009 with a fleet of Kogi food trucks, a pulsating Twitter account, and a high visibility blog, Riding Shotgun, which showcases the cook's inspirations and new recipes alongside personal musings. Fusing the flavors of Korean BBQ with Mexican street food in such creations as the kimchi quesadilla and short rib tacos, Choi delivers his epicurean inventions to an estimated 10,000 Angelenos every day, satiating more appetites than any other chef in America. Food & Wine magazine called him Best New Chef in 2010—the first for a food truck in the award's 22-year history—and feted as the iconoclast who sparked LA's mobile street food revolution, Choi has expanded his empire to restaurants, including Chego, A-frame and Sunny Spot. "His motivations seem purely to want to feed his friends—cashing in doesn't seem to be on his radar and you can taste that," says Chernick, who spent a day riding around with Choi visiting his multiple outposts and discussing plant communication and being kind to chickens.