Lifestyle

Who is Roy Choi?

1 Born in Seoul, South Korea, Choi was raised in Los Angeles after his family migrated to the US when he was two.

2 He was a teenage delinquent. But after attending a military school in South California, he straightened out and later earned a degree in philosophy from California State University, Fullerton.

3 At 25, he became obsessed with US TV cooking show Essence Of Emeril, which inspired him to pursue cooking as a career.

4 Became a valedictorian at New York's Culinary Institute of America, and later interned at the famous Le Bernardin restaurant in New York City.

5 After working for the Hilton Hotels chain for several years, he met future partner Mark Manguera, then a hotel F&B director. Both came up with the idea of a Korean taco, thus the Kogi BBQ food truck was created in 2008.

6 Fusing Mexican and Korean flavours and dishes, Kogi BBQ became a hit, thanks to social media where Twitter was used to alert customers to the trucks' locations.

7 Choi was named one of the top 10 Best New Chefs of 2010 by Food And Wine magazine, the first food-truck operator to earn that distinction.

8 Kogi BBQ currently has four food trucks in its fleet that cover zones mapped out across Los Angeles and Orange County.

9 Choi also owns several eateries: Chego!; Sunny Spot; A-Frame; 3 Worlds Cafe; and the Alibi Room.

Last year, he released a memoir called L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food.