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Roy Choi

Chef and Co-Founder of Kogi BBQ

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 Roy Choi Biography

Classically trained chef Roy Choi is a culinary street revolutionary. He brings together the high and the low – deliciously, passionately, and socially. He breaks down boundaries that separate chefs from hungry people. He creates businesses that thrive on the energy of their staff and their fans, on a mission of flavor and honesty and social creativity. He feeds people, body and soul. While his pedigree includes Le Bernardin and the Beverly Hilton, his fame rose with one amazing taco that tastes like L.A. – and nearly single-handedly created the gourmet food truck movement with his partners on the wings of Twitter.

Before hitting the streets with his popular food truck Kogi BBQ, Choi executed classical techniques in professional kitchens and banquet halls for twelve years in New York, San Francisco, Portland, and Lake Tahoe. Then came the Great Recession. Laid off, having lost everything, with a family to support, Choi had to get creative: He said yes to a friend who rented a truck and co-founded Kogi BBQ. With his Korean-Mexican tacos as the marquee star, Choi found a way to develop and carry out the vision that drives him to this day. Choi serves top quality food at a great price to all people: Angelenos, the kids and neighborhood people Choi grew up with on the streets of K-town and southern California. Because of the mobile nature of the venue, the biggest challenge they faced was their fans’ ability to locate the truck. Choi and his team took to the web to let fans knows where they would be serving. Choi admits that “without Twitter, it wouldn’t be anything,” and Newsweek later dubbed Kogi “the first viral eatery.” Choi was hailed as a pioneer, and the Kogi model has often been duplicated.

Building on his success (including television appearances and major buzz in local, national, and worldwide press), Choi provided yet another source of culinary revelation for his Angeleno clientele with his first sit-down restaurant, Chego in Palms, in April of 2010, followed by A-Frame in the same year, and Sunny Spot just east of Venice Beach in 2011. His newest restaurant venture, featuring the tastes of Korea translated through an L.A. state of mind, will open at the new hotel, The Line, in L.A. in late 2013. Choi’s first book, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food, will be published in the Fall of 2013 under Anthony Bourdain’s new imprint at Ecco.

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Videos
Books
L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food

L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food

Speaking Topics
  • The Twitter Taco and the Digital Handshake: Leveraging Social Media for Authentic Success

    When Roy Choi launched his food truck Kogi BBQ, he and his partners had no money for marketing or advertising. Because of the mobile nature of the restaurant as the truck roamed the city, Kogi’s whole enterprise was dependent on customers being able to find the truck. So his team turned to the powerful reach of social media. Sending tweets of the truck’s location allowed customers to descend on it en masse, creating a party atmosphere that Roy felt was key to the experience. Kogi grossed more than $2 million its first year on the street and has built a Twitter following of more than 100,000, leading Newsweek to call it “America’s first viral restaurant.” In this talk based on Kogi’s rise to success, Roy will take audiences through their approach to the strategic nature of social media – how to translate social reach into customers who are loyal and engaged in an ongoing conversation, and through that into dollars and profit. Roy debunks the social media mystique, explaining that when you look closer, modern marketing in many ways is bringing back the methods of the past, where you might have reached out to each customer with a handshake. Today, that “handshake” can be digital. “You need to inhabit the digital space,” says Roy Choi. “We didn’t just create it as a tool – we lived and breathed it. You can almost smell the food on Twitter, someone back there in the kitchen bringing the thing to life.”

  • Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef: An Evening with Roy Choi

    “Come with me and ride shotgun, because I’m driving,” writes Roy Choi. “It’s a long ride but I’ve got a full tank.” How did this amazing culinary shape shifter evolve? How does he come up with these new yet ancient-rooted flavors? In this entertaining talk, Roy Choi, whose book Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef will be published in the fall of 2013 by Anthony Bourdain Books at Ecco Press, reveals that his own experience is the secret ingredient in his recipes. Growing up, he moved from one part of the city to another, and later went from the renowned Le Bernardin to cooking at a country club for retirees in the California desert to creating a street food truck social revolution. Evolution tells us that adaptation is crucial to survival, and Roy’s success is a result of an awakening about the disconnection between the obsessive celebrity food culture and those getting by with two or three jobs. Realizing that he could feed 10,000 hungry people each day with delicious real food they had never experienced was an epiphany, on many levels. By observing and listening to the community, then modifying his menu accordingly, he tapped into a whole new marketplace and delivered results that were profitable because they were true to the palate – and budgets – of Angelenos. Says Roy, “I want to break down the difference between being a chef and actually feeding people.”

  • Leadership on a Shoestring: Caring as a Concept

    “Call me Papi.” There are no rules on the street beyond moral codes, and by respecting these, Roy Choi was able to build an archetype and structure of leadership. He doesn’t have much to offer employees beyond hard work, miles of travel on the road, and not so high wages in a low-margin business that delivers great value to the consumer. Yet employee morale is high. “Most people try to motivate through money or power; what I do is motivate through honesty,” Roy says. It’s almost like martial arts. It takes a lot of unlearning for a chef to learn the Kogi method, but Roy’s staff have acclimated to it: One does not bring preconceived notions to the dojo; instead one absorbs what the sensei has to offer. With very low turnover in his operation, it might seem surprising that he admittedly “hasn’t much to offer but knowledge.” Then again, with an apt instructor at the helm, it’s an easy task to hold the attention of the students in dojo. In this inspiring talk, Roy will demonstrate ways anyone in a leadership position can inspire staff –and he’ll touch on his amazing volunteer work teaching brightest young people in the deepest urban cores of Los Angeles to become food entrepreneurs in their own right.

News
FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Roy Choi?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Roy Choi for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Roy Choi, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Roy Choi or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Roy Choi?

    Booking fees for Roy Choi, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Roy Choi, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Roy Choi?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Roy Choi for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Roy Choi for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Roy Choi or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Roy Choi or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Roy Choi

Chef and Co-Founder of Kogi BBQ

Travels From:
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Speaking Fee:
Categories:

Roy Choi Biography

Classically trained chef Roy Choi is a culinary street revolutionary. He brings together the high and the low – deliciously, passionately, and socially. He breaks down boundaries that separate chefs from hungry people. He creates businesses that thrive on the energy of their staff and their fans, on a mission of flavor and honesty and social creativity. He feeds people, body and soul. While his pedigree includes Le Bernardin and the Beverly Hilton, his fame rose with one amazing taco that tastes like L.A. – and nearly single-handedly created the gourmet food truck movement with his partners on the wings of Twitter.

Before hitting the streets with his popular food truck Kogi BBQ, Choi executed classical techniques in professional kitchens and banquet halls for twelve years in New York, San Francisco, Portland, and Lake Tahoe. Then came the Great Recession. Laid off, having lost everything, with a family to support, Choi had to get creative: He said yes to a friend who rented a truck and co-founded Kogi BBQ. With his Korean-Mexican tacos as the marquee star, Choi found a way to develop and carry out the vision that drives him to this day. Choi serves top quality food at a great price to all people: Angelenos, the kids and neighborhood people Choi grew up with on the streets of K-town and southern California. Because of the mobile nature of the venue, the biggest challenge they faced was their fans’ ability to locate the truck. Choi and his team took to the web to let fans knows where they would be serving. Choi admits that “without Twitter, it wouldn’t be anything,” and Newsweek later dubbed Kogi “the first viral eatery.” Choi was hailed as a pioneer, and the Kogi model has often been duplicated.

Building on his success (including television appearances and major buzz in local, national, and worldwide press), Choi provided yet another source of culinary revelation for his Angeleno clientele with his first sit-down restaurant, Chego in Palms, in April of 2010, followed by A-Frame in the same year, and Sunny Spot just east of Venice Beach in 2011. His newest restaurant venture, featuring the tastes of Korea translated through an L.A. state of mind, will open at the new hotel, The Line, in L.A. in late 2013. Choi’s first book, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food, will be published in the Fall of 2013 under Anthony Bourdain’s new imprint at Ecco.

Roy Choi Videos

  • Roy Choi, the mastermind behind the Korean taco trucks Kogi ...
    May 31, 2017 ... Roy Choi, the mastermind behind the Korean taco trucks Kogi, wants his food to make a tangible difference. With his most recent...
  • Roy Choi & Daniel Patterson Announce Locol at MAD4
    Daniel Patterson of Coi & Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ announce loco'l at MAD4, their affordable + wholesome fast food concept aimed at breaking the chain of...
  • Google Glass Explorer Story: Roy Choi
    Meet Roy Choi. He's a Glass Explorer, co-founder of Kogi BBQ, and the world famous chef behind the gourmet food truck movement.

Roy Choi Books

Speaker Lists Featuring Roy Choi

Roy Choi Speaking Topics

  • The Twitter Taco and the Digital Handshake: Leveraging Social Media for Authentic Success

    When Roy Choi launched his food truck Kogi BBQ, he and his partners had no money for marketing or advertising. Because of the mobile nature of the restaurant as the truck roamed the city, Kogi’s whole enterprise was dependent on customers being able to find the truck. So his team turned to the powerful reach of social media. Sending tweets of the truck’s location allowed customers to descend on it en masse, creating a party atmosphere that Roy felt was key to the experience. Kogi grossed more than $2 million its first year on the street and has built a Twitter following of more than 100,000, leading Newsweek to call it “America’s first viral restaurant.” In this talk based on Kogi’s rise to success, Roy will take audiences through their approach to the strategic nature of social media – how to translate social reach into customers who are loyal and engaged in an ongoing conversation, and through that into dollars and profit. Roy debunks the social media mystique, explaining that when you look closer, modern marketing in many ways is bringing back the methods of the past, where you might have reached out to each customer with a handshake. Today, that “handshake” can be digital. “You need to inhabit the digital space,” says Roy Choi. “We didn’t just create it as a tool – we lived and breathed it. You can almost smell the food on Twitter, someone back there in the kitchen bringing the thing to life.”

  • Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef: An Evening with Roy Choi

    “Come with me and ride shotgun, because I’m driving,” writes Roy Choi. “It’s a long ride but I’ve got a full tank.” How did this amazing culinary shape shifter evolve? How does he come up with these new yet ancient-rooted flavors? In this entertaining talk, Roy Choi, whose book Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef will be published in the fall of 2013 by Anthony Bourdain Books at Ecco Press, reveals that his own experience is the secret ingredient in his recipes. Growing up, he moved from one part of the city to another, and later went from the renowned Le Bernardin to cooking at a country club for retirees in the California desert to creating a street food truck social revolution. Evolution tells us that adaptation is crucial to survival, and Roy’s success is a result of an awakening about the disconnection between the obsessive celebrity food culture and those getting by with two or three jobs. Realizing that he could feed 10,000 hungry people each day with delicious real food they had never experienced was an epiphany, on many levels. By observing and listening to the community, then modifying his menu accordingly, he tapped into a whole new marketplace and delivered results that were profitable because they were true to the palate – and budgets – of Angelenos. Says Roy, “I want to break down the difference between being a chef and actually feeding people.”

  • Leadership on a Shoestring: Caring as a Concept

    “Call me Papi.” There are no rules on the street beyond moral codes, and by respecting these, Roy Choi was able to build an archetype and structure of leadership. He doesn’t have much to offer employees beyond hard work, miles of travel on the road, and not so high wages in a low-margin business that delivers great value to the consumer. Yet employee morale is high. “Most people try to motivate through money or power; what I do is motivate through honesty,” Roy says. It’s almost like martial arts. It takes a lot of unlearning for a chef to learn the Kogi method, but Roy’s staff have acclimated to it: One does not bring preconceived notions to the dojo; instead one absorbs what the sensei has to offer. With very low turnover in his operation, it might seem surprising that he admittedly “hasn’t much to offer but knowledge.” Then again, with an apt instructor at the helm, it’s an easy task to hold the attention of the students in dojo. In this inspiring talk, Roy will demonstrate ways anyone in a leadership position can inspire staff –and he’ll touch on his amazing volunteer work teaching brightest young people in the deepest urban cores of Los Angeles to become food entrepreneurs in their own right.

FAQs on booking Roy Choi

  • How to book Roy Choi?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Roy Choi for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Roy Choi, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Roy Choi or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Roy Choi?

    Booking fees for Roy Choi, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Roy Choi, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Roy Choi?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Roy Choi for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Roy Choi for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Roy Choi or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Roy Choi or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Roy Choi is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Roy Choi for your event is $30,000 - $50,000. Roy Choi generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Michelle Kwan, Eddie Huang, David Chang, Kimiko Glenn and Constance Wu. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Roy Choi for an upcoming event.

Roy Choi Speaker Videos

  • Roy Choi, the mastermind behind the Korean taco trucks Kogi ...
    May 31, 2017 ... Roy Choi, the mastermind behind the Korean taco trucks Kogi, wants his food to make a tangible difference. With his most recent endeavor ...
    Roy Choi & Daniel Patterson Announce Locol at MAD4
    Daniel Patterson of Coi & Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ announce loco'l at MAD4, their affordable + wholesome fast food concept aimed at breaking the chain of corporate food in America's low income...
  • Google Glass Explorer Story: Roy Choi
    Meet Roy Choi. He's a Glass Explorer, co-founder of Kogi BBQ, and the world famous chef behind the gourmet food truck movement.
    Roy Choi: "LA Son" | Food at Google
    Roy Choi visited GoogleLA to talk about his book "LA Son". This talk took place on December 4, 2013.
  • A conversation with Roy Choi - Full
    Roy Choi, founder of KogiBBQ and 2010 "Food and Wine" Chef of the Year, is a fascinating story about Los Angeles, Korean-Americans, and food.

Roy Choi Speaking Topics

  • The Twitter Taco and the Digital Handshake: Leveraging Social Media for Authentic Success

    When Roy Choi launched his food truck Kogi BBQ, he and his partners had no money for marketing or advertising. Because of the mobile nature of the restaurant as the truck roamed the city, Kogi’s whole enterprise was dependent on customers being able to find the truck. So his team turned to the powerful reach of social media. Sending tweets of the truck’s location allowed customers to descend on it en masse, creating a party atmosphere that Roy felt was key to the experience. Kogi grossed more than $2 million its first year on the street and has built a Twitter following of more than 100,000, leading Newsweek to call it “America’s first viral restaurant.” In this talk based on Kogi’s rise to success, Roy will take audiences through their approach to the strategic nature of social media – how to translate social reach into customers who are loyal and engaged in an ongoing conversation, and through that into dollars and profit. Roy debunks the social media mystique, explaining that when you look closer, modern marketing in many ways is bringing back the methods of the past, where you might have reached out to each customer with a handshake. Today, that “handshake” can be digital. “You need to inhabit the digital space,” says Roy Choi. “We didn’t just create it as a tool – we lived and breathed it. You can almost smell the food on Twitter, someone back there in the kitchen bringing the thing to life.”

  • Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef: An Evening with Roy Choi

    “Come with me and ride shotgun, because I’m driving,” writes Roy Choi. “It’s a long ride but I’ve got a full tank.” How did this amazing culinary shape shifter evolve? How does he come up with these new yet ancient-rooted flavors? In this entertaining talk, Roy Choi, whose book Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef will be published in the fall of 2013 by Anthony Bourdain Books at Ecco Press, reveals that his own experience is the secret ingredient in his recipes. Growing up, he moved from one part of the city to another, and later went from the renowned Le Bernardin to cooking at a country club for retirees in the California desert to creating a street food truck social revolution. Evolution tells us that adaptation is crucial to survival, and Roy’s success is a result of an awakening about the disconnection between the obsessive celebrity food culture and those getting by with two or three jobs. Realizing that he could feed 10,000 hungry people each day with delicious real food they had never experienced was an epiphany, on many levels. By observing and listening to the community, then modifying his menu accordingly, he tapped into a whole new marketplace and delivered results that were profitable because they were true to the palate – and budgets – of Angelenos. Says Roy, “I want to break down the difference between being a chef and actually feeding people.”

  • Leadership on a Shoestring: Caring as a Concept

    “Call me Papi.” There are no rules on the street beyond moral codes, and by respecting these, Roy Choi was able to build an archetype and structure of leadership. He doesn’t have much to offer employees beyond hard work, miles of travel on the road, and not so high wages in a low-margin business that delivers great value to the consumer. Yet employee morale is high. “Most people try to motivate through money or power; what I do is motivate through honesty,” Roy says. It’s almost like martial arts. It takes a lot of unlearning for a chef to learn the Kogi method, but Roy’s staff have acclimated to it: One does not bring preconceived notions to the dojo; instead one absorbs what the sensei has to offer. With very low turnover in his operation, it might seem surprising that he admittedly “hasn’t much to offer but knowledge.” Then again, with an apt instructor at the helm, it’s an easy task to hold the attention of the students in dojo. In this inspiring talk, Roy will demonstrate ways anyone in a leadership position can inspire staff –and he’ll touch on his amazing volunteer work teaching brightest young people in the deepest urban cores of Los Angeles to become food entrepreneurs in their own right.

Roy Choi News

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Speakers Similar to Roy Choi

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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