Could this be the end of Kogi?
In a blog post that was part moody diatribe, part melancholy meditation, famed Korean-American chef Roy Choi confessed he's been "going through some deep shit this week" over the decision to leave cooking.
Choi, who exploded on the Los Angeles street food scene in 2008 with his Korean barbecue tacos and savvy social media marketing, said that cooking no longer held any meaning for him. He also expressed disappointment at business partners' emphasis on profits, asking, "Profitability when our whole existence is at stake? Fuck you."
Following up on an entry from a week ago, in which he shared that he's been trying to eat a vegetable-based diet because "Animals be talking to me, yo," Choi also shared that he stopped eating meat this week, vowing to no longer eat it for his own consumption.
Instead, because his current gig demands it, Choi will only "taste, for now."
Published one day after the 20th anniversary of the LA riots, Choi's blog post also took issue with people who talked and reminisced about the 1992 riots without giving a thought to South LA children in 2012. "Hey adults, focus on what is burning down now," wrote Choi.
Right now Choi sits atop a local empire of restaurants that include the Kogi taco trucks, A-Frame, Chego, Sunny Spot and the Alibi Room. He's also set to publish his first book, a memoir, called Spaghetti Junction: Riding Shotgun With an L.A. Chef, through Anthony Bourdain's book line.
Is this the end of Chef Roy Choi as we know him? Most assuredly, yes. As for the end of Kogi, we're crossing our fingers and praying it ain't so.
Since Kogi's arrival, hundreds of other haute food trucks have come running, which means street food-loving Angelenos now have a lot to choose from. Still, sometimes nothing can replace the memory of a first love. If Choi's Kogi trucks ever leave Los Angeles, this is what we'll be missing: fun, friends and food.
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