Roy Choi on Reddit: Street Food, Loco'l, and Emeril Lagasse

The LA son talks about cooking to impress girls, his plans for Loco'l the gospel of Emeril Lagasse, and more
Roy Choi on Reddit: Street Food, Loco'l, and Emeril Lagasse

Twitter/Roy Choi

Roy Choi on Reddit: Street Food, Loco'l, and Emeril Lagasse

Roy Choi returns to Reddit to talk about his fast-casual concept Loco’l, his CNN show Street Food with Roy Choi, “the ultimate cake of ultimate stoner cakes,” and more. Here are the top 10 answers from his AMA (minimally edited for clarity).

This article and the AMA contain adult subject material, so use your discretion.

I wonder — do you ever cook something up and then not want to eat it? It's pretty common (for everyone who cooks for themselves), yeah?

Of course. I f***** up a lot of things trying to impress girls back in culinary school. I was like yo, eat this even though I wouldn't. Haha.

Hello Roy! Thanks so much for doing this AMA. I’ve read that Emeril was an inspiration to getting you into cooking. Emeril is Portuguese and so is my husband. Can you throw out a couple of Asian/Portuguese fusions you think might work? Kale, cod and kimchi?

Just think Hawaii. i think all the food of Hawaii is a Portuguese fusion in some sorts. Malasadas with lilikoi powder anyone?!

I think your Korean tacos solidified my love for tacos and have made me realize that LA has its own culture of tacos worth exploring. Of the traditional and creative types of tacos, what are your favorite spots in LA?

PS. The drunk version of me thanks you immensely for all the burritos and tacos I've had from Kogi.

My undrunk self accepts your thanks on behalf of Kogi. Traditional depends on which neighborhood you are in; some are: Mariscos, Jalisco, Leo's, Ariza, and Taco Zone.

Were you/are you shy at all when it comes to being on camera?

Of course, it's always nerve racking but I found a strength in the streets and stopped being self-conscious.

What is your favorite dish to make?

I still love cooking the Kogi taco because the way it affects everyone who eats it inspires me to believe in the good things in life even amidst the bad sometimes.

Chocolate Tres Leches looks like the most amazing thing ever! Any chance on the recipe? You have a book?

Dude, the tres leches is the stoner ultimate cake of ultimate stoner cakes. We once cooked them with 1/2 ounce of weed each and tripped for days. I have a book called LA Son but no tres leches, sorry.

Hi Roy! Thanks for doing this AMA. Last July, I picked up an issue of Lucky Peach magazine which featured your trip to Honolulu with Christina Tosi. I was depressed for quite some time and had very little interest in anything, but after reading the editorial, I decided to book a trip to Hawaii. Going to Hawaii was life changing and perhaps one of the best things I did for myself, and it started with your feature in the magazine so much thanks!

My question is, what are the top 5 favourite places you look forward to eating each time you're in Honolulu?

Oh man, that is such a wonderful story. I’m touched and I hope you are out of depression now. I have dealt with it deeply before too and it's a m****f****, I know. I love Side Street Inn, Helena's BBQ, Leonard's, Rainbow Drive-In, and Young's Fish Market.

I saw Chef multiple times and I have to say, that was the hungriest I've felt after watching any movie ever! You have done such a brilliant job at making the food look so appetizing and appealing. Kudos for that.

So, as an expert in the field, what is the key to making food look so appetizing?

I think it was a collection of talented individuals with a collective goal. We had the best camera people, the best stylists, the best lighting and props, the best director, etc. then what I did was just cook food from the soul and Jon allowed it to make it past the cutting room floor.

It was a team effort on Chef, but my advice is, cook with deliciousness in mind and focus on color and composition.

Roy! What is your favorite burrito in LA?

I used to like Chabelita on Western, but right now I gotta go with my own. Kogi por vida. Burrito life.

Do you know any other ways to make good ramen noodles besides hot sauce or an egg? I'm broke as hell at school, and I'm experimenting with my microwave.

American cheese, my friend. Also, use salted nori sheets and canned meats. Do it up mang.

Choi goes on to talk about how he was “possessed” by the Kogi taco, the expansion of Loco’l into Detroit, and whether or not Wolf Blitzer is a cyborg. Of course, you should read the entire AMA on Reddit.

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.   

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