The third installment in the Food Heroes series presents Roy Choi and the Los Angeles street-food scene.
Breezy text and lively illustrations invite young readers and cooks into the world of the food revolution happening across the country. Locally sourced fresh produce and good cooking are what chef Roy Choi is all about. A formally trained chef who has worked in fancy restaurants, he decided to be a “street cook” serving “outsiders, low-riders, kids, teens, shufflers, and skateboarders.” Drawing on his South Korean roots and the many cultures of Los Angeles (where he was raised), Choi cooks the way his mother did, “the Korean way—by hand—briny and tangy kimchi, spicy bibimbap, scallion pancakes studded with oysters.” Early on, when Roy’s Kogi BBQ Truck made its rounds with its Mexican-Korean fusion, people said, “Korean guys can’t do tacos”—but Kogi tacos made Roy famous, and the double-page spread of an LA map with pinpointed locations of the trucks testifies to that. Though bordering on in-your-face at times, Man One’s graffiti-art style is the perfect complement to Choi’s cooking and the lively LA street scene. Readers who get hooked will want to read Choi’s L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food (2013).
A vibrant, life-affirming tribute to a chef and his city. (authors’ notes, illustrator’s note, bibliography, resources, biographies) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)