Roy Choi & Anthony Bourdain last night

Disclaimer: This is not a cooking adventure from Lucky Peach! It’s a selfish entry about last night. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a ticket to the discussion “Guts and Glory, and evening with Anthony Bourdain and Roy Choi” over at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Just wanted to share a few cool things they talked about – I think it’s safe to say these guys are part of the Lucky Peach extended family, so this isn’t too out of sorts to do here.


I know you know who Tony is (I think that’s what the cool kids call him), but in case you’re not familiar with Roy, he is a So Cal native who created the Kogi truck and the fucking DELICIOUS Korean-Mexican food you can find out there on the road or in his restaurant Chego. He’s also on the team over at A-Frame and Sunny Spot and they serve Kogi BBQ over at the Alibi Room. He has a new book coming out soon called  L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food. 


The guys engaged in a Q & A with each other and then opened it up to the audience, who did not completely embarrass themselves (omg, go to one film Q&A in this town and you’ll know what I mean). Tony shared Vietnam is his #1 place to visit and eat in the world, Roy shared if he was on a desert island the three chefs he’d want there would be Eric Ripert (I think he said his name, but I could be wrong, I feel like he said Chef Eric and I’m guessing it’s this one – if I’m dead wrong, correct me internet!), Dave Chang, and Mario Batali. In fact, since my last post was a Mario recipe from Lucky Peach, I just want to add that they both LOVE Mario. Tony said the best restaurant in L.A. hands down is Mozza. So there, men loving men, which is hot.

Roy also asked Tony if he would feed the homeless if they came in with cash dolla bills to pay for their meal – and Tony straight up said he wouldn’t serve them. I was surprised by his answer, and then not surprised, because Tony is a New Yorker and no matter what people say, they are way more fucking stuck up than Angelenos. One thing I loved was that Roy brought up how much extra food there is leftover from the rich foodie festival events that happen during the year and how it just goes in the trash, pointing out that all that food could be given to the homeless in the area. He suggested they show up after the event or have a separate area where this scrap food be collected and then handed out to the people who really need it. I fucking love that he even went there and in front of all the people at the Pantages (that was an $80 ticket I bought back when I had a paying job). Another thing that came up was the use of the phrase ‘ethnic food’ and how it can be pretty fucking derogatory. 

Tony went through a therapy session of sorts when asked about both the foie gras ban in California and Paula Dean – both very sensitive subjects for him. Let me just say, he feels the foie gras ban is total bullshit because the whole point of the way foie gras is harvested (or collected if you prefer that phrase) is done in such a way that the animal is not being sacrificed to the Aztec Gods (brutally tortured) to actually get the fantastic taste of foie gras, so the ban is a total PETA scam. As for Paula Dean, I totally get it, that poor woman really needed to out her diabetes sooner and in fact, quit teaching Americans how to cook to get it themselves. By the way, Tony in fact does like Rachel Ray and it sounds like they’re actually friends.

Wow, lots of fucking food gossip today. I’m hungry. I swear I’m gonna track down the Kogi truck for lunch!

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