“You’re not judging if something is acceptable or not acceptable, you’re just trying to survive,” says Roy Choi (Kogi Korean Taco mastermind) about his parents: Korean immigrants trying to get by. “We did videotape stores, liquor stores, gas stations… for us, as Asians, we got into a segment of society that a lot of people want to throw a blanket over. ”

But, there was always a huge buffet of fresh home cooked food, he says. Fish from the piers, organic produce from up the coast.   And his friends’ homes were the same. “I grew up with a lot of Latinos… you walk into every home you have frijoles, warm ready to go.” For the Korean master chef, home cooking “has always been kind  of a curse in my life, a beautiful curse.”

As part of KCRW’s partnership with StoryCorps, Choi talks with his friend, Jude Angelini about growing up Korean-American in Los Angeles. Try to listen without getting too hungry:
Roy Choi for StoryCorps by KCRW

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