Roy Choi admits he’s “been going through deep shit this week.” In a post on his Riding Shotgun blog, Choi sounds disillusioned by the B.S. surrounding him following a rapid ascent up the ladder of mega-success and worldwide fame, post-Kogi. Choi, who reportedly has been working with high school students in South L.A., starts by slamming the recent dissection of the L.A. Riots’$2 20th anniversary and urges in his prose, “Hey adults, focus on what is burning down now.” The forty-something chef goes on to claim he’s been thinking of ditching the world of cooking and scorns his repeated experiences in trying to create something “special,” only to have a bunch of crackers in suits (or so we imagine them) express nothing but concern over the “profitability” of his ideas.
Choi continues that he’s gone vegetarian recently, another reason why he may stop cooking altogether. While he pretty much makes sense up to that point, he also claims, “Animals be talking to me. They told me..stop. Stop, Roy. Please.” That’s not altogether troubling from a chef who claims Emeril Lagasse grabbed him from out of his television set to kickstart his career, but things get a little lysergically-enhanced from that point on.
The talented Southern Cali chef sounds a little bit lost now that the scene he created from his heart has become one giant commercial enterprise and asks, “What are we gonna do about our streets now that you adults have accepted street food?” before signing off with “I got Jah turning my purpose into one long dreadlock. One long beanstalk. Who is gonna go to the clouds? Who?”
Obviously, losing Choi from the restaurant scene would be a loss, and a premature one at that. Hopefully, the man is just going through one of those periods of transformation we all have to take on here and there in the face of job stress, corporate subservience, and artistic frustration; the same kind that often results in bigger, better things that serve to strengthen our communities and weaken the dark heart of Babylon.