The king of Kogi has been tapped by the dark lords of mystery meat to be the new spokes-chef for the canned ham product. On March 12, Choi will participate in the company’s online chat room to offer recipes and tips on what the heck to do with that remaining can of pink slime-like product aging slower than Dorian Gray in the back of your cupboard. In addition, he’ll be the face of a new marketing roll-out on the interwebs. According to a press release, Choi is a longtime SPAM abuser who grew up on the stuff, even taking Jonathan Gold for SPAM musubi for a great Food & Wine story on Hawaiian roadside cuisine in December. Of course, the strategic partnership between Choi and Hormel, makers of the chef’s salty, aspic-glazed Madeline, is drawing some questions.
The L.A. Times begins its own coverage of this alliance by writing, "Call it jumping the shark…"
Of course, in all fairness to the chef, Choi’s fascination with Hawaiian culture and its food lead to the same furikake kettle corn that S. Irene Virbila couldn’t stop munching on and The L.A. Weekly slipped into its "100 Favorite Dishes."
So regardless of the widespread squeamishness over the product or accusations of the chef selling out, who’s to say the new partnership might not be for the benefit of L.A.’s appetite in the end? Besides, SPAM has gotten a pretty good remix in the hands of some of Choi’s previous collaborators already.