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Roy Choi Net Worth | Wife

Roy Choi Net Worth – $3 million

What is Roy Choi’s net worth? Who is Roy Choi’s wife?


Roy Choi, nicknamed “Papi” and “El Guapo,” is a Korean food truck pioneer who is best known as the founder of the taco truck Kogi, a Korean fusion taco truck that has hooked Korean barbeque-loving Angelenos.

Choi has also been the featured chef at high-profile venues such as Embassy Suites and the Beverly Hilton.

Fellow chef Anthony Bourdain said:

“Roy Choi first changed the world when he elevated the food-truck concept from “roach coach” to highly sought-after, ultra-hot-yet-democratic rolling restaurant.”


He was born in South Korea in 1970. He moved to LA with his parents when he was 2 years old.

When he was young, his parents owned a Korean restaurant named ”Silver Garden” in Anaheim, California, for three years. 

He said about his childhood:

”I was a latchkey kid, from 4 or 5 years old.”

Choi went on to say:

roy choi net worth

Roy Choi attends the Audi pre-Emmy celebration at Sunset Tower in Hollywood – @Getty

”My parents worked and sold and hustled; they were gone from the morning, and I pretty much took care of myself.”

Roy grew up in LA and struggled with drug addiction as a teenager. Choi was addicted to crack for a short time, marijuana and gambling, which lasted about 3 years.

During an interview, he declared:

”Gambling hit me at like 22, 21.”

Choi continued:

”And it was three years of the darkest time of my life, but it started out just all fireworks and pom-poms, you know?”

He graduated with honors from USC with a BA in Cinema from the School of Cinematic Arts.

At 24, confused about his life, Roy became very interested in Emeril Lagasse’s “Essence of Emeril” show. Emeril Lagasse is an American cookbook author, television personality, restaurateur, celebrity chef, and National Best Recipe award winner for his ‘Turkey and Hot Sausage Chili’ recipe.

“Essence of Emeril” show inspired Choi to enroll in culinary school. He said:

“Emeril saved my life.”

In 2001, Choi started working for Hilton Hotels. In 2007, Roy became chef de cuisine at the Beverly Hilton.

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Chef Roy Choi arrives at 6th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade at UCLA – @Getty

In 2008, in partnership with Caroline and Mark Manguera, Roy launched Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go. With Kogi BBQ, Roy is serving top-quality food at a great price.

In 2010, Food and Wine named him Best New Chef.

In 2011 and 2016, Time magazine included Roy in their 100 list with the most influential people in the world.

In 2019, he hosted and produced a TV series called – ”Broken Bread” in LA.


Chef Roy Choi is married to Caroline Shin-Manguera.


Roy has a daughter named Kaelyn.


is roy choi married

Roy Choi is seen attending the 8th Annual Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament – @Getty

On November 5, 2013, he published a book titled – ”L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food.” The book was co-written with Natasha Phan and Tien Nguyen.

In this book, he wrote more than 85 recipes that meld the overlapping flavors and traditions of L.A. – including kimchi, homemade chorizo, tempura potato pancakes, and Korean fried chicken.

”L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food” also explains the culture of LA and how it has changed since the 1970s.

His book was a New York Times Bestseller in 2013.

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chef roy choi net worth

Chef Roy Choi, actor Emjay Anthony and filmmaker/actor Jon Favreau – @Getty

”You can be upside down in your life or just on the road to nowhere and completely find yourself. It happened to me.”

“I’m looking for ways to really intensify vegetables, making them really simple with lots of flavor, like Korean side dishes.”

“Instead of forcing your customer to come to your restaurant, why not bring the restaurant to them?”

”I wasn’t always the most professional looking/acting dude in the world, so I’d go into restaurants, get treated not that well, kind of like crap.”

“There’s the bad-boy image, but they’re not listening to what I’m saying all the way through. I cross worlds, and I don’t pass judgment on anyone.”

”Throughout high school, I worked as a busboy, dishwasher, teppanyaki grill cleaner, salad bar assembler, and breakdown guy.”

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Roy Choi attends Netflix Presents Def Comedy – @Getty

His career inspired the 2014 Jon Favreau-directed film titled – ”Chef,” on which Roy was also a technical adviser. Jon Favreau is an American actor and director who played Pete Becker in the series Friends.

Moreover, Jon had a role as an extra in the 1992 feature Hoffa. Favreau made his directorial debut with the 2001 feature Made. His other acting credits include I Love You, Man, The Break-Up, and Very Bad Things. Jon Favreau rose to fame with his lead role alongside Vince Vaughn in the film Swingers (1996), which he co-produced and wrote.

His favorite childhood memory is making dumplings at the age of 8 at his family’s own restaurant.

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what is the net worth of Roy Choi


Roy Choi – Net Worth

So, how much is Roy Choi worth? Choi made most of his wealth from managing his restaurants. Therefore, Korean American chef Roy Choi has an estimated net worth of $3 million.

Roy currently runs several LA-area restaurants, including:

  • Pot at the Line Hotel – located in Koreatown;
  • A-Frame – built in a former IHOP;
  • Sunny Spot;
  • Chego.

In addition, he is a co-founder of the food truck movement Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go, which grossed about $2 million in 2009, with a check average of $13. In 2019, Kogi is generating more than $850 million in revenue per year.

In addition, he consulted on the film “Chef” and developed The Chef Show with actor-director Jon Favreau. Choi also maintains a blog on which he posts amazing recipes.

In 2015, Roy and Daniel Patterson opened a restaurant called LocoL in Watts, LA. He also worked for Hilton Hotels, and published a book in 2013.

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