By Vivian Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Nobody wants to admit it, but summer is over. With the yellow school buses rolling in, it’s a sure sign that fall is right around the corner. But who said you still can’t savor the remnants of August? Let’s take a second to remember end-of-summer highlights with some of our favorite Asian Americans.
Roy Choi’s empire dominates the food scene
If anyone’s been having an awesome month, it’s chef, businessman, and restaurateur Roy Choi who’s been landing one business deal after another, as his empire readies itself for the national stage. Choi first landed in the pop culture conscience after he launched his famed Korean taco truck Kogi in Los Angeles. Choi is often credited with popularizing the trendy food truck culture in urban cities.
News first broke that Choi will be getting his own television show on CNN. Media sources report that the show’s title is “Street Food” and that Choi has been seen filming in Los Angeles. For Choi, who is known as a protégé of the legendary chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain, who also has a CNN show, this partnership with the news network is a natural move for him.
Choi also recently opened Commissary, a greenhouse-cum-restaurant in Los Angeles, with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Although it isn’t positioned as a vegetarian joint, it emphasizes and honors farm-to-table food and the people that help bring that food to the table.
The Choi’s highlights don’t stop there. In addition to his Commissary venture, Choi continues to push the healthy food movement with a new fast food chain concept aimed at providing access to nourishing, healthy food to low-income communities. The new fast food concept will be called “loco’l,” and will face-off with the likes of Burger King and McDonald’s by offering healthy food options at reasonable prices. Menu options include wholesome versions of fast food favorites like burgers, but will also include healthy “cross-cultural” choices like falafel and tacos. Its first location will open in San Francisco in 2015 with other stores to follow.
You cannot stop this man. If anything — or anyone — was hot this August, it was definitely Choi. I don’t know what I’m looking forward to more — grubbing on Choi’s healthy fast food or catching his new show on CNN.
Latest in television news
During this year’s Emmys, director Cary Fukunaga won the Emmy for Outstanding Director for a Drama Series for his work on HBO’s “True Detective.” For those who have not seen the show, “True Detective” is an impressive feat of television — it’s an intensive and immersive drama experience that plays out like a movie, and Fukunaga’s win is well deserved.Meanwhile, actor Daniel Dae Kim announced a partnership with CBS to produce an adaptation of the popular South Korean medical drama “Good Doctor.” The show follows a doctor with Asperger’s, who uses his mental gifts to solve cases at a hospital. Kim, who stars on the CBS police-procedural drama “Hawaii Five-0,” has a development deal with CBS Television Studios to produce cool new shows for network and cable. His production for the “Good Doctor” falls under this deal. History has proven that medical and South Korean dramas are super addictive hits, so the outlook seems promising for Kim’s adaptation.
Tragedy strikes the K-Pop world
K-Pop fans are in mourning after the untimely deaths of Go Eun-bi and Kwon Ri-sae, two popular Korean pop stars. Go and Kwon, who belonged to the popular Korean girl group Ladies’ Code, were known by their stage names EunB and RiSe, respectively.
Although Ladies’ Code has only been around for a year, the group quickly found a large fan base among K-Pop supporters and their fame has skyrocketed in recent months.
On Sept. 3, Ladies’ Code was involved in a tragic car accident near Seoul. An ill-fated combination of a dislodged car wheel and rainy roads resulted in the group’s van hitting a guardrail. The accident killed Go and eventually Kwon.
The girl group’s label released the following statement in response to Go’s death, “Our staff is also unable to recover from the shock and are in great sorrow right now. We want to apologize to all the fans and everyone who have received much shock, and we ask for everyone to pray for the quick recovery of the members.” At the time of this press release, Kwon was still in critical condition. She passed away four days after the crash.
Go and Kwon were only 22 and 23 years old, respectively. It’s a tragic story of two young, talented women who were taken away too soon. Rest in peace. (end)
Vivian Nguyen can be reached at email@example.com.