November 17, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin & June Jo Lee | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarMARTIN, Jacqueline Briggs & June Jo Lee. Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix. illus. by Man One. 32p. bibliog. further reading. photos. websites. Readers to Eaters. May 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780983661597.

NF-Martin-ChefRoyChoiandtheStreetFoodRemixGr 1-5 –Spicy, sweet, colorful, tangy—all the words that authors Martin and Lee use to describe Roy Choi’s Korean Mexican cuisine apply just as accurately to the book they’ve created along with L.A. street artist Man One. Choi’s parents came to the United States from Korea when he was two years old, opening a family restaurant in Los Angeles. After stints as an aimless street kid and a cooking school–trained chef, he combined his local knowledge, Korean heritage, and chef skills to open a taco truck, serving Korean barbecued short ribs wrapped in corn tortillas and loaded with Roy’s “awesome sauce.” One truck turned into many, which led to his first stationary restaurant, Locol, in the Watts neighborhood of L.A. Choi’s dedication to bringing wholesome, flavorful fast food to low-income neighborhoods is reflected in every word and stroke of this colorful book. The jaunty text has the rhythm of a griot’s story (“What? Chefs cook in kitchens, not on trucks!”) without sacrificing readability. Graffiti tags and airbrushed landscapes are the background for energetically warped cartoon illustrations. Lots of diagonals and brilliant colors capture the speed and flavor of street food served hot. One particularly effective sequence juxtaposes Choi in his chef’s whites garnishing a plate of lamb chops with Choi, wearing headphones and a backward baseball cap, scratching a record while mixing up “awesome sauce” on the following page. In both spreads, the focus is on his skilled hands, the concentration evident on his face. If you’re not hungry already, this savory array of sizzling words and art will make your mouth water. VERDICT This excellent picture book biography about an inventive chef doing good belongs on all shelves.–Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2017 issue.

Share
A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.

Comments

  1. Readers to Eaters has become a favorite, if not a staple of my school library diet. The release of Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix during May’s Asian Pacific American heritage month is perfectly timed. And having it ready to be served up again in September as back-to-school meets National Hispanic Heritage Month Sept 15 to Oct 15th. Thanks to Jacqueline Briggs and June Jo Lee and publisher Philip Lee for their efforts.

    • Janet Wong says:

      YES! I love this book–and so many of the Readers to Eaters titles (FARMER WILL ALLEN, A MOOSE BOOSH, etc.). Philip Lee was a multicultural books pioneer when he started Lee & Low decades ago, and his current focus on food justice and sustainability shows so much VISION!!

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*