It was nice to catching up with Kelly Choi, since our last interview with her in July 2009.
Kelly Choi is a die-hard foodie and the host of Bravo’s hit series, TOP CHEF MASTERS, one of the highest rated programs on the network, and highest rated show for that time slot in Bravo TV history, beating Project Runway and the original Top Chef. TOP CHEF MASTERS is back for season two, and airs Wednesday nights at 10 pm on Bravo.
As an acclaimed food journalist, producer, creator and host of NYC’s restaurant show EAT OUT NY, Kelly won a New York Emmy from the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for On Camera Talent: Program Host/ Moderator. Kelly’s work as host of the internationally syndicated SECRETS OF NEW YORK, a weekly show that reveals mysteries and little-known facts about the five boroughs, also brought multiple Emmy wins.
Having an extensive background with food, Kelly has turned her love for food into a career. This love not only noted through TOP CHEF MASTERS and EAT OUT NY, but also as a judge on IRON CHEF AMERICA and MASTER CHEF in Puerto Rico. Kelly also hosted the USA finals of Bocuse d’OR, a prestigious culinary competition held in Lyon, France every two years. Furthermore, Kelly has appeared in a variety of specials and programs on NYC TV, including hosting the James Beard Awards, along with various food and fashion-driven programs.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Kelly is a former model, and won the Eite Modeling Agency’s “Look of the Year” contest, and has been voted as “One of the Sexiest New Yorkers” by the New York Post, and OK! Magazines’ “50 Sexy Singles.” Kelly’s 5’10” height landed her as a model with Ford Models. Kelly worked as a VJ for MTV Korea, as well as an entertainment reporter on the TV Guide Channel.
Kelly has a Master’s from Columbia University in New York. A widely recognized star of NYC TV, Kelly supports, among many charities, diabetes research and an Alliance for a Healthier Generation, as well as City Harvest.
ASIANCE: What have you been doing since the last season ended?
Kelly: I create and host and produce a restaurant show in New York NYC TV. After I finish the Bravo show, I just go back to my daily 9-5, NYC TV. I created a restaurant show. I pick all the restaurants that I feature. It’s pretty easy dealing with masterful chefs.
I won an Emmy! It’s a baby of mine, from conception all the way through. It’s great to get recognition from you colleagues.
ASIANCE: Is there a big difference between this season’s Top Chef Masters and last season’s?
Kelly: We have a couple more shows of the “champions” round before we have fixed preliminary and then we have “champions”, which this time is four. It’s great because it gives viewers more time to get to know the Masters who are in the finals. What made it harder for me was when you do say good bye to a chef, in the championship round in particular, now you are going on this journey. I miss one each time. It’s family! It’s heartbreaking on some levels to say good bye and this time we had two more weeks of getting to know them. It made it a little bit harder. But that was a great change for the viewer, to get to know the Master Chefs.
This time I was able to forget that the cameras existed. The first time I stepped on set, I was like, “Wow! It’s so Hollywood!”
I’m just really staying in the moment and hopefully that will show as well.
ASIANCE: Do you have a current favorite dish?
Kelly: Spring time is here in New York. I love seasonal things. I like Aldea in New York. I love squid ink. I always think that makes a creamy, yummy risotto dish. I love creamy, rich, textures.
I love Great spring vegetables.
ASIANCE: If you had to date any celebrity chef, who would it be?
Kelly: I totally wouldn’t because I don’t mix business with pleasure. If I had to? (laughs)hmmmm
Ferrán Adrià. He’s a genius and I want to know what makes him tick. Plus I’m obsessed with Spanish men and he can teach me Spanish! (laughs)
ASIANCE: If you could spend the day with any celebrity chef, who would it be?
Kelly: Susan Feniger. She has such an amazing energy level and although I never hung out with her, I would LOVE to hang out with her. Spend the day with her making lemon inspired dishes.