I had the immense privilege and pleasure of interviewing Roy Choi '98 of Kogi BBQ last week.
He is a force to be reckoned with because his message has real bones to it. He advocates for eradication of food deserts, minimizing the poisonous "elitist" attitude that can permeate fine dining, second chances, and good food. Just straight up food that doesn't permanently damage our environment, does nourish our body, and does taste good.
So why does his message have bones? Because he is actually doing something about the areas of our world that he believes need to change. His words would not be enough, but his actions just might be.
He just released a book last week, and I get the feeling there is a piece of his soul between those pages. From the beginning, his BBQ truck has been met with national and international acclaim but he still fought the recognition.
When I asked him why he doesn't embrace the fame and popularity, he was quiet and reflective. I suggested altruism. He laughed. "I think its because the message is more important to me than myself." He went on to explain how some people will seek recognition or attention because they want themselves, their person, to be noticed. He's never wanted that. What does he want people to know and remember and care about?