Culture

How LA Chef Roy Choi Made His Hot Cheeto Restaurant Dreams Come True

For Los Angeles-based chef Roy Choi, Hot Cheetos aren’t just chips but a relic of his childhood he still loves today. He can still remembers his first bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. When the spicy snack first came out, he grabbed a bag from his local liquor store and instantly knew this was something special.

“I was hooked right away and I’ve been lovin’ the Puffs ever since.” Choi says.

That’s why it’s no surprise that Choi decided to team up with Cheetos to create the Flamin’ Hot Spot, a three-day pop-up restaurant in LA with dishes made with—you guessed it—Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Nearly 10,000 people were on the restaurant wait list and reservations were booked full in under an hour.

CREDIT: credit: Javier Rojas / mitú

The first Cheetos pop-up restaurant, The Spotted Cheetah, debuted in New York City last year, reservations sold out in minutes and the waitlist racked up thousands of names. The success of the event prompted a sequel in the the Flamin’ Hot Spot. Choi’s goal was to try to incorporate some of his restaurants’ most popular dishes like the Kogi burrito and Chego meatballs with Hot Cheetos.

Choi’s Cheetos mashups are your junk food dreams.

credit: Javier Rojas / mitú

“Some of the dishes are reinterpretations of dishes from [my restaurants] Kogi and Chego,” Choi said. “We made the Ooey-goey fries that came from Chego and instead of the fries we used Hot Cheeto puffs.”

He says they’ve tapped into the hottest food trend around – literally. Choi’s goal was to make the chips a core part of all the dishes. From pancakes made with Hot Cheeto batter to milkshakes with Cheeto dust on the rim.

“Everything about spiciness and challenges and everybody upping their game on things that is fairly new, and a lot of people have been using it, but they’re using it more as like a garnish. We tried to really look at it like, ‘How do we use it as the full ingredient?'” Choi explained.

From Hot Cheeto Fries to Hot Cheeto Milkshakes, it was everything a Cheeto fan could ask for.

CREDIT: credit: Javier Rojas / mitú

The menu had appetizers like Flamin’ Hot Elotes and Chipotle Hot Wings battered in Hot Cheetos that tasted just as good as they sound. If steak is your thing than the pop-up restaurant had you covered with the $32 Five-Alarm Cheetos Steak that was rib-eye steak with sprinkled Hot Cheeto seasoning salt on top. For desert, Choi created the “Hot” Chocolate Shake which was chocolate ice cream, raspberries and crushed Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Puffs on the rim.

There’s good news for people that didn’t get the chance to visit the restaurant as Choi said many of the menu items will live on as specials at his other restaurants.

“We already have such a huge fanbase with Kogi and Chego and I already know they love Hot Cheetos so I thought let me just make their late-night dreams come true,” Choi said. “That was the premise behind this all.”

The restaurant was fully decked out in Cheetos decor and style.

CREDIT: credit: Javier Rojas / mitú

“Everything about this restaurant from the artwork, the food and the menu is all because of the fans,” Choi said. “We wanted to create an experience like no other.”

The restaurant is a childhood dream come true for Choi who loves the spicy snack.

CREDIT: credit: Javier Rojas / mitú

Choi was raised in LA credits growing up in southern California played a big part in his cooking style because of the diversity. Many of his restaurants menu include Korean-Mexican food items that are inspired by LA’s Latino food culture.

“Everywhere I go in LA you’ll find someone that loves Hot Cheetos and they always ask me when am I gonna incorporate it into my menu, well here we are.” Choi said.

The Flamin’ Hot Spot is a dream come true for Choi and for all his past projects this one has a special place in his heart. “You know I’m from LA and this is what we eat.”


READ: Hot Cheetos Lovers Should Check Out These Delicious And Outrageous Recipes Using This Go-To Snack

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Nonprofit United We Dream Is Crowdsourcing Immigrant Recipes For A Fundraising Cookbook

Culture

Nonprofit United We Dream Is Crowdsourcing Immigrant Recipes For A Fundraising Cookbook

unitedwedream / Instagram

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, people have spent a lot of time in their kitchens cooking food to bring them comfort. One unique thing about the self-isolation is that people are having to figure out how to make things stretch or substitute some of your usual ingredients. United We Dream wants to make sure they can do something good with all of the recipes we have created.

United We Dream wants to use your recipes to create some good.

According to an Instagram post, United We Dream is putting together an undocumented cookbook. In the spirit of sharing recipes and cultural moments, United We Dream is asking for people to submit their recipes.

“At United We Dream we believe in the power of art and culture to change hearts and minds and June is the perfect time to tap into our cultural creativity,” reads the United We Dream website. “On Immigrant Heritage Month, we want to celebrate our community through a joyous art form that every household does: cooking!”

The money is going to be used to help the undocumented and immigrant communities.

Credit: unitedwedream / Instagram

According to Remezcla, 100 percent of profits from the book will go to the organization’s National UndocuFunds. United We Dream launched the National UndocuFund to deliver financial assistance to undocumented people struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is likely that the fund will need to do some extra lifting to help communities recovering from recent looting and rioting that has rocked the U.S. in recent days.

“We know that nothing brings people together quite like food,” reads the United We Dream website. “The dishes that immigrants create, no matter how simple or complex, allow people to experience cultures other than one’s own and all the joys and pleasures that come with it.”

The cookbook is already getting people excited.

Credit: unitedwedream / Instagram

There is something to be said about people getting creative in the kitchen during this pandemic. Outings are limited because we are all staying home to slow the spread. There are also people who are still not at work. That is why we have had to get creative to make our food last.

“Today, times are tough because of COVID-19, but many working-class and poor households are embracing their creativity to create meals that both sustain their households and bring a moment of peace and comfort,” reads the United We Dream website. “We want to create a cookbook that reflects our diverse community and inspires memories of joy, comfort and togetherness!”

United We Dream understands the power of food.

Food is a unifier. Everyone eats and food is one way to connect with your culture. It is also a wonderful way to share your culture with other people. Sharing your food and culture with people is a special way to let your friends into your life.

The organization is still taking recipe suggestions. If you want a chance to give more people a look into who you are and your culture through food, click here to share a recipe.

READ: Colorado Organization Raises Money To Offer Relief Checks To Undocumented People In The State

Prisoner Starts His Own Cooking Show On TikTok And, Like, How

Culture

Prisoner Starts His Own Cooking Show On TikTok And, Like, How

@blockboyjmomey / TikTok

Another day, another prisoner blowing up on TikTok. Jeron Combs, 31, is the latest TikTok prisoner sensation with his cooking show. You read that right. The man is creating foods in his prison cell and broadcasting it to the rest of the world via TikTok.

Jeron Combs, aka @blockboyjmomey on TikTok, is a cooking sensations.

Credit: @blockboyjmomey / TikTok

One of his most popular videos is the burrito that he was able to put together in his prison cell. The 31-year-old, who is in prison for first-degree murder and attempted murder, took his 1.3 million TikTok followers through a step-by-step guide to create the burritos.

We can’t be sure but it does seems like he cooks for all of those around him.

Credit: @blockboyjmomey / TikTok

We don’t know how many burritos he made but it is clear he is cooking for more than just he and his cellmate. Unless he and his cellmate are hungry enough to eat all of those burritos.

He has managed to use his metal bed frame to double as a griddle to cook the food.

Credit: @blockboyjmomey / TikTok

His bed frame is literally used to heat up his food and to make those burritos hot and fresh. Not going to lie, they look pretty delicious.

He even shows how he is able to heat up his bed frame to create the griddle: a hot plate.

Credit: @blockboyjmomey / TikTok

Genius, tbh. However, how was he able to get everything that he needed in order to create his griddle bed? Also, how did he set up a TikTok account and manage to post regularly? His burrito video has more than 4 million views alone.

For some, this is what the Internet is for.

Social media has a way of always outdoing itself with wild content. Like, this is not the first nor will it be the last prisoner to use TikTok or any other social media platform to flex. Who can forget the prisoner who posted to Instagram about the Popeye’s chicken sandwich?

For others, this is some wholesome content.

Sure, the video itself is pretty fine. However, do not forget that the man is in prison for murder. So, while the prison burrito might be a fun gimmick, it is still odd to celebrate.

A whole other group of people is just made their boy got exposed.

What do you think about the prison burrito video?

READ: The Internet Wants To Know How A Prisoner Got A Popeyes Sandwich And Posted It To His IG Story