David Choi: chef and restaurateur of Seoul Taco

Meet David Choi, chef and restaurateur of Seoul Taco. David is the mastermind who turned a single food truck into a multi-million dollar taco empire. Seoul Tao, a Korean-Mexican fast casual restaurant is located at 1321 East 57th Street in Hyde Park, Chicago. David was born in St. Louis, MO.

“My College is now called Evangel University and my major was General Studies. I didn’t know what I wanted to really do. I guess it worked out.”

“I choose Hyde Park because it’s a great neighborhood with diversity. I love the mix of University Students and sense of community Hyde Park has. I want to be able to bring an affordable menu and be a part and hopefully a staple in any neighborhood we open a Seoul Taco in. I think Hyde Park supports small businesses and we are excited to be part of this community.”

On the issue on why he wanted to be a chef, David said, “Not necessarily did I think it would ever be a profession but in college I went to a small school, so our cafeteria was horrible. I had to learn how to cook. I really missed Korean food and learned from the culinary school of my Mom and Grandma. They really helped me learn Korean cuisine and it also helped that I worked in a lot of smaller restaurants ever since high school. So, the kitchen wasn’t all that unfamiliar.”

“My favorite junk food at home is Flaming Hot Cheetos, Shin Ramen, or Pizza. But everyone who knows me knows my guilty pleasure is McDonald’s.”

On the issue of who in the food industry that David most admire, David said, “Abe Conlon of Fat Rice and Won Kim of Kimskis do a fantastic job and are doing things that not many are doing really anywhere else.”

“My favorite foods to cook with, I love spicy foods so hot peppers, Kimchi, gochujjang are great.”

“I love baseball. I grew up in St. Louis as a Cardinals fan, so I undoubtedly have to say the Sox as they are in the AL and I can safely adopt them as my official AL team since I live here now. No Cubs ever.”

“What I love the most about my job is meeting new people every day. We have a motto that we don’t want to just serve great food, but we want to serve people. I wouldn’t have ever opened unless I wanted to meet new people every day.”

“My ‘Last Supper’ meal? Your ‘Death Row’ meal, as Anthony Bourdain puts it are probably a great Sushi Omakase with some Uni and O toro A5 wagyu. Or Mc Donald’s…haha.”

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