February 7, 1976
Seoul, South Korea
Kelly Choi (born February 7, 1976) is a Korean-American, Emmy-nominated television personality on NYC Media, the official broadcast service of the City of New York. A former host of Bravo TV's Top Chef spin-off, Top Chef Masters, she has also been presenter of the documentary series Secrets of New York.
Born in Seoul, Young Choi was a preschooler when she immigrated to the U.S. with her family. Growing up in central Virginia, she Americanized her given name and, as Kelly Choi, received her bachelor's from the College of William & Mary and her master's in journalism from New York's Columbia University. During and following her studies, Choi, who stands 5'10" (1.78 meters), was a model with Ford Models, won the Elite Models Look of the Year and worked as a VJ for MTV Korea.
Choi made the transition to the New York area by hosting Freckles, a lifestyle program on the cable channel Plum TV, which is seen primarily in affluent vacation communities, in this case, the Hamptons in Long Island's Suffolk County. She entered the highly competitive New York media market after joining nyctv (now NYC Media), in 2004. Executive producers Arick Wierson and Trevor Scotland initially brought her to host the pilot episode for Secrets of New York. She subsequently went on to host three seasons of the series, nationally distributed by PBS, and developed Eat Out NY, another nyctv program in which, as the host/guide to the city's restaurants, she gained high visibility and popularity.
For a few months in 2006, as part of a unique content-sharing arrangement between nyctv and NBC's flagship station WNBC, Eat Out NY and Choi became popular fixtures of the Tri-State Region's noontime viewing. In 2007, she was invited as a guest judge on the Food Network's Iron Chef and selected to host the James Beard Awards, which are considered the "Oscars" of the food and restaurant industry.
- "Kelly Choi | TV Guide". TVGuide.com. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
- "49th Annual New York Emmy Awards" (PDF). The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New York Chapter. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- "51st Annual New York Emmy Awards" (PDF). The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New York Chapter. February 7, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- "52nd Annual New York Emmy Awards" (PDF). The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New York Chapter. February 12, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2009.