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.
Early life and career
Choi was born in 1976 in a poor South Korean village. She was the fifth of six siblings, who grew up in post-war Korea. She lost two of her siblings through hunger. At the age of 14, she moved to Seoul, where she started working in a factory by day. 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 degree from the College of William & Mary and her master's in journalism from Columbia University in Manhattan. 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 professional 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. In 2011, she was a host of Late Night Kung Fu, a weekly series that celebrates classic, English-dubbed kung fu films.
Choi has received three Emmy nominations from the New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
When Choi moved to Paris, she started working on her company Sushi Daily with Yamamoto-San. She then founded Japanese snacks and food brand Kelly Loves.
In 2010, Choi founded Asian-inspired food company KellyDeli. Currently, the company has six brands: Sushi Daily, Korma Kitchen, Bam’bu, Kelly Loves, BamTuk and TukTuk.
Due to Choi's child experience losing two siblings through hunger, KellyDeli started raising funds in 2020 to support Action Against Hunger, an international organization that fights child hunger and malnutrition. KellyDeli helped to save the lives of more than 10,000 children in India.
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- ^ "Without creates a cross-cultural brand identity for new Asian food line Kelly Loves". Creative Boom. July 17, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
- ^ "'Secrets of New York' host Kelly Choi likes digging deep into forgotten stories of the city". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
- ^ "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.
- ^ Meddings, Sabah. "What is holding would-be female billionaires back on the Rich List?". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
- ^ "Bored of cooking? Spice it up with these fun fusion recipes". The Independent. November 4, 2022. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
- ^ Foodepedia (January 9, 2023). "Veganuary: Asian inspired dishes to recreate at home -". Retrieved February 15, 2023.
- ^ Robertson2016-01-27T16:30:00+00:00, Carolyn. "Waitrose opens third in-store sushi counter". The Grocer. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
- ^ Glover, Ella (August 25, 2022). "Three Japanese-inspired summer mocktails to try this bank holiday". Metro. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
- ^ McCrum, Kirstie (October 17, 2022). "Earn £300 to eat Korean banquet in your own home". WalesOnline. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
- ^ "KellyDeli supports Action Against Hunger to save the lives of 10,000 children in India". Action Against Hunger. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
- Kelly Choi at IMDb
- 1976 births
- Living people
- People from Seoul
- People from Virginia
- People from New York City
- American female models
- College of William & Mary alumni
- South Korean emigrants to the United States
- South Korean female models
- South Korean women journalists
- American women journalists
- South Korean television personalities
- VJs (media personalities)
- American television journalists
- Participants in American reality television series
- Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumni