Ears on the Odyssey

Review: Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix

Chef Roy Choi  in graffiti style


Live Oak Media’s production of Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix captures the energy and passion of Los Angeles superstar Chef Roy Choi. Roy Choi’s food philosophy is a joyous fusion of the LA immigrant community and so too is this audio.

The book’s illustrator,  LA native and graffiti pioneer Man One narrates with a warmth and personality that highlight the book’s theme of food’s soul healing properties. Co writers June Jo Lee and Jacqueline Briggs Martin also narrate their author notes.

This is truly a layered listen with lots of different beats mixed with the sounds of the LA street and kitchens. Each page features a medley of music such as the sounds of hip hop, East Asian instruments, and classic rock songs (pretty sure I heard a clip that sounds like the introduction from Wing’s Band on the Run. The original Band on the Run is mashup too – of a ballad, funky rock, and country sounds!) LA food street food life comes alive with chopping knives, school children shouting, cell phones ringing and cars whizzing by.

One of the hallmarks of a well done picture book is how well the words in the illustrations are communicated. This audio takes care to narrate the text in Korean on the illustrated buildings and does a cool effect that mimics a GPS voice when running down LA neighborhoods. Recipes and definitions (which are pronounced by Korean speaker June Jo Lee) are sprinkled through the read too also feature a recurring musical sound that help orient listeners.

There is so many rich audio moments to savor in this listen. Chef Roy Choi’s food is a love letter to LA and this audio does that ethos justice!

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee, read by Man One, 14 minutes 12 seconds, Live Oak Media, 2018.

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