June 17, 2024
Esther Choi Age: Chef Bio, Husband, Career, Net worth & More

Esther Choi Age  

33 Years Old

Esther Choi, a prominent figure in the hospitality industry, hails from the United States and is renowned for her dual roles as a hotelier and chef. Fondly referred to as “Auntie,” Esther Choi was born in the vibrant decade of the 1990s, placing her at approximately 33 years of age. Each year, on December 17th, her birthday is joyously celebrated. Choi has recently captured the spotlight as a significant character in the Uncle Roger videos, garnering widespread attention and admiration. With her captivating presence and culinary prowess, audiences eagerly anticipate her future appearances, hoping to witness more of her engaging contributions.

Esther Choi Age

Esther Choi, known affectionately as “Auntie,” is a distinguished figure in the realm of hospitality and gastronomy, originating from the United States. Born during the dynamic era of the 1990s, she stands at approximately 33 years old, her youth intertwined with the pulse of modern culinary innovation. Annually, on the 17th of December, Choi commemorates her birthday, marking another year of her journey with zest and celebration. Her presence in the culinary scene has recently surged, notably through her involvement in the Uncle Roger videos, where her charm and expertise have captivated audiences worldwide. As her influence continues to grow, enthusiasts eagerly anticipate future encounters with this dynamic and talented individual.

Who Is Esther Choi?

 Who is Esther Choi?

Esther Choi stands as a distinguished figure in the culinary world, proudly representing American gastronomy as both a chef and restaurant proprietor. Renowned for her culinary prowess, Choi is the owner of the esteemed New York City eatery, Mokbar, nestled within the bustling confines of Chelsea Market. Since its inception in 2014, Mokbar has been celebrated for its offerings of traditional Korean soups and delectable dumplings, captivating the palates of food enthusiasts far and wide.

Choi’s culinary empire extends beyond Mokbar, as she has ventured into the realm of restaurant expansion with the establishment of three additional dining establishments. Among these ventures is the second installment of Mokbar, serving as a testament to Choi’s commitment to showcasing the rich flavors of Korean cuisine. Furthermore, Choi has introduced Gastropu, a culinary gem offering a fusion of innovative flavors and culinary techniques. Adding to her repertoire is Ms. Yoo, another culinary endeavor characterized by Choi’s distinctive flair and dedication to culinary excellence.

Through her diverse array of dining establishments, Esther Choi continues to leave an indelible mark on the culinary landscape, inviting patrons to embark on a culinary journey enriched with flavors, innovation, and unparalleled dining experiences.

Esther Choi Biography 

Esther Choi Biography 

Esther Choi, a renowned chef celebrated for her culinary prowess and deep connection to her Korean heritage, stands at the helm of Akbar and Akbar Brooklyn as their chef and owner, while also holding the role of chef and partner at Ms. Yoo. For Choi, cuisine transcends mere sustenance; it embodies the essence of a nation’s culture, a philosophy deeply ingrained in her grandmother’s traditional Korean cooking, which serves as a wellspring of inspiration.

However, despite her culinary expertise and fervent dedication, Choi faced a formidable setback in her journey when she narrowly missed victory against the Iron Chefs by a single point, resulting in the forfeiture of her Iron Legend title. This setback unfolded amidst the launch of the highly anticipated cooking series, “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend,” now available for streaming on Netflix.

In the thrilling finale of the inaugural season, Chairman Mark Dacascos presented Choi and her fellow contestants with a challenge of immense significance—to craft a dish capable of transforming their lives. Undaunted by the stakes, Choi, at the age of 36, presented a dazzling array of five seafood creations, pitting her culinary prowess against the Iron Chefs’ singular offerings. Despite her valiant effort, Choi’s score of 82 fell just shy of the 83 points awarded to the culinary titans, leaving the coveted Iron Legend title tantalizingly out of reach.

Nevertheless, Choi’s indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to her craft continue to resonate, serving as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring chefs and seasoned culinary veterans alike. As she navigates the highs and lows of her culinary journey, Choi remains a formidable force, driven by her passion for excellence and her unwavering dedication to showcasing the rich tapestry of Korean cuisine on the global stage.

Profile Summary

NameEsther Choi
Birth Date17 December 1990
Birth PlaceNew Jersey, USA
Age33 Years Old
HeightFeet & Inches: 5’7”
Centimeter: 170cm
Meter: 1.70m
WeightKilograms: 56kg
Pounds: 130Lbs
Net Worth$5 million
ProfessionChef and hotel owner
SiblingJennifer Choi
Marital StatusMarried
HusbandJerry Choi

Esther Choi’s Early Life

Esther Choi, aka Auntie, born on December 17, 1990, in New Jersey, USA, draws inspiration from her Korean heritage, especially her grandmother’s cooking. She’s a celebrated chef, owning Mokbar in NYC’s Chelsea Market since 2014, famed for authentic Korean soups and dumplings. Esther expands her culinary empire into hospitality, owning hotels alongside her restaurants. With a blend of tradition and innovation, Esther earns acclaim for her culinary prowess, overcoming challenges with passion and resilience, solidifying her status as a culinary trailblazer.

Where Was Esther Choi Born?

Esther’s roots trace back to New Jersey, where she entered the world and spent her formative years in the picturesque oceanside community of Egg Harbor. This coastal town served as the backdrop for Esther’s early childhood, providing a serene and idyllic environment for her to explore and grow. Against the backdrop of sandy beaches and rolling waves, Esther’s connection to nature and her surroundings blossomed, shaping her outlook and nurturing her sense of curiosity and adventure. As she ventured through the sun-drenched streets and sandy shores of Egg Harbor, Esther’s youthful spirit soaked in the essence of coastal living, laying the foundation for the journey that lay ahead.

Esther Choi Height & Weight

Esther Choi possesses an undeniable grace and charm, accentuated by her striking features and captivating presence. Standing at 5 feet 7 inches (1.7 meters) tall and weighing 56 kg (130 lbs), she exudes an aura of elegance and confidence. However, it is not merely Esther’s physical attributes that leave a lasting impression; her inner beauty radiates through her warm demeanor and serene disposition.

Esther Choi Education

Esther Choi Education

Esther Choi’s culinary journey commenced at a young age, as she embarked on a path of professional cooking education. Her passion for the culinary arts led her to enroll in classes at the renowned Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City, where she honed her skills under the guidance of seasoned chefs and culinary experts. This foundational training provided Esther with a solid framework upon which to build her culinary career.

However, it was not only formal education that shaped Esther’s culinary prowess. Drawing inspiration from her grandmother’s traditional Korean cooking, Esther immersed herself in the rich tapestry of flavors and techniques inherent to Korean cuisine. This familial influence served as a source of motivation and inspiration, fueling Esther’s ambition to carve out her path in the culinary world.

Building upon her foundation at ICE, Esther sought to further refine her craft through hands-on experience in some of New York City’s most prestigious kitchens. Venturing into the heart of the city’s culinary scene, she embarked on a journey of culinary exploration, working alongside esteemed chefs at renowned establishments such as Ilili and La Esquina. These invaluable experiences provided Esther with invaluable insights and expertise, allowing her to elevate her culinary skills to new heights.

Esther Choi Parents

Esther hails from New Jersey and grew up in Egg Harbor. Originally born to Korean parents, she has a strong connection to her Korean heritage. During her upbringing, her family relocated to Korea for three years, aiming to immerse their children in Korean culture. Throughout her culinary journey, Esther drew significant inspiration from her grandmother’s recipes, which became a cornerstone of her cooking style.

In her entrepreneurial endeavors, Esther teamed up with her sister, Jennifer Choi, who serves as both Mokbar’s controller and managing partner. Together, they’ve navigated the challenges and successes of their business venture. Not much information is publicly available about Esther’s parents, as she tends to keep her family life private.

Her brother, Dan Choi, is another important figure in her life, although details about him remain scarce. Esther proudly identifies with her Korean nationality, which undoubtedly influences her culinary creations and overall identity.

Her Siblings

Choi’s familial ties extend to her sister, Jennifer Choi, who plays a pivotal role in her business endeavors. Holding positions as both the controller and managing partner of Mokbar, Jennifer contributes her expertise and support to the venture. Their partnership underscores the importance of familial bonds in Choi’s professional journey, highlighting the synergy between family members in achieving shared goals and success.

Esther Choi Husband

Esther Choi Husband

Esther Choi’s romantic life is a topic she prefers to keep private, maintaining a low-key profile regarding her relationship with Jerry Choi, whom she holds dear. Their journey from dating for several years to marriage has been intentionally shielded from public scrutiny, with Esther opting to separate her personal life from her public persona. As a result, details about their wedding and their life together remain undisclosed to the media.

Throughout her career, Esther has remained steadfast in keeping her personal and professional spheres distinct. She has steered clear of dating scandals, affairs, or controversies, maintaining a focus on her culinary profession and work-related endeavors. This dedication to her craft underscores her commitment to excellence and ensures that her reputation remains untarnished by external distractions.

Esther Choi Career

Esther Choi’s culinary journey commenced at the youthful age of 14, ignited by the flavorful traditions of her grandmother’s Korean cuisine. Seeking to refine her skills, she pursued formal culinary education at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, a pivotal step that honed her culinary expertise.

With a passion for Korean comfort food, Esther established Mokbar, a renowned eatery celebrated for its delectable Korean ramen and comforting dishes. Over time, her culinary empire expanded to include multiple locations, including a notable partnership with Ms. Yoo.

Beyond the confines of her restaurants, Esther’s culinary prowess has earned her recognition on television platforms such as Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay. Her appearances on these shows not only showcase her talent but also underscore her relentless pursuit of culinary excellence, coming tantalizingly close to claiming the coveted title of “Iron Legend.”

The Untold Truth Of Esther Choi

Esther Choi’s culinary journey commenced at the tender age of 14 when she embarked on her first restaurant job while growing up in Egg Harbor, New Jersey. As detailed in her biography on the Institute of Culinary Education website, it was during this formative period that Choi’s profound love affair with food blossomed. “Over the years, I realized that it was not just a job anymore; my love and passion for food grew every day,” Choi reflected. “At some point, I realized opening my restaurant was something I had to do.”

The roots of Choi’s culinary passion can be traced back to her grandmother, whose improvisational skills in crafting Korean dishes left an indelible mark on Choi’s culinary sensibilities. In their South New Jersey home, Choi’s grandmother adeptly blended Korean herbs with ingredients sourced from American grocery stores, instilling in Choi a deep appreciation for resourcefulness and creativity in the kitchen. Despite the glamour often associated with celebrity chefs, Choi’s grandmother imparted invaluable lessons in humility. “Her philosophy was always, cook with your whole heart, cook with love. It’s really about the person you’re cooking for, and not necessarily about yourself,” Choi fondly reminisced.

One of the cherished legacies from her grandmother is the beloved dumpling recipe, affectionately dubbed “halmoni dumplings” after the Korean term for grandmother. This culinary gem became a star attraction at Choi’s inaugural restaurant venture, Mŏkbar, as highlighted in a video by KoreanAmericanStory.org.

Through her culinary endeavors, Esther Choi pays homage to her roots, embracing her grandmother’s ethos of cooking with love and authenticity.

Esther Choi’s First Restaurant Was An Instant Success

Esther Choi's First Restaurant Was An Instant Success

Esther Choi’s foray into the culinary world culminated in the opening of Mŏkbar in 2014, a venture she embarked upon at the age of 28, as reported by Nation’s Restaurant News. However, her ascent to culinary prominence was far from an overnight success; Choi’s journey was marked by arduous dedication and hard work.

Despite her youth, Choi demonstrated unwavering determination and resilience in carving her path within New York’s competitive culinary landscape. As recounted by Matador, Choi’s early years in the industry were characterized by grueling hours and relentless perseverance. Working tirelessly in the male-dominated realm of restaurant kitchens, Choi labored up to 100 hours a week, often juggling multiple roles across various establishments without respite.

The road to Mŏkbar’s inception was paved with rigorous challenges, requiring Choi to showcase her culinary prowess and business acumen. Securing a coveted space in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market demanded a meticulous 80-page business plan and a rigorous culinary test—a dinner for 10—before an esteemed selection committee. Despite the hurdles, Mŏkbar swiftly emerged as a culinary sensation, garnering accolades such as a coveted spot on Zagat’s “30 under 30” list and the Village Voice reader’s choice award for best new restaurant.

Through Mŏkbar, Choi utilizes the familiar vehicle of the Japanese noodle restaurant to introduce diners to the vibrant flavors of Korean cuisine, as noted by The Korea Times. Witnessing the delight and excitement of patrons discovering new culinary experiences brings Choi immense pride, as she remains committed to sharing the rich tapestry of Korean culture through her culinary creations.

Esther Choi Has Three Restaurants With A Fourth On The Way

Esther Choi Has Three RestaurantsWith A Fourth On The Way

In 2017, Esther Choi expanded her culinary empire with the opening of the second Mŏkbar location in Brooklyn, marking a departure from the familiar realm of Japanese noodles. In an interview with KoreanAmericanStory.org, Choi highlighted the refined and authentically Korean nature of Mŏkbar BK’s menu. Embracing traditional Korean cuisine, the menu featured dishes such as jipbap—a home-style meal comprising rice, protein, and an array of side dishes meticulously presented in small bowls. Additionally, Choi showcased a mung bean pancake infused with white kimchi, shedding light on the historical evolution of kimchi without the ubiquitous spicy Korean red pepper. “When kimchi first emerged, it didn’t contain red pepper,” Choi explained.

Simultaneously in 2017, Choi and her partners ventured into the realm of gastropubs with the opening of Ms. Yoo, a Lower East Side lounge inspired by the renowned NYC establishment, The Spotted Pig, as reported by Eater New York. Drawing inspiration once again from her grandmother, Choi named the gastropub after her, infusing the venue with a fusion of American cuisine infused with Korean flavors. OpenTable highlighted the distinctiveness of Ms. Yoo, which diverged from Choi’s Mŏkbar restaurants by offering American dishes with a Korean twist.

Continuing her expansion, Choi plans to unveil a third Mŏkbar location in Midtown Manhattan in the upcoming fall season, as reported by Time Out. Additionally, during the summer months, Choi will showcase her culinary talents as a guest chef at Old Stove Pub in the Hamptons, further solidifying her status as a dynamic and innovative force within the culinary world.

Esther Choi Is Becoming A Food TV Fixture

New Yorkers may recognize Esther Choi for her vibrant presence in the city’s nightlife scene at Ms. Yoo and her acclaimed Mŏkbar restaurants, renowned for their authentic Korean flavors. However, Choi’s television appearances have also brought her widespread recognition beyond the culinary realm.

Before the launch of her culinary ventures, Choi’s journey in the food industry began at Food Network, where she worked in the purchasing department, sourcing ingredients for the network’s esteemed roster of celebrity chefs, as detailed by Eater. Even during this early stage of her career, Choi garnered media attention, showcasing her culinary prowess in a 2012 feature on Food Network’s FN Dish blog, where she prepared a “family meal” for her colleagues—a tradition in restaurant kitchens before the dinner service. Describing Choi as “especially good at making Korean food,” the blog underscored her talent and expertise.

Choi’s television career gained momentum when she appeared as a contestant on Season 2 of “Beat Bobby Flay,” marking her official debut as a television personality on Food Network. Subsequently, she made guest chef appearances on “The Chew” in 2017 and “Today” in 2018, according to IMDb. Her television journey further expanded with roles as a judge on shows such as “Worst Cooks in America” and “Chopped.”

Adding to her television repertoire, Choi will serve as a guest judge on “Battle of the Brothers,” premiering on Discovery+ on June 17. Beyond traditional television platforms, Choi hosted a kitchen gadget show for Eater and Amazon live-streamed “Cooking with Esther Choi,” as highlighted on the Mŏkbar website. Additionally, she is featured in the 2021 documentary “Her Name Is Chef,” which delves into the issue of sexism in the restaurant industry. Through her diverse television ventures, Choi continues to showcase her culinary expertise and contribute to broader conversations within the culinary world.

Esther Choi Has Publicly Embraced Cannabis

Esther Choi’s rise to prominence in television coincides with the increasing mainstream acceptance of cannabis, demonstrated by the emergence of new shows like “Chopped 420” on Discovery+. This innovative series, a cannabis-infused twist on the popular cooking competition “Chopped,” premiered on April 20, fittingly aligning with the cannabis culture’s celebratory date. Choi features prominently as a regular judge on the show, showcasing her expertise and culinary flair in evaluating contestants’ creations.

Choi’s affinity for cannabis is evident in her past appearances on Viceland’s “Bong Appétit,” where she demonstrated her culinary prowess by triumphing over two other Korean chefs in a THC-infused cooking competition. Despite her admission of being a novice in cooking with cannabis, Choi’s comfort with the substance was apparent, as she expressed her personal use of it for its medicinal properties on the show. “I am a user, of course,” Choi candidly stated. “I need it. It’s very medicinal for me.”

In line with her advocacy for cannabis, Choi ventured into the industry herself by launching Sessy, a CBD-infused sesame oil, in April, as announced on her Instagram account. In her announcement, Choi expressed her joy at witnessing the destigmatization of cannabis and the industry’s evolution beyond stereotypes, emphasizing the plant’s numerous positive attributes. Through her involvement in cannabis-infused culinary ventures and product launches, Choi continues to champion the normalization and exploration of cannabis in both culinary and mainstream contexts.

For Esther Choi Food Is A Gateway To Korean Culture

In recent years, Esther Choi has transitioned from being solely a chef to embracing the role of an entrepreneur. Through her YouTube channel, choibites, Choi offered her followers an intimate glimpse into her life beyond the confines of the kitchen in a three-part video series titled “Life of a Restaurateur.” This series showcased Choi’s diverse activities, from meeting with media producers to scouting potential locations for a new restaurant in New York’s financial district, tasting wine, strategizing in the Mŏkbar business office, and even visiting Ms. Yoo, which remained bustling well past 1 a.m.

A significant milestone in Choi’s evolution was the launch of her podcast, “Get Down with K-Town,” as reported by The Creative Independent. Beyond merely focusing on Korean cuisine, the podcast delved into broader aspects of Korean culture. Reflecting on her career expansion and media presence, Choi expressed her desire to serve as a representative face of Korean food and culture, highlighting the interconnectedness between the two.

Choi’s aspiration to transcend food and delve deeper into Korean culture was evident even earlier in her career. In a 2016 video interview with KoreanAmericanStory.org, she articulated her vision of using food as a catalyst to ignite curiosity and interest in Korean culture. Recognizing food as the gateway to cultural exploration, Choi aimed to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Korean heritage through her culinary endeavors.

Esther Choi Hobbies

Considering her deep involvement and passion for the culinary arts, it’s conceivable that she takes pleasure in exploring novel cooking techniques, immersing herself in the study of traditional Korean cuisine, and perhaps even participating in gardening to procure fresh ingredients for her culinary endeavors.

Esther Choi Social Media

Social Media PlatformFollowersTwitter Handle
FacebookOver 1.9 millionN/A

Esther Choi’s Net Worth

Esther Choi’s estimated net worth is currently in the range of $5 million, a testament to her prosperous career as a chef. Through her culinary expertise, she has accumulated a significant fortune. It’s worth noting that her net worth previously hovered around $2 million. Considering this substantial financial growth trajectory, it’s foreseeable that she may soon achieve a net worth of $10 million.

Interesting Facts About Esther Choi

  1. Culinary Inspiration: Esther Choi’s passion for cooking stems from her grandmother’s Korean culinary delights, which she savored during her upbringing in Egg Harbor, New Jersey.
  2. Rapid Rise: Despite her youth, Esther demonstrated remarkable ambition by launching her first restaurant, Mŏkbar, at the age of 28 in 2014. The restaurant quickly gained acclaim, thrusting Esther into the culinary limelight.
  3. Entrepreneurial Ventures: Esther is not only a talented chef but also a shrewd entrepreneur. Alongside Mŏkbar, she has successfully established multiple restaurants, including a second Mŏkbar, Gastropu, and Ms. Yoo, showcasing her versatility and business acumen.
  4. Television Appearances: Esther’s culinary prowess has landed her appearances on popular television shows such as “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Chopped,” and “Worst Cooks in America.” Additionally, she has hosted her kitchen gadget show for Eater and has been featured in documentaries like “Her Name Is Chef.”
  5. Cannabis Advocate: Esther is vocal about her support for cannabis and its culinary applications. She served as a regular judge on “Chopped 420” and launched a CBD-infused sesame oil called Sessy, aligning with her belief in the plant’s positive attributes.
  6. Cultural Ambassador: Esther views food as a means of promoting Korean culture and traditions. Through her culinary ventures, she endeavors to pique interest in Korean cuisine and broader cultural aspects.
  7. Social Media Presence: Esther maintains a significant presence on social media platforms, boasting over 174k followers on Instagram and more than 1.9 million followers on Facebook. She engages her audience with insights into her culinary creations, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and snippets of her personal life, fostering a dedicated fan base.

FAQs About Esther Choi

Q: Is Esther Choi married?

Yes, Esther Choi is married to Jerry Choi.

Q: What is Esther Choi’s net worth?

Esther Choi’s net worth is estimated to be around $5 million.

Q: Where was Esther Choi born?

Esther Choi was born in New Jersey, USA.

Q: What are Esther Choi’s notable career achievements?

Esther Choi is renowned for opening her inaugural restaurant, Mŏkbar, in  2014 at the age of 28, which rapidly garnered acclaim. Additionally, she has made notable appearances on various television shows including “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Chopped,” and “Worst Cooks in America.”

Q: What inspired Esther Choi to become a chef?

Esther Choi’s culinary journey was ignited by her grandmother’s Korean culinary creations, which she cherished while growing up in Egg Harbor, New Jersey.


Esther Choi, an accomplished chef and visionary entrepreneur, has enraptured audiences with her inventive culinary masterpieces and modern interpretation of Korean cuisine. Influenced by the traditional cooking techniques passed down by her grandmother, Esther’s unwavering love for gastronomy has propelled her to remarkable success in the culinary realm. From the inception of her inaugural restaurant, Mŏkbar, to the expansion of her culinary empire through various ventures, Esther has showcased not only her culinary dexterity but also her astute business acumen. 

Her frequent appearances on television, advocacy for the incorporation of cannabis-infused dishes, and dedication to promoting Korean culture through food have solidified her reputation as a cultural ambassador. With a substantial presence across social media platforms and a devoted following, Esther Choi continues to inspire and captivate audiences globally with her culinary ingenuity and entrepreneurial flair.

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