Esther Choi is an influential Chef driven by her Korean roots. She is the chef and owner of Mŏkbar, with locations in Chelsea Market, Midtown, and soon both New Jersey and Las Vegas. as well as chef and partner of Ms. Yoo. Inspired by the age-old technique of her Korean grandmother’s cooking, Chef Esther believes that food is the ultimate expression of a country’s culture. With a personal passion for introducing New Yorkers to the flavors of Korean culture, Chef Esther’s cooking combines traditional and modern influences with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Esther began her professional education at the early age of 14. Her formal training as a chef began at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), followed by various positions at New York City’s renowned Ilili and La Esquina, as well as that of the Food Network. In 2020 Esther launched with the Cook Unity meal delivery service platform in New York City and now has other outposts in Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago & Seattle.
Currently, Esther is the host of “Heat Eaters” by First We Feast, which is the follow up show to the hit YouTube series Hot Ones. She was a challenger chef in the newest “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend” which was released on Netflix in 2022, where she made it to the final. Esther appears in numerous Food Network shows, including “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Bobby’s Triple Threat,” where she took down both Bobby and the titans. Esther is also a guest judge on “Chopped,” “Throwdown with Michael Symon,” and appeared on HBO’s “Selena + Chef” alongside Selena Gomez.
Her newest restaurant Gahm by Mŏkbar opened in Brooklyn in the Fall of 2023.