Esther Choi Age: Early Life, Edu, Career, Personal Life, Hobbies & More

Esther Choi Age: Early Life, Career, Personal Life, Hobbies & More

Esther Choi Age

33 Years Old

Esther Choi, celebrated for her culinary expertise rooted in Korean tradition, owns mkbar and mkbar Brooklyn, and is a partner at Ms. Yoo. Despite her skills, she suffered a narrow defeat on Iron Chef, losing her Iron Legend title. Now, as the latest season of the show debuts on Netflix, Choi returns as the final Challenger Chef. Challenged to redefine her career by Chairman Mark Dacascos, she presents five exquisite seafood dishes to compete against the Iron Chefs. Though she falls just short with a score of 82, Choi’s determination and passion endure, fueling her ongoing pursuit of culinary excellence.

Esther Choi Age

Esther Choi Age, born in the vibrant era of the 1990s, graces this world with her culinary talents and is currently around 33 years old. Each December 17th, she joyously celebrates her birthday, marking another year of life and culinary exploration. As the owner of mkbar and mkbar Brooklyn, as well as a partner at Ms. Yoo, Choi’s journey in the culinary world is deeply influenced by her Korean heritage. Inspired by the age-old cooking techniques passed down by her grandmother, she continues to innovate and create dishes that captivate palates worldwide. Despite facing challenges, such as a narrow defeat on the competitive cooking series Iron Chef, Choi’s passion and dedication remain unwavering. Now, as she embarks on new culinary adventures, her youthful spirit and innovative approach continue to define her remarkable career in the culinary arts.

Who Is Esther Choi?

Esther Choi, an esteemed figure in the American culinary scene, is a talented chef and owner of multiple restaurants in New York City. Among her notable establishments is Mokbar, located in Chelsea Market, where patrons are treated to a delectable selection of Korean soups and dumplings. Since its inception in 2014, Mokbar has garnered praise for its authentic flavors and cozy ambiance. Building on this success, Choi has expanded her culinary empire by opening three additional restaurants: a second Mokbar, Gastropu, and Ms. Yoo. Each of these ventures reflects Choi’s innovative approach to Korean cuisine, offering diners a unique and memorable dining experience. With her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to culinary excellence, Choi continues to leave a lasting impression on the vibrant New York dining scene.

Esther Choi Biography

Esther Choi, born on November 20th, 1985, in New York, USA, hails from a Korean heritage, nurtured by her parents Bok N Choi and Mi Choi, alongside her sister Jennifer Choi and brother Dan Choi. Immersed in Korean culture, the family relocated to Korea for three years, enriching Esther’s understanding of her roots. A notable figure in the culinary world, Esther, aged 36 in August 2023, embodies the traits of a Scorpio. Residing in New York, she practices Christianity, shaping her worldview. Academically, Esther pursued her passion for culinary arts after completing her undergraduate studies at Rutgers University. She honed her skills at the Institute of Culinary Education, graduating in 2011 with a degree in Culinary Arts.

Profile Summary Of Esther Choi

NameEsther Choi
Birth Date17 December 1990
Birth PlaceNew Jersey, USA
Age33 Years Old
Net Worth$5 million
ProfessionChef and hotel owner
SiblingJennifer Choi
Marital StatusMarried
HusbandJerry Choi

Esther Choi Early Life 

Born on December 17, 1990, in New Jersey, Esther Choi emerged as a prominent media personality, her roots deeply intertwined with Korean heritage, courtesy of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Choi. Alongside her sister, Jennifer Choi, she was raised in a household rich in cultural significance. Their family’s relocation to Korea for three formative years served to immerse them in the traditions and flavors of Korean cuisine, guided by their grandmother’s culinary wisdom. Esther’s culinary journey took shape at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), where she honed her skills and passion for the culinary arts, setting the stage for her remarkable career ahead.

Esther Choi Education

From a young age, Esther Choi embarked on her culinary journey, laying the foundation for her career through professional cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City. Influenced by her grandmother’s expertise in Korean cuisine, Esther’s passion for cooking blossomed. Her formal training at ICE provided her with essential skills, complementing the traditional techniques passed down by her grandmother. Eager to refine her craft, Esther gained valuable experience at renowned New York City establishments such as ilili and La Esquina, where she immersed herself in diverse culinary environments. Further expanding her culinary horizons, Esther found inspiration and knowledge through her experiences at the Food Network, fueling her ambition to excel in the culinary world.

Esther Choi Body Measurement

Weight56 kg (130 lbs)
Height5 feet 7 inches
(1.7 meters)
Eye ColorLovely
PersonalityLovely and relaxed

Esther Choi possesses a captivating presence, characterized by her striking beauty and graceful demeanor. Standing at 5 feet 7 inches (1.7 meters) tall and weighing 56 kg (130 lbs), she exudes confidence and elegance. Beyond her physical attributes, Esther’s warm and tranquil personality adds to her charm, making her a delightful presence in any setting. Her lovely eyes reflect depth and kindness, capturing the essence of her inner radiance. Despite her slender frame, Esther’s allure lies not only in her appearance but also in her genuine and approachable nature, endearing her to those around her.

Esther Choi Parents

Esther Choi’s familial roots trace back to Korea, as her parents migrated to the United States prior to her birth, bringing with them a rich culinary heritage. Their profound influence shaped Esther’s culinary path, instilling in her a deep appreciation for Korean culture and cuisine. With a shared vision, Esther and her family aspired to expand the cultural landscape of New York City by introducing its residents to the diverse flavors and traditions of Korean gastronomy through her culinary ventures.

Esther Choi Siblings

Esther Choi’s familial ties extend to her sister, Jennifer Choi, who plays an integral role in her business endeavors. Serving as the controller and managing partner of Mokbar, Jennifer brings her expertise to the table, contributing to the success and operation of the establishment. Together, the Choi sisters collaborate to ensure the smooth functioning of Mokbar, their combined efforts reflecting a shared dedication to culinary excellence and business acumen.

Esther Choi’s Career

Chef Esther Choi draws inspiration from her Korean grandmother’s traditional cooking techniques, seeing food as a gateway to cultural expression. Her mission is to introduce the vibrant flavors of Korean cuisine to the diverse palate of New York City. By blending traditional and contemporary influences with fresh, seasonal ingredients, Chef Esther creates a fusion of flavors that captures the essence of Korean culture while catering to modern tastes.

In the competitive arena of Iron Chef: Search for an Iron Legend on Netflix, Esther Choi faced off against seasoned Iron Chefs, narrowly missing victory by a single point. Despite showcasing her remarkable skills throughout the intense season, Esther fell short of claiming the coveted title of Iron Legend. Challenged by Chairman Mark Dacascos, all contenders were tasked with crafting a dish that would not only demonstrate their culinary prowess but also leave a lasting impact on their lives. Despite needing assistance to overcome the formidable veterans, Esther’s resilience and determination shone brightly as she navigated the ultimate culinary battle for victory.

Esther Choi Personal Life

Esther Choi and Jerry Choi share a deeply loving and fulfilling marriage, although they have chosen to keep certain details, such as their wedding date, private despite their long-standing commitment to each other. While the couple has been blessed with children, specific information about their offspring remains undisclosed pending further investigation. Esther, currently 33 years old, and her husband Jerry maintain a policy of confidentiality regarding certain personal aspects of their lives, successfully safeguarding their privacy and maintaining boundaries.

Esther Choi Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend

In the highly anticipated premiere of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend on June 15, 2022, Chef Esther Choi emerged as a standout contestant among seven skilled challengers in Kitchen Stadium. Expressing her dedication and readiness for the competition, Esther emphasized the significance of qualities like passion, competitiveness, strategy, and focus. Grateful for the opportunity to showcase her skills alongside esteemed chefs and to be mentored by industry veterans, Esther expressed her gratitude on social media before the premiere. Alongside Esther, chefs Mason Hereford, Curtis Duffy, Claudette Zepeda, Gregory Gourdet, Mei Lin, and Yia Vang joined in the culinary showdown against Iron Chefs Curtis Stone, Gabriela Cámara, Dominique Crenn, Marcus Samuelsson, and Ming Tsai.

Esther Choi’s First Restaurant Was An Instant Success

Esther Choi’s journey into the culinary world began with perseverance and hard work. Despite opening Mŏkbar in 2014 at the age of 28, she had already paid her dues, working tirelessly in male-dominated kitchens after culinary school. Enduring grueling hours, sometimes up to 100 per week, Esther balanced multiple jobs to gain respect and experience. To secure a space in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, she impressed the selection committee with an extensive business plan and a successful dinner for 10, showcasing her culinary talents.

Mŏkbar quickly became a sensation, earning accolades such as a spot on Zagat’s “30 under 30” list and the Village Voice reader’s choice award for best new restaurant. Esther’s innovative approach, using the familiar concept of a Japanese noodle restaurant to introduce Korean cuisine to newcomers, garnered widespread acclaim. Her greatest satisfaction lies in witnessing the excitement of customers discovering new flavors and cultures. Through Mŏkbar, Esther proudly shares her heritage, sparking joy and appreciation in the culinary world.

Esther Choi Has Three Restaurants With A Fourth On The Way

In 2017, Esther Choi expanded her culinary empire by opening the second Mŏkbar location in Brooklyn, deviating from the Japanese noodle concept to offer a more refined and traditionally Korean menu. Featured in a video by, Mŏkbar BK showcases dishes like jipbap, a traditional Korean home meal, and mung bean pancake made with a unique white kimchi. Esther highlights the historical roots of kimchi, emphasizing its original absence of red pepper.

That same year, Choi and her partners introduced Ms. Yoo, a gastropub in the Lower East Side, inspired by New York City’s The Spotted Pig.

Looking ahead, Esther Choi plans to launch a third Mŏkbar location in Midtown Manhattan, as reported by Time Out. Additionally, during the summer months, she will showcase her culinary skills as a guest chef at Old Stove Pub in the Hamptons. Esther’s diverse ventures continue to showcase her innovative approach to blending Korean heritage with culinary excellence.

Esther Choi Is Becoming A Food TV Fixture

Esther Choi’s presence in New York’s culinary scene extends from the vibrant nightlife at Ms. Yoo to the authentic Korean flavors found in her Mŏkbar restaurants. Beyond the city limits, she’s a familiar face on television, with a diverse array of appearances. Interestingly, before launching her first restaurant, Choi began her television career behind the scenes at Food Network, sourcing ingredients for celebrity chefs. Her culinary talent was recognized early on, as she showcased her skills in Korean cuisine on the network’s FN Dish blog in 2012.

Choi’s television journey truly took off when she became a contestant on Season 2 of “Beat Bobby Flay,” leading to guest chef spots on “The Chew” in 2017 and “Today” in 2018. She later transitioned into roles as a judge on shows like “Worst Cooks in America” and “Chopped.” Next on her agenda is a guest-judging slot on “Battle of the Brothers,” premiering on Discovery+ in June. But her television appearances don’t end there; Choi also hosted a kitchen gadget show for Eater, streamed “Cooking with Esther Choi” on Amazon, and featured prominently in “Her Name Is Chef,” a 2021 documentary addressing sexism in the restaurant industry.

Esther Choi Hobbies

With her deep passion for culinary arts, Esther Choi likely finds joy in exploring innovative cooking techniques, delving into the intricacies of authentic Korean cuisine, and perhaps even cultivating her own garden to procure fresh produce. Her profound engagement with the culinary world suggests a constant quest for knowledge and creativity, driven by a desire to elevate her culinary skills and craft memorable dining experiences. Through her exploration of new methods and dedication to authenticity, Choi embodies the spirit of culinary excellence and innovation.

Esther Choi’s Net Worth

Esther Choi’s estimated net worth currently stands in the range of $5 million, a testament to her successful career as a chef. Through her culinary endeavors, Choi has been able to build a substantial fortune, reflecting her dedication and expertise in the industry. With her financial growth trajectory, it is anticipated that her net worth could potentially reach $10 million in the near future. This significant increase underscores the continued success and prosperity of Choi’s culinary journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Esther Choi:

Q: Who is Esther Choi?

A: Esther Choi is an American chef and restaurateur renowned for her inventive approach to Korean cuisine.

Q: What restaurants does Esther Choi own?

A: Esther Choi owns Mokbar and Mokbar Brooklyn, along with Ms. Yoo, a gastropub located in New York City.

Q: When was Esther Choi born?

A: Esther Choi was born on November 20th, 1985, in New Jersey, United States.

Q: What is Esther Choi’s net worth?

A: Esther Choi’s net worth is estimated to be around $5 million, reflecting her successful culinary career and entrepreneurial ventures.

Q: Is Esther Choi married?

A: Yes, Esther Choi is married to Jerry Choi, although they have opted to keep details about their wedding date private.

Q: How old is Esther Choi?

A: Esther Choi is currently 36 years old, as of August 2023.

Q: What is Esther Choi’s educational background?

A: Esther Choi completed her high school education and earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. She further pursued her passion for culinary arts at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, graduating with a degree in Culinary Arts in 2011.

Q: What are Esther Choi’s hobbies?

A: Esther Choi is deeply engaged in culinary arts, likely enjoying exploring new cooking methods, studying authentic Korean dishes, and potentially gardening to source fresh produce.


Esther Choi’s culinary journey is a remarkable tale of passion, perseverance, and entrepreneurial drive. From modest beginnings, she has risen to prominence as a celebrated chef and successful restaurateur, redefining Korean cuisine with her innovative flair. Esther’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of traditional flavors through modern techniques has captivated diners and critics alike, earning her widespread recognition and respect in the culinary sphere. Through her relentless pursuit of excellence and unwavering commitment to showcasing the rich heritage of Korean culture through food, Esther has carved out a unique niche in the industry. As she continues to expand her culinary empire and leave her mark on the food world, Esther’s influence and legacy are poised to endure for generations to come.

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