Choi and Patterson announce loco'l at MAD. [Photo: Amy McKeever/Eater National]
Chefs do all kinds of crazy stuff at the annual MAD Symposium in Copenhagen, but this might be the most interesting news to come out of there yet: according to Eater National, Michelin-starred SF chef Daniel Patterson announced yesterday that he'd be starting a fast-food chain called loco'l with Roy Choi, the impresario behind L.A.'s Kogi, Pot and Commissary. The Chron reports that loco'l is set to open its first location in the Tenderloin in 2015, with others to follow in L.A. and across the U.S., loco'l (whose name is meant to imply both local and crazy) is intended to help address the issue of food deserts in urban areas, with menu items in the $2-6 range that will allow it to compete with the likes of McDonald's.
To save cash, loco'l will serve Patterson-created burgers partially made with tofu and grain in the patty, to make them more affordable, as well as a koji burger bun developed by Tartine Bakery's Chad Robertson. Salads, rice bowls, veggie bowls, falafel, and tacos will also be on offer. Food will be made on-site with seasonal ingredients. Patterson chose the Tenderloin because he's been working there with his charity The Cooking Project, which teaches low-income kids how to cook; Choi also already has a charitable arm, 3 Worlds Cafe, which serves healthy food in South Central L.A.
Choi, who says the concept was inspired by the energy at skate parks, will be the frontman of the chain, while Patterson will handle the back-of-house and recipe testing. The business will be for-profit, and they hope to unite with chefs in other regions to help it spread. It's definitely another huge leap forward businesswise for Patterson, who's already got five restaurants (two-Michelin-starred Coi, Alta CA, Haven, Plum Bar, and Ume) under his belt, and is opening two more in the next year in partnership with Brett Cooper and Kim Alter.
Here's Patterson serving the loco'l burgers at MAD: