Food Network Contributor and “Iron Chef” Star Esther Choi Announces Pregnancy: 'Beautiful Journey'

"I have done a lot of difficult things in my life.. but becoming a mother, not an easy feat," wrote Choi on Instagram

<p>Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty </p> Esther Choi

Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty

Esther Choi

Esther Choi is pregnant!

The Food Network contributor and Iron Chef: Quest for a Legend star announced the news in an Instagram post on Monday alongside images of her growing baby bump. The chef began her announcement by making a sweet reference to the Lunar New Year, which in 2024 marks the Year of the Dragon.

"Officially 'Mother of Dragon' 🥺🐉😱," Choi wrote in the caption. "I have done a lot of difficult things in my life.. but becoming a mother, not an easy feat. Truly amazed by all the amazing moms out there. It has been an incredibly difficult but really beautiful journey. I still can't believe it."

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The post included photos of Choi wearing a sheer black dress with leather boots as she showed off her pregnancy. She ended her caption by wishing her followers a happy holiday and calling her unborn child a "dragon angel baby."

The expectant mother has made a name for herself through television appearances on shows like Bobby's Triple Threat, Throwdown with Michael Symon, Chopped and Battle of the Brothers. She and five other female chefs opened up about sexism in the food industry for the documentary Her Name Is Chef.

"It's super inspiring to meet all the other female chefs and have a chance to talk about growing up in this industry and what it takes to be a chef. And not only a chef, a lot of these women are also entrepreneurs. It was just so great to have that community and be able to talk about it freely and openly, and just such a fond and amazing experience," she told PEOPLE in May 2021.

Related: Jeffrey Dean Morgan Enjoys Pizza Date with Daughter, 5, Who Asks for Them 'Every Day' for 'Valentine's Week'

<p>Patrick Wymore/Netflix</p> Esther Choi on "Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend"

Patrick Wymore/Netflix

Esther Choi on "Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend"

She has also helped create restaurants, including Mökbar, where she is a chef and an owner, and Ms. Yoo, where she is a chef and a partner. Most recently, Choi has served as the host of the Hot Ones spinoff Heat Eaters.

"When they approached me about this show, I thought I was definitely the perfect person for it because I'm just obsessed with spicy food in general. It's in pretty much every meal that I have," Choi told in a July 2023 interview.

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"I think it comes from my background growing up in a Korean American household eating spicy food. We did not skimp out on the spice. Korean food packs a punch and there's a lot of heat in a lot of the dishes. Now I'm so completely addicted I can't eat a meal without some sort of spice in it, whether it's hot sauce or pickled chilis or kimchi or even just raw chiles," she added.

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