Foodgod, formerly known as Jonathan Cheban, is a self-professed “modern-day food critic” and travels to wherever there’s good nosh. He’s tried everything from a cotton candy burrito to a crabmeat and caviar hotdog—to him, the more outrageous and unconventional a dish is, the better. He documents all of his gourmet adventures on his Instagram, which boasts a massive following of 3.4 million followers (and counting). The former public relations maven might just be on to something.
Fans of Keeping Up With The Kardashians may recognise him as Kim Kardashian West’s best friend, but since changing his Instagram handle to Foodgod, and then legally changing his name to his online moniker, he’s become a force to be reckoned with on his own. With his celebrity-endorsed taste buds, dining recommendations and witty humour, he’s managed to turn his lifelong passion for food into a highly successful social media business.
During his recent trip to Paris Fashion Week, he spoke to BAZAAR about his newfound fame, the reason behind his name change and took us to Ferdi—his favorite Parisian restaurant for burgers that’s also popular with the fashion crowd like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner—to show us the Foodgod’s way of eating a large, messy burger.
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Why did you officially change your name to Foodgod?
I wanted to be the first on Instagram to change their name officially to their handle.
What is the Foodgod lifestyle, and how did it all start?
The Foodgod lifestyle is travelling every other day to do appearances and endorsements. Finding new cool things for people to relish about across the country.
Why did you decide that now’s the time to take your brand to the next level?
I’ve lived as a Foodgod for the past three years and have built a real brand at the same time.
In a previous interview, you did say that when people refer to you as Jonathan, it feels as though they’re talking about someone else. How is Foodgod different from Jonathan Cheban?
Foodgod is the upgraded, modern day version of Jonathan Cheban. I live as Foodgod.
How has the reception been from friends and family with regards to your name change?
It’s been 50/50. Some have embraced the name while other have refused to accept it. It’s a mixed bag.
Why do you think people love watching your videos on social media?
I include food with fun, a mixture so people don’t get bored with the same things as others on Instagram.
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If you ever visit Singapore, is there a particular local delicacy that you would like to try?
The street food and of course the chilli crab!
The durian fruit is said to be a must-try for all food critics. Have you tried it? If not, is it on your food bucket list?
No, I haven’t tried it and of course it is!
If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
Mister Chow or NOBU.
What challenges do you face being a food critic that you think people would be surprised to learn about?
For me it is not only about the taste but more importantly about the presentation and taste. It has to look good and taste good to get a higher score.
What is the one thing everyone should have in their fridges?
Foodgod Truffle Ketchup.
If you could share a meal with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why? And what would be on the menu?
It would be Whitney Houston. She lived in my town and I dreamt of eating with her and didn’t even know her. It looks like she loved food. I would eat Buffalo Wings at a hidden place I know in New York, The Candlelight Inn.
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Now, that you’re literally Foodgod, what more can we expect from you?
Lots of products! Foodgod Truffle Ketchup, Foodgod Truffle Steak Sauce, Oceanbox Fish delivery and Foodgod frozen meals.