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  • Writer's pictureTien Chew

From Pen To Podcast: What’s Next For Chew On This

Chew On This 2.0 – Now 100% More Chewy!

The cat’s out of the bag, Chew On This is undergoing a major shift.

2024 marks the 10th year since I began my professional career as a writer. After a decade as a wordsmith, with hundreds of articles either penned in ink or pixelated to my name, I still adore my craft. However, I am currently shifting my focus from pen to podcast. With three years as an independent food writer under my belt, I want to take a leap of faith and try something new. I believe that the evolution of Chew On This, from a food blog serving as a creative outlet to a food talk show featuring some of the best talent the local F&B scene has to offer, is a natural and exciting progression for me as a storyteller and an individual.

You see, before I discovered my calling as a writer, I was drawn to other powerful artistic forms that have each played a part in helping me be the creator I am today. Some were nurtured by people I’ve had significant relationships with in my life, and some emerged from within through self discovery.

Music was the first art form that I truly fell in love with. Its entrancing melodies captivated me as an infant, and they still soothe my soul today as an adult. There’s something very primal about music that I am drawn to. In fact, through the incredible power of music, I learned the importance of the written word and how profound its role is in enriching a song with another layer of meaning. Of course, I speak of lyrics. So powerful was my love for music that I took up playing an instrument of my own intention during my teenage years. So great is my adoration of music that I deeply treasure each song as a portal into my memory banks, a glimpse into my distant and not-so-distant past and the emotions that come with each moment.

Photography was another gateway for me. I admire those who possess an intimate knowledge of light to manipulate colours to their stylistic will. Before I left to study abroad for university, I invested in a semi-pro Nikon pocket camera. Still, I never put in enough time to unlock its true potential. The iPhone changed the way I approached photography and the subjects I photographed. Granted, my iPhone 3GS couldn’t take a photo of a beef bourguignon in a dimly lit French bistro like my iPhone 15 Pro Max can now (thanks to technical wizardry and computational photography). But that little curved plastic, glass and metal sandwich sure opened my mind to what I can photograph in the sense that I now had a decent point-and-click camera on me at all times. And then Instagram became a thing.

I’ve always secretly wanted to dabble in voice work, and as fate would have it, an exciting opportunity appeared last year when a friend and ex-colleague decided to start his own podcast studio business. He came to me with an offer, and I came up with an excellent idea for a show one whisky-fuelled night at home, and the rest is…in progress.

What’s The Podcast About?

Shaun Ng, Trisha Toh and I talk about travelling for food

The idea for the podcast arrived as most good ideas do, when you’re tipsy, feeling peckish and scrounging for something to eat at home, when suddenly lightning hits. The idea for the show arrived just I was going to open a bag of Takis when I stopped myself and wondered what the outcome would be if I did a podcast show about snacks and captured all that audible ASMR goodness that comes with munching on them?

I knew I was on to something, but after many brainstorming sessions and late-night contemplations, I finally settled on a format for my new show.

Chew On This is a food lifestyle talk show podcast for foodies to learn about Malaysia’s top culinary talent and discover the influences our palate has on our personality through food, drink and banter. Each episode revolves around a central theme based on a question for you to chew on, hence the show's name.

Over the past decade, I’ve realised that I’ve come to amass quite many fantastic friends in the food and drink industry – chefs, bartenders, writers, and photographers – who are all inherently fascinating. I want others to get to know these incredible individuals the way I have, and what better way to do it than with my own show, where I can invite them to shoot the breeze with me?

A significant portion of the Chew On This show’s DNA comes from iconic late-night programmes like The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien but reimagined for an audio-visual experience that changes whether you’re listening to the show on your preferred podcasting app or watching it on YouTube. If you’re caught in traffic on your way back from work and have about an hour to kill, go with the podcast version. If you prefer to watch the food we try on the show and witness our priceless reactions, then YouTube is the version you’ll probably enjoy more. You do you.

Aidan Low and Masashi Horiuchi being such entertaining chums

I’ve got some incredible guests lined up for you guys that I can’t wait to give you access to the conversations we’ve had on the show, the good, the bad and all the laughs in between. As of this writing, I’ve already welcomed these incredible people as guests on the show that you can look forward to:

And that’s just the beginning! Expect more big name talents to make an appearance – more iconic chefs leading the forefront of Malaysian gastronomy, bartenders running legendary bars, writers telling incredible stories, and so much more. My ultimate goal is to first invite my friends to the show to give you front-row access to our conversations, silly and serious.

When Can You Expect The Show To Come Out?

Right now, my team and I are hard at work trying to get season one of the show on air real soon in the coming weeks. Yes, not months, weeks.

Every episode will be hosted here on the website and will be available on most major podcast apps and YouTube.

I hope you enjoy the show!


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