Eid Mubarak! Now that it’s time to eat and eat, it’s also the perfect time to talk about Foodies, a documentary which opened in Golden Village theatres on July 16. If you think that you’re a foodie, then you’ll enjoy following these five influential and devoted food maniacs who are on a mission to dine at the best restaurants on earth.

They are:

  • Aiste Miseviciute of Luxeat. Aiste is a 30-year-old female ex-super model from Lithuania; Similarweb estimates her monthly page views at 20k.
  • Perm Paitayawat of The Skinny Bib. Perm is the heir to a Bangkok based gold company; Similarweb estimates his monthly page views at 1k.
  • Andy Hayler of www.andyhayler.com. An inventor and a former Shell executive, Andy is a London based legend on the foodie scene; Similarweb estimates his monthly page views at 45k.
  • Katie Keiko of k-luxedining.com. Katie is a new-comer on the foodie scene from Hong Kong. Similarweb does not have stats for her site.
  • Steven Plotnicki of www.opinionatedaboutdining.com. Steven is a US-based music mogul who freely criticises other foodie bloggers for their lack of refinement and professionality. Similarweb estimates his monthly page views at 7k.

The Popping Post managed to score an interview with Thomas Jackson, who directed the film along with Charlotte Landelius and Henrik Stockare. Foodies is released by Fortissmo Films, the same company which gave us Jiro Dreams Of Sushi.

From left: Thomas Jackson, Charlotte Landelius and Henrik Stockare, the filmmakers of Foodies (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

From left: Thomas Jackson, Charlotte Landelius and Henrik Stockare, the filmmakers of Foodies. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

Why did your team decide to feature these five bloggers for the documentary? 

The idea came about when we were making a program about the history of the Michelin Guide for Swedish culture program Kobra. We made a segment with Björn Frantzén of two-starred Frantzén/Lindeberg then and Björn started telling us these great stories about the lives of some of the guests at the restaurant, many of them seemed to be fantastic characters for a film. Also we had noted that food had started to be used in a different kind of way by people. We thought that people had started using food and wine to tell a story of who they are, much in the way music and fashion has been used to tell others something of who you are. We thought that shift was interesting and thought this trend would be most compellingly told by directing the lens at the most extreme example of this way of looking at food – the top foodies.

Aiste Miseviciute fell in love with fine dining after her first experience at a three-star Michelin restaurant. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

Aiste Miseviciute fell in love with fine dining after her first experience at a three-star Michelin restaurant. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

We chose these five because they are some of the most influential on the scene, and also of course because they represented different aspects that was important for us to highlight in the film. The individual reasons for their passion for food differs and together they cover the range of why people get into this in this hardcore kind of way. They were all our first choice, and to our amazement they all said yes!

Katie Keiko spends all of her spare change on fine dining, and reviews them on her blog. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

Katie Keiko spends all of her spare change on fine dining, and reviews them on her blog. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

They are very influential. They have a wide readership, and their readers are also often people who themselves are into going to these kind of restaurants. In that way the biggest bloggers can drive a lot of potential customers to a new place. They are also early adopters, keen on finding the new hot place, so often they discover places that become hyped through them.

How did you persuade them to participate in your project?

They didn’t need much persuasion, they all agreed without us having to twist their arms…

What happened after they agreed – were those meals and trips in the documentary planned and paid for by production? 

Andy Hayler is believed to be the first person in the world to have dined at all 68 of the world's three-Michelin star restaurants. (Credit: Finedininglovers.com)

Andy Hayler is believed to be the first person in the world to have dined at all 68 of the world’s three-Michelin star restaurants. (Credit: Finedininglovers.com)

Since we wanted to document their culinary lives, a lot of the sessions were trips to places that they were going to anyway. We had our ideas about regions that we had to have in the film because they are so important to the culinary scene, so then we might set things up around when they were able to go there. Of course we also had to plan in advance, these are not places you just waltz into with a camera and some had even never let in a camera before, but almost all of the places are restaurants that the foodies would have been going to anyway.

Did the prestigious establishments featured in the film feed your production team as a gesture of goodwill?

One Michelin star-chef Alvin Leung, of Hong Kong's Bo Innovation, holding up an edible

One Michelin star-chef Alvin Leung, of Hong Kong’s Bo Innovation, holding up an edible “condom” in his self-invented “Sex On The Beach” dish. (Credit: Fortissmo Films).

The director’s diet unfortunately consists mainly of bananas and Snickers. We were often filming through the whole dinners and then you are too exhausted to stay to eat. But at some places they insisted and we might try some dishes, or sometimes we bought an extra menu to take close ups and then we might try the occasional nibble.

How was it like to work with each of these bloggers?

Perm hops from city to city just to dine at the finest restaurants. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

Perm hops from city to city just to dine at the finest restaurants. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

It was great working with them, they were all very open about what they were doing and passionate. Sometimes it was a sheer suffering to try to negotiate their calendars, because they are always on the move, but that was the only problem, I think.

Steve was filmed in one of the scenes having a heated argument with Dufresne about his foie gras dish. Was that the worst altercation on the show? Are there any cut scenes where there were worse squabbles?

Yes, I think that was the most heated debate. And that is also a debate they have been having for many years now, which is very funny. No, squabbles are good, we wouldn’t want to edit those out!

Out of the five, Katie and Aiste seem to have the least to say about the food that they eat. The scenes of them sampling food are alternated with interviews with chefs who are angry about being judged by bloggers who don’t know enough about food. I get the sense that you’re trying to send a message here. Am I right?

No, I think they are both very knowledgeble. Aiste has a very wide experience eating around the world. Katie haden’t been in the game for as long when we started but is catching up fast. But they all take in the experience of their meals in different ways. Steve, for example, is probably more verbal and analytical.

Steven Plotnicki sipping a cocktail after a satisfying meal of squab. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

Steven Plotnicki sipping a cocktail after a satisfying meal of squab. (Credit: Fortissmo Films)

Definitely there are very mixed feelings towards the food bloggers from chefs, but in the film this wasn’t aimed at Aiste or Katie but rather at the blogging community as a whole.

This documentary is really focused on the foodies and not about food. What do you want audiences to take home from the documentary?

For us the films focus is primarily on this issue of how we have started to use food as a tool to tell others of who we are. This kind of sociological aspect of food is really interesting and in its wake also comes issues of how this might affect the environment, class issues, to what degree food can be read as an art form on par with music or painting etc. With this film we were hoping to make audiences start ask themselves questions about what food is and how it functions, and what kind of effects that might have on different levels.

Foodies is showing exclusively Golden Village theatres.

Foodies is showing exclusively Golden Village theatres.