If you didn't already know, Singapore Noodles is a dish created and eaten mainly in America.Such western interpretations of supposedly Asian cuisine form the backbone of Crack the Cookie Code, a new food and travel TV show. Host Elizabeth Lazan, the LA-based Singaporean actress, 34, tells us what inspired her to make the short-form food/travelogue series.
It all started with Singapore Noodles.
On the show, Lazan and her bestie and co-host, Jeane Reveendran, journey across the US, exploring various kinds of Asian-fusion cuisines. “[When I was in LA], I realised that Singapore Noodles was such an iconic Eastern dish there. But there’s no such thing here in Singapore,” says Lazan whose credits include the Elvin Ng-starring Ch 8 serial I’m in Charge and Kelvin Tong’s The Faith of Anna Waters. “So I thought there was something to all these American adaptations of Chinese food, and it snowballed from there.”
The show’s unscripted.
“Everything was shot on the fly,” says Lazan, who’s of Chinese, Australian and Italian descent. “In fact, the first restaurant we wanted to visit in episode one — in New York City — was closed, so we asked a passerby to recommend an Asian restaurant.” After each meal, the duo crack open a pre-bought fortune cookie, interpret the message and act on it. For instance, one quote read, “The simplest answer is to act.” So what did they do? They went busking at Broadway. Yes, it’s pretty arbitrary, but there lies the fun. “The improvisation element suits us because Jeane and I are both actors.”
The show was conceived for online viewing.
And that’s why each ep is about four to five minutes long. “Jeane and I like doing random and fast-paced content,” Lazan explains. “We wanted bite-size episodes, and honestly, we wanted to just do it and put it [on YouTube]. And then it found a home on FYI.” Meanwhile, Lazan is open to doing a Singapore version of Crack the Cookie Code. “I’ll just go from East Coast to West Coast. Or, all the way from Changi to Penang, by bike, bus, train, boat or even on foot. As long as it involves food, friendship and adventure, I’m up for it!”
Crack the Cookie Code airs daily on FYI (Starhub Ch 404). It’s also on fyiasia.tv.
Catch the first episode of Crack the Cookie Code here: