Filmmaker Eric Khoo has two obsessions: horror and food. Last year, the Mee Pok Man director and HBO teamed up on Folklore, a six-part anthology based on popular superstitions and myths in Asia.
This year, Khoo and the cabler are joining forces on Food Lore, an eight-part hour-long series that, according to the press release, “explores human conditions with narratives inspired by Asian cuisines”.
“Because we’re doing an anthology series, I wanted to involve e a lot of auteur filmmakers who have a passion for food,” said Khoo in March when the show was first announced at the Hongkong Filmart. The series was shot in eight countries — The Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and Malaysia.
“What I really felt was important for the series was the diversity of Asian food and different cultures,” said Khoo, who’s no stranger to telling food stories (Ramen Teh, Recipe). “From day one, I had to have all the episodes to have mother tongue — it had to be the language of their country. That’s when you really get the flavour of it.”
Besides being the showrunner, Khoo also directed one of the episodes, 'Tamarind', a love story between a French female chef (Valentine Payen) and a Malay hawker (Apprentice's Fir Rahman) who sells mee siam, which happens to be a favourite dish of Khoo's.
The other stories to look out for are Vietnam’s ‘He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower’ and the Philippines’ ‘ Island of Dreams’ — they will make their world debut at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festive on Oct 30 and 31, respectively.
Another episode, India’s ‘A Plate of Moon’, will premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival on Nov 24. This is the first time an HBO Asia Original will be presented in either festival.
Food Lore premieres Nov 3, HBO (Singtel TV Ch 420 & StarHub Ch 601), 10pm; and HBO Go. Here’s a rundown of what to expect…