Craving a new TV show to binge-watch? Feast your eyes on Foodgod, a fresh Discovery+ series from executive producer Kris Jenner.
Fans of Keeping Up With the Kardashians will recognize Foodgod — formerly known as Jonathan Cheban — as Kim Kardashian’s best friend. But the famous foodie is now starring in his own self-titled series. “I would say it’s a modern-day version of a travel/food/social media show,” Foodgod told Us Weekly. “I think I’m the first person to do a totally different take on food.”
According to Foodgod, people care about presentation over preparation — essentially, “Is it edible and how Instagramable is it?” With 11 million followers on social media, Foodgod knows a thing or two about viral visual experiences. His Instagram feed is filled with colorful culinary creations. “My whole day always revolves around food,” the TV personality said. “That’s how Foodgod was born because I was like, I’m ready to start my own thing that doesn’t conflict with anybody that I’m friends with. I’m coming off one of the biggest shows in the world and people know me for something else, but this is also my life. My life is food.”
To cement his status as a food influencer, the social media star legally changed his name to Foodgod. “99 percent of the people who know me, it’s Foodgod now. Some people don’t even know my name was Jonathan,” he said.
Even his mom calls him Foodgod! “In public, she has to. She’ll say, ‘Jon,’ and I’m like, ‘Foodgod!’” he joked. “We can’t break the fourth wall.”
Foodgod considers himself a modern-day Willy Wonka — “except I don’t wear a hat,” he said. “I love Willy Wonka, but it’s like, we’ve walked around the chocolate fountain already. Now it’s time to go walk around every other city and go really experience it.”
The four-episode season follows Foodgod to Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Las Vegas, along with celebrity guests from rapper Fat Joe to magician Criss Angel.
In the very first episode, Foodgod brings Jenner to Frisco’s, a modern 50s diner in Whittier, California. “I hand-picked that for her,” Foodgod told Us. “I wanted to take her where she would get some kind of emotion out of her, and we had all these insane cars out there, and I knew it would take her back.” They enjoyed classic burgers, hand-blended milkshakes, onion rings and French toast. Chef’s kiss! The carhop was complete with food service on skates — Foodgod strapped on a pair of skates and showed off his skills, too (fun fact: he used to be on a roller skating racing team).
In addition to serving as a guest star and executive producer on Foodgod, Jenner is also a fan of the show. “It’s just always great to have Kris in your corner,” Foodgod said. “She loves the show and she brags about it, which I love. We were filming Kardashians in New York, like, a month ago, and she was just telling everybody at the table, ‘Tell them about your show! Oh, my God, it’s so amazing.’”
But Jenner is not the only Kardashian who makes a cameo on Foodgod — Kim Kardashian also appears on the first episode at her house in Los Angeles. “With Kim,” said Foodgod, “it’s just exactly like we’ve done for 14 years. We just go right back into filming. It’s not even like a blink. It just feels totally normal, even though it’s a different show, different topic. And it’s just great. We’re so comfortable at this point. I don’t even see cameras, I know she definitely doesn’t. She films a lot more than I do, but it’s just very natural. It’s very easy.”
Foodgod surprised the Skims founder with over-the-top cotton candy from Polar Playground. Unfortunately, Kardashian’s four children weren’t home to experience the edible animal art. “She FaceTimed them, and all the kids, North, everyone was hysterical crying because they saw the cotton candy, and they’re like, ‘You knew this was coming!’” Foodgod said. “So I told her, next time I tell you I’m coming to your house, make sure to have the kids there if I tell you it’s going to be amazing. She really regretted not having them there. They would have freaked out, it was the most amazing experience. We were both shocked. I’ve seen cool cotton candy, but I’ve never seen cotton candy get haircuts.”
So, what’s Foodgod’s secret to staying in shape after eating all this extravagant food? “I don’t really midnight snack, which is the crazy part,” he told Us. “That’s how I stay thin! I don’t snack in between. But if I did, I know it sounds crazy, I always have paper-thin slices of muenster cheese in my refrigerator and that cuts my hunger right away.”
Foodgod may travel the world savoring the most spectacular dishes, but he had humble beginnings as a Blimpie delivery driver. He revealed that the best advice Jenner gave him was just to be himself on his new series. “I’ll go to the mall here in New Jersey, or I’ll go to a movie premiere at night,” said Foodgod. “That’s what I do. I go to Jersey pizzerias, but then I also go to Beverly Hills and eat at crazy places with paparazzi outside.”
It’s almost as if Foodgod has gone from Charlie Bucket to Willy Wonka — just without the golden ticket. He’s even dressed up as Willy Wonka for Halloween before. We had to know, how does he feel about the new film Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet as the young candy man?
“He looks just like me if you see the pictures. I did that look exact,” Foodgod said. “When I see it sometimes, I think it’s me when I see these pics. I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, wait!’”
The Foodgod show really does feel like a contemporary chocolate factory. “It’s just so much cooler food out there than back then,” said Foodgod, “except we don’t have the ever-lasting gobstopper.”
The first season of Foodgod is now available on Discovery+.