Jonathan Cheban Wants to Be the Guy Fieri 'for the Young and Hot'
With legions of Snapchat followers (@FoodGod, obviously) who are enamored with his jet-setting lifestyle, Cheban has attempted to leverage this to build his brand as a culinary authority. Scrolling through his “story,” you’ll find snap after snap of luxury dining experiences and exotic eats (reindeer meat, anyone?).
In a profile in GQ, this side of Cheban is highlighted IRL in all of its glory. Over the course of one dinner at N.Y.C. hot spot Tao — a favorite of his — the reality star describes dishes to reporter Joshua David Stein about a variety of food-related topics. Below is our list of Top 5 gems from the conversation, though it was hard to narrow it down.
1. On reading a menu: “This is what I do. I need to read it and then smell out what’s going to be amazing. It’s a talent. Like I can look at the menu and just look at the ingredients and be like, This will end up being amazing.”
2. On ordering the Rock Shrimp: “Rock shrimp is so generic. Anyone I go to Nobu with who gets rock shrimp, I freak out on them…It’s such a bad look on the table. It cheapens me. I’m embarrassed about it. That’s the stuff I ordered for the first 10 years eating at Nobu.”
3. On being an environmentalist: “I’m a food environmentalist. I’m about the food and the ambiance.”
4. On his professional ambitions: “I definitely want to be like a Guy Fieri or Anthony Bourdain for the young and hot. That would be amaaazing.”
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5. On the ever-changing landscape of content consumption: “My Snapchat and my Instagram probably get more views than every magazine out there.”
Talk amongst yourselves.