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Cambodian Eats explores the foods of the Kingdom of Wonder

Foods and places are often closely connected, with it being difficult to separate a flavour or ingredient from the land and people they originate from. This is particularly true in Cambodia. Whether a stretch of road where vendors specialise in a local snack or an entire province known for producing the best pepper in the world, food is a key part of Cambodian identities.

Cambodian Eats, an online video series, explores Cambodian culture by taking viewers on an exciting journey across the country, visiting four provinces to learn about the foods that make them unique. 

In the show’s second season, host Neary Chalat Chor visits Takeo province, to learn about giant freshwater prawns – a local speciality. In Kampot, she tastes the famous crabs and in Pursat, she makes the favourite – and pungent – national dish, prahok. Finally, in Kampong Speu, Neary makes new friends and lends a hand processing the province’s world renowned palm sugar.

“Each place that we went to had different cuisines coming from traditional roots. It inspired me to travel as much as I can to discover new things,” said Neary.

Speaking with the show’s Co-producer and CEO of Globe Media Asia, Daniel Marchette, he shared the inspiration behind the series. “Cambodian Eats is about the foods that make Cambodia the Kingdom of Wonder. Different places are synonymous with various ingredients or dishes, and these are often tied directly to the environment and communities in those places. The show works to highlight the relationships between these things and give ideas and solutions for ensuring they will be around for future generations.” 

The first season of Cambodian Eats aired in 2021, visiting Mondulkiri and Steung Treng provinces, but production for the project was cut short due to travel restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. For the second season, Globe Media Asia received funding from Heinrich Böll Stiftung to give the production new life, with the episodes published through Focus – Ready for Tomorrow, and with support from Brains Communication.

To mark the end of the second season, the Cambodian Eats team will host a live discussion on June 16th. The event will be held in Phnom Penh at the Heinrich Böll Stiftung offices and will allow the audience to meet the host, Neary Chalat Chor, ask questions and learn more about the people, places and foods featured in each episode. 

Reflecting on the series, Daniel shared, “We created Cambodian Eats to try and highlight the amazing foods, landscapes and environments of the country and educate people about the need to ensure their future through sustainable practices. Along the way, we learned about the people who call these places home and were educated about the resilience of the Cambodian people.”

To join the discussion on June 16 with Neary Chalat Chor and the Cambodian Eats team, register here: https://brains-poll.app.do/register-to-cambodian-eats-season2

Seats are limited and will be given on a first come first served basis. Media and journalists are welcome to attend by registering.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to watch Cambodian Eats season 2 you can find all episodes on YouTube and the Focus – Ready for Tomorrow Facebook.

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