Jojo Struys ventures into the kitchen guided by Chef Tommes.
WHAT happens when you bring together an unlikely pair and give them a stove and a pan? Well, the hosts of new cooking show Chalk And Cheese are prepared to dish up some tantalising dishes with a little splash of mayhem. One thing is certain, the food will be as interesting as their relationship.
At first glance, watching hosts Jojo Struys and Chef Tommes, you see that they are as different as chalk and cheese. And the new show exemplifies just that – the differing personalities, working backgrounds and life experiences.
A sneak preview of the series showed the mismatched couple having strong on-air chemistry while they cooked up delicious dishes in That Little Wine Bar kitchen (owned by Tommes) in Penang and in various destinations across the country.
The 30-minute show comes across as entertaining and fun as the duo keep poking fun at each other.
While Struys asks questions on ingredients and dishes, Tommes dishes out some very useful tips. And the best part is that he isn’t being preachy at all – he makes everything fun. For instance, he shares tips on how to boil eggs or how to prepare chicken the right way.
“I’ve never done cooking or food related shows before and I’m pretty excited about it,” said the petite beauty, who is no stranger to the camera. She has had a long career in the entertainment industry working as a TV host, director, radio DJ and is currently a columnist for The Star.
For someone who is constantly looking for challenging endeavours, Struys says that she loves the new challenge. “Food has always been a genre that I have been interested in, even though I’ve never explored it in my professional career.
“And working alongside such an experienced chef is a privilege and I have learned so much! I am so honoured that the Asian Food Channel (AFC) sees the potential in this programme and strongly believes that AFC foodies all over Asia will enjoy watching Chalk And Cheese as much as I do hosting it,” said Struys.
It all started about a year ago when Kyanite.tv (co-founded by Struys and producer/film director Michael Lim) was developing content for a food-related show.
“Chef Tommes and I first communicated via Skype and we just clicked,” recalled Struys who has been busy producing shows such as Miss Universe Malaysia 2012: Beauty Camp and the up-coming Yuna In LA and Mizz Nina In LA.
While Struys brings the bright and vibrant flavour into the show, her co-host could not be more comfortable in the kitchen.
This chef has worked all over the world, from New York to Shanghai, for high-end restaurants under the tutelage of world-renowned chefs such as three-starred Michelin chef Jean Georges Vongerichten.
According to Struys, each episode has a theme and three different dishes. “For instance, throughout the 12-episode series, there are themes such as tomato, nutmeg, seafood and ginger – just to mention a few.”
“I hope the show will speak louder than my words here,” quipped Tommes, adding that he had a blast filming the show.
“I had a lot of fun doing it. I had a little disadvantage as this is my first time working in front of the camera. But I definitely have a new respect for those in the TV industry,” said Tommes, adding that he aims to show the world that Penang is not just well known for its range of delicious hawker food, but is also a hub for fine dining experiences.
“One thing about Jojo, she was just like a little kid, asking a lot of questions (in a good way) when we were filming,” recalled Tommes.
“Chalk And Cheese is very candid and unscripted,” added Struys.
Tommes said: “AFC is the perfect platform for showcasing what Malaysia’s food scene has to offer to overseas viewers.
“The dishes that we make have a range of international and traditional flavours which are easily replicated at home!”
As a platform for promoting locally produced content from Malaysia, AFC will be the first in Asia to air the new and exciting Chalk And Cheese.
Executive Producer/ Director by Michael Lim