Interview: #FoodPorn King Norman Wong on New Video Channel MAPO.TV

By Ned Kelly, December 1, 2017

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Newly-launched, MAPO.TV is on a mission in the food video world, and have already featured some of Shanghai’s hottest places and most talented chefs. To celebrate a new online partnership with That’s (scan the QR code at the end of the article to see their awesome content), we caught up with co-founder Norman Wong.

We hear you used to work at Blue Frog and Sherpas, tell us more.
I interned at Sherpa’s when I first moved here. I was there for the day of the first order. It was for a fish sandwich from a place called Waltzing Matilda Inn. Later, I left a day job to run the first Blue Frog on Maoming Lu. That was probably one of the most fun jobs I’ve worked in my life. My first bartender there was a sweet little girl from Hunan named Cotton. She stuck with the bar industry and has made a pretty damn good go at it.

Interview: Norman Wong on joining the food content game with MAPO.TV

What is MAPO.TV?
MAPO is a Digital Food Network aimed at foodies who are curious about all types of cuisine, food trends and the people who are doing amazing things with food and drink both locally and globally.

How did the idea come about?
MAPO was born out of my Production Company FLY Films. We’ve always been pretty good at creating content for others, so why couldn’t we do it for ourselves? We’re a bunch of foodies and home cooks in our studio and it just seemed natural to get into the food content creation space. The idea is to look at food and drink from a bit of a narrative perspective. We want to tell stories through food.

Mapo TV

How do you choose who to feature?
We have really been following who has been hot and who we really like. I have yet to feature a restaurant that I haven’t personally eaten at and loved. Honesty means a lot in cooking, and it’s something that comes through in each dish. The same is true with filmmaking.

Which has been your favorite video so far?
Jeju Izakaya. The first time I ate there I couldn’t wait to tell everyone about the place. The problem is that they only have eight seats, so it’s a tough place to share with people. You can’t just say, ‘Hey, let’s head over to Jeju for a bite,’ or even in good conscience suggest it when a friend is looking for a recommendation. I think we did a really good job of giving our viewers the overall atmosphere and experience of that place in 50 seconds.

And the most popular?
Jeju Izakaya has been very popular, as has Kasper Pedersen (Pelikan)’s Lobster Roll recipe video.

"Honesty means a lot in cooking"

For people don’t cook, which is the easiest recipe video to start with?
I would say go for the Hunan carbonara. First of all everyone should have a go-to pasta dish, and once you can make this, you can make a regular carbonara. 

What makes the perfect food porn?
Obviously you can’t smell or taste a video, so you need to rely on people’s food memories to trigger their senses. Things that make good food porn incorporate ingredients that have a signature texture or mouth feel as much as they do flavor. Melted runny cheese or egg yolk trigger a mouth feel beyond just a flavor so your mind’s palette has more to grasp onto. And bacon. People love bacon.


What plans do you have for the future?
Our new content offering has me pretty excited. We’re going to be partnering with international celebrity chefs and cookbook authors to recreate their recipes and produce a series of videos and interviews. Our first offering will be two recipes from Downtime, the cookbook Nadine Levy Redzepi’s – wife of superstar chef Rene Redzepi.

Watch the Videos

Cumin Ribs from Di Shui Dong (VPN off)

Outside of China? Watch on Youtube here.

Mushroom Cappucino

Outside of China? Watch on Youtube here.

Classic Cocktail Recipes from Union Trading Company

Outside of China? Watch on Youtube here

Inside Jeju Izakaya
Bypass Jeju's three month waiting list with this insider look at one of the city's most exclusive restaurants. (Read our review to find out more).

Outside of China? Watch on Youtube here.

MAPO.TV is a video channel for foodies to share food, recipes and ideas. Subscribe to their WeChat official account by scanning the QR code below:


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