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Food documentary puts the focus on flavor

By Li Yingxue | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-19 07:52

While he started out telling food stories from a macroscopic perspective, Chen now likes to focus on the smaller details.

In February, a new food documentary named Flavorful Origins was released on Tencent Video. The first season focuses on Chaoshan cuisine, with each episode lasting around 10 minutes and featuring one ingredient or a dish prized in the Chaoshan region in eastern Guangdong province, such as rice noodles, white olives or mandarin oranges.

Chen wrote the script for the show. He believes in different cities of China, there are special ingredients or dishes that represent the characteristic of each city.

Picked up by Netflix in February, the show has aired in more than 190 countries and regions, making it the first original documentary in China to bought by the global media giant.

According to Chen, the second and third seasons of Flavorful Origins will focus on Yunnan and Gansu provinces, which are now currently under production.

"Audiences all over the world love food, and since this is aimed at an international market, we tried to add a few more stories that represent Chinese food culture and history," says Chen.

Chen's team includes young directors as well as more experienced ones. From directing a specific scene to suggesting the length of a line in a voice-over, Chen likes to be involved in every stage of the shooting and production processes of making the documentaries.

He enjoys spending time with the young directors and offering as much advice as he can.

"I hope to train more young directors, and help them to grow into experienced ones," he says.

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