What started as a first job delivering food at age 16, Jonathan Cheban, now legally known as Foodgod, has become a lucrative influencer with over 11 million followers on Instagram and Twitter. He currently stars in his own television show, Foodgod, from Food Network streaming on Discovery Plus.
“The show adds a whole new dimension to my favorite pastime: finding the hidden gems of the food world and letting everyone else in on them,” Foodgod said about the show in a press release. The debut season includes four episodes chronicling the star’s culinary travels across the country, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami.
During the show’s intro, Foodgod explains that he has always been obsessed with getting the word out about the coolest foods. He also admits he eats out almost 365 days a year. “For me, it’s all about the visual experiences at the hottest places with the most over-the-top foods, which I love sharing with everyone,” he says during his opening.
While in Las Vegas, Foodgod hung out with Food & Beverage Magazine’s publisher and author, Michael Politz, dined with singer and songwriter Taylor Dayne, and tasted Jersey-style pizza at Criss Angel’s restaurant.
During the Las Vegas episode, he invites Dayne to dinner to discover one of the “craziest places” in Las Vegas. “I love coming to Vegas. The whole place is a show, especially when it comes to dining out. X Pot at the Venetian is a blend of traditional and futuristic cuisine using the 1,000-year-old hot pot tradition and twisted it into an immersive and extravagant dining experience.”
Through visual mastery and commentary, its style, tastes, and textures are showcased to give the audience a glimpse into the extraordinary culinary style.
Checking out Criss Angel’s new place, Cablp, “I heard you and Jersey Pizza, and I am here,” exclaims Foodgod, “I am a Jersey guy, so I know pizza really good.”
Located in Overton, Nevada, about 65 miles northeast of the Las Vegas Strip, Foodgod laughs that he needs to watch his jewelry since Criss Angel is so good at sleight-of-hand.
Foodgod takes his audience during the photoshoot for his second cover on Food & Beverage Magazine, named the “Most Influential Name in Food” by the magazine. He walks into the studio while Politz explains the photography setting, the classic bistro chair having all of the focus on Foodgod. “You’re a legend,” Politz says. After getting ready with hair, makeup, and wardrobe, Foodgod is the subject of some fantastic photography by Denise Truscello with the selected cover on this issue.
Politz and Foodgod then hit the streets of Las Vegas. “I have known Michael [Politz] for years, and he has always been committed to the food world and Las Vegas. But he doesn’t know it all here, so I love surprising him,” laughs Foodgod.
Arriving at Saint Honoré Doughnuts & Beignets, Politz admits he has never been there, and Foodgod takes delight in introducing the French cuisine.
In other episodes, Foodgod greets Kardashian West at her Los Angeles home with a cotton candy experience before dining with Kris Jenner for a meal at a 1950s-style diner. Another episode finds him traveling sharing pizza with rapper Fat Joe and shares fried chicken served in a cage with actress Savannah Lee Smith in New York City. In another episode, Foodgod samples a 40-scoop ice cream treasure chest with artist Romero Britto and stained glass sushi with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in Miami.
Originally from Moldova (at that time, part of the Soviet Union), Foodgod grew up in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Both of his parents were entrepreneurs, and Foodgod was inspired to do the same. He also shared his love of food with his mother who always encouraged him.
As quoted from his first cover story in Food & Beverage Magazine, “My whole life is about the food. Even years ago, when every day always revolved around school, I would plan my schedule in college so I could enjoy incredible meals. My mom knew I would get hungry and that sometimes I would circle for an hour in the car before I knew what I wanted to eat. It was almost like cracking a safe to go in search of the perfect tasting food.”
He started his PR career with publicist Penny Siegal and developed relationships with their celebrity clients, including Paris Hilton and the Olsen Twins. After that, Foodgod created his own business, Command PR, with celebrity clients following him.
After meeting Kardashian West, he was propelled into the world of reality television, appearing on 27 episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and 15 episodes of its spinoff shows like Kourtney and Kim Take Miami. He also made other television and movie appearances, including Celebs Go Dating and Celebrity Big Brother.
Catch his new show, Foodgod, on the Food Network streaming on Discovery Plus. Follow him on Instagram @foodgod and Twitter @foodgod.