I Eat KL was conceived, shot and edited within a period of about 9 months. Scripts were written in December and as drafts were refined, auditions commenced for about a period of two and a half months. It was very important that we got the right 3 girls for the roles of Sabrina, Meg and Kiki. They are afterall, the heart of I Eat KL. Intense pre-production began in April. The series was shot over a period of one month from May 10th- June 9th. We wanted to shoot at some known food institutions eventhough we knew how challenging this would be in terms of crowd control, humidity and business disruptions of the establishment. Still key scenes were shot at KL institutions like Yut Kee, RA Nasi Lemak and Satellite Chicken Rice.
We also wanted a fully functional industrial kitchen to mimic a real back end kitchen of a restaurant and was lucky to find Silverspoon International College that had not only the space but was also fully equipped. It was however a sweltering shoot and most of us affectionately termed the kitchen shoots as ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. Kudos to our crew and actors for being real troupers and were able to act and emote in that incredible heat. For KL Times it was a real treat to be able to shoot in Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. That was pretty special. As much as we can we tried to get locations that will inspire our actors in their characters and professions.
In addition, it was very important to us that the actors who played chefs on our show have a good understanding of the profession and able to perform convincingly. All of them went through a day of kitchen bootcamp to learn basic knife skills and techniques like deboning, trussing, icing and kneading depending on the characters that they play. Then all of them were put to work in the Le Meridien kitchens under Chef Antoine so they can observe how real chefs move, conduct themselves and feel the spirit of being a chef.
I eat KL is a passion project for show creator Honey Ahmad and executive producer Adly Rizal and in hindsight a real ambitious one. We had about 19 separate locations, over 25 speaking actors, a crazy schedule and a very tight budget. And this was our first foray into the world of fictional TV! We were lucky to have an excellent technical crew led by award winning cinematographer Raja Mukriz of Red Kebaya and KL Drift fame in one of his rare forays into TV. We also had great directors in Eunice Lau, an award winning filmmaker from the prestigious Tisch in New York and Akmal Danial fresh from the success of his own TV show, Projek Pop. Angie Choo who worked on films such as Songlap led a dedicated art department that were able to turn around locations and work around the clock and we had food stylists who made the food look sexy. Not forgetting our brilliant wardrobe and styling team led by the formidable Jiman Casablancas who sourced the incredible clothes our actors wore, predominantly from local designer savants.