Over the past few years there has been a surge in the number of Asian Australian vloggers who focus on being foodies and showing their audiences where the delicious restaurants are in their city and overseas as well as those who are amateur or actual cooks and chefs showing how to prepare their favourite dishes. As someone who considers herself a ‘foodie’ and somewhat an ‘amateur home cook’, I personally follow quite a number of these Asian Aussie foodies and cooks on my own social media.
One of these foodie vloggers is Kevin La aka @Sydneyfoodboy/ ‘Sydney Food Boy Kev’ who produces weekly videos of his adventures and journeys into the world of food and restaurants in Sydney as well as food and restaurants as he travels. By day he is an optometrist and works in South Western Sydney and by night, weekends and probably whenever he has time he is a foodie and creates weekly food videos (sometimes more than weekly) of his eating adventures.
His @sydneyfoodboy Instagram boasts a 108K following, his YouTube channel @SydneyFoodBoy having around 23.5K subscribers and over 132K followers on his @sydneyfoodboy TikTok account – so yes he is one of the big wigs on social media.
In an recent interview conducted earlier this year, I sat down with ‘Sydney Food Boy Kev’ for a lunch of noodles and dumplings near where he works, and we chatted about his passion for food, his life growing up and how that has inspired him to continue his passion.
“I am a 25 coming onto 26 year old man from South West Sydney. I grew up in this region around Cabramatta living a usual Asian immigrant family life – going through school and getting my education. Now I am working in optometrist full time”, said Kevin.
“Sydney Food Boy is a passion project. My upbringing in Southwest Sydney gave me the gift of loving food and with that I started to explore this passion to dispel fears people have about learning and trying different food and cultures in Sydney and all across Australia.”
Kevin has a love of travel and for those who love traveling, the love of trying different cuisines is a given. He shares how his first trip to Asia sparked the passion and allowed him to see life from different perspectives.
“It wasn’t till I was around 18 years old that I had gone overseas. My parents were busy as they worked a 7 day a week job, and they didn’t really have much opportunity to explore the world because of that. On my very first trip I went to Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore, and coming from a Cambodian background I was able to witness the life my parents had growing up in Cambodia versus the society that they/we live now in Sydney.”
“Just being in Cambodia and the other countries was a beautiful experience and it essentially allowed me to see different perspectives on life, and that’s how I started with the videos, just filming and recording memories on my travels. Initially it wasn’t centred around food , but I realised throughout my travels how nice it was trying different foods in whatever soccer or culture I was visiting overseas – its like inserting yourself into the community and just being one of the locals – its a nice feeling.”
In terms of a memorable/epic eats, Kevin mentioned that one of the best things he has eaten is local in South Western Sydney in the culturally diverse suburb of Fairfield.
“For me, it was probably a small American style restaurant located in Fairfield. They did awesome chili dogs and hot dogs and on the weekend once in a while they would do a BBQ with hip hop music etc – it has a very community feel to it. It was something I had never seen in Sydney before. Unfortunately, they closed during the pandemic period”, Kevin expressed.
Lastly, in the current environment of anti-Asian hate in Australia, how can social media influencers like Kevin (who is a food vlogger) change the narrative and contribute to the visibility of Asians in Australia?
“With anti-Asian hate, I have always felt like it was more about the person giving off their hate and less about us being Asian you know? It shows the weakness of those who perpetuate the racism because as far as I am concerned being Asian is a beautiful thing”.
“As Asian Australians we have wonderful cultural strings which binds us and gives us different experiences and I think we should celebrate this rather than spread hate towards others. I just want to keep publishing videos of wonderful food from different cultures so I can bring audiences different perspectives and encourage people to try something new”.
Wonderful person who shows true passion for food. Do you want to follow “Sydney Food Boy Kev”? Well you can find him in Instagram and TikTok as @sydneyfoodboy and on YouTube as @SydneyFoodBoy.
Additional images via Sydney Food Boy Instagram