By Mel Sim

Woh Jia Le talks to us about cooking up a storm in social media and how he became to be the “best wowwwwww” guy.

Forget recipe books and even online food blogs – the place to go these days for recipes is Instagram and TikTok! Right here in Malaysia itself we have a number of really popular social media chefs, sharing with us step-by-step how-to videos. There’s really no more reasons for you not to know how to cook, even the simplest of dishes!

One of our favourite social media chefs is Woh Jia Le @jialewoh_cookingversion on IG. He’s got 88K followers (and counting) including our very own Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. On TikTok, Jia Le @jialewoh is 289.9K followers deep!

Jia Le is all about sharing videos on Chinese cuisine (his specialty) but with a halal twist. He even shares his videos in Malay, which is really unique considering his background and that makes us proud because hey, 1Malaysia right!

We were lucky to have caught up with the chef who took time off to share his story with us (thanks Jia Le!). Here’s what he has to say about being that guy who is best wowwwww!

I graduated from the Kusu Choong Hung Culinary school, specialising in Chinese cuisine. Before I became a social media chef, I was working in a five-star hotel as well as a traditional Chinese cuisine restaurant.

When I was studying, I had a lot of Malay friends who got in touch with me during MCO for tips and ideas on how to cook Chinese cuisine. After sharing some recipes with them, I thought to myself, “Why not make a video on social media for everyone to watch?”

The first video I made was on 10th July 2021 on TikTok. To be honest, my biggest challenge is language barrier. I left school some time back so my Malay isn’t really fluent but I am grateful that my audience was pretty forgiving and acceptable of it. I was doing this on the side at first but with support from my followers, I decided to make it into a full-time job. Also, it’s hard to find Chinese cuisine that is halal so I really want to share the culture and recipes. By November 2021, I began my career as a social media chef.

People think food content creators just cook, shoot and post. But it is far more than that. My day-to-day involves coming up with content ideas and making sure that whatever I want to share can be done in the shortest duration with all the info still in it. Before, I was spending more time on cooking but now, I spend more time and effort on producing the videos on how to cook!

For one food content, I have to first think of the recipes and know the steps very well. Then I need to compile the ingredients and shop for them. While shooting the video, I have to make sure all the steps are included. The production side of it is the most challenging as I initially had zero knowledge! But I am learning day by day and comments from my followers help me improve on our shooting and editing skills. I love it though; the whole process is fun.

The best part of being a social media chef is the support I get from everyone – all races, ages and religion! I remembered shooting and sharing a live video on how to make Chinese dumplings. It was so touching to see my followers actually learning and sharing their results in our community group. And they did so well too! I felt so happy and touched. This has definitely showed to me that sharing indeed is caring. (Watch the video here on TikTok, here on Instagram, and here on Facebook!)

I always say best wowwwwwwwww in my videos! The truth behind that is that it is a catchphrase that came from my followers who would comment best wow on my videos. So I thought, why not use what they say?

To be a food content creator, you need to be honest and give your very best. I am always doing my best to be real to my audience so they cook following my recipes for the best results. When we share knowledge, we have to be honest and sincere so our followers can try the recipes and end up with really good results! This way they will definitely support you.

Check out Jia Le on Tiktok @jialewoh and IG @jialewohcookingversion for some best wowwwwww videos! Also, follow him to find out more of his future plans, like the authentic halal Chinese cuisine restaurant he plans to open!

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