S1E19 | CLT Food Influencers – Dani Canada & Kenty Chung

SEASON 1: EPISODE NUMBER: 19

EPISODE GUESTS: Dani Canada & Kenty Chung

Food influencers are here to stay. We chat with two of Charlotte’s most follow-worthy local foodies, Dani Canada @thecharlitty & Kenty Chung @kenty_eats. They share their insight into the influencer side of the food biz.

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Dani Canada (@thecharlitty) and Kenty Chung (@kenty_eats) are two of Charlotte, N.C.’s most follow-worthy influencers, highlighting new restaurant openings, hole-in-the-wall favorites, and everything in between.

Canada is relatively new to the game, starting in 2020, encouraged by her friends to share her restaurant experiences. Her first shoot was at the Jailhouse Whiskey & Cigar bar in Belmont, N.C. She’s found that restaurants will be more supportive and helpful if they’re given a heads up. If they know you’re there to take pictures, they want to be a part of it.

“It takes one picture to get started. Focus on (photographing) what you love, not for the other followers,” says Canada.

Chung moved to Charlotte from California, a life-long foodie whose love of cuisine he credits to his mom. He aimed to contribute to Charlotte’s growth and bridge cultures. His first local shoot was at Capishe Kitchen italian restaurant. He says it feels natural to take pictures, but every once in a while, he feels insecure about it. Unlike Canada, he doesn’t usually announce his visits.

“Don’t compare yourself. Be true and authentic to yourself,” says Chung.

Both foodies focus primarily on Instagram, sharing scintillating snapshots of the best bites. And the two agree, it’s all about building relationships. Canada urges, “You don’t know what doors can open just by being nice to people. Don’t be afraid to hear ‘no.'”

A key to foodie influencer success: stay consistent with your craft, whatever it is, and accept feedback. Chung, who is often hired by big name restaurants to take brand photos, did a great deal of research on how to take the best food photos and is constantly trying to learn more. And it shows.

Their go to dining spots:
Canada: Anywhere with steak, pasta, and cookies – but she’ll choose the wait staff over the restaurant
Chung: Let’s Meat Korean BBQ or for burgers, Ace No. 3 or Bang Bang Burgers

And even though it’s easy to be influenced by social media to try a new spot, Dani says to remember, “Some of the best spots don’t have an Instagram.”

“I put it out into the universe and the universe will either take care of you or drop you on your ass. It’s about taking chances.”

– Dani Canada, @thecharlitty

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