Media / Entertainment / CultureHow Celebrity Chefs are Using Social Media

Now days you see chefs on every channel. From cooking segments on the Today Show to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The most well known chefs also have a strong online presence. Here we take a look at who is doing it well and how they achieve this success.

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Remember the days of Julia Child a woman who took American fascination with French cuisine and turned it into a fruitful television career? We would not even know her name if she had not been invited to talk about Mastering the Art of French Cooking on a Boston TV show. Nowadays we have hundreds of shows and clips on YouTube to choose from when planning a meal or learning to make an omelet. So how do chefs distinguish themselves in the social graph in 2012? 

If a chef has an already well-established name, you know the Wolfgang Pucks and Emerils of the world, then it is only natural to populate every social channel with the millions and millions of pieces of content they have collected over the years. Wolfgang is one of the first to really “get” Pinterest. But what to do if you are new to the spotlight or working without a mega PR agency?

Marcus Samuelsson almost immediately received critical acclaim after moving to the US. He is not only a wonderful and innovative chef, he is also very outgoing. (This helps) In 2010 my firm, Everywhere, trained Marcus on social networking platforms, content creation and the importance of blogging. Almost immediately he was tweeting and updating Facebook and added several blogging notches to his belt.  Currently Marcus writes for The Huffington Post, created a wildly successful cooking blog for men called FoodRepublic, and hosts a number of guest bloggers on his own website Marcus Samuelsson

On Facebook Marcus has 33K fans and shares content that is truly drool-worthy! On Twitter Marcus has 47k followers and is as authentic as they come. He talks not only about his business ventures, but also about worldwide food and political topics, recipes, and has conversations with his followers.

Another example of a chef who I consider to be savvy is Rick Bayless, host of Mexico: One Plate at a Time & owner of several outrageously good restaurants. He has recently taken the idea of a “culinary experience” to a completely different realm. This may sound extreme but it’s true. In January Bayless began with teaser tweets about something called Cascabel:

"At photo shoot early this am w my co-creators of Cascabel 4 Lookingglass Theater. It's gonna be full-bore sensory feat http://moby.to/61crv3" January 21

He has taken theatre and mixed it with food, and to me that formula equals sensory genius. One can only hope that more chefs follow suit. The use of social here created a curiosity and subsequently a flood of comments and blogs across the web.

Iron Chef Cat Cora is one of the higher-profile female chefs in the game. She has a great sense of social and uses her various accounts to share all of her current articles and activities. What I love about her use of social is that she signs her updates “XXOO Cat” when they come from her, and doesn’t sign when they are from her PR team. I think this builds trust with her followers.

There are bigger names out there, but it is hard to find a chef who is doing it really well on their own. What do you think? Is it more important to have the celebrity update his or her own platforms or is it better to have a professional behind the wheel?

Author

Discussion

Erin  NelsonErin NelsonMethod for Success

Hi Britton,

Your article is great! The emergence of non-traditional social media celebrities and their process for creating a following is fascinating.

I wonder though: Since there is such fine line between what 'looks' and 'sounds' good to eat, do you think words or images are more powerful to create a following in the food industry? Must you always have both to create not only lust for the food itself, but a connection to the personality of the chef/host, etc?

Also, I'd be curious to know what you believe is the 2nd step in launching a true social media following. Once you have your blog, Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest pages set up- where do you go from there? What (if you will) is the essential ingredient?

Thanks again for your insight,
Erin

Reply
Roswitha AsjodiRoswitha Asjodi

Dear Britton,
dear Erin,
from my point of view the personality of the chef as the host is important, too.

Mother´s finest recipies from childhood were important because they delivered comfort and a feeling for home.

The personality of the chef is as important to show, backing the finest recipies there are and giving the certain feeling they individually wish to express with it.

Social media is the best way to communicate this special feeling.

And, you know, there are noumerous people who have to get an idea what they can expect before they go out dining, or before they decide upon preparing a delicate meal.

Samuel Hannemann, the great Homeopath, called these personalities, Calcium Fluoratum Personalities. These highly sensitive people are open to the finest vibes.

And if these guests in a restaurant are not served what they imagined to get in the first place, they care not flexible enough to adjust their minds. Or they rather eat nothing.

And I am not talking about a rare species of guests in a restaurant.

In general its nice to feel that the person that you have contacted though Facebook, twitter and exploreB2B is behind the type of meal that you are enjoying, at home or in the finest restaurant (smile).

Joyful day to you both
Roswitha

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