We all know now that chefs tweet, and this is how their followers get a glimpse of what they are outside of their kitchens. And Twitter is just one of the many social media that chef these days are engaged in, allowing them to extend their influence far distant from their cooking area, restaurants, or TV shows.
And so we wonder—how influential are chefs in the restaurant scene and in every American’s home?
Klout, a social media research firm, wanted to check this out and ranked the top five most influential chefs who actively use social media. Andrew Zimmern of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” tops the list, followed by Gordon Ramsay, British chef Jamie Oliver, “No Reservations” host Anthony Bourdain and Food Network’s Giada de Laurentiis. Klout ranked these social-media users on a point-system of 1 to 100, rating their influence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn.
“Chefs are considered as tastemakers in the restaurant and food industry, inspiring everyone—from the practiced, professional restaurateurs down to the informal, relaxed ordinary American who cooks at home,” said Klout in its blog.
Andrew Zimmern (@AndrewZimmern) of the TV Channel’s “Bizarre Food” gained an influence score of 78 based on his exposure on Twitter and Facebook. He is said to be greatly engaged with his followers on Twitter. He directly replies too many of them and he often gives his fans a glimpse of his everyday life—like personal photos and advertising shoot pictures. His Twitter followers as of October were 261,076.
Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay01), who placed in his Twitter bio that he’s “somewhere always near food,” placed second. Known as the adept host of “Hell’s Kitchen” and an international restaurateur, Ramsay is loved by his followers because of the way he personalizes his replies and comments and how he subtly connects these to his recipes. He gives his fans a quick look into his private life, outside of his elegant chef pants and coats, with his personal photos and insights. His Twitter followers totaled to 465,293.
“Food Revolution” host Jamie Oliver (@JamieOliver) came third. Well-loved for his veteran cooking shows which includes “The Naked Chef,” Oliver blends his straight conversations with his followers on Twitter with that of his subtle links to information—promotions of his cookbooks, details of his shows, and his personal insights of the world. He’s also a big user of the photograph app Instagram. His Twitter followers, to date, are at a staggering 1,559,187.
Placing No. 4 is Anthony Bourdain (@NoReservations) of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations.” This chef, who describes himself in his Twitter bio as “the enthusiast,” posts videos and photos of his travels and his life in general as his way of engaging his fans. He uses these posts as a way of unveiling to his fans updates of his latest projects and travels. He was said to have a way of acting a little blue, which excites his online presence as well as his on-screen image. Bourdain’s Twitter followers have reached 579,668.
And lastly, Giada De Laurentiis (@GDeLaurentiis) made it to the Top Five. We all know her as the host of Food Network’s “Giada at Home” and the Cooking Channel’s “Everyday Italian,” but with her active participation in social media, her followers also know her now as “the Author, Paddle Surfer and Mother,” other than merely the chef in cool chef pants and coat. She personally relates to her followers and fans on a regular basis and promotes her shows and appearances online, too. Her Twitter followers total to 417,624.
The other chefs who made it to the Top Ten were Paula Deen, Mark Bittman, Jay Terauchi, Mario Batali and Tom Colicchio.