Cultivating a strong social media presence is an arduous task, and many public figures — politicians,
athletes, and, yes, celebrity chefs — aren’t guaranteed an instantaneously adoring public on Twitter. Sure, people will want to follow you because you’re a Famous Chef, but keeping their attention can be difficult: what if you’re too unfocused? Too argumentative? Too spammy? Or even too boring? We’ve decided to help out by compiling a list of crucial social networking categories and the chefs who excel (or fail miserably) in them — all presented below, and available to any chef with two thumbs, a smartphone, and a desire to become Twitter famous.
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WHY: It's an instantaneous, 140-character burn, with very little in between your rage and the rest of the world. Conflicts form the backbone of Twitter, but some can battle better than most. BEST: Nobody is better at it than . He keeps his arguments short, focused, and reminiscent of things he would actually say in person (see: Anthony Bourdain "fucknuts"). WORST: Eddie Huang has one of the best chef Twitter accounts around. However, when he gets angry, he has a hard time reining himself in, resulting in some pretty intense tweet-brawls and non-sequitur ad hominems attacks.
WHY: Because everyone's PR agent tells them to, and they're right. There's no better way to tell people what you're doing with your cool celebrity life. BEST: has mastered the art of self promotion that isn't obnoxious. She always seems genuinely enthusiastic and excited about her appearances and opportunities, which actually make her promotional tweets fun to read. April Bloomfield WORST: We get it, wants people to know about his Rocco DiSpirito Now Eat This! books and trucks. But we think everyone can agree that he goes overboard with his efforts to publicize them. Less is more, Rocco.
WHY: Because 140 characters about your awesome life sometimes isn't enough.
BEST: is trying to teach all of his followers Italian by posting a word or phrase twice a day, successfully mixing entertainment and education. Fabio Viviani WORST: replies to his followers via Alton Brown Post-it Notes, which he then photographs and tweets. It's a really clever idea, and it's very popular among his followers, but the execution falls flat. Most people don't want to have to click through the link to see what Alton is tweeting, and so it quickly loses its charm.
Interacting With Followers
WHY: People do not tweet in vacuums -- and your fans want to know that you're listening to them. BEST: Despite making his name as the angriest chef around, is surprisingly lovely to his fans on Twitter. Plus, he's most likely to respond to tweets about or from children and teens, which earns him bonus points with us. Gordon Ramsay is also great at replying to his followers, and is always answering their food questions or giving them new tips or tricks. Mario Batali WORST: We love , and we love how much he loves his fans. However, we don't love his habit of retweeting almost every single adoring message he gets. A few are fine, but tons that all say the same thing are not. Art Smith
WHY: Sepia filters make everything in your life look cool and share-able. BEST: is one of the coolest people on Andrew Zimmern Instagram, and always has an awesome moment or dish to share with his followers. Similarly, feed is full of hilarious photos from his daily adventures. Graham Elliot's WORST: With all of the filters and effects available, it's impossible to take a bad picture on Instagram, making it impossible for us to pick someone who uses it poorly.
Expressing Your Personality
WHY: What's the point of someone having a twitter account if they're not the ones tweeting on it?
BEST: When it comes to chefs with big personalities, there's nobody like . His Twitter definitely reflects that -- for better or for worse, reading through it feels as if you're actually listening to Jamie speak. Jamie Oliver WORST: feed, on the other hand, doesn't sound anything like her, but instead like someone is tweeting for her. There's barely a "y'all" in sight! Paula Deen's BORDERLINE: When tweets are good, they're sarcastic, funny, and entertaining. When they're bad, however, they can come across as incredibly annoying. Careful Adam: the line between connecting and over-sharing can get very thin. Adam Richman's
WHY: Because you're a chef, darn it, and people follow you because you're allegedly obsessed with food. BEST: When you're a chef, it's understandable to only tweet about food. That's exactly what does, answering questions from followers and tweeting photos and comments about whatever she's eating at that exact moment. Nigella Lawson WORST: also primarily tweets about food, but it's often just a list of what she had for "dindin" instead of anything hunger-inspiring. (She also loses points for using the word "dindin".) Rachael Ray
WHY: Ah, the bane of Twitter. On the one hand, it removes the filters between a celebrity and their public, allowing said celebrity to be authentic. On the other hand, sometimes that celebrity can be a real jerk. BEST: Maybe they're just used to winning over audiences from their time on Top Chef, but no chefs on Twitter are more like-able than and Stephanie Izard . Stephanie's tweets have the same goofy charm that won her the "Fan Favorite" title on Season 4 of Richard Blais Top Chef, while Richard's tweets about his work and his young daughters are funny and relateable. WORST: It's not that is Joe Basticanich unlikable on Twitter, but for a guy who is most widely known for being meaner than Gordon Ramsay, his account doesn't do much to balance out any negative impressions.
Use of Other Media
WHY: Wait, Twitter isn't the only form of online media out there?! BEST: fills his tweets with links to photos, blog posts he's written, articles he's read, and cool things he's seen. The result is an often insightful look into Marcus' life and mind. Marcus Samuelsson
WORST: also likes to link to recipes, articles, and blog posts. The problem, though, is that everything he posts comes from his own website -- less sharing, more thinly veiled self-promotion. Emeril Lagasse
WHY: Because we know it when we see it. BEST: It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that someone with "offal" in their Twitter handle would post lots of awesome food photos. collection of culinary photography inspires some of the worst food envy out there. Chris Cosentino's WORST: tweets are more like short, weirdly erotic food poems. They definitely fall under the "strange-yet-compelling" category, but food envy? Not so much. Ruth Reichl's