Instagram opened up a new means of restaurant promotion.
Think about it: How many of your friends upload pictures of their food to Instagram? Put a professional twist on this, and you’ve got the right conditions for food to go viral.
The chefs who get this understand people love high-quality, professional food photos (food porn — let’s call it by its name).
And up in the celebrity chef stratosphere, fans love to get behind-the-scenes looks into some of the world’s most famous kitchens.
If you’re trying to build your restaurant’s social media audience and take your Instagram marketing to the next level, here are 10 of the best chefs to follow on Instagram.
David Chang, founder of Momofuku restaurants, has had great success on Instagram with 645,000 followers. He has put his own twist on things and is known for the excellent videos of his creations. He not only uploads great photos and videos of the food at his own restaurants, but he also recommended other foods and restaurants. This helps him appear not too self-promotional.
Magnus Nilsson, with 140,000 Instagram followers, is the head chef at Fäviken in Sweden. He appeals to people’s behind-the-scenes curiosity by going out into the Swedish wilderness and foraging for natural resources. His pictures of these expeditions are hugely popular. He has also published a book about the beauty of the Nordic landscape and its excellent cuisine. He promotes on this on his Instagram page, too.
The executive chef at Next in Chicago, Chef Tomaska’s strength comes from the fact that his kitchen turns out some of the best-looking dishes in America. That makes the behind-the-scenes look into his alchemy that much more interesting for any food-lover.
Next Ancient Rome goes live tomorrow. “Aromatic Salt” Sales conditos ad multa (29) Oxtail baked in mulling spiced salt. Flavors of #horseradish and #turnip. @bornburgundy @grant_achatz @briseistdg . . . . . . . #chicago #chicagofoodscene #chicagofoodie #finedining #eater #eaterchicago #foodandwine #cook #chef #cooking #cheflife #chefsroll #nextrestaurant #chefstalk #vsco #vscocam #iphonephoto #iphonephotography #truecooks #vscofood
Another popular pastry chef, Christina Tosi started the dessert program at Momofuku and is currently opening up the much-anticipated Milk Bar bakery in Las Vegas. Her wonderful sense of humor shines through in her photos and videos.
Elisabeth Prueitt is a pastry chef at the Tartine Bakery in New York. She has seen recent success with Instagram — her account currently has 30,000 followers. Besides posting great snapshots of her creations, she occasionally posts photos with walk-in celebrities. She also sometimes posts in Spanish to engage with her Spanish-speaking demographic.
Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, recently ranked the No. 2 restaurant in the world, counts about 375,000 followers. The secrets to his success? He takes a lot of casual photos of himself and his crew. This shows he’s a normal guy like the rest of us. He also engages directly with people who link him photos of their own creations (very important).
Jordi Roca, with 132,000 Instagram followers, is the chef at El Celler de Can Roca in Spain. He posts a lot of funny, off-beat pictures. For example, he often shares pictures of himself wearing silly hats or hanging out with his crew. He also occasionally posts pictures of him and his dog. But perhaps most importantly, he includes scrumptious-looking pictures of delicious desserts.
Timothy Hollingsworth, with around 33,000 followers, is the owner and chef of two restaurants: the Otium in Los Angeles and Barrel & Ashes in Studio City, California. His account frequently features stunning close-ups of great California seafood from his restaurants. He also posts a lot from his home: pictures and videos of family life with his wife and daughter.
Genarro Contaldo in Italy benefits enormously from his relationship with popular chef Jamie Oliver. He currently runs the restaurant Jamie’s Italian, and his Instagram account has 260,000 followers. He snaps photos with Jamie and other chefs. He certainly benefits from his Italian charm.
The Grounds of Alexandria
Not a single chef, but still a good example of excellent food marketing: The Grounds in Sydney, Australia, posts tons of photos of their excellent coffee and idyllic settings. They have one of the most popular trending food-related hashtags (#thegrounds) in Australia. Looking at their account it’s not hard to see why — who wouldn’t want to drink coffee brewed by coffee enthusiasts in those beautiful settings?
Author Bio: Casey Meehan is a writer and business owner who likes to talk about everything under the sun — from writing music to entrepreneurship to investment strategies. He explores the latter by covering financial news and offer trading tips at his blog Stock Hax.