Social media has changed the way we all interact with each other but for chefs it made them start to interact. For a long time chefs were very closed off with their careers, everything was very “My secrets! My ideas! Hands off!” But through the use of social media chefs are opening up and the future is bright.

Gordon Ramsey, Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal. Some examples of chefs that took television by storm with their own programmes. Their shows have done nothing but boosted their career and gave them this celebrity personality status. Something that not all chefs have.

These type of chefs harness and use this status on their popular social media accounts to reach out to fans, showing them what they’re working on and what their restaurants are doing. Other then bringing in more diners to their restaurants, this helps promote and push anything else they may have a venture in. Things such as cookbooks, tv shows, pop up food events, etc.

Chefs riding the social media wave

A key and relatively new example of this tv personality chef, plus a keen personal favourite of mine, is Matty Matheson. He is a Canadian chef with a restaurant of his own, ‘Parts & Labour’, as well as co-owner in a two location pizza restaurant ‘Maker Pizza’. He also has had two television programmes on the TV channel Vice, his most recent being ‘It’s Suppertime’. He will also do regular recipe videos for Vice’s foodie sub-channel, Munchies, that are available on youtube.

In his six episode series on youtube with munchies ‘Keep It Canada’  Matty Matheson goes to his favourite areas of his home country and shows what Canada has to offer to the food industry. In Episode 3: Noodling Capelin in Newfoundland he talks to owner/head chef Jeremy Charles and owner/restaurant manager Jeremy Bonia of ‘Raymonds’. As three of them stand over a few barbecuing trout they caught moments before, they discuss the impact of social media. Matty expresses his view of it…

“Social media… The [food] industry is so amazing for it because that ‘this is my recipe’ kind of s*** is long over. Now everyone is like ‘This how you make it, go make it.'” – Matty Matheson

Jeremy B then goes on to talk about how great it is for him personally. He is not a chef but obviously a foodie in the business, so for him it is inspiring to see the different things people like Matty and Jeremy C can do with the same ingredients. Two chefs with very different styles of cooking but a similar burning passion for it none the less. “All it comes down to, it’s only food” JC says, “You s*** it out…” Matty replies.

People from different regions, countries even continents can learn and explore completely different cuisines, cultures and palettes with just a few swipes of a finger. Over the past four years of my life I nurtured a mere interest of mine into an obsession. My father introduced me into the culinary world due to him and my uncle working in the industry. Both of them having two very successful careers and working with (if not possessing) well known names, though I never completely understood it. Instead it was the accessibility I had through social sites like Youtube and Instagram, that made my interest develop the more I watched and learned.

Not all are born stars

Like every industry there are people at either end of the scale with those in between. At one end you can have Hollywood film stars and at the other be part timers who balance their job with performing on the weekends. Not every chef can win the popularity contest on Instagram. To make it in the big leagues not only do you need to have that credibility as a chef but have that unique personality that people can latch on to.

When people talk of Gordon Ramsey they imagine his hot temper and bad language that creates an old school, no nonsense, fiery chef image. For Nigella it is that sexy, seductive yummy mummy that talks and describes as well as she cooks. Then Heston Blumenthal has the whacky scientist personality, keeping you on your toes and making you anticipate his next venture.

These personalities can be identified in the majority of their posts, whether that is in the caption of each post or the picture itself. For example with Gordon he will be simple and straight forward, letting good food speak for itself. Although Instagram isn’t just for the multi million follower chefs and ‘Raymonds’ Jeremy Charles who i spoke of earlier is proof of this.

It does wonderful things for chefs who are less concerned with the activity side but more the communicating side. Expanding and growing with other chefs as well as foodies. People are more aware as they have ever been and it’s changing the food world for the better.

Make sure to return on the 6th January 2019 to see what we have next.

Click here for last week’s ‘Deliveroo. Love it or hate it, What’s your view?’.