Searching for Tony Bourdain

Foie gras taste on a Big Mac budget

All A-Twitter

The HuffPost Food’s The Daily Meal recently released a list of the 15 most followed chefs on Twitter. I was a proud follower of 11. Now I follow 14 of them. (Even though she’s only tweeted 136 times, according to HuffPo, I can’t risk following Rachael Ray for fear “Yummo” will appear in my Twitter feed.)

Of the 14, I’d have to say my favorite follow is Rick Bayless. There’s a more personal and detailed reason for that, but that’s for another post, another time. But what I enjoy about Rick’s posts is how much he interacts with people. It’s refreshing to see a man who’s cooked a State Dinner at the White House respond to regular people on Twitter. (Including a Direct Message to yours truly–but, like I said, another post, another time.)

The rest of the list is worth following, too, even if some of them don’t tweet as much as I’d like (Bobby Flay). But I’d like to offer a list of the Chefs You Should Be Following:

1. Chef Morimoto.  I’ve loved Morimoto since the original Iron Chef days. He always came up with the quirkiest and most imaginative dishes. You have to give credit to someone who would consistently freak out judges on that show. Once, I saw him create an elaborate sushi roll that, when sliced, looked like a stained glass window. The man has talent. He’s a relatively new find for me on Twitter, but he’s been a fun follow, and since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, he’s been working seemingly nonstop to raise money for his home country. He seems like a genuinely nice and appreciative man, and I have deep respect for him. And, you get a direct message when you follow him. Even though I know it’s an autoresponse (according to a tweet in which he also said all the tweets are from him directly), it’s a nice touch that lets you know he appreciates your follow. And not in that annoying “thanks for giving me the attention I so desperately crave” way that many autoresponse DMs convey. Morimoto has 4,600 followers. I think he deserves far more.

2. Eric Ripert. This is largely because I think Ripert is adorable and I want to carry a miniature version of him in my pocket and take him everywhere I go. But he’s also a fun follow because he has fun with Twitter. He mentions excellent meals he’s had, tweets photos from the kitchen at Le Bernardin, and taunts Anthony Bourdain. It feels like Eric is my friend and he’s showing me all the cool things he’s doing. And I really, really like to pretend that’s true.

3. Adam Richman. I love watching Man vs. Food. I think it’s a fun way to show off a city or region’s food and adds that bit of drama with the challenge at the end. And Adam is just straight out fun. He’s that guy you want to have a beer and several appetizers with. His Twitter account is a lot like he comes across on the show–friendly, enthusiastic, and full of shout-outs. (We owe Adam for one of the best meals we’ve ever had because he featured Brasa Rotisserie on the Minneapolis show. Go there.) I just realized looking at his feed that he was/is in Chicago within the last 24 hours and I wish I’d have known so I could have “accidentally” bumped into him. I also love his bio: “TV host, Man about town, righteous dude.” Indeed.

4. Stephanie Izard. The first (and only, thus far) female winner of Top Chef, Stephanie now operates Girl and the Goat here in Chicago. I am sad to say I haven’t had the chance to dine at her restaurant yet, but I enjoy her tweets about specials and other offerings at the restaurant via her Twitter account. I can’t wait to try her stuff and tweet her about it.

5. Fabio Viviani. As you can tell, I’m a huge Top Chef fan. Fabio is perpetually entertaining on the show, and he is on Twitter as well, broken English and all. Did Fabio crack you up on his two show appearances? He will on Twitter, too.

6. Richard Blais. I can’t say his Twitter feed has really stood out to me, but–TOP CHEF ALL STARS SPOILER ALERT–since he was just crowned the winner of Top Chef All Stars, I have to give Blais some love. He was always a favorite of mine this season (I didn’t really have one favorite, but a short list of preferred winners), and especially toward the end. He’s such a sweetie and I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with his winnings. It’s hard not to root for someone as creative, intelligent, and genuinely caring as Blais. Also, my sister and I walked past him once on Fifth Avenue in NYC and totally freaked out. So, he holds a special place in my heart.

My Twitter Food list follows 104 handles–including the chefs named above and others, restaurants, and other foodies. It’s growing all the time and I’m always looking for more interesting follows. Suggestions welcome.

@Michonne
Chicago

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