The food industry is such a bustling world of its own as these movers and shakers never cease to stop creating brand new food trends, a must-visit food joint, an exciting new TV show, or a highly-acclaimed new recipe collection or book.
In this blog, we are celebrating food personalities and their stories that are giving us all inspiration to embark on a food adventure, invent something new for our growing business, or even start a new one. Hop on and let’s meet our top 10 most influential people in the food industry!
Author and TV Personality
American writer and Emmy Award-winner, Ted Allen, began as the food and wine connoisseur and one of the Fab Five in the series Queer Eye and has continued on as the host of Chopped on the Food Network which earned him the James Beard Award. Ted has authored, “The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes (Clarkson Potter)” and “In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks”. He has also co-authored the New York Times bestseller, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab Five’s Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better, and Living Better”.
Restaurateur and Author
The Batali-Bastianich pair has influenced the food world for decades with the centrepiece of their empire, the Italian marketplace, Eataly. Batali, who has authored ten cookbooks, has received numerous awards such as Best Chef: New York City in 2002, Outstanding Chef of the Year in 2005, two James Beard Awards and Man of the Year by GQ. Bastianich on the other hand has co-authored two books on Italian wine and has been presented with the Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional Award by the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit in 2005. Together, they have received the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur Award.
TV Personality and Author
American chef, Anthony Bourdain, a veteran of numerous professional kitchens and former executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles, continues to be a major influence in the culinary world. Bourdain is widely known for his books; foremost is “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly”. Now as a television personality, he has been the host of A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network from 2002 to 2003 along with No Reservations and The Layover on the Travel Channel from 2005 to 2013. He currently hosts CNN’s Emmy Award-winning series Parts Unknown. Bourdain now aims to open a massive international food market at New York’s Pier 57.
Restaurateur and TV Chef
British chef Gordon Ramsay shook the food industry with criticisms expressed through colourful imprecations on TV shows such as Hell’s Kitchen and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Amidst the abrasive comments to aspiring chefs during these shows, his restaurants, including Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, has impressively achieved a total of 16 Michelin stars. Ramsay was also recently included in Forbes’ list of the World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2016, being the only celebrity chef to have made it to the top 100.
Chef and TV Personality
At an early age, Anne Burrell grew much interest in cooking and she has practically lived her life with that passion. This strong-willed chef with her iconic spiky sky blonde hairdo spreads the love for food by hosting or appearing on TV shows such as Secrets of the Restaurant Chef and Worst Cooks in America. She has also published “Cook Like a Rockstar” and “Own Your Kitchen: Recipes to Inspire and Empower”.
Having no formal culinary training did not stop Ina Garten’s passion for cooking which will eventually turn into the household name known as the Barefoot Contessa. Originally a specialty food store, the Barefoot Contessa carries its brand from a show on the Food Network. With Garten as the host, Barefoot Contessa establishes a pleasant yet cheerful vibe that charms anyone to be inspired to prepare meals for any occasion at the comfort of their home. Aside from hosting the show, Garten also authored a series of cookbooks still adopting the same brand including the recent release of “Cooking for Jeffrey”, which is a compilation of recipes Garten cooked for her husband.
General Manager of Tasty
Ashley McCollum is the General Manager of Tasty, a food recipe playbook created by Buzzfeed. Tasty is fresh in the food industry scene but over the past year, it already became one of the most influential brands to take over the internet. Having backgrounds and experience on business development and communications, McCollum led to be in-charge of Tasty’s strategic business development and expansion. This has very well proven itself successful with the concept of sharing series of recipe videos under a minute or two at a first-person point of view. It has built over 70 million followers on Facebook as of October 2017. This, plus their huge followers on the British, French and Spanish spin-offs.
Chef and TV Personality
One may have seen this British celebrity on his ever iconic show, The Naked Chef. But apart from being a TV personality and cookbook author, Jamie Oliver is currently using social media to make a mark in the industry with a cause. With online platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, he promotes a healthy lifestyle with his home-cooked recipes and he also raises awareness on children’s health.
Chef and Restaurateur
This restaurateur is best known for being the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group. Back in 2004, with the humblest of beginnings, long odds and a lease in New York’s East Village, Chang’s empire was born. With fifteen outposts today from New York to Sydney, Chang’s initial idea of “I just wanted to open up a noodle bar” has evolved into a giant in the culinary world, proving his belief that the ramen deserved a higher place in the American culinary scene. Momofuku Ko in New York was awarded 2 Michelin Stars in 2009 which they have retained ever since.
Chef and TV Personality
With 17 years as a solid fixture of the Food Network, Tyler Florence is an icon as both chef and television host. His restaurants, Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco and El Paseo in Mill Valley, are famous for hosting the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. He later on expanded to producing a line of award-winning wines, a kitchen wares retailer, and the organic baby food company, Sprout. Tyler has also authored a collection of cookbooks and recently launched Yumavore, an app described as “an ingredient-to-plate social-networking app” designed to meet the needs of the home chef in search of innovative recipe publishing, discovery, and shopping tool.
One influencer who may not be in our Top 10 but should definitely be worth mentioning is Franc Roddam, the creator of MasterChef. Roddam is the format creator and executive producer of the show which is cleverly designed to determine the best of the best to take the title of MasterChef. Going through a series of gruelling challenges and a few master classes from renowned chefs, viewers are taken on a food adventure that would eventually catch the attention of other countries to produce international adaptations of the show. From the original UK version, MasterChef has not only expanded its franchise to a list of countries, but spin-offs like Junior MasterChef and Celebrity MasterChef has also started to gain popularity. For sure, this is much thanks to Roddam for the inspiration.
How about you? Are you following any of these food influencers? Comment on the section below.