The name Twitter was chosen by its founders because the dictionary defines it as “a short burst of inconsequential information.”
With a seven year history and a half a billion users no one’s calling Twitter inconsequential, but its tweets remain as relentlessly random and trivial as ever.
But Twitter opens a portal to the inner life of the food industry—the chefs, kitchens, patrons, and dishes—better than any other form of social media.
Twitter blurs the line between amateurs and professionals.
It gives a six-degrees-of-separation kind of connection to friends, strangers, and celebrities. It provides access, takes you behind the scenes, and invites you to join conversations that would be otherwise unavailable to you. The talk can be inane, aggravating, and inappropriate. It’s uncensored and often filled with more typos and grammatical incorrectness than you would think is possible in 140 characters. But there are also plenty of twitter feeds in the food world that are filled with focused, cogent, impassioned talk.
Time Magazine just released its annual roundup of the best Twitter feeds. 10 food feeds made this year’s list.
- Time calls the cookbook author and New York Times food writer Mark Bittman Twitter’s most-followable food wonk (@markbittman)
- We can always use a little more snark from the author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain)
- The former food critic for the New York Times, former Editor in Chief of the late, great Gourmet Magazine, Ruth Reichl has a way with words and food (@ruthreichl)
- Combine Ruth Reichl’s stylings with Anthony Bourdain’s profanity and you get the parody mash-up Ruth Bourdain (@RuthBourdain)
- Sure, he tweets about food, but celebrity chef and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio is also passionate about ending hunger in America (@tomcolicchio)
- Foodimentary’s fun facts and food trivia provide a daily dose of esoteric web weirdness (@Foodimentary)
- Pioneering food critic Gael Greene keeps the legend alive (@GaelGreene)
- Jordana Rothman is irreverent, irrepressible, and knows everything there is to know about eating and drinking in New York (@jordanarothman)
- She’s Alice Waters. That’s reason enough, but now you can also follow the effort to rebuild Chez Panisse after its devastating fire (@AliceWaters)
- Pete Wells brings imagination and quotability to his role as Dining Editor at the New York Times while regularly unleashing the critical hounds of hell on New York restaurants. He shares even more in short form on Twitter (@pete_wells)
Oops, they missed a few.
There’s plenty of expertise out there; a good Twitter feed informs and entertains. The author that can cloak knowledge in humor and personality is the one I want to read. And if they can regularly accomplish all of that in under 140 characters, that’s a Twitter feed I want to follow. Here’s a few feeds that were overlooked by Time but made the cut for Gigabiting:
- You can’t talk west coast food without including the San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Bauer. He’s in his third decade at the Chronicle where he heads the nation’s largest newspaper food and wine program, and he tweets great pics (@michaelbauer1)
- Jonathan Gold is another essential part of that west coast conversation. He’s quick and quippy and relishes his role as the self-named ‘belly of Los Angeles’ (@thejgold)
- Follow Food Curated’s Liza de Guia’s tweets like a trail of breadcrumbs through what’s new and happening in the Brooklyn artisan food scene (@SkeeterNYC)
- I love you Amanda Hesser, and I feel like you love me too. That’s because the Food52 founder gets personal, accessible, and interactive with her feed (@amandahesser)
- You’re on Twitter because you want to be connected. Nobody understands that better than Danielle Gould, the force behind Food+Tech Connect (@dhgisme)
You’ll find dozens more food-related feeds worth following among the Shorty Awards nominees. This is the fifth season for the awards recognizing the best in social media, and the food category leaders are jostling for the top prize. Winners will be announced in April, so there’s still time to nominate your personal favorite, cast a vote, or just look for some new folks to follow.