Chefs of Social Media: How these food connoisseurs reached a global audience

Paawan Sunam
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Here we take a look at how few chefs and other food experts experienced a massive boost in their popularity through social media- creating delectable content through their dishes.

Food content on social networks, especially visual platforms such as Instagram has been a popular genre. Users engage and interact with such content to explore new places to eat, try recipes at home, or just admire the beauty and visual interest of food. Several of these chefs have also been able to monetize their global popularity in the real world and open up businesses, launch merchandise, and other such initiatives banking on their social media presence.

Numbers too support the rise of food content on social media. In a Trends Report, Instagram shared that 58% of users have a strong interest in food, cooking, and restaurants and 36% feel inspired to try new recipes.

Various food trends and food connoisseurs have gone viral on social media in different instances. Remember Salt Bae? Or the raging Dalgona coffee trend during the pandemic?

Nusret Gökçe or as he is popularly known, Salt Bae, became an internet sensation a few years ago for his style of sprinkling salt on butchered meat, well since then, he has gone on from working at a butcher's shop to owning a chain of restaurants at cultural hubs of the world.

Here we go through the common factors that have helped create a global appeal for hyper-localized content and how some chefs went on to become stories of success through social media based on such content.

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Signature Style

While each of these chefs are distinctly competent, a common thread between them is their individual signature style which engages millions of social media users or rather attracts them in the first place.

Burak Özdemir or CZN Burak is infamous for creating giant oversized renditions of popular dishes and savouries native to his region Turkey and Syria. If you type out the words 'Smiling Chef' on Google, the results would show Burak's profile. His signature style is looking directly into the camera and smiling while he prepares humongous meals and chops veggies at lightning-fast speed. He first became popular from open-air cookouts and his individual style which is nothing like all the other food content surfacing on social networks.

Cultural Magnitude

Cultures and culinary traditions change every few hundred kilometres around the world. Users may not be exposed to the hyper-localized culture and diverse delicacies on a frequent or even a rare basis.

For instance, Indians might not be exposed to Turkish culture. But the localized videos that represent typical cooking styles and dishes from that part of the world, bring out the cultural uniqueness that works in the favour of these chefs. These videos are unique and consequently seen by users from around the globe, getting the viewers inclined to their culture.

Technological advancements' actual win is bringing different culinary arts together on a platform everyone from around the world can enjoy.

Personal Narratives

Tina Choi or doobydobap shares some of the most intriguing and drool-worthy recipes, but the enthralling element of her content is her inclusion of personal narratives. She has talked about the significance of a chef's knife and how it is similar to a wizard's wand, how her cleaver was gifted to her by her father on graduation, and that how out of the first 37 subscribers on her account 3 of them were from her own (from different accounts) to get the ball rolling.

She also shares her life stories such as watching her grandmother cook delicious delicacies by throwing in a bunch of ingredients and her love for cooking growing from craving authentic Korean food, which was not accessible when she moved to the US. She has also spoken about she started cooking in her dorm kitchen.

Personal narratives are a constant in her appetizing recipes (don't yuck my yum), from intimate tales such as her parents' relationship setting high standards for her own, or her favourite things about road trips in Korea - this characteristic makes her content unique and distinct her from other creators. Her boost in popularity also created an offline monetization opportunity for her to launch her own line of merchandise.


Autonomous sensory meridian response or as it is famously known ASMR is known to have an oddly satisfying and intensely relaxing response from viewers. It is triggered by all sounds made during cooking, which involve crackles, chopping, frying, bottle pops, fizzing soda, sharpening of a knife, boiling or anything else that goes on in a kitchen on a daily basis. Viewers usually use ASMR to be reminded of home - where they were studying or playing while their family utilized the kitchen in the background.

AMSR has been a popular format of content that several food creators adapted. Sam Seats has aced this format. The flash cuts in his videos timed with satisfying sounds such as water pouring, grinding, sprinkles, and many more, make the recipe videos pleasurable to watch.

These elements when they came out as natural instincts and an innate part of the content have led to global popularity that is not bound by geographical boundaries. Aspiring creators can also ascertain these elements and add their own flavour to create content that tastes like nothing that the viewers have ever tasted before.

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