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Restaurant Industry Experts to Follow in 2019


Amanda McNamaraAuthor

Life happens fast in the restaurant industry.

Ingredients, dishes, drinks, and even entire concepts can rise and fall in popularity all within the course of one night's meal service. As a restaurant owner or operator, it's imperative – but time consuming – to stay on top of what's in, what's out, and then tailor your guest's experience accordingly.

Thanks to social media, following trends and the restaurant industry experts who keep a close eye on them is as easy as the click of a button.

At the beginning of a new year, take stock of your inbox and your social feeds and evaluate who you're following and why. As the saying goes: "You are what you read."

With that, we bring you Toast's definitive list of restaurant industry experts to follow in 2019.


Restaurant Success Report

This industry report collects data from restaurant professionals and guests to help you understand what it takes to create a successful restaurant experience from start to finish.


How We Created the 2019 Restaurant Industry Experts to Follow List

This list features individuals – not brands or companies – in the restaurant industry. To be included on this list, candidates must be:

  • A chef or restaurant owner
  • A restaurant chain professional
  • A restaurant consultant
  • A food and beverage tv personality
  • A member of the media
  • A food and beverage C-suite member
  • A thought leader in the food and/or restaurant industry

They also need to have cultivated a strong following on social media and demonstrated that they consistently create and share high-quality restaurant related content across their digital channels.

Restaurant Influencers to Follow in 2019: A Comprehensive List

We've included the Twitter accounts and corresponding personal or professional websites for each restaurant industry expert so you can quickly and easily follow them to learn more about their work and the ways they're shaping the industry.

Adam Platt 

Category: TV Personality, Chef, Author, James Beard Award Winner
Writer, Father, bilious gourmand.
@plattypants |

Alton Brown
Restaurant Expert Category: TV Personality, Author
Host of Good Eats, Food Network Personality and Presenter, Author, Cinematographer, Musician. Thyme lord.
@altonbrown - Website

Alan Liddle

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Data and event content director. At Nation's Restaurant News since 1984. Also, researcher for Supermarket News Top 75. Formerly: daily/weekly news; restaurants.
@AJ_NRN - Website

Allison AubreyRestaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
NPR Correspondent, PBS NewsHour contributor, mom, aspiring yogi, lavender lover.
@AubreyNPRFood - Website

Amanda Hesser

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Co-founder of Food52. author. former new york times writer. parent of twins. I live in brooklyn, but not the cool part.
@amandahesser - Website

Andrew Zimmern 

Restaurant Expert Category: TV Personality, Author, James Beard Award Winner
Chef, writer, traveler, host of The Zimmern List on The Travel Channel
@andrewzimmern - Website

Anne Burrell

Restaurant Expert Category: TV Personality, Chef, Author,
chef-food network personality- bon vivant - perpetual optimist - spreader of sparkles and smiles. follow me on instagram
@chefanneburrell | Website

Barbara Castiglia
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Executive Editor, Modern Restaurant Management.
@bcastiglia44 - Website

Bradley Toft

Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurant Consultant
The Restaurant Guy. Husband, Dad, and a work in progress. Risk Specialist at Newman & Tucker Insurance.
@BradleyToft - Website

Bret Thorn 

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Follow the adventures of a New York City food writer. Senior F&B editor, NRN & Restaurant Hospitality.
@FoodWriterDiary - Website

Bruce Irving

Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurant Consultant, Podcasts
Founder SPM (smart pizza marketing): The #1 Digital marketing platform for pizzerias | Speaker | Podcaster | Host of the top rated SPM Podcast : Family First
@Irvingmedia - Website

Cat Cora

Restaurant Expert Category: TV Personality, Chef, American Academy of Chefs Hall of Fame Member
The First Female #IronChef, #Mother of 6 Cool Boys, Lifestyle Entrepreneur, #Author, #Philanthropist, TV Personality, #Chef/#Restaurateur
@catcora - Website

Cherryh Cansler

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
VP of Editorial, NetWorld Media Group. Media maven. Yogi. Mommy. Director of Fun. Send me all your fast casual news.
@CherryhFastCas - Website

Cheryl Bachelder

Restaurant Expert Category: Food & Beverage Executive, Author
Former Popeyes CEO focused on developing purpose-driven leaders who evidence competence and character in all aspects of their lives. Author of Dare To Serve.
@CABachelder - Website

Chris Hill 

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurant Consultant, Podcasts, Author
Leadership and Branding Restaurant Guy - Entrepreneur - Author + 2X TEDx Speaker. IG: The_ChrisHill(Chris was also a guest on Toast's podcast, The Garnish. Listen here.)
@bachkitchen - Website

Chris Santos

Restaurant Expert Category: TV Personality, Chef, Restaurateur
chef. boxing junkie. metalhead. catch me on food network's 'chopped'. visit me at @vandalnewyork, @stantonsocial + @beautyandessex. les, nyc, vegas + hollywood.
@santoscooks - Website

Christina Tosi
Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurateur, James Beard Award Winner
comfortably human / OG #hardbody / founder & CEO @milkbarstore
@ChristinaTosi - Website

Dan Pashman

Restaurant Expert Category: Podcasts
Creator/host of The Sporkful podcast at Stitcher and the Cooking Channel web series You're Eating It Wrong and The Snackdown. An eater, not a foodie.
@TheSporkful - Website

Dana Hatic

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Associate Editor @EaterBoston. Former @MiamiHurricanes athlete and native Floridian. There's no such thing as too much hot sauce.
@danahatic - Website

Danny Meyer
Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurateur
CEO Union Square Hospitality Group. Founder Shake Shack. Always Setting the Table.
@dhmeyer - Website

David Chang
Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, TV Personality, James Beard Award Winner
retroactively retired from @momofuku since 2004.
@davidchang - Website

David Henkes

Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurant Consultant
Global food/beverage industry trend watcher, consultant, & connoisseur. Senior Principal at Technomic.
@davidhenkes - Website

Denise Landis

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
editor-in-chief of the cook's cook: a community of cooks, food writers & recipe testers. food writer, cookbook author, former @nytfood recipe tester.
@thecookscook - Website

Derrick Schommer

Restaurant Expert Category: Youtube
Host of Common Man Cocktails
@everydaydrinker - Website

Devra First

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Boston Globe food writer and restaurant critic. Don't want to do the dishes / Just want to eat the food. .
@devrafirst - Website

Dominique Crenn

Restaurant Expert Category:Chef, TV Personality, Restaurateur, James Beard Award Winner
Watch @netflix Chef's table Season 2. Chef/Owner of Atelier Crenn/Petit Crenn/Bar Crenn. I stay 100% behind my team and my food. Food is art.
@dominiquecrenn - Website

Emeril Lagasse

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, TV Personality, Author
the official account of Chef Emeril Lagasse.
@emeril - Website

Eric Cacciatore

Restaurant Expert Category: Podcasts, Restaurant Consultant
Host, RestaurantUnstoppable Podcast. Successful hospitality professionals telling their stories of success and sharing their mentorship.
@EricCacciatore - Website

Éric Ripert

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, James Beard Award Winner
Executive Chef, Le Bernardin
@ericripert - Website

Francis Lam
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism, Podcasts
I write and talk about food and people. I'm the host of @splendidtable, editor at Clarkson Potter, and ex-columnist at the NYT Magazine. I take statins.
@Francis_Lam - Website

Gerry Ludwig

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Food & Beverage Executive
Representing Gordon Food Service through culinary research and development, restaurant trend tracking, food writing and public speaking.
@GFSChefGerry - Website

Graham Elliot

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, Author, TV Personality
Chef, Restaurateur, Cookbook Author, TV Personality
@grahamelliot - Website

Heather Lalley

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Editor at Restaurant Business Magazine, new restaurant concepts. Medill + Washburne Culinary grad. Previously at Spokesman Review.
@flourgrrrl Website

Helen Rosner
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
@newyorker food correspondent (not a restaurant critic) | aesthete/asshat | she/her/hers |
@hels - Website

Hudson Riehle 

Restaurant Expert Category: Food & Beverage Executive
National Restaurant Association - SVP, Research & Knowledge Group

Ingrid Hoffman

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Author, Restaurateur, TV Personality 
celebrity chef, author, host simply delicioso food network & top chef estrellas nbc telemundo. professional eater & life lover.
@ingridhoffman Website

Jamie Oliver

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, TV Personality, Author,
The latest from Jamie Oliver HQ.
@jamieoliver - Website

Jenna Telesca

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
All business about food. Editor-in-Chief, Nation's Restaurant News @nrnonline & Editorial Director of Restaurant Hospitality @RH_restaurant
@JennaTelesca - Website

Jenné Claiborne

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Author
Committed to helping save the world one tummy at a time.
@sweetpotatosoul - Website

Jim Sullivan

Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurant Consultant, Author
All about restaurant & retail Leadership Strategy at Author: Multiunit Leadership & The Fundamentals. Speaker, Writer, Omnivore, Dad, Lad, Grad.

Jonathan Maze

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Executive Editor with Restaurant Business Magazine. Egghead. Married up to Haila Maze. Opinions pre-approved by a blue ribbon panel of experts.
@jonathanmaze Website

Jonathan Waxman

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, Author, James Beard Award Winner
Chef and owner of Barbuto & Jams NYC, Adele's Nashville and Brezza Cucina Atlanta
@chefjwaxman - Website

José Andrés

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, Author, James Beard Award Winner, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
We all are Citizens of the World. What's good for you, must be good for all. If you are lost, share a plate of food with a will find who you are.
@chefjoseandres - Website

Julie Jargon
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Wall Street Journal restaurant reporter, mom of three. LA via Chicago via Denver. Hiking, running, West Coast rap.

Kat Kinsman
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Sr. Editor foodandwine. No Pressure host. CarbfacePod intern. chefswithissues. Ex-extracrispy & CNN. My book Hi, Anxiety is on anxiety.
@kittenwithawhip - Website

Kate Krader 
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Food Editor, Bloomberg News.

Ken Burgin
Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurant Consultant, Podcasts
Helping restaurants, cafes, clubs & hotels to be more profitable - marketing, management, cost-control, training, staff. Plus the Profitable Hospitality podcast.
@KenBurgin - Website

Kim Severson

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Southern-based correspondent who covers the nation's food culture and food news for The New York Times and NYT cooking.

Liz Grossman

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Managing Editor of PlateMagazine, co-founder of Between_Bites and Instagram curator of nail and food art manicurian
@elizabites - Website

Leslie Patton

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
I write about food and restaurants for BloombergNews. Musings and opinions are my own.
@PattonLes - Website

Marcus Guiliano

Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurant Consultant, Author
Entrepreneur, Restaurant Business Coach, Two-Time Book Author, Public Speaker, Food Activist.
@1ChefonaMission - Website

Marcus Samuelson

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, Author, TV Personality, James Beard Award Winner
Tasty's Executive Chef in Residence. Ethiopia to Sweden to Harlem. Always #chasingflavors.
@marcuscooks - Website

Nancy Luna
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
#Restaurant industry writer, #food enabler, #coffee junkie, proud CornellSHA mom. Senior Editor, Tech Editor nrnonline
@FastFoodMaven - Website

Paul Barron

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism, Food & Beverage Executive
Editor in chief, CEO, Founder, Author, Filmmaker Foodable Network and ReverNetworks building the next generation of content
@paulbarron - Website

Peter Romeo

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Editor at Large for and Covering the restaurant industry since 1984
@PeterRomeo - Website

Ron Ruggless
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Senior editor at Nation's Restaurant News | Roughly 60% water (results may vary)
@RonRuggless - Website

Ruth Reichl

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism, Author
writer. eater. cook. former gourmet editor
@ruthreichl - Website

Samin Nosrat
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism, Chef, TV Personality
Cook, Teacher, EAT columnist nytmag, Author and Creator of SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT on netflix
@CiaoSamin - Website

Tiffany Lopinsky

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
A Bostonian documenting my eats in the city.
@Boston_Foodies - Website

Venessa Wong

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Deputy biz/tech editor for BuzzFeed News. I also write about food. Native New Yorker. Love to laugh and eat. Former Businessweek.
@venessawwong - Website

Zlati Meyer

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Covering the business of food, including chain restaurants, retailers, manufacturers and industry trends for USA Today. Formerly @freep. Boston native. Fan of hashtag games and hash browns.
@zlatimeyer - Website


Restaurant Success Report

This industry report collects data from restaurant professionals and guests to help you understand what it takes to create a successful restaurant experience from start to finish.


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