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The Definitive List of Restaurant Industry Experts to Follow in 2019

Posted by Amanda McNamara on 1/23/19 5:00 PM in Industry News & Trends

37 minute read Print

restaurant industry experts to follow

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. While you're at it, check out our posts from 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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. 

Please note: This list is not set in stone. Share other restaurant industry experts we should be following in 2019 in the comments section below.

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.


 imagesAdam Platt 

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



 Alton-BrownAlton 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


eIz5jj7D_400x400Allie Tetreault

Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism, Restaurant Consultant
     @       &  &  & 
@alliekaytee - Website


MVI_9328_400x400Allison Aubrey

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


R51SFeR4_400x400Amanda 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


BJLB7H2w_400x400Andrew 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


puXVSjKW_400x400Anne 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


6c_JnOsW_400x400Barbara Castiglia
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Executive Editor, Modern Restaurant Management. 
@bcastiglia44 - Website


UJeeVdZ9_400x400Bradley Toft 

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


3R5rLFiB_400x400Bret 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


BlkHHUxb_400x400Bruce 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


HDy7ko9N_400x400Cat Cora

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


c8Ho56S2_400x400Cherryh Cansler

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


KeD3Kx2u_400x400Cheryl 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


eAn2Woal_400x400Chris 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


imagesChris 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


ApIDnevf_400x400Christina Tosi
Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurateur, James Beard Award Winner
 comfortably human / OG   / founder & CEO  
@ChristinaTosi - Website



Dan_Diner_17Dan 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


0Dana Hatic

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


GYi5SaPy_400x400Danny Meyer
Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurateur
CEO Union Square Hospitality Group. Founder Shake Shack. Always Setting the Table.
@dhmeyer - Website


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


henkes.pngDavid Henkes

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


hKRNmO1K_400x400Denise 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


photoDerrick Schommer

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


dev.pngDevra 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


29-dominique-crenn.w700.h700Dominique Crenn

Restaurant Expert Category:Chef, TV Personality, Restaurateur, James Beard Award Winner
Watch @ 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


Donald_BurnsDonald Burns

Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurant Consultant, Restaurateur
The Restaurant Coach™, industry expert at  and Toast. Former USAF Pararescue. My motto: All business problems are really people problems in disguise.
@donaldburns - Website


bZay1J9F_400x400Emeril Lagasse

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


Eric-CacciatoreEric Cacciatore

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


lb-eric-001Éric Ripert

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


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


-f4in6Zf_400x400Gerry 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


FyWB3Ifi_400x400Gordon Ramsay

Restaurant Expert Category: Chef, Restaurateur, TV Personality, Author, James Beard Award Winner
Always near food
@GordonRamsay - Website


Graham_ElliotGraham Elliot

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


Cb_Y_rfA_400x400Heather Lalley

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


1lQl60Q2_400x400Helen Rosner
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
 food correspondent (not a restaurant critic!) | aesthete/asshat | she/her/hers | 
@hels - Website


speaker_hires_7_400x400Hudson Riehle 

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


UeL-WQdH_400x400Ingrid 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


qgaZ1AvP_400x400Jenna Telesca

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


hV-IVfxZ_400x400Jenné Claiborne

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


e9ecNoTJ_400x400Jim 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.
@Sullivision - Website


a0167b53219b73e29ff80c740f4bbf83_400x400Jonathan 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


795c83b2e7420156fb0f72813a5caf76_400x400Jonathan 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


juliejargon.jpeg.256x256_q100_crop-smartJulie Jargon
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Wall Street Journal restaurant reporter, mom of three. LA via Chicago via Denver. Hiking, running, West Coast rap.
@juliejargon - Website


07-kat-kinsman2.w700.h700Kat Kinsman
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
 Sr. Editor . No Pressure host.  intern. . Ex- & . My book Hi, Anxiety is on anxiety.
@kittenwithawhip - Website


1436_0Kate Krader 
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Food Editor, Bloomberg News.
@kkrader - Website


cbd991d9ffeda8376ca73b3d79ab762c_400x400Ken 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-seversonKim 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.
@kimseverson - Website


GYNAmktK_400x400Liz Grossman

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


xVdOUnX3_400x400Leslie Patton

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


uRpy3WWr_400x400Marcus Guiliano

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


46xkb5hN_400x400Marcus 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 .
@marcuscooks - Website



mingtwitter_400x400Ming Tsai
Restaurant Expert Category: Restaurateur, Chef, James Beard Award Winner
Chef/Owner-Blue Dragon, Exec Producer/Host-Simply Ming and President-National Advisory Board Family Reach. Food is simple, make it tasty! (Ming was also a guest on Toast's Podcast, The Garnish! Listen here.)
@mingtsai - Website


I7-ozi6u_400x400Nancy Luna
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
  industry writer,  enabler,  junkie, proud  mom. Senior Editor, Tech Editor 
@FastFoodMaven - Website


U8KP_YKh_400x400Paul Barron

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


casual_peter_400x400Peter Romeo

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


T8R9w0O2_400x400Ron Ruggless
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism
Senior editor at Nation's Restaurant News | Roughly 60% water (results may vary)
@RonRuggless - Website


prar01_reichl212_400x400Ruth Reichl

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


26-samin-nosrat-grub-street-diet.w700.h700Samin Nosrat
Restaurant Expert Category: Media/Journalism, Chef, TV Personality
Cook, Teacher, EAT columnist , Author and Creator of SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT on  
@CiaoSamin - Website


0Tiffany Lopinsky

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


tiffany.pngVenessa 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


Sa0CBXft_400x400Zlati Meyer

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


Are we missing someone? Help us make this list even better by sharing your recommendations for restaurant industry experts to follow in 2019 in the comments section below. 

We will periodically update this list with your suggestions.



toast restaurant management blog

Written by: Amanda McNamara

Amanda is a Content Marketing Specialist at Toast. Mixing her background in digital marketing with her years of experience living the #serverlife, Amanda whips up easy-to-digest tidbits for the Toast Blog and beyond. When she's not waxing poetic about the restaurant world, Amanda's out exploring new places or rocking out to one of her many eclectic music tastes. She takes a lot of pride in her air guitar skills, even if no one else does.

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