Culinary Influencers with the Most Instagram Followers
With the rise of foodie social media popularity, you can photograph your cake and eat it too. The top food influencers on popular platforms have positively influenced not just the way we see food, but how we make it. Armed with creative recipes or methods to prepare delicious bites, culinary influencers share their tricks across all social platforms. Our influencer marketing agency/agencies lists the top food influencers of today and recalls some of the most bizarre food trends of yesterday.
Related: Our Top Ranked Music Influencers
Top Food Influencers
Jamie Oliver- Instagram handle: @jamieoliver
Best known for his TV cooking series, Naked Chef, Jamie believes that food tastes best when it’s naked. He is notorious for simplifying food and using basic, real ingredients to create delicious dishes. Jamie’s first restaurant job was working in his parent’s pub as a teenager in the United Kingdom. He later traveled and gained additional experience cooking before landing a job as a sous-chef. However, the top food influencer’s restaurant career was short-lived as he was discovered by a TV production company that offered him a BBC cooking show.
Following the launch of Jamie’s career as a culinary personality, he has released a few TV shows (one of which is Emmy award-winning Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution), dozens of book deals, and a documentary. Jamie uses his influence to bring awareness to the quality of lunches in schools. His campaign, “Feed Me Better,” aims to bring healthy lunches to schools around the United Kingdom.
Jamie boasts high numbers of followers across all platforms. His Youtube account has over 5.4 million subscribers, 6.5 million Twitter followers, 8.5 million on Instagram, and close to 50,000 on TikTok. His popular video content features healthy recipes and some “how-to” videos on iconic British dishes.
Instagram handle: @feelgoodfoodie
A self-declared “foodie”, Yumna is the founder of the Feel Good Foodie brand. She uses her online blog platform and social media networks to share wholesome, family-friendly recipes with followers. Yumna used to have a career in marketing but discovered that she could barely boil rice after getting married. She created her popular Youtube account to share the recipes that she learned. Her top food influencer status soon crew into her well-known Feel Good brand.
Yumna has 2.4 million Instagram followers and over 30,000 subscribers on Youtube. Not only does she share her own healthy recipes on the platforms, but she also attempts trendy TikTok recipes like Feta Pasta or Dalgona coffee, then gives her opinion on them.
Instagram handle: @dennistheprescott
Dennis Prescott is a chef and food blogger based in Canada. The 40-year-old food influencer taught himself how to cook thanks to Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks. As a struggling musician in Nashville, he became obsessed with food and discovered his equally as food-obsessed following on social media. His experimental recipes and tricks turned him into the food influencer he is today.
Dennis is the author of his own cookbook and host of the Netflix TV show Restaurants on the Edge. For the show, he travels around the world and watches as restaurants on the verge of closing are revived. Over 600,000 followers eat up his Instagram content consisting of beautifully plated dishes, and 25,000 subscribers watch his video content on Youtube. Dennis has a partnership with Traeger Grills and often incorporates the grill’s marketing campaign into his regular posts.
Instagram handle: @davidchang
The American TV personality is most well-known for his Momofuku brand and escapades with celebrity foodies on Ugly Delicious. David Chang discovered food as a young adult and attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City to further his culinary education. David quickly discovered that fine dining was not for him. Therefore, he opened his first restaurant, Momofuku, in NY in 2004. The noodle bar’s innovative menu was a nod to the time he’d spent working in Japanese noodle shops. The Momofuku brand exploded, and he opened additional locations and eventually a shop dedicated to dessert called Momofuku Milk Bar.
Momofuku Ko earned David two Michelin stars. He aims to support local farmers and buy sustainable ingredients. David’s own Netflix series, Ugly Delicious, released in 2018. The show follows him around the world as he educates audiences on the history behind his favorite foods, even the ones that are delicious yet ugly. Most episodes feature him cooking and eating alongside one of his foodie celebrity buddies, like Aziz Ansari or Padma Lakshmi.
With 1.6 million Instagram followers, over 374,000 on Twitter, and millions of combined views on Youtube videos featuring him, David’s reach continues to expand. The top food influencer even has his owner dedicated Instagram account on which he reviews culinary tools and products. Follow him on @normalpot to see for yourself.
Instagram handle: @padmalakshmi
Although Padma has always had a passionate relationship with food, she is one of the many top food influencers on Instagram without a formal culinary education. The former New York actress/model published her first cookbook in 1999: Easy Exotic: A Model’s Low Far Recipes From Around the World, followed by her Food Network Series Padma’s Passport a few years later. Padma landed the role of host of the show Top Chef in 2006 and has hosted the show every year since.
Padma pays homage to her Indian roots in her recipes and cookbooks. Her most recent show, Taste the Nation, follows her adventures around the US and the foods she encounters. Padma’s social media content goes beyond food, however. She also frequently posts about human rights, equality, and endometriosis awareness. With one million followers on Instagram, Padma could influence anyone to add a little extra spice to their recipes. The former model has partnerships with MAC Cosmetics and No7 US Beauty Products.
Instagram handle: @antoni
Antoni earned his role as the “food and wine expert” on Netflix’s Queer Eye. The Canadian chef relied on food service jobs to pay his bills while pursuing a career in acting. As the acting roles trickled in, Antoni worked his way up in the restaurant industry and occasionally served as a personal chef. Landing the coveted role as a member of the Fab 5 caused his culinary career to skyrocket. Antoni helps the heroes of each Queer Eye episode create meals designed to aid in their transformation. The food influencer’s popularity on the Emmy award-winning show landed him a book deal and a New York village restaurant.
The influential foodie has 4.4 million followers on Instagram. His feed is a combination of decadent food and puppies, then topless pics and more puppies. Antoni is no stranger to sponsored content. He posts about collaborations with J Brand jeans, Peroni, Betty Crocker, among other top food brands.
Instagram handle: @gordongram
The Scottish chef, best known for his temper on shows like Hell’s Kitchen, nearly became a professional footballer instead of a culinary tyrant. Unfortunately, a severe knee injury as a teenager took him out of the game and into the kitchen. Gordon then moved his way up the cooking world ranks and studied under numerous iconic chefs in Europe. While serving as head chef in 1996, Gordon’s restaurant received a Michelin star. This recognition gave him the momentum to open dozens of his own restaurants, earning him 16 Michelin stars total. Gordon’s real fame as a top food influencer came from his hit shows, Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, and Master Chef. His TV personality is sarcastic and abrasive, which fans simply can’t get enough of.
Gordon has been called one of the most influential and well-known chefs in the United Kingdom. He boasts 11.3 million Instagram followers, 7.4 million on Twitter, and a 21.4 million fan following on TikTok. His TikTok roast videos have gone viral with several million views each. Gordon duets with TikTok users and tears apart their cooking techniques. Gordon Ramsay recently partnered with the Restaurant Kits brand to create his own DIY meal kit box.
Instagram handle: @harto
After getting her start as a Youtuber with a rather unconventional channel, Hannah Hart quickly became a comedic food influencer. Hannah “accidentally” became famous after posting a Youtube video in 2011 featuring her making a grilled cheese sandwich while imbibing. The video’s popularity birthed her Youtube channel, My Drunk Kitchen, where Hannah cooks food while intoxicated. As the channel’s popularity grew, so did Hannah’s visibility as a food influencer. She then invited guests on to her Youtube and cooks delicious food while tipsy with big names like Jamie Oliver, Mary-Louise Parker, and Sarah Silverman.
The award-winning Youtuber and comedian created a New York Times bestselling parody cookbook. She briefly starred in her own Food Network series called I Hart Food. The LGBTQIA+ icon boasts a wild 2.35 million subscribers on Youtube, nearly one million on Twitter, and 1.1 million following on Instagram. She has partnerships with brands like Barilla.
Instagram handle: @leesamantha
Samantha Lee is a food stylist who began her food influencer career making colorful, aesthetic dishes for her daughter. She has called it “storytelling” on the plate. Ingredients are often cut into creative shapes then assembled to create a scene on the plate. She started this technique as a way to encourage her daughter to eat healthy foods. Samantha began posting photos of her dishes on Instagram in 2011. Her following on the platform has grown to 605,000 since then. With a Le Cordon Bleu education, Samantha’s brand has transitioned into attractive and intricate dishes for adults as well as children. She has collaborated with top marketing agencies and advertising campaigns. Her brand partnerships include Samsung, Ben & Jerry’s, Mastercard, and ESPN, among others.
Instagram handle: @thefeedfeed
feedfeed is a website, blog, and social community started by Julie and Dan Resnick. The pair started the digital collective as an online space for chefs, food bloggers, and home cooks to share recipes and other food-related content. Social media users can post foodie content with the hashtag #feedfeed for a chance to be featured on the collective food influencer’s account. On TikTik, feedfeed has 2.1 million followers with nearly 40 million likes, and the main Instagram account has 1.8 million followers. That’s right—the main account. Feedfeed has numerous unique accounts for specific content targeted to dietary limitations or one specific meal. feedfeed has five additional accounts, which are all verified with anywhere from 87,000 to 633,000 followers each. These verified varieties under the feedfeed brand include gluten-free, vegan, chocolate, baking, and cocktails.
Though many of the feedfeed accounts’ posts are reposts from fans, there’s a good deal of sponsored content. The website even features a tab labeled “campaigns” for all sponsored recipes. Notable collaborations include The Cheesecake Factory, Simply Organic, and Cascadian Farm.
Instagram handle: @chrissyteigan
Possibly one of the most outspoken and controversial top food influencers today, Chrissy’s social media presence attracts fans and haters alike. The wife of sultry musician, John Legend, Chrissy worked as a successful model before venturing into the culinary world. Her passion for food empowered her to embrace herself as the model who actually eats and cooks. Chrissy considered hosting a cooking show and even attending training at the Food Network Test Kitchen.
Chrissy’s already-huge following gravitated toward her foodie content on social media. Many of the dishes that Chrissy shared and educated followers on were of Thai origin—dishes from her childhood. She published a New York Times bestselling cookbook in 2016, followed by a second book in 2018. Chrissy doesn’t have a specific food niche but focuses on whole, comfort foods that evoke memories. The foodie is currently looking at restaurant spaces in preparation for her own establishment. Fans are eager to get a taste of the restaurant when it opens. Until then, her 34.3 million Instagram and 13.7 million Twitter followers will have to settle for recreating her recipes themselves.
The food influencer has collaborated with brands across the board. Notable sponsorship collaborations are Pampers, VitaCoCo, and McDonald. Chrissy has her own line of cookware sold at Target and on her eCommerce platform, which has the same name as her book: Cravings.
Instagram handle: @iamtabithabrown
Vegan food influencer, Tabitha Brown, isn’t afraid to take risks when it comes to her cooking. She’s known for using unique vegetables in place of meat in her recipes and making them look downright enticing. Tabitha started creating videos while taking a break from acting. Her first video, a review of a Whole Foods vegan sandwich, went viral overnight. Tabitha uses Tiktok primarily to post vegan recipes. She has shared how to make bacon with carrots, fried fish with banana blossoms, and a spicy tuna roll with carrot pulp.
In addition to food-based posts, Tabitha shares motivational content with her followers. She has 3.3 million on Instagram and 4.7 million on TikTok. After her viral sandwich review, Tabitha became an ambassador for Whole Foods plant-based living. Dubbed “America’s Mom,” Tabitha encourages others to try plant-based alternatives.
Instagram handle: @rosannapansino
Youtube baking sensation Rosanna is one of the highest-paid women on the platform. The aspiring actress created her Youtube baking channel as a tool to help her feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Her videos did a lot more than that. Nerdy Nummies, as she titled her baking video series, took off with momentum. Forbes declared her a top influencer in food—an accurate statement. Rosanna’s videos have over 3 billion views with 12.8 million subscribers. She is followed by 4.4 million sweet fans on Instagram, 859,000 TikTokers, and is about to hit 1 million on Twitter. The food influencer’s popularity and impact led to the publication of two cookbooks and baking supply lines exclusively at Michael’s and Walmart.
Rosanna just announced her newest venture as a baking influencer: a TV show on HBOMax titled Baketopia. The baking competition show will allow bakers to create influential, trendsetting desserts in the hopes of winning the grand prize.
Instagram handle: @ayeshacurry
Ayesha Curry may be known as solely the wife of NBA star Stephen Curry, but the chef paved her own way to an influencer. While pursuing a career as an actress, Ayesha began a food blog followed by a Youtube channel. Her popular cooking tutorial videos led to a self-titled Food Network show in 2016. After this introduction to the culinary television world, Ayesha became a co-host, judge, and special guest on various networks. Within the last 4 years, she has developed her own olive oil line and cookware and published two New York Times bestselling cookbooks.
Ayesha has a huge Instagram following thanks to both her sports star hubbie and her culinary influence. She shares personal and professional content with her following of 7.3 million on Insta, nearly one million on Twitter, and 570,000 Youtube subscribers. When she’s not promoting her own brand, Ayesha collaborates with health-driven brands like So Delicious Dairy Free and Fitbit.
Instagram handle: @minimalistbaker
The Minimalist Baker is a food blog created with simplicity in mind. Even so, the recipes found on the website are anything but basic. The blog was established in 2010 by Dana as an outlet for her love for food photography. Each recipe should require only one bowl, fewer than ten ingredients, and only 30 minutes to prepare. Recipes can be narrowed down by dietary needs and boast a vast range of restrictions, including dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and no-sugar-added.
The foodie influencer site has dedicated followers on every platform. Instagram boasts 2 million followers, 333,000 on Pinterest, and 127k on Youtube. Minimalist Baker offers a disclaimer on the blog stating that they do not collaborate or produce any sponsored content for the Minimalist Baker platform.
Instagram handle: @thepioneerwoman
Rae Drummond started out as a city girl before moving to the country with her husband. She began the Pioneer Woman blog in 2006 as a lifestyle blog—writing about transitioning her life from the city to pioneer living. After posting a how-to recipe article, her readers asked for more food-related content. The rest is history. Only five years later, The Pioneer Woman blog was turned into a Food Network show. Rae’s recipes are rich and comforting—there’s no skimping on butter for the Pioneer Woman! Rae is the author of numerous cookbooks and children’s books. The Pioneer Woman brand now features a line of cookware, flatwork, cutlery, and coffee, among other products. Fans of the show have the opportunity to visit the Lodge where Pioneer Woman is filmed.
Although Rae created her blog before nearly all of the social media networks came about, she posts content to popular platforms to engage with her followers. Pioneer Woman has 3.6 million followers on Instagram, 1.2 million on Twitter, and 202,000 on TikTok.
Instagram handle: @yolanda_gampp
Cake master Yolanda Gampp doesn’t make ordinary cakes– she specializes in cakes that do not actually resemble cakes. Her works of food art look too beautiful to eat. Known for her successful Youtube channel, How to Cake it, Yolanda generated a large 14,000 following within just a few short months of posting her cake tutorial videos. The account now has 4.35 million subscribers. Yolanda attributes her passion for cakes to her father, who is also a baker. Food photography featuring her cakes has appeared in magazines and on websites. Yolanda enjoys sharing her expertise with followers. She offers baking courses online (free and paid) and has a “bake” book club.
Top TikTok Food Trends
With the hype surrounding popular TikTok food trends, it’s hard not to try the recipes for yourself. Delicious or bizarre? You decide.
Ah, the trend that caused a cheese shortage. Baked feta pasta emerged at the beginning of 2021 and every hopped on board. The creamy comfort food recipe goes as follows:
- Toss cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and salt together in an oven-safe baking dish
- Place your full block of feta cheese smack dab in the center, top with more oil and red pepper flakes
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes then turn the heat up to 450 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes
- Add garlic, fresh basil, and your toppings of choice and stir.
- Add pasta, stir again, then enjoy.
The viral recipe has some fun variations too, like using goat cheese instead of feta. Perhaps this spin on the original was a happy accident thanks to the feta shortage… Either way, #fetapasta has 734 million views on TikTok.
First there was pancake cereal. Then cookie cereal. Waffle cereal. And donut cereal? The trend surfaced on TikTok in May 2020 and the hashtag currently has almost 2 billion views. Basically, the objective is to shrink large breakfast foods into cute, tiny portions then eat them in a bowl a la cereal. Mini pancakes and waffles were drizzled with syrup and butter, and cookies and donuts covered in milk (OK, that’s practically cereal). Why eat a normal sized breakfast ever again?
Known as the whipped ‘grammable coffee of 2020, Dalgona coffee quickly soared to the top of the coffee searches as the most searched for type of coffee around the world. Dalgona coffee became a decadent coffee that people could easily make while sheltering in place due to the pandemic, and it felt like they were at a fancy coffee shop. Dalgona coffee is simply whipped instant coffee and sugar (equal parts) mixed with hot water until it’s fluffy. The whipped coffee is then dolloped over hot or cold milk.
And just as quickly as it appeared, Dalgona coffee was replaced with a new 2021 coffee trend: Proffee= protein + coffee. The secret to Proffee is—you guessed it—protein! Popular among fitness influencers and TikTokers passionate about their wellness, the new coffee concoction helps you feel satisfied after a single cup of protein joe in the morning. #profee has over 155,000 views on TikTok.
White Claw Slushies
A viral cocktail trend, White Claw Slushies made their way to TikTok in April of 2020. Users simply combine their favorite White Claw beverage with ice and frozen or fresh fruit then blend. The refreshing drink has over 1.3 million views on TikTok, views as the hashtag White Claw Slushie.
“Want some of my starter?” became the new pickup line of 2020 as everyone got down with the dough. The arduous process of feeding the sourdough starter, tucking it in, then letting it rest now sounds like a sneaky way of preparing millennials for rearing children. But instead of a bouncing baby, they all produced beautiful, bouncing loafs of bread. The trend may have died down quickly as people learned that the process was quite time consuming, but the loafs that did come out of the sourdough movement were in fact beautiful.
Another baked good that people have been making for ever but never quite received its recognition until TikTik: banana bread. With people at home in 2020 with nothing to do but bake, they turned to the oven to recreate old favorites. #bananabread has almost 200 million views on the platform.
Oreo Mug Cake
A recent trend to make its way into 2021, Oreo mug cake is a simple and satisfying recipe. Simply place several Oreos in a mug, cover with milk, and crush the cookies. The resulting concoction should be a batter texture. Zap in the microwave for about 30 seconds and you have a personalized Oreo cake in a mug. The recipe already has well over 71 million views on TikTok and users are even creating accounts specifically for the homemade cake.
3-Ingredient Cream Brulee
Who knew melted ice cream could be so fun? With this cream brulee hack, TIkTokers discovered a recipe for cream brulee using things found in most kitchens. You simply need an egg yolk, tablespoon of sugar, and ½ cup of melted vanilla ice cream. You will need a microwave and an oven but the result is good enough to make you feel like you’re dining out, even in quarantine.
Hot Cocoa Bombs
Though not necessarily something that people on TikTok are making—they’re melting instead. Hot cocoa bombs are pre-made confections that feature a chocolate sphere with toppings inside. Place the bomb in your mug then cover with hot milk and watch as your bomb dissolves into a tasty hot beverage. Some TikTokers have cracked the code and are making the bombs themselves. With 155 million views of the haghtag, there are millions of recipes and reaction videos freaturing TikTok food influencers making and breaking hot cocoa bombs.
Turn Up the Heat on Your Brand with a Food Influencer
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From Mild to Spicy with an Influencer Marketing Agency
Enlist the services of a dedicated influencer marketing agency to elevate your brand marketing. Companies can save valuable money, time, and energy with the help of an agency. Experienced influencer professionals handle the process from end-to-end, allow you to focus your resources on other marketing efforts. Working with an agency comes with additional benefits, like influencer vetting, FTC compliance, and content verification. Top influencer marketing agencies use data-driven metrics to track and achieve results. Contact our specialized influencer marketing team today.