Celebrity Chefs are being hired for Virtual Events in Record #s! From Food Network? Cooking Channel? NOPE, TikTok!

But here is the interesting thing, a majority of them are actually social media chefs, at home cooks and bakers.  As the states like California, Florida and others open, more and more production companies will start filming shows for The Food Network, Cooking Channel and other broadcasters.   Because the chefs under contracts to these over the air providers will be called back to work and have 12-14 hour shoot days to make up for a lot of programming that was lost during the height of the pandemic, corporations and brands are still using virtual events like cooking programs as a way to entertain staff and clients.This reality is blowing the door wide open for those chefs who create amazing content, feel comfortable on camera and produce their own content to fill and in many times exceed the void created by the mass production wave that is beginning.   Social media chefs, at home cooks and bakers are an incredible find for event managers, communication strategists, experiential agencies, PR firms and social media directors.  There are several reasons why social media chefs are a diamond in the rough.  First, they create ALL of their own content.  They don’t need a hair + make up person, a set producer, a director and a producer…  See where I am going with this?  The COST of a social media personality compared to that of a Food Network chef (while maybe not the same general recognition publicly) is so much less expensive and the truth is that Covid pushed people to Instagram and TikTok for the best of the best tips for cooking on social media.  So in reality, the social media chef in most cases has far bigger, defined and accessible audiences than the Food Network Chefs. Let’s take an example or two:

TikTok Chef Nicole Renard (@Nicole_thenomad)

Miss America contestant and Former Miss WashingtonOn TikTok:Followers: 680,000+

Gender:  90% womenLast 28 days: 40,000,000+ views of her content

Food Network Chef Giada Delaurentis

TV star/Corporate spokespersonOn TikTok:Followers: 96,800

Gender: TBF

Last 28 days: Under 5 million

Do these number shock you?  You are not alone!  In the last 28 days, the founding members of an elite group of social media chefs, cooks and bakers called The Food Renegades will have amassed over 125,000,000 views in the last 28 days. Think about that for a second.  I am quite certain that The Food Network, The Cooking Channel and all of Discovery Channel’s social accounts has not reached 125 million views in the last 6 months!Social media has become the location de jour for the at home cook to go and not just get recipes although they are abundant but getting inspired to actually create beautiful food which has become sort of a lost art.  If you recognize how many cookbooks are out there in circulation and how few are actually utilized, its certainly because the ease of watching a video and getting the recipe directions now from your favorite food personality on Instagram and/or TikTok.   TikTok has truly become the best platform as its easy for the content creator to self shoot a video recipe and its even easier for the fans to watch, be entertained and learn from people who are part chefs/cooks, part carnival barkers and part comedians.  TikTok has surely shown a world of both young and older at home cooks just how fun it is to create your own food and how everyone can be involved (not just with the dishes).   In my home alone, my oldest daughter Lindsay has been baking Challah for months now.  I can not only see her confidence grow as she now creates breads with garlic and brown sugar, but how her siblings can’t wait to help her and more importantly eat her sumptuous creations.That’s the key, social media and the pandemic has led us down a path of re-inventing why families love being together.  I am quite sure the founders of TikTok envisioned the dance craze but I am very sure they never envisioned the food community it was going to create and how it’s platform would develop massive stars in BBQ (@groarkboysbbq), Keto (@tiktokketo), baking (@paoladyee), Home cooking (@cooklikeamother), Chinese (@cookingbomb), Italian/comfort food (@aldentediva), southern and comfort food (@traziarae), and American chef palette (@thatdudecancook).   All of these chefs have something so unique yet they come together in their love of the kitchen and desire to give back.   They put themselves out there because they know they are inspiring legions of young and old fans to take the risk it sometimes requires in the kitchen to produce a masterpiece.   Being a home cook is about trial and error.   When you have food coaches like the chefs and cooks above, you minimize your risk and increase your self-esteem. “T” better known as Al Dente Diva or Tara said it best, “I love what I do.  I have met the most incredible people.  I am a Jersey mom having fun, making a living and building a community of like-minded people I have thought possible three years ago. TikTok has given me an opportunity to serve others, share amazing stories and tips and become someone that others look up to for advice and as a friend. What could be better than that?” TikTok, food and fun. If that doesn’t sound like a good time you are missing the point.  In addition to the tips and tricks each chef/cook provides, there are also opportunities to sit in on their “Lives”.  These Lives are just that, the content creator goes live usually from their kitchen and takes fresh questions, shows you tricks of the trade and just opens themselves up to know them better.  The “TV chefs” are very managed and manicured.  While I see several of them opening up, most don’t.  Michael Symon is one that comes to mind who is amazing at sharing on Instagram but virtually unheard of on TikTok.  If you are a company or brand looking for incredible engagement, fun content and chefs and cooks that are amazing at virtual content creation and Zoom calls, let us know.  We have the best of the best.  Contact us to hire or book a celebrity chef from our list above evan@celebexperts.com or christina@celebexperts.com.

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