19 July 2011

Celebrity Twitter disappointment

On Saturday morning, I finished the paper but still had some coffee left in my mug. So I grabbed my Android smartphone to check Twitter. One of the celebrity chefs I follow is Giada DeLaurentiis. She had a post about an upcoming show from Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles.

Linda and I once stayed in Marina Del Rey while on vacation in LA. Click here for the blog post. We enjoyed it, so I thought I’d try to catch the show. I switched to my DirectTV app, looked up the times when the show would appear, and scheduled it to record on my DVR … all without leaving the breakfast table. Fact is, I could have done it from DC or CA or anywhere I was traveling. That’s what I love about the new electronics. (It’s actually easier to find shows and schedule them to record from my smartphone than it is on the TV.)It’s also one of the few instances when I’ve found Giada’s Twitter feed, or any celebrity chef’s Twitter feed, to have anything useful.

When I established a Twitter account for Krik’s Picks, I immediately began following a bunch of my favorite Food Network chefs – Giada, Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, and Guy Fieri. I envisioned getting tons of recipe ideas and helpful hints on cooking techniques. What a disappointment.

Giada – I have more of her recipes in my repertoire than any other chef. She’s my best source of recipes other than Bon Appetit magazine and Epicurious. But her tweets are consistently trivial and boring. Last April, she wrote about how fun it was to discover and try organic nail polish. Really, Giada? To her credit, however, she does use Twitter to engage her fans. She has a lot of interaction with them.

Mario – He mostly uses FourSquare to tweet about where he is. I thought about that. Maybe if I were in the same city, I might see where he just checked in, jump in my car, and hurry over to see him. Then again, maybe not! Otherwise, not much point in following Mario.

Bobby Flay – He uses Twitter to promote his restaurants a lot. That’s a pretty good strategy. But since we don’t have one of his restaurants here in the Twin Cities, most of the time his tweets just don’t have much interest to me.

Emeril Lagasee – Also uses his tweets to promote products that he endorses. Yeah, fine. Just not that interesting.

Guy Fieri – On Triple D, he’s funny, irreverent, and fun to watch. But his Twitter feed mostly just tells us where he’s going. OK.

Jamie Oliver – Every once in a while, he’ll tweet about a recipe that sounds interesting. But then he goes off on a crusade against chocolate milk in schools, and it just gets tedious.

I also follow Mark Bittmann, the former food columnist for the New York Times. When he was the Minimalist, he was humorous, entertaining, and featured great recipes. Now that he’s the Opinionator, he’s sarcastic, shallow, and shrill. (I think even the Times recognizes this. They’re running old Minimalist videos on their web site. Check out this one.)

Don’t get me wrong. I still like watching all of these chefs on TV, where they’re very entertaining. (I also read Bittmann’s columns, but don’t generally get much out of them.) It’s just that their Twitter feeds are disappointing. Maybe it’s just hard to be entertaining in 140 characters.

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