Not long after we discovered Shorties, the internet award for best producers of short real-time content (i.e., Twitter users), we decided to find out who was leading the pack in the food category. The leader, by far, was chef Rick Bayless. We weren’t too surprised, having enjoyed his restaurants in Chicago and having heard through the grapevine that he’s a pretty personable guy.
When we started following his Twitter feed, however, we were in for a bit of a shock: his niceness and generosity are really pretty amazing. He regularly fields basic cooking questions, apparently from total strangers (“@Rick_Bayless picked up some chili threads in Boston. Any ideas?” Answer: “I’ve only used them as garnish.”) He answers questions that one could hardly imagine asking, such as those that one might reasonably find answers to in cookbooks he’s written (“@Rick_Bayless hi chef, do you marinate or use any brine for your meat for carnitas?” Answer: “Slurry of salt and lime overnight”). He thanks people and sends out quick compliments on home chefs’ renditions of his or other dishes.
In other words, he is nice and generous with his time and expertise to a degree that is not only unusual but inspirational. It wouldn’t surprise us to find, before long, that he’s achieved a sort of Chuck Norris-like status among the Twitterati: the variety of questions that he answers led Colleen to offer the title of this post as a humorous tribute to his knowledge and patience. (We wouldn’t be surprised to see him reply “Air molcul’s scatter blue lite more than red”.)
So if you use Twitter, check out the Shorty Awards and give Chef Bayless a follow. If you like what he does, give him a vote. He’s educational, but more than that, he might change the way you think about social media.
(But please don’t ask the poor man why the sky is blue.)
Postscript on unintended consequences: I always send out the titles of new blog posts on Twitter. What happens when you mention Rick Bayless’ Twitter handle in such an announcement? He notices it—and in this case sent along a little smiley face. That little smiley went out to all his followers and increased our two-day readership by about 1,200%. So, welcome, Rick Bayless fans (and thanks, Chef!)