Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel More Influential as a "Chef" Than Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon

Categories: News, TV

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Suck my wig, serious female chefs everywhere!
Michael Symon is a chef, a restaurant owner and a contributor to magazines like Gourmet and Saveur; in 2009, he won a James Beard award. Michael Ruhlman once credited Symon with saving the entire Cleveland restaurant scene.

Giada De Laurentiis, while perhaps best known for her -- ahem -- figure, is nevertheless the author of five cookbooks who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and was once a chef at Spago before hosting her own wildly popular cooking show, Everyday Italian, which has aired for eight years (a remarkable length of time for a show on the Food Network).

Tom Colicchio is a bestselling author and successful restaurateur who has won five -- count them, five -- James Beard awards, including the monumental Outstanding Chef Award in 2010.

What do all of them have in common aside from these professional accomplishments?

They're all less influential on Twitter than Bethenny Frankel.

In a study released by Klout, a social media service that measures -- what else? -- online clout, Bethenny Frankel, the reality TV star of gems like The Real Housewives of New York ranked a stroke-inducing No. 4 on a list of Twitter's ten most influential chefs.

This was our reaction:

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What is Frankel known for? Aside from kinda really not being a chef at all, that is...

Well, she is an author. Two of her three books are sort of about cooking. She struggled with crippling eating disorders throughout her adolescence and was criticized for dieting during her pregnancy and complaining about her natal weight gain on Twitter.

Twitter, the very same platform that now has her placed squarely under Anthony Bourdain and Jamie Oliver -- two actual chefs whose own philosophies toward food and cooking could not be more diametrically opposite from Frankel's -- in terms of influence.

Twitter, you are why we can't have nice things.

Of course, Frankel did go to culinary school. Of a sorts. She must have learned something there, right?

Then again, judging from this 1987 commercial for the school, maybe not.

Oddly, that's what we kind of figured Walter Matthau's daughter would look like.

After culinary school, she founded a bakery/private chef-type organization that promptly folded as soon as Frankel hit the goldmine that is reality TV. (This was apparently Frankel's ultimate goal from the time she was a production assistant on Saved by the Bell and topless actress in such hits as the 1994 direct-to-video Hollywood Hills 90028.)

She went on to star in a succession of completely non-food-related reality TV shows on Bravo (Tom Colicchio, this is the part where you should start to feel some twinges of shame about your network) and, later, a knockoff of Dancing With the Stars on ice skates.

This last move resulted in her own mother calling her, basically, a famewhore in the mainstream media. Frankel, for her part, was apparently too busy having public cat fights with Johnny Weir -- JOHNNY WEIR -- and posing in a bikini to show off her drastic 29-pound weight loss in three weeks. Almost 30 pounds in three weeks. Healthy. Clearly someone who should be influencing others' decisions about food.

And this, ladies and gentlemen of Twitter, is who Klout claims that you've made the fourth most influential "chef" of them all.

Who needs the Beard Foundation when you have legions of reality TV addicts with Twitter accounts?

Seriously. We give up.

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15 comments
Maggie
Maggie

I think the real issue here is the study classifying her as a chef instead of a reality tv star (probably because she calls herself a 'natural food chef' on her twitter bio/description). I don't think that is why people know her or follow her on twitter, so this study doesn't really say anything. That's like saying who is the most influential politician on Twitter and finding out it's Martin Sheen (I know, dated West Wing reference, but it makes my point.)

Am_Bro_Se
Am_Bro_Se

Twitter is what you make it. If she is more influential through that medium than actual chefs, then bravo to her for knowing how to use it to remain relevant and get ahead of the clutter of competition. And yes, pun intended.

Dunstan32
Dunstan32

Twitter: the answer to do it yourself marketers. Brilliant. Talk to the hand that claps for you.

vext
vext

Anorexic. Chef. Twitter@Suck.

Geri Harris
Geri Harris

"Twitter, you are why we can't have nice things." - I couldn't agree more!

I'd rather follow Charlie Sheen. He knows more about food than this twit Frankel, and he's usually too coked up to eat. Go figure.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Which is why Twitter is utterly retarded and will go the way of geocities in the very-near future.

Cheflambo
Cheflambo

And we're giving her this much MORE press because .....?

Am_Bro_Se
Am_Bro_Se

Maybe you didn't give it enough time? It took me a while to "figure it out" at least for the purposes that I use it for now, and I've made lots of great friends that share the same interests (namely, Houston food). I don't follow any tweens that I know of, so it's really how you tailor it to fit your agenda.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Those demographics simply don't ring true. Of the roughly 500 people I have on facebook I can only think of one person who uses it over the age of 35, and he uses it sparingly. Of the folks between 20-30? Nearly every stupid one of them twitters ad-nauseum to the point I honestly think about just hiding everything they say. I only have one on there in their teens and, yep, she uses it also. AGAIN, 3% is dedicated to BIEBER! Are you telling me middle-aged men are following him?!?Screw hash tags, screw RT, screw @crap. The whole thing is just an awful awful medium.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I hate to be That Guy, Fatty, but Twitter's demo has long leaned toward middle-aged men, like yourself. Seriously. Although in the last year or so more tweens have signed up for the service, I still - personally - don't know a single kid or teenager who uses it. My nephews look at me like I'm insane when I mention Twitter.

Check it out: http://kevin.lexblog.com/2010/...

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

LOL. Do I "use" twitter? No. Do I have an account? Yes. I quickly lost interest when I realized that it was nothing but folks posting mindless thoughts. The only value I've seen is for taco truck locations and I don't care about that enough to go on there regularly. 99% is mindless rambling.

I lost even more interest when I realized it was dominated by 12 year olds. It will die soon enough. Tweens tend to lose interest quickly.

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