The concept of ‘influencers’ is now firmly part of our modern digital landscape. Every industry seems to have its own set of pack leaders and while some are touted indiscriminately, others are justifiably up there by merit – as is the case with trade magazine Restaurant Business’s Power 20! Each year it nominates 20 influencers who are altering how the entire restaurant industry thinks about and approaches menus – ‘they are the disruptors and the rebels who dare to go in a different direction!’
Of the twenty, we have our favourites – and here they are:
Brady Night, Michael Farid, Kale Rogers and Luke Schlueter are four MIT grads who together founded Spyce – the world’s first robotic kitchen! The robotic system portions food, prepares it in a tumbling wok and pours it into a bowl, where it’s finished with cold ingredients and presented to a customer in three minutes – view their incredible concept here and follow Spyce on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Grant Achatz is one of the most awarded and recognised chefs in the world. He’s been named Best Chef in the United States and has been honoured by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World! Always pushing the envelope, his three Michelin star-rated Alinea Restaurant in Chicago created an edible balloon made from green apple taffy and filled with real helium – imagine eating this and follow Achatz on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Audrey Saunders, aka the Libation Goddess and Mixology Mentor, is the founder of New York City’s Pegu Club – a modern-day wine bar responsible for the renaissance in cocktails! She has been honoured with a number of industry awards and her cocktails can be found on menus around the world – including the Gin-Gin Mule, Early Grey MarTEAni and Old Cuban. You can follow Saunders on Instagram and Twitter.
Other great influencers include Dan Barber – a steward for sustainability and farm-to-table eating, as well as Peter Dukes – a product manager at Starbucks who pioneered the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the coffee giant’s best-selling seasonal drink of all time!
For the full list of Power 20, be sure to go to Restaurant Business Online.