These 10 Foodies Have Grown the Strongest Engagement on Instagram

It wasn't terribly long ago when credible food photographers and chefs really only wanted to be found in magazines like Bon Appétit and Food & Wine. But thanks to the explosion of mobile photography over the past few years, more and more culinary pros are showing off their best pics every day on Instagram—right alongside amateur foodies—to thousands of fans.

Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners' social media shop Attention pulled data from 8 million posts to find out how food marketers stack up on Instagram for Adweek's Food Issue this week. And now we've asked the firm to suss out the app’s top 10 foodie personalities.

The agency first zeroed in on Instagram accounts with a national reach (meaning that niche bloggers and chefs only popular in small communities or in specific cities were not included).

The team then analyzed the engagement and sentiment of individual posts to find out which accounts people connected with the most. While accounts with big Instagram followings look good on the surface, they don't always have the best engagement. For instance, an account named @eats boasts 325,000 followers, but the comments on pictures don't show people talking to each other. Instead, the account primarily shows off stylized food pics.

The data also looks at how much of a role Instagram plays in the overall marketing for bloggers and chefs. Unsurprisingly, many of the names have bigger followings on Twitter, but Attention's findings are designed to home in on Instagram's foodie community.

Each of these Instagrammers has amassed a group of loyal followers, often parlaying that success into cookbooks, TV shows and brand partnerships.

For brands looking to up their social game when it comes to engagement, the app's top food accounts show the importance of shooting simple photos from interesting angles.


Jamie Oliver

2.8 million followers

The English chef and media personality regularly posts food shots tagged with the #Recipeoftheday hashtag. But he also mixes up the type of content he shares with pictures of his travels and family.


Sunset on Venice beach LA gotta day stop over before Costa Rica boom

A photo posted by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) on


Samantha Lee


The food artist stylizes rice and vegetables into creative meals for her family. She also tags all photos with her name so fans can quickly find her work by searching #LeeSamantha on Instagram.

For Ben & Jerry's, she turned scoops of ice cream into a creative picture of cows.


Sarah Phillips


Phillips is a New York food stylist, cookbook author and founder of the site

She has turned her Instagram pics into an e-commerce business that prints the photos onto phone cases, tote bags and stationary.


Ida Skivenes


This Norwegian virtuoso specializes in making and eating art with healthy foods under the Ida Frosk account.

For Burt's Bees in Germany, she used grapefruits, mango and peppermint to make a fun scene of birds.


Don't be mad, be hoppy! (For @foreldreogbarn magazine) #waffles #carrots #kiwi #yoghurt #driedblueberries

A photo posted by idafrosk (@idafrosk) on


The Infatuation


The restaurant review site is made up of a handful of writers and reviewers that taste food in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Denver.

The team coined the #EEEEEATS hashtag on Instagram that's commonly used to share drool-worthy food photos.


Pancakes at @normasnyc, the one redeeming quality about breakfast meetings in Midtown. #EEEEEATS: @alanna_kayla

A photo posted by The Infatuation (@infatuation) on


David Chang


The mastermind behind Momofuku, Milk Bar and Lucky Peach uses Instagram to not only show off the food at his restaurants, but also other good stuff he eats.

Chang also works the platform to promote his own media appearances and share small snippets of his life.


Arroser: to baste @michellebatez

A video posted by Dave Chang (@davidchang) on


5 years ago this happened..Step off Momofuku, you don't know me like that. thanks dave

A photo posted by Dave Chang (@davidchang) on


Joy the Baker


Joy Wilson has turned a love of desserts into serious business, including a Web series, cookbook, podcast and blog.

She works with marketers like Ghirardelli and Canon to make branded content and finds interesting ways on Instagram to shoot ice cream, cakes and other pasteries.


INFJ with ice cream in my freezer.

A photo posted by joythebaker (@joythebaker) on


How to Win Friends and Influence People.

A photo posted by joythebaker (@joythebaker) on


Gennaro Contaldo


Italian chef and restaurateur Contaldo posts behind-the-scenes looks at how he prepares food and often snaps pictures with his protégé and friend Jamie Oliver.


Ji London with the chef Zak. Preparing the fantastic specials for today. Will post the finished dishes.

A photo posted by gennaro contaldo (@gennarocontaldo) on


Izy Hossack


At the age of 19, Hossack is already one of Instagram's biggest food names with her blog and cookbook—each called Top With Cinnamon.

She encourages her fans to tag photos with #topwithcinnamon and #twccookbook and counts Buzzfeed, Magnum and Cuisinart as clients.


Bee-Sting pizza! #IzyEatsNYC #IzyTravels #newyork #travelblog #foodblog

A photo posted by Izy Hossack (@topwithcinnamon) on

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