Best Twitterer

Critics' Picks

Rick Bayless

Before Rick Bayless was a famous restaurateur, he was a doctoral student in anthropological linguistics, a cookbook author, and the host of a PBS cooking show. He’s also renowned as a mentor: former employees have gone on to start well-regarded restaurants like Salpicon and Chilam Balam (one of the Reader’s Best Restaurants of 2009).

So when I started following Bayless on Twitter, I was pleasantly, but not very, surprised to find him answering practical questions about food from followers.

For instance: A little soft, aromatic, never stored too cold RT @redschwinn @Rick_Bayless: Do you have any tips for picking perfect mangoes?

Or: They typically dont in Mexico RT @gregkrekelberg @Rick_Bayless Is there any advantage to using stock for beans?

These teaching moments are interspersed with news and photos from his kitchens and gardens, culinary encounters from Chicago and the road, and articles of interest. It’s a little bit of everything you can do with the medium—instruction, aggregation, promotion, amusement. There are a lot of Twitterers in the city worth following for a lot of reasons, but Bayless provides my favorite lesson in its possibilities.