Movers and Bakers: 10 hospitality arts gurus to follow on Twitter

So you're considering a hospitality career, but would like to know a little more about the industry before taking on an online hospitality degree. You're a smart cookie! And a lucky one, too: Thanks to the Internet, it is easier than ever to tap current hospitality professionals for insight or advice, and Twitter remains one of the best social platforms for doing just that. These 10 hospitality pros are an excellent place to start, and were each chosen for their hospitality know-how, their rock star Twitter presence and their willingness (and even enthusiasm) to mentor up-and-comers, even if only in the virtual world.

10 Hospitality Pros Worth Following

1. Tyler Florence, @tylerflorence

If you want a lesson in culinary success, study Tyler Florence's career. This hospitality guru has certainly put his culinary arts degree to good use. When he isn't starring in his own Food Network cooking show, he is managing three restaurants, writing cookbooks or overseeing his baby food product line.

2. Mike Taylor, @FairmontHotels

If you want insight into life behind the scenes at one of history's most successful hotel chains, look to Mike Taylor of the Fairmont Hotels. Taylor also answers dozens of follower tweets a week, so feel free to pick his brain before pursuing a hospitality arts career.

3. Tom Colicchio, @tomcolicchio

There is a reason this James Beard medal winner (five times over, mind you) reigns as the head judge on the reality hit Top Chef: This man knows his food. Period. He also knows a thing or two about running a successful hospitality business as he has launched several restaurants across the country.

4. John-Bryan Hopkins, @Foodimentary

Hopkins is the grand marshal foodie to all other Twitter foodies, as his more than half-a-million followers can attest. His Twitter feed offers interesting food facts and trivia, but you can ask him practically anything about the culinary arts and except to get a sensible answer.

5. Rick Bakas, @RickBakas

This NIKE-brand-guy-turned-certified-sommelier knows a thing or two about what it takes to make it in the hospitality industry (even if you have to quit your day job to do it). An active Tweeter with about 70 thousand followers, Bakas is quick to answer questions and share his knowledge.

6. Guido vanden Elshout, @HappyHotelier

When the owner of a very small boutique hotel in the Netherlands accrues more than 8,000 Twitter followers -- many of whom are respected hoteliers themselves -- you can bet he knows his business.

7. Tim Love @cheftimlove

If you are looking for a Twitter presence with as much personality as hospitality know-how, look to Chef Tim Love, a successful restaurateur known for his freewheeling disposition. His tweets cover all aspects of the food industry and his responsiveness is top notch.

8. Jamie Oliver, @jamieoliver

There is a reason Chef Jamie Oliver is pushing 2 million Twitter followers: He is a truly global sensation known both for his philanthropic tendencies and food savvy. Follow him and take notes about how to successfully market yourself internationally.

9. Hospitality Industry, @hoteliers

So this isn't technically a "person" in the know, but this hospitality news portal is still a must-follow for up-and-coming hospitality professionals. Get the latest industry headlines, which are updated several times a day.

10. Dan Lepard, @dan_lepard

This award-winning baker has made his name in pastry working with some of the best chefs in the country (not to mention penning a few solid books on baking). An active tweeter despite his busy schedule, Lepard is an ideal virtual mentor to anyone considering a career in pastry.

Taking the Next Step

The decision to pursue a career in hospitality is a major step, but one that won't pay off until you actually do something about it. Online hospitality management degrees are perhaps the most convenient way to get the education you need to succeed in the field. Hospitality is a diverse field, however, so be prepared to wade through culinary arts, restaurant management, hotel management and related programs before finding one that suits your goals.

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