Anthony Martorina is taking the world by storm with his Chicago-focused food Instagram account.
Anthony’s love for food and popular social media account stemmed from a colorful culinary career hosting and judging live events. He was most recently a Master Judge at the World Food Championships in Dallas and appeared in Food Network’s “Me or the Menu.”
We’re excited that Anthony is joining us as a Star Contributor and we know you will love his delicious culinary insights.
Get to know Anthony Martorina – aka “Food Dude” – and follow his Instagram page to keep up with all of his yummy ventures.
1. What is the focus of your Instagram account?
Martorina: “My focus is all about the food, especially our fantastic local restaurants."
2. What prompted you to start your food account and what are your plans for the future?
Martorina: “I enjoy sharing food because it connects me to people. I also feel like a culinary ambassador because my followers use my posts to plan their visits to Chicago. Instagram has forced me to create more videos, and I’ve really enjoyed the change. My reels have a T.V. show feel; in fact, many followers have asked when I’m getting my own Food Network show. It’s exciting to hear this feedback and hopefully it’s in my future.”
3. What’s your favorite thing about running your platform?
Martorina: “The relationships I’ve created with chefs. Sometimes I get to try their dishes before they even go on the menu, and I am able to give them constructive feedback. They’d rather hear my verbal review before someone else prints it. I love this mutual respect. I’ve even designed dishes for restaurants. Most recently, I created a delicious pork cutlet sandwich called ‘The Anthony’ for Nonna’s in the West Loop.”
4. What have been some of your favorite restaurants?
Martorina: “My favorite restaurant is MCCB (Modern Chinese Cookbook) in Chinatown. This family-run restaurant creates incredibly spicy Sichuan dishes with mouth-numbing peppercorns. It’s a fantastic dining experience.”
5. Tell us about your background — did you grow up in Chicago?
Martorina: “I was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from DePaul University. I worked in the film and video industry for many years as a product specialist for innovative companies like Pinnacle Systems and Avid. It was fun getting to test the software and help develop it. I would also present the software around the world. Through my travels I fell in love with food.
Then I moved from film to the world of social media and culinary. Prior to COVID, I was hosting and judging 100 live culinary events across the country. I was even the host of the culinary stage at the Travel & Adventure Show. I was able to cook on stage with international chefs, and that was such an exciting job. Most recently, I returned to the world of culinary as a Master Judge for the World Food Championships in Dallas.”
6. Are you a big cook yourself or do you prefer just the eating part?
Martorina: “I love both. It’s so much fun to get creative in the kitchen. I’m really inspired by all of the amazing chefs around me. Growing up Sicilian, I had to watch my family cook. We had to watch and learn because no one in my family ever wrote down recipes.”
7. Tell us about being awarded Social Media Person of the Year?
Martorina: “I was so excited when they called my name. Previous winners of the award were WGN’s Nancy Lou and T.V. personality and restaurant owner Billy Dec. I wasn’t on a television program, so I never thought I had a chance of winning this award. I was selected based on my high social media engagement. My motto was always, ‘Tweet before you eat!’”
8. What is it about food that interests you so much — is it just the taste or does it have a more profound meaning to you?
Martorina: “Food brings people together no matter what ethnicity we are. We can all come together at a table and enjoy a fantastic meal. It’s a magical moment.”
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