Remember the last time you were influenced to buy a new ingredient at the store or visit a restaurant? There’s a good chance that influence came from a social media creator instead of a traditional ad.

Influencer marketing is a booming business because it’s a highly effective form of marketing. Influencers can be powerful partners for restaurants and food brands in particular, catching niche audiences’ attention with well-produced and relatable foodie content.

Food is a favorite topic among consumers, and influencers can help your brand stand out with mouthwatering content that doubles as a meaningful review. They’ve already built a rapport with the audience you want to reach, and followers trust their opinion.

If you’re a brand marketing to UK audiences, the food influencer scene is bursting with talented creators with a pulse on food and restaurant trends across the country. In this guide, we’ll cover the current state of influencer marketing and food trends, what to know when working with food influencers, and some of the top UK foodie influencers across cooking, baking, plant-based meals and more.

Understanding the UK food influencer landscape

Influencer advertising in the UK has grown year over year, reaching more than a billion US dollars in annual spend as of 2024. Instagram remains a leading platform for influencers and social media users in the UK, with nearly 60% of internet users accessing the platform.

It is also important to research trends in the food industry—some of which UK influencers are helping define—before starting your marketing outreach. According to SquareMeal, some of the exciting things to look out for in 2024 include:

  • Vegan/plant-based food continuing to evolve, with more focus on vegetables instead of meat alternatives.
  • Non-alcoholic drink pairings that elevate dining experiences.
  • Affordability for both restaurants and diners.
  • Insects as a sustainable and unique source of protein.

With plenty of trends to explore, you’re probably eager to start drafting those intro emails to influencers. Before diving in, you’ll want to develop a social strategy that includes an Instagram influencer marketing plan. Let’s review what you need to consider when developing a partnership.

What to consider when choosing UK food influencers

Any UK food influencer your brand partners with should check a few important boxes:

  • Audience demographics: Do some research (or ask for their media kit) on their followers. Are they in your target audience and relevant to your brand?
  • Performance metrics: Take a look at their engagement and other key influencer marketing metrics. Quality over quantity is important here. Micro and nano influencers won’t have millions of followers, but they often have a much higher engagement rate than mega influencers.
  • Previous brand partnerships: Look through their previous brand partnerships and get a feel for how well they align with your brand values. You’ll want to choose authentic, transparent creators who won’t risk running afoul of their audience’s goodwill or Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines.

ASA guidelines govern both influencers and the brands they work with. The ASA website has specific platform guidelines and types of content that you should review before embarking on a new campaign. When in doubt, make sure every post the influencer does on your brand’s behalf is clearly marked as advertising.

Now that we have the background information covered, let’s take a look at some of the top UK food influencers of 2024.

Leading Food influencers in the UK

Here are 10 UK food influencers leading the pack in exploring restaurants, cooking and more. They range in following size, but never lack creativity.

Daniel John – @daniel_johneats

  • Instagram: 12.7K

The top of Daniel’s Instagram feed, showing his follower count, highlights, and three posts of avocado toast and pasta.

Daniel’s feed is filled with photos of his recipes and meals he enjoys at restaurants in London and beyond. His food styling skills are apparent, and he helpfully includes full recipes for the dishes he creates in the post captions so you can experiment at home.

Vena Gao – @vernahungrybanana

  • Instagram: 391K followers

An Instagram post with a video on the left, showing Verna prepping for an upcoming supper club, and the post caption and comments on the right.

Verna’s at-home cooking content took off during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she’s since published a cookbook featuring delicious Asian recipes. In her cooking and meals at restaurants, Verna often focuses on Chinese food but explores all kinds of cuisine. If you live in London, you may be lucky enough to catch her at one of her supper clubs.

Maya Aweida – @sorrynotsalad

  • Instagram: 10k followers

A photo from Maya’s Instagram, showing her at a table enjoying a St. Patrick’s Day meal and a pint of Guinness.

A Time Out Tastemaker, Maya spotlights the best of London’s food scene through fun videos. As her Instagram handle suggests, you won’t find many salads in her feed,but you will find delectable bowls of noodles, plates of sushi and pasta of all kinds.

Anja Maršić – @hungry_anja

  • Instagram: 158K followers
  • TikTok: 38.7K followers

Part of Anja’s Instagram grid, featuring six photos of various dishes.

Anja’s background is in recipe development. Across Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, her audience is treated to daily recipe videos featuring everything from risotto to burrata-piled baguettes to breakfast crepes.

Christy Lam – @the_lazyfoodie

  • Instagram: 267K followers

A video from the @the_lazyfoodie Instagram that shows the inside of a cafe in LA, as well as some breakfast dishes and coffee. The video caption and some comments are included on the right.

If you love coffee, Christy Lam’s feed will be a dream come true. Though she includes beautiful photos of a variety of food, coffee shops and the drinks and pastries inside are her specialty. Espresso and sweet treats are always in style with Lam.

Nigella Lawson – @nigellalawson

  • Instagram: 3 million followers
  • Twitter: 2.7 million followers
  • Facebook: 2.2 million followers
  • Pinterest: 1.7 million followers
  • YouTube: 364K followers

Nigella’s Instagram feed, showing the top of her profile and three posts featuring plates of food.

Including Nigella Lawson on an influencers list might be cheating a bit. She is, after all, a true powerhouse in the UK food world and has been since the mid 90s. A food critic, author, TV show host and more, Nigella’s social media presence combines her cooking adventures with restaurant visits, cookbook reviews and life updates for her fans.

Pippa Perriam – @eatinburgh

  • Instagram: 109K followers

Part of the @eatinburgh Instagram feed, featuring sox posts with Pippa’s signature orange text branding.

Scotland-based Pippa has a knack for branding and curating the best restaurant picks in any city she visits. Her Instagram posts highlight her unique style and color palette. She also offers reasonably priced foodie maps of various cities to aid her followers’ own adventures.

John Gregory Smith – @johngs

  • Instagram: 836K followers
  • TikTok: 414.7K Followers

Part of John Gregory Smith’s Instagram feed showing six posts. Some of the posts show a plate of food, some show him in action in the kitchen.

John is a chef and prolific cookbook author who frequently appears on the BBC’s Morning Live. On his feed, you’ll find relatable cooking videos that show you each step of the process. Follow along as he makes what he refers to as “face plant food.”

Thomasina Miers – @thomasinamiers

  • Instagram: 132K followers

A video from Thomasina’s Instagram account, showing a video of her sampling a soup she’s made on the left. The video caption and comments are on the right.

Thomasina is no newbie to the UK food scene, having published seven cookbooks. She cares deeply about where our food comes from, and shares recipes in her regular Guardian Feast column. Many of the recipes she shares are inspired by her frequent global travels.

Shamsa – @officiallyshamsa

  • YouTube: 159K followers

A still from one of Shamsa’s YouTube videos, showing her making donuts for a Ramadan dessert.

Shamsa is a unique inclusion on this list as YouTube is her main platform. With seven children, her days are busy, and she shares her tips for cooking delicious family meals. Shamsa also shares recipes connected to her culture, including menus for holidays like Ramadan.

Plant-based and vegan food influencers in the UK

Need vegan food inspiration that doesn’t sacrifice flavor? Look no further than these five plant-based UK food influencers.

Gaz Oakley – @gazoakley

  • YouTube: 1.6 million followers
  • Instagram: 1.2 million followers
  • TikTok: 1.4 million followers

A video from Gaz’s Instagram, which shows him standing in a field of sunflowers. Video caption and comments are on the right of the image.

Gaz is a vegan chef and homesteader, so most of his recipes include ingredients he’s grown in his garden or foraged nearby. In addition to drool-worthy cooking videos, Gaz offers foraging and herbal education in his content.

Lucy Parker – @lucy_and_lentils

  • Instagram: 254K followers

A video from Lucy’s Instagram page showing her recipe for One Pot Carlin Pea Dal. Video caption and post comments are on the right of the image.

Scrolling through Lucy’s posts will have you hungry even if you’re not vegan. Her recipes are simple and easy to follow, but add a level of elegance to everyday cooking. You can find recipes for everything from breakfast to dessert and all that comes in between.

Harriet Porterfield –

  • Instagram: 201K followers

A video from the Bo’s Kitchen Instagram account, showing a purple and white glazed donut. Video caption and comments are on the right of the image.

Harriet is a self taught cook and published her first cookbook last year. She advocates eating “the rainbow” and her videos feature naturally beautiful food full of color. Her vegan, healthy food doesn’t skimp on aesthetics.

Paul Kerton – @hench_herbivore

  • Instagram: 52.4K followers
  • YouTube: 50K followers

A video from the Hench Herbivore Instagram showing Paul speaking to the camera against a blue background. Video caption and comments are on the right.

Paul is a personal trainer who is passionate about showing vegans how to live a plant-based lifestyle while building muscle and staying fit. His posts include fitness advice as well as recipes with full macronutrient breakdowns.

Bettina Campolucci Bordi – @bettinas_kitchen

  • Instagram: 159K followers

A photo from Bettina’s Instagram showing her hand holding a bowl of broth, noodles and vegetables.

Bettina’s content is like sitting at her kitchen table. She has a niche as a retreat chef, cooking for people who are spending time in a space dedicated to better health and wellness. She also leads trainings for others who dream of cooking up gourmet meals for retreat guests.

Street food influencers in the UK

Street food is popular in the UK thanks to a melting pot of cultures. Here’s a handful of influencers who can guide you to the best of the best.

British Street Food Awards – @britishstreetfoodawards

  • Instagram: 15.2K followers

The top portion of the British Street Food Awards Instagram, showing the account’s profile image, highlights, and three photos.

Award-winning food journalist Richard Johnson is a street food guru. He launched the British Street Food Awards in 2009 to spotlight the movers and shakers in this specific food arena. The awards’ Instagram account often features videos of past award winners and potential newcomers.

Kar-Shing Tong – @ks_ate_here

  • Instagram: 140K followers

A photo from Kar-Shing’s Instagram account, showing his hand holding a cut baguette sandwich.

Kar-Shing’s approach to food content is straightforward: Let the food shine. While you won’t see much of Kar-Shing himself, you will see plenty of tasty bites, many on-the-go, presented as if you are the diner enjoying the experience.

Anton Clark – @aton_of_food

  • Instagram: 95.6K followers

 A video from Anton’s Instagram page that shows some of his favorite burgers in London.

If you’re looking for recommendations on the absolute best street food in London (and beyond), Anton will be your new favorite Instagram follow. Scroll through videos and photos of burgers, sandwiches, birria tacos and dim sum—prepare to get hungry.

Toby Inskip – @eatingwithtod

  • Instagram: 1 million followers
  • TikTok: 472.8K followers

Part of Toby’s Instagram feed, showing six posts. Some of the posts show Toby facing the camera, and others show plates of food.

Toby is a burger enthusiast, but loves uncovering hidden gems for all types of cuisine. One of his recent posts highlights a secret backyard Caribbean kitchen, while another showcases the smallest BBQ restaurant in the UK.

Cooking influencers in the UK

Follow these influencers to find your next favorite recipe.

Shelina Permalloo – @shelinacooks

  • Instagram: 332K followers
  • TikTok: 101.2K followers

 A video from Shelina’s Instagram page, showing her smelling a pot of food cooking on the stove.

A past Master Chef winner and cookbook author, Shelina’s warm and inviting personality comes through in every recipe she does. As a mom, she’s focused on sharing meals the entire family will enjoy that you can easily make at home.

Nigel Kabvina – @simplyni_

  • TikTok: 4.5 million followers
  • Instagram: 1.2 million followers

A TikTok from the @simplyni_ account, showing him in the process of making a cocktail.

Nigel is a foodie force on TikTok, where his most viewed video has been seen 57 million times. He’s a mixologist, and puts together recipes that pair with his unique cocktails. He always sets the stage in his picturesque home, often with fresh flowers.

Nina Parker – @antoninaparker

  • Instagram: 117K followers

Part of Nina’s Instagram feed, showing nine images in a grid. Most of the photos feature pasta.

Nina’s recipes are veggie heavy, and include plates piled wonderfully high with pasta. Her videos put the food front and center, which usually features simple ingredients. Nina also shares meals from her travels.

Emily Leary – @amummytoo

  • Facebook: 97K followers
  • Instagram: 37.8K followers

A post from Emily’s Facebook page showing her kale pesto linguine recipe.

If you’re looking for a UK food influencer who can get you in front of a Facebook audience, Emily may be a great fit. It’s her largest platform, but she shares her cooking and baking recipes across multiple channels. You’ll find plenty of chocolate on her pages, with cupcakes, brownies and cookies galore.

Ainsley Harriott – @ainsleyfoods

  • TikTok: 380K followers
  • Instagram: 134K followers

 A TikTok video from Ainsely’s account, showing him holding a plate of food. The post includes his signature hashtag, #GoodMoodFood

Ainsley is a well-known chef and TV personality in the UK. His Ainsley Foods company brings Caribbean flavors to grocery store shelves with soups and meal kits. The recipes he shares with followers often use the hashtag #GoodMoodFood.

Baking influencers in the UK

What is life without a sweet treat once in a while? These influencers bring tons of pastry inspiration.

Holly Jade – @thelittleblogofvegan

  • Instagram: 814K followers
  • Facebook: 109K followers
  • Pinterest: 27.4K followers

A video from Holly’s Instagram account showing brightly colored orange cream brownies.

You’d never guess from the creaminess each of her baked good photos exude that Holly is a vegan baker. Her vegan bakes are also perfect for people who have certain food allergies, including dairy and eggs. She’s also recently published a cookbook with her best recipes.

Matt Adlard – @mattadlard

  • Instagram: 1 million followers
  • TikTok: 745.2 followers
  • Facebook: 575K followers

Matt’s Instagram account, including his profile picture, following, highlights, and most recent three posts.

Matt is a familiar face as a host and judge on several Food Network shows, including Christmas Cookie Challenge. He’s a self-taught pastry chef and runs an online baking school. Among photos of his beautiful, polished desserts, you’ll also occasionally find dinner recipes.

Jemma Wilson – @cupcakejemma

  • YouTube: 2.48 million followers

Jemma’s YouTube page, showing her profile photo and most recent videos.

Jemma owns Crumbs & Doilies, a London bakery, and shares behind the scenes videos and full recipes of many of the shop’s creations. The Cupcake Jemma YouTube channel is one of the most popular baking channels on the platform. Her bakes are colorful, and include any type of pastry you could hope for.

Jane Dunn – @janespatisserie

  • Instagram: 972K followers
  • YouTube: 65.8K followers

A video from Jane’s Instagram account, showing her in the process of making Twix cheesecake

Jane is the bestselling author of three cookbooks, and her recipes invite you to make every day a celebration. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion or just want some really good cookies for yourself, Jane’s recipes are the perfect go to. She occasionally includes vegan options as well.

Benjamina Ebuehi – @bakedbybenji

  • Instagram: 203K followers
  • Substack: 10K subscribers

Part of Benjamina’s Instagram feed showing nine posts in a grid. A few feature her, and others show her baked desserts.

Benjamina appeared on the Great British Bake Off at just 23, and has since become a popular baking influencer. Her recipes include the fluffiest cakes and indulgent frosting. Fans can also subscribe to her Substack, which has around 10,000 followers.

Cook up a tasty social media strategy with food influencers

The world of UK food influencers is brimming with foodies of all kinds, from celebrity chefs to self-taught home cooks. They have a lot to offer your brand, no matter what part of the food industry you sit in.

As you get started with influencer marketing, we recommend making sure you have the right support in place. These influencer marketing tools will help you find, connect and collaborate with food influencers that will make your next campaign absolutely delicious.