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Chefs Think Twitter is Hot

Chefs Think Twitter is Hot

James A Fussell | The Herald

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Ask Jasper Mirabile why he’s Twittering, and you get three words back you didn’t expect.

The Jonas Brothers.

Let him explain.

“My daughter, Alexandra, came upon Twitter when she was following the Jonas Brothers,” the longtime Kansas City, Mo., chef and owner of Jasper’s restaurant said. “Then she said, ‘Dad, there’s some national chefs like Emeril who are Twittering. I’ll set you up an account.’ I started Twittering the same day. Within three minutes I started getting e-mails from people saying, ’I’m following you on Twitter.’ Within three days I had 103 followers.”

It wasn’t long before his tweets were hitting the target.

“The third day I put ’Jasper’s is having a wine dinner with Peter Seghesio (a California winemaker). Seven courses, $75,’ and I put my phone number,” he said. “The event sold out in two days.”

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook are changing the way chefs communicate with their customers. Menus, ads and coupons are not going away, they’re just augmented by the instant interactive communications of Twitter’s 140-character “tweets.” (It’s easy to follow someone on Twitter. Just go to www.Twitter.com, set up an account, then search for someone’s name.)

When Mirabile started on Twitter in March, he had no expectations.

“I figured it wouldn’t hurt as long as it didn’t take that much of my time,” he said. “I thought I’d throw a few lines out there. But I had no idea I’d get these kinds of results. And my daughter was like, ‘Told you so.’”

She even told her father that whatever he sends on Twitter she will automatically send to his Facebook page.

Never underestimate the power of a 16-year-old.

“What’s so great about Twitter is I can be sitting here in the kitchen and I’ll put, ‘Jasper is cooking fresh asparagus today.’ And then I will go in my dining room that night, and I will see some guests who say, ‘Hey, I follow you on Twitter. That’s why I came in for dinner.’ So you know it’s working. It’s instantly letting my customers know what is going on.”

Now that he has started Twittering, he can’t stop.