We’re (cheese) pulling back the curtain on all of your favorite Instagram influencers in the world of pizza.
First up – Jordan Bortnick of @cheesy_travelers.
Zach Links: What led you to start Instagramming your food?
Jordan Bortnick: It all started around six years ago. I was studying abroad and my friends and I were joking around about how it would be kind of funny to post things from all of the different countries and places we were visiting. We started an account and things just kind of took off from there.
ZL: Was it all about cheese from the outset?
JB: Actually, no! The first account was called “Food Travelers.” Then, about a year later, we decided to change the name and focus because we love cheese in all forms, whether it’s pizza, mozzarella sticks, mac n’ cheese – anything with cheese, we’re all about it. After we did that, my follower count skyrocketed and continues to skyrocket because everyone loves cheese. And cheese pulls.
ZL: And now, you’re living everyone’s dream. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an influential food Instagrammer?
JB: I would definitely have them focus on one thing and not just on a general food category. To have less competitors on Instagram, you’ve got to start by narrowing the focus. And, always put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. If there’s something you wouldn’t want to see on your own feed, don’t post it.
ZL: After sampling slices from all over – what’s your fave city for pizza?
JB: New York, hands down. It’s the best. I went to college in Indiana so I’ll never take the pizza and bagels for granted ever again.
ZL: Thin crust or Sicilian?
JB: I’m a thin crust girl.
ZL: Favorite pizzeria?
JB: I love Rubirosa and Two Bros. I’m also a big fan of Bravo Pizza for a quick slice and they’ve got Chicago Deep Dish, too, with tons of cheese. Marinara Pizza is great too – they remind me of La Piazza, which has three locations where I’m from in Long Island. And I’m all about Prince Street Pizza. They’re the absolute best for square slices.
ZL: Do pizza cheese pulls get the most likes?
JB: Overall, I’d say mac n’ cheese, but pizza and baked ziti are up there.
ZL: Just recently, some of your followers actually got to hang out with you for the day and eat mac n’ cheese. What was that like?
JB: The mac n’ cheese tour was great! We did it with a limited group, but I was replying to over 100 DMs and messages about it.
ZL: Got another one planned?
JB: Yes! I’m thinking about doing a grilled cheese tour and a pizza tour next.
ZL: Sounds like a lot of fun, and a lot of work to put it all together.
JB: So much fun. And so much work. I’m also an event planner, so that helps.
ZL: A wedding with nothing but pizza, mozzarella sticks, and the cheesiest foods in the world – great idea or really great idea?
JB: Greatest idea. I’m so down.