Did you notice the Mean Girls-style action going on on Twitter this weekend?
Chances are you did. But if you didn't, Miami's food industry gained two new handles to look after: @FoodGossip305 and @NotChowFather. Leading the anonymous secret spiller pack in late December was @MiamiFoodGossip.
Short Order has tried to figure out the people behind the handles -- and there are hints-- but first, a quick recap of the name-calling and hair-pulling that went down over the weekend.
The list that @FoodGossip305 (Miami FoodScene) is following is like a who's who of our restaurant industry -- chefs, restaurant accounts, PR people, media. Alarmingly, our Twitter @Short_Order was the first one to be followed. (Which made us think "could this be one of us?")
Of course, this could be just a good ploy to make everyone think that the first person they followed is the culprit. In any case, the mystery continues.
Miami FoodScene started off with some nasty gossip rumors about Florida Cookery and former Little River chef Kris Wessel. Miami FoodScene says Little River closed because Wessel hadn't paid the rent in 3 months. One tweet pits Giorgio Rapicavoli against Eating House's following, who could probably care less whether their waffles come from an Eggo box or not. Stabs were taken at our own New Times for "Best Of" issue, Brickell's MC Kitchen took a beating for "using Costco products," and a couple restaurants were thrown down for "all having more than 25 health violations."
Things didn't get really interesting until people like @TheChowfather got involved. Known for his outlandish commentary on Miami chefs and restaurants, Chowpops threatened with "investigators" and "boys checking for an IP address."
Naturally, one hasn't "made it" on Twitter until they have a parody account started for them. @NotChowFather entered the ring poking fun at the Cobaya co-founder's boat and "staff of interns."
The two additions are really quite entertaining from the spectator's standpoint, but it's all fun and games until you're caught in the crossfire. Several text messages were exchanged between local chefs, food bloggers, and ourselves in efforts to reveal the identities. "I know it's you!" "I know it's him!" "It HAS to be her!" In fact, that's all everyone's talking about. The more we talk, the more people surface and ask, "hey, do you know who this guy is?"
Truth be told, the only person who probably cares to find out who's behind @NotChowFather is @TheChowfather himself. To everyone else, it's mildly entertaining.
As for @FoodGossip305, the mystery continues. It could be a disgruntled chef, or a sore writer, or a former restaurant owner who went belly up. Or it could be someone who has nothing to be angry about at all. Someone who's living and working right next to you with a million-dollar smile. Someone with a sick sense of humor.
The real question remains: What will this new public rumor mill mean for the industry? Are we doomed to high-school style cat fights in the girls' locker room?
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Be careful who you share your secrets with, Miami.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.