Whether you’re a foodie or someone who would like to learn to cook, these Puerto Rican influencers on TikTok and Instagram are sure to spice up your meals.
Popular influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers come from all professions, backgrounds, and walks of life, but they have one thing in common: they like to cook. Let’s meet them, shall we?
Omi Hopper, Cooking From the Heart
This Puerto Rico native had always enjoyed cooking, but it wasn’t until she began sharing it on social media that she discovered her true talent, gaining a veritable slew of followers on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube along the way. Last year, her social media popularity even earned her a spot on the second season of Next Level Chef, a cooking competition show hosted by Gordon Ramsay.
“I would say I’m an incidental social media creator,” says Hopper, who was a makeup artist before the COVID-19 lockdown.
In her Spanish-language channels, Hopper explains—often with happy salsa music in the background and a great dose of humor—her approach to Puerto Rican culinary staples with a style that can only be described as “auténticamente herself.”
Her especialidad, you ask? The sofrito fresquecito made with cilantro, coriander, garlic, onions, aji dulce, and bell peppers all blended together, which was inspired by her beloved late grandmother. As for the secret to her culinary success, it’s simple: “Latinas, we cook from the heart,” she says.
Beatriz Santiago, Every Dish Tells a Story
She describes herself as the mother to two beautiful children who “absolutely loves to cook.” In fact, this guapa Boricua says cooking brought out her creative side and allowed her to connect with herself in a deeper way.
On her channels, Beatriz shares not just her recipes, which attract a diverse audience ranging from amateur home cooks to professional chefs, but also her stories, which are always fun and inspiring.
But wait, that’s not all. Beatriz also nudges her audience to try healthy but always delicious recipes that include plant-based and gluten-free options.
Edgardo Noel (The Singing Chef)
Do you like to sing while you bang around with your pots and pans? Edgardo Noel is the chef for you. The Puerto Rico-born media sensation combined his love of music with his passion for cooking to create a unique concept: Cocinando y Cantando (Cooking and Singing), which makes for a very happy kitchen.
His main inspiration is his grandmother Rosangélica, who always gathered the family around the dinner table to share the love as well as the food. In her honor, Edgardo opened a restaurant in his own home that for five years was open to the public.
Today, with more than 18 years of experience in the culinary arts as a restaurateur, teacher, executive chef, television personality, and campaign spokesperson, he shares his passion for la buena mesa with his TikTok followers.
Iván Mulero Ortiz, a Stickler for Freshness
“I’ve cooked since I was little,” says the 26-year-old Iván Mulero Ortiz. “My grandmothers were the first to teach me how to cook.”
And although the Boricua influencer is not a chef, one can say he took those lessons to heart and never looked back.
A stickler for fresh and local products, on his TikTok channel Iván inspires his followers to consume from local farms as well as “buy from the boy who stands in the street with the yautías, with the avocados. In this way we make food fresher, cheaper, too.”
He also teaches his followers how to buy groceries on a budget, always making sure that the products are from Puerto Rico.vThe BoriLicious influencer also plans to launch his own YouTube channel this year, and is exploring the possibility of writing a recipe book.
Lyana Blount, the Black Rican Vegan
Do you love empanadas and other meat-based dishes, but there’s just one little thing … you don’t like eating meat? Then meet Lyana, an African American and Puerto Rican Bronx native who offers delicious, succulent, and unique vegan food in the NYC area and on her TikTok and Instagram channels.
Black Rican Vegan was born during the COVID pandemic, and then “something that started as a hobby of sharing my passion of creating traditional vegan dishes became a full-blown business.”
Today, her goal is to offer more vegan options without sacrificing taste in everything from traditional Boricua dishes to scrumptious desserts (how does vegan chocolate cake drenched in chocolate coconut leches sound?).
Her book Black Rican Vegan: Fire Plant Based Recipes from a Bronx Kitchen, dropped on July 25 and can be ordered on Amazon.
Juan Velez Court, A Passion for Food
A 30-year-old mental health advocate from Puerto Rico who is passionate about food, video games and maintaining wellness? Count us in.
Growing up with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Juan says he learned to appreciate every little thing, as well as the importance of sharing what helped him to overcome these hurdles so that he could help others.
“I’ve always had a passion for communication and entertainment. Speaking into a microphone is like therapy for me because it’s my chance to connect with you and share my experiences with games, food, or life as a whole.”
Today, Juan, who is currently living a ketogenic lifestyle—which involves replacing carbs with far—shares his favorite recipes from the web and reviews products he believes in on his TikTok channel.