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Restaurant Show

How Sam ‘the Cooking Guy’ Zien became a content creator before social media even existed

Zien, named a Digital Innovator at the 2024 MenuMasters Awards, chats with NRN editor-in-chief Sam Oches


This week on Extra Serving, a podcast from Nation’s Restaurant News, we’re sharing the first of many conversations we had with restaurant experts in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association Show this spring.

As always, the Show was widely attended by vendors, operators, and — luckily for all who now get to enjoy this conversation — social-media stars. 

Today, we’re sharing a chat between our editor-in-chief Sam Oches and Sam “the Cooking Guy” Zien. Sam the Cooking Guy attended his first-ever restaurant show to receive NRN’s MenuMasters Award for Digital Innovation, so he sat down to talk about why his intended travel channel never came to be, why he keeps his content simple and straightforward, and how he translated social media work to operating restaurants in San Diego’s Little Italy.

Enjoy the conversation, and keep coming back for more tidbits and insights from Chicago.

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