Koldo Royo is the 63-Year-Old MICHELIN-Starred Chef Driving Tik Tok Crazy

Sveva Valeria Castegnaro
copertina koldo royo

Cook and share: that's the philosophy of top chef Koldo Royo, who at 63 has found fertile ground on social media, gaining a large slice of followers with his irreverent flair and daily tutorials.

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It all started about 30 years ago, in 1995, when Koldo Royo, a chef from the Basque region, was awarded a Michelin Star and opened Spain's most popular cooking website, He wrote "simple, tasty and fun" recipes. Since then, his passion for sharing online has not subsided but has grown to the point where he is an influencer – though he does not call himself one – especially on Tik Tok, where he has over 800,000 followers.

"I don't consider myself an influencer because, at home, I don't have decision-making power even over lunch and dinner," he tells the media. Cook and share is and has always been, his motto. "I don't live if I can't communicate with others," he explains. His exploit on social media did not happen as it did for other chefs during the pandemic, but soon after. During the lockdown, Royo felt uninspired. "I could not start making cakes live knowing that so many people were experiencing a dramatic situation, especially in the hospitality sector. I preferred to go to soup kitchens, prisons, and juvenile centers in Palma de Mallorca. Everyone has to eat, and my mission is to personally support those who need a hot meal, as grandmothers used to do."

Crediti Arthur Leblanc

This is precisely why Royo praises the work of his colleagues like José Andrés, who is always ready to lend a hand. "Many chefs put all their energy into virtuous gastronomic projects. Among them, many women," he says. Returning to social media, Royo says he believes more in the public than in the Michelin Guide. "The problem, when it comes to stars, is that they give them to you for being who you are, and then they take away your authenticity to ask you to be something else," he says contritely.

Royo is a real marvel of communication and attracts young people on Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook, but also a more adult audience through the recipe books he publishes. Over the years, the pressure to gain recognition has gradually waned: according to him, what matters most is precisely the relationship with the clientele—and writing books, including "Koldo Royo's Recipes: Easy Dishes for Every Occasion" is already a success.


Find the reference article here

Cover Photo: Credit MA Cannellas

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