Keith Lee

Why TikTok Food Critic Keith Lee Wants His Followers To 'Relax'

Home / Entertainment / Why TikTok Food Critic Keith Lee Wants His Followers To 'Relax'

By Melanie VanDerveer on March 15, 2024 at 5:45 PM EDT

With more than 16 million followers on TikTok and nearly 2 million on Instagram, popular content creator and food reviewer Keith Lee has a lot of eyes watching all he's doing.

He recently shared a video on TikTok asking his followers to "relax" after receiving some unnecessary comments on a video about his recent time in Seattle. Lee wanted to speak up about a few things in a video captioned, "Keith Speaks."

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Keith Lee Wanted to Clear a Few Things Up!

Keith Lee
TikTok | Keith Lee

Lee recently shared a video reviewing a Seattle, Washington eatery while there for a quick visit. In his TikTok video, he explained that he's only in the area for 24 hours and didn't get a recommendation on the place he chose to review, Dough Zone Dumpling House, and just happened to find them on DoorDash.

After giving his review, some followers dropped into the comments to tell Lee he should've gone to a different place. Lee addressed the comments in a follow-up video.

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"I got one thing to say after Seattle. Relax," he said in his "Keith Speaks" video. "I say relax because I posted the last video and said we were in Seattle for 24 hours. We were literally there for business. I wasn't there for a food tour, and I said I wasn't there for a food tour. But yet, I got barraged as if I were there for a food tour, and I only went to one spot."

Lee said he was speaking on this topic because he "started to notice a trend" that each time he goes to a place where he doesn't personally care for the food, comments start pouring in telling him he's going to the "wrong places" or that he's "doing it wrong."

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"Just because you don't know about it don't mean it's the wrong place," he said. "That's the point of what we're doing. It's to highlight places that are not known. If it's a spot you do know about that you really like that I don't personally like, it's because all of our taste buds are different."

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'I Don't Want This To Get To A Point Where It's Not Fun For Me Or My Family'

Lee explained that the only reason he's addressing this trend is because he doesn't want it to get to a place where reviewing restaurants is no longer fun for him or his family.

"It's almost getting to that point," he continued. "I like to walk amongst the people, and I am one of the people, and I'm appreciative, and I'm grateful that our platform has grown to where we have new people. But I really wanna get back to the side of people where we are just eating food, enjoying, having fun, and allowing God to work and just being the vessel he is."

Lee's video received tons of positive and supportive comments.

"Why does Keith have to explain this over & over again?" one person asked. Another added, "People need to chill. Let this man do his thing and live."

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Another follower shared, "This has been amazing watching this journey."

Keith Lee Was Nominated For A NAACP Award

In January, Lee announced that he was nominated for a NAACP award, and this weekend, he will find out if he's won.

Lee was nominated for Outstanding Social Media Personality of the Year along with Angel Laketa Moore, Lynae Vanee, Druski, and Terrell Grice. The winners will be revealed during a live TV special airing on March 16 at 8 p.m. on BET and CBS.

Lee shared the news of his nomination on TikTok and Instagram a few times before and also mentioned it in his recent "Keith Speaks" video.

"My hair is like this because the NAACP Awards are tomorrow, and we got nominated for Creator of the Year. If I win, I win. If I don't, I'm just thankful to be here," he said. "And thank you to every single person that voted."

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He then flashed some photos and videos of him and his wife Ronnie all dressed up for the awards.

The Keith Lee And Family Food Tour Is Still Going Strong

Keith Lee
TikTok | Keith Lee

Lee and his family have been touring around the country reviewing restaurants since last year. They most recently visited the Phoenix, Arizona area, and Lee shared a recap video of his time there.

"The first place we went to was Republica Empanada. While we were in a random shoe store, somebody who worked at Republica Empanada walked up to my wife and said we should try it, so we did," he said. "That same person who worked there made this update 24 hours after we left."

He then showed an update on how the restaurant was doing after his visit and review. There was a line out the door! The clip showed that the Mesa business is booming! A news update explained that the restaurant had to close three times because they were overwhelmed with business and even ran out of food.

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His video went on to show the other places he visited. A Korean hot dog place named Myung Rang Hot Dog was the next stop for Lee and his family.

"They emailed me and my family the day before and said they were so slow that they were considering closing," he said. "And as of today, they just posted this and said this was a record-breaking week for them."

Lee added that he left them $2,500 to pay for customers' food orders. He also talked about one other place he visited while in the area and gave an update on a restaurant he visited while in Dallas, Texas, before heading to Arizona.

See the full video here.

The 'Keith Lee Effect' Is Hard At Work!

Keith and Ronni Lee

Lee's Arizona recap video received more than 1.5 million views and thousands of comments.

"Republica Empanada is my family's restaurant! Thank you so much for giving them the recognition they deserve," one person wrote in the comment section. Another viewer added, "So happy AZ didn’t disappoint! We wanna try all these places."

Many commented about the Keith Lee effect and thanked him for all he's doing for small, struggling businesses.

"Keith, you are amazing," one follower wrote. Another shared, "The Keith Lee effect. It's so beautiful."

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