CLEMMONS, N.C. — When it comes to making something out of nothing, 23-year-old chef Lorenzo Espada is an expert.

“The idea of it is the name in itself, make something out of nothing,” he said. “So, say you have $10 in your pocket, got to eat for the week, (then) make something out of nothing.”


What You Need to Know:

  • Lorenzo Espada is a viral social media chef
  • He has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram and nearly 900,000 on TikTok
  • He went to UNC-Greensboro
  • Espada now lives in Clemmons, a village (yes, that's the official term) near Winston-Salem in Forsyth County


"Somethin' Outta Nothin'' is his signature tagline. If you’re on Instagram or TikTok, chances are you’ve come across the Clemmons native on your timeline as @EatwitZo. He has more than 1.5 million followers on Instagram and nearly 900,000 followers on TikTok.

“A year and like two months ago was when I saw things, ‘Oh, this about to be something completely different I’ve never seen before,’” Espada said. “A year ago was when I realized that it’s at the point where I can really either take advantage of this or fall back from it.”

He started to take advantage as a student at UNC-Greensboro, cooking up meals for students who missed home cooking.

“I think the first time I really tried to sell food, I got like 40 orders, which was huge to me,” Espada said.

Then some campus organizations asked him to cater, and he became a household name on the UNCG campus.

Espada says he always wanted to be a chef; the first thing he ever made was meatballs.

“Me and my grandmother, one time, when we were down in Florida, I was probably like, this high,” he said, laughing as he held his hand close to the ground. “I was like, ‘Yeah, I want to help you make them!’ We had all our seasonings, bread crumbs, big old bowl, seasoned everything up. And I remember just sitting there, making the meatballs.”

Espada started narrating his videos last June. With his "Something Outta Nothin’’ tagline, he found his audience, and his audience found him. 

“On Instagram now, because that’s my biggest platform, I’m kind of like numb to it,” he said. “But on platforms like Facebook, I’m just started to get the recognition and all that. Facebook, it’s like, I love it.”

That challenge to find new avenues of expression is what drives Espada every single day. At the end of each video, he does a signature pull test and taste test. On the day of our reporting, he made a delicious crab dip.

“Actually, I’m not going to lie, I’m not a big fan of seafood, but this is actually really good,” Espada said, beaming as he eats.