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TBT: Top Five Food-Related Instagrams To Follow Right Now

Serious food porn ahead.

Sam Wells

If you're into dining and drinking it's impossible to ignore the food porn-y appeal of highly-addictive photo-sharing app Instagram. Welcome to Eater's "Throwback Thursday" feature, where, on a monthly basis we'll showcase five of the best photos from Instagram feeds of established chefs, up-and-coming young guns, sommeliers and bartenders, plus well-curated hospitality accounts from around San Diego. Check out below, the five local food and drink pros you should start following right now!

Have a suggestion for an inspiring Instagram account we should track? If so, hit us up on the tipline.

NOVEMBER 2016


Chef/Owner Brian Malarkey: Herb & Wood

We be Rolling ... cookie dough @herbandeatery @chefshanemcintyre @sweetmendoza4u #wakeandbake #freshbaked

A photo posted by Brian Huntington Malarkey (@brianmalarkey) on

With seven wildly successful restaurants to his name, including Herringbone and Little Italy stunner Herb & Wood, high-profile chef Brian Malarkey needs little introduction. Eater’s just-named Chef of the Year 2016, he’s been featured in Time Magazine, cooked the James Beard Award Dinner for some of the world's most acclaimed chefs and is a regular host/guest star on the Food Network, Travel Channel, Bravo and TLC. Click through to see snaps with celebrated culinary luminaries like Daniel Boulud, Roy Yamaguchi and Gordon Ramsay, on set shots, antics with the Herb & Wood team and more. Follow Chef Brian on Instagram @brianmalarkey

Food Photographer: Sam Wells

A view of #sandiego from a crab fisherman's boat. #sandiegofood #local #livefolk #lifeandthyme

A photo posted by Sam Wells Photography (@swellsphoto) on

Food photographer Sam Wells’ work has graced almost every glossy publication in town, and with good reason. His expertly composed pictures showcase the artistry of chef plating techniques, vibrant market-fresh produce everywhere from Portland to Maine, not to mention seriously mouth-watering dishes at restaurants around San Diego. Delve into this feed for a daily dose of good vibes and foodie inspiration – here you’ll find everything from behind the scenes bakery shots, night-harvests in Temecula and just-landed catch at Dockside Market. Follow Sam on Instagram @swellsphoto

Executive Chef Sean McCart: Pueblo

Steak tar tar Mexican style- think carne asada @ Pueblo_pb come get yours

A photo posted by Sean McCart (@chefmccart) on

Cooking professionally for more than a decade, San Diego native Sean McCart is a San Diego Art Institute grad who put in time at farm-to-table restaurants around Oregon before returning to his roots in Southern California. Today, you’ll find the former Juniper & Ivy sous chef leading the charge at Baja-Med focused knockout Pueblo in Pacific Beach, where his seafood-focused menu - filled with traditional Baja dishes like aguachile shrimp and lobster enchiladas – have been winning fans since the restaurant opened this summer. Follow Chef Sean on Instagram @chefmccart


Blanky Campara: Cozinhacombossa

Breakfast for lunch kind of day ✌ ️ #seebeautyineverything

A photo posted by BLANKY CAMPARA (@cozinhacombossa) on

Brazilian native and San Diego transplant Blanky Campara has an insanely popular Instagram feed, which is 25,0000 followers strong and counting. Live vicariously through her uber-stylish adventures in eating – tasteful avocado toast, on trend donuts, loftily held ice cream cones, cocktails and brews - it’s all here. Eater just got word that the influential foodie ‘grammer recently started behind the line at Prep Kitchen Little Italy. As her Insta name (COZINHACOMBOSSA) and bio explains, in Brazil, to do something with "bossa" is to do it with charm and natural flair, something Blanky clearly has in spades. Follow Blanky on Instagram @cozinhacombossa

Boutique Bar Catering: Snake Oil Cocktail Co.

From 1980s "soda jerk" in Fullerton, CA to globetrotting cocktail connoisseur, Frankie Thaheld was head mixologist at George's At The Cove before partnering up with Michael Esposito to create bespoke bar catering outfit, Snake Oil Cocktail Co. From cocktail creation and consultations to event catering, Snake Oil collaborates with the most respected celebrity chefs and culinary talent across the country – all cocktails designed with the five fundamentals of culinary mixology firmly in mind: simplicity, seasonality, quality, creativity and taste. Follow them on Instagram: @snakeoilcocktail

OCTOBER 2016


Executive Chef/Culinary Director Greg Frey: Golden Door

In addition to designing the menus at San Marcos’ exclusive Golden Door, executive chef Greg Frey works closely with head gardener Wil Ryan tending to fruit and vegetable gardens within the resort grounds. A passionate beekeeper, when not busy in the kitchen you’ll find him harvesting his own honey, which has since made its way into the resort’s culinary and cocktail offerings. A longstanding champion of sustainable agricultural practices, Greg just helped launch the new Golden Door Farm Stand, where an excess of the garden’s exceptional specialty and organic heirloom vegetables, herbs, and flowers are sold. Scroll through to meet Flora the chicken, see just-harvested produce, straight from the hive bee 'action shots', and a grumpy looking Sculpin among other delights. Follow Chef Greg on Instagram @gregfreyjr


Chef de Cuisine Stefani De Palma: Addison

Impressive culinary greats grace the Instagram feed of Addison’s new 27-year old chef de cuisine, Stefani De Palma - we’re talking Thomas Keller, Daniel Bolud and Ming Tsai to name a few. Since 2008, Le Cordon Bleu Graduate De Palma has steadily worked her way up through the ranks at The Grand Del Mar’s signature restaurant, earning the titles of chef de partie, chef tournant, pastry sous chef and sous chef, to her most recent appointment as second in command. There, 27-year old De Palma’s finesse and technique across multiple disciplines - from pastry to butchery shine ever brighter – as she continues to work with executive chef William Bradley. Click through to see decadent dishes like a beet and goat cheese confection, fresh baked brioche, and uni with little gem lettuce; plus seasonal golden raspberries and candy stripe figs from purveyors like Chino Farms and Specialty Produce. Follow Chef Stefani on Instagram: @chefstefani


Chef Javier Plascencia: Cocinero Norteño

Mezcal + atun + baja california #baja #chefjavierplascencia #calibaja #mezcaldecolima #agavelimeño #nissan

A photo posted by cocinero norteňo. (@javierplascencia) on 

The charismatic, Tijuana-born chef Javier Plascencia needs little introduction. A fervent and energetic promoter of Baja Mediterranean cuisine, Plascencia began his career in his family's kitchen, "learning and then bending established cooking rules." Since then he’s graced publications from Food Arts to GQ Mexico, respected broadsheets like the New York and Los Angeles Times and cooked for political heavy-hitters including two former Mexican presidents and California "Governator" Mr. Schwarzenegger. His vibrant Instagram feed documents culinary adventures from coast to coast, south of the border and beyond, mezcal fueled whole fish butchery, photoshoots, awards ceremonies, beautiful examples of Baja cuisine and more. Follow Chef Javier on Instagram @javierplascencia


Andrew Spurgin: Bespoke Event Catering

Sundays are made for Lobsters, not brunch... #ocean #lobster #arthropod #myfab5

A photo posted by Andrew Spurgin (@andrewspurgin) on

From hanging out with Cockney "Barrow Boys" at Borough Market growing up in London, to designing bespoke culinary events for the glitterati, including three US presidents, today former catering chef Andrew Spurgin is San Diego’s de rigueur party architect. Talented at creating unique food and beverage menus with just the right amount of savoir-faire, Spurgin has styled events for luxe brands like Aston Marti and Luis Vuitton, not to mention a sophisitcated croquet/Pimms-themed launch for Chloe at Scout. His tastefully curated feed showcases the freshest seafood and sashimi to handmade Spanish goat cheese, guest appearances by Baja rescue kitty, LuLu Le Chat, plus pantry staples that only a British expat could love (and miss) like Marmite and pickled walnuts. Follow Andrew on Instagram @andrewspurgin


Chef de Cuisine Colin Murray: Mess Hall

Classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, before stepping into his role as chef de cuisine at Mess Hall, Colin Murray was the executive chef at Brooklyn Girl in addition to sous chef at Cowboy Star. The self-professed "native vinyl collector" is also chef/partner of Liquid Spice Company, which curates a line of "masterfully crafted culinary products", including a red and green Sriracha. Click through this feed for a fun mix of market-fresh produce and behind the scenes shots with the Mess Hall team, to wine tastings and his most recent bounty from Amoeba Records. Follow Chef Colin on Instagram @chef_colinmurray

SEPTEMBER 2016

Chef de Cuisine Jenny Goycochea: Tasting Room Del Mar

After spending several years cooking at well-respected restaurants around San Diego, including Urban Solace and Jsix, Jenny Goycochea joined the opening team at Tasting Room Del Mar earlier this year. There, alongside executive chef Steven Lona she puts her spin on scratch-made dishes featuring seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. As a professional chef, for Goycochea conducting an experience for others "that brings happiness and remains memorable is key" – scroll through her feed for colorful plates, fresh produce and more. Follow Chef Jenny on Instagram @jennygoycochea


Master French Chef Partick Ponsaty: Ponsaty's

Amuse bouche

A photo posted by Patrick (@patrickponsaty) on

One of only two Master French Chefs in San Diego and Corporate chef of The Grand Restaurant Group, Patrick Ponsaty made his name at the Rancho Bernardo Inn and Loews in Coronado before moving north to Bellamy’s in Escondido. The acclaimed chef recently opened his eponymous restaurant, Ponsaty's, with a menu that centers on Basque Country style cuisine. Also know as the "French Farmer-Forager" Ponsaty is currently growing around eighty percent of restaurant’s produce at his garden at The Ranch at Bandy Canyon. Follow Chef Patrick on Instagram @patrickponsaty


Chef Bear: Cow By Bear

I spy with my little eye something beginning with... Delisiousness! : @bret_with_an_n

A photo posted by COW BY BEAR (@cowbybear) on

From hosting private dinner parties out of a Little Italy apartment in 2011 to one of the hottest (and most talked about) pop-up dining experiences in town, the identity of this mysterious culinary bear is an enduringly well-kept secret. Whether you think it’s gimmicky or genius, as of writing, the next available opportunity to enjoy one of Bear’s exclusive ten-person, five course tasting menus is a solid 3 months out – January 5 to be precise. Seats are still available for a special Halloween dinner on October 29. If you hanker after images of 50-day dry aged ribeye, and have always wondered what a furry chef looks like cooking dinner, you know where to come. Follow Bear on Instagram @cowbybear


Chef de Cuisine Ronnie Schwandt: Leroy's Kitchen + Lounge

Leroy’s longstanding Chef de Cuisine Ronnie Schwandt put in time behind the line at The Grand Del Mar and Aquamoreé in La Jolla before joining the team at Coronado’s popular local eatery. A proud San Diego native, chef Ronnie keeps Leroy's farm-driven menu up to date with refreshed seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients from land and sea; while his Instagram delivers great dish and fresh produce shots from the kitchen (black truffles or bacon jam on fleek, anyone?), contrasted with snapshots from culinary events and pairing dinners –– in addition to pics of recent family addition Kaya, his Shiba Inu pup from Japan. Follow Chef Ronnie on Instagram @chefronnieschwandt


Bespoke Libations: Barcon Cocktail Co.

For some first class cocktail inspiration this relatively under-the-radar feed is bursting with colorful tipples, chic inspiration for imbibing in style, and more than a few handsome bow-tied barmen. Bespoke catering company, Barçon, has been winning fans in San Diego with a craft cocktail experience that "comprises the finest quality libations with an unparalleled level of service": think beautiful glassware, vibrant garnishes, and tongue-in-cheek swizzlesticks. Click through for artfully presented (and some seriously delicious looking) drinks, behind the bar event snaps and more. Follow Barçon Cocktail Co. on Instagram @barcon_


AUGUST 2016

CHEF STEVE BROWN: COSECHA

San Diego native (and former LA chef/restaurateur) Steve Brown recently returned to his Imperial Beach hometown to launch roving farm dinner series Cosecha, in addition to ambitious coastal restaurant project The Shipping Yard, which is slated to open spring 2017. A proponent of local and seasonal sourcing, Brown partners closely with Wild Willow Farm, where growing space has already been dedicated to his kitchens. Enjoy freshly harvested produce like scarlet runner beans and sea lettuce, behind the line action shots, eye-catching plates, plus family time with daughter Reya on his IG feed. Follow Chef Brown on Instagram @chefstevebrown


EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF ADRIAN MENDOZA: HERB & WOOD

Do you daydream about flaky, melt in your mouth croissants? Does the thought of Viennoiserie and patisserie make you weak at the knees? If the answer is yes than you need to hit follow on this feed, stat. Not only does executive pastry chef Adrian Mendoza oversee the dessert program at Brian Malarkey’s Herb & Wood, he bakes bread and makes butter in-house there too: the travails of which are all expertly showcased on Instagram. Stay tuned for little sister concept Herb & Eatery, where you will soon be able to indulge in his fresh baked Country Batard bread, chocolate walnut Babka, bagels and more. Follow Chef Mendoza on Instagram @sweetmendoza4u


EXECUTIVE CHEF TIM KOLANKO: BLUE BRIDGE HOSPITALITY

This is how we ship for brunch at mess hall. #libertypublicmarket #sundaybrunch

A photo posted by Tim Kolanko (@cheftimkolanko) on

Farmers market stalwart Tim Kolanko spent seven years refining his ingredient-driven cuisine under executive chef and mentor Jeff Jackson at The Lodge at Torrey Pines before joining Blue Bridge Hospitality group in 2013. There, he brings a respect for local ingredients and the process of handling them to the fore overseeing menu direction and design at Stake Chophouse & Bar and most recently Mess Hall, inside epic food emporium Liberty Public Market. Keep tabs on weekly farmers market finds, live animal butchery and more via his IG feed. Follow Chef Kolanko on Instagram @cheftimkolanko


EXECUTIVE CHEF CHRIS GENTILE: DOUBLE STANDARD

With stints cooking at Alinea in Chicago, McCrady’s in Charleston, and Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York City under his belt: aged just 24 Chris Gentile was the youngest executive chef in downtown San Diego last year. Unlike most of his contemporaries, making the schedule and running the line during a 300-cover evening at Double Standard are just two things you'll find this culinary young gun focused on of a Friday evening. Check out his Insta feed for sophisticated plating shots, handmade pasta, fresh Chino Farms produce and the like. Follow Chef Gentile on Instagram @chrisgentile13


CHEF/ROASTER MIKE ARQUINES: THE CORK & CRAFTMOSTRA COFFEE

Current View. ☕️ #mostracoffee #craftcoffee #sandiego #coffeeroaster #sanfranciscan #caffeine #coffee

A photo posted by Mike Arquines (@thelabdining) on

In addition to overseeing the kitchen (alongside executive chef Phil Esteban) at The Cork & Craft, Arquines, who trained at New York's Le Bernardin, is also the co-founder of local artisan micro-roasting company, Mostra Coffee. A former at-home hobby roaster, alongside co-founders Jelynn Sophia, Beverly and Sam Magtanong, and RJ Ocubillo he formed Mostra with the goal of eventually doing direct trade with coffee farmers in the Philippines. Scroll through Arquines' feed for a colorful selection of foodie-related travel snaps, roasting magic and moments with team members, family and friends, all juxtaposed with plenty of beautiful plating shots - Filipino Breakfast Scotch Egg anyone? Follow Chef/RoasterArquines on Instagram @thelabdining

JULY 2016

RICHARD BLAIS: JUNIPER & IVYCRACK SHACK

Tonight at 9pm on @foodnetwork it's the #cutthroatkitchen Time Warp tournament! Groovy like a movie... @altonbrown

A photo posted by Richard Blais (@richardblais) on

No introduction necessary for the man behind hip Little Italy showcase Juniper & Ivy and fried chicken wonderland, Crack Shack. Successful chef, restaurateur and Bravo's Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais trained at some of the world's most esteemed restaurants, including The French Laundry and el Bulli, before developing his own brand of "playful molecular cuisine". From at home Sunday's making liquid nitrogen ice cream to kicking it on set with Alton Brown, the native New Yorker turned San Diegan’s account is a balanced mix of food, culinary inspiration, candid shots from new TV show ‘Back of House’, and more. Follow Chef Blais on Instagram: @richardblais


STEPHEN KURPINSKY: GEORGE’S AT THE COVE

George's at the Cove bar chef/mixology whiz Stephen Kurpinsky recently scooped the Judges Choice Award (best non-traditional ingredients) at the Margarita Month Grand Tasting Event for his Mes de Verde margarita. Other feathers in his cap include the expertly crafted new cocktail program as part of George’s refresh late last year. As a purveyor of finely crafted adult beverages it’s no surprise that Kurpinsky's feed has some very enticing cocktail shots: click through for a near-daily dose of intoxicating inspiration or stop by Level2 for the real deal. Follow Stephen on Instagram: @sjberto

CHEF GISELLE WELLMAN: PACIFIC STANDARD

Fig Tart @pacificstandardkitchen

A photo posted by Giselle Wellman (@giswellman) on

After five years in Los Angeles (where she became the city’s youngest female executive chef after being hired to lead Petrossian in West Hollywood), "Top Chef" alum Giselle Wellman is now back home in San Diego and leading the charge at newly opened art-deco stunner, Pacific Standard. Perfectly plated bites, behind the line #team shots and fresher than fresh Chino Farms produce (plus plenty of family time) is all documented on her bright and breezy IG feed. Follow Chef Wellman on Instagram: @giswellman

CHEF NICK NAPPI: BAR ONE

After a stint as executive chef at Werewolf American Pub you will now find former MasterChef contender Nick Nappi at the helm of newly opened neighborhood go-to Bar One in Little Italy as executive chef and co-owner. From fresh zeppole dusted with cinnamon sugar and homemade links to behind the line shots of the @bar_one_sd family, you're just as likely to see family snaps of wife Jenelle plus Bulldog pup Ernie and Boxer Gnocchi on Nappi's larger than life IG feed. Follow Chef Nappi on Instagram: @chefnicknappi


EXECUTIVE CHEF AARON OBREGON: BEERFISH

Le Cordon Bleu graduate Aaron Obregon earned his culinary chops in Mexico City working at  (among other spots) Top 50 Restaurant Biko with renowned chefs Mikel Alonso and Bruno Oteiza. Since returning to San Diego Obregon has helmed kitchens at Zarco Comida de Baja, D Bar and most recently Bay Park Fish Co as executive chef and GM. With a philosophy that "every fish needs to swim three times in water, wine and butter," you'll now find him at freshly landed Adams Avenue seafood joint, Beerfish. Follow Chef Obregon on Instagram: @obregonaaron



JUNE 2016

EXECUTIVE CHEF ACCURSIO LOTA: SOLARE

Originally from Menfi, a small town in Sicily, Chef Accursio grew up with Centuries old Mediterranean dishes made by his mother and grandmother using locally caught fish, farm-raised meat, and produce from the family gardens. Here in San Diego Lotà started cooking with storied Marine Room chefs Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver, winning a slew of awards including San Diego's "Best Chef" numerous times. In 2012 he took the helm as exec chef at Solare, where his authentic Southern Italian cuisine highlights fresh and locally sourced ingredients. A colorful and artfully curated feed, scroll through for snaps of house-cured yellowtail and salami, beautifully presented plates, and an impressive 40-foot sheet of pasta! Follow Chef Lota on Instagram: @accursiochef

CHEF DE CUISINE CHRISTINE RIVERA: GALAXY TACO

Tortilla Tower #galaxytacosd #masienda #myhappyplace #favorite #tacos #tortilla #masa #agirlandhertortillas

A photo posted by Christine Rivera (@xtine65) on 

Lauded for her "skill and elegance", local culinary talent Christine Rivera was recently selected as an Eater Young Guns class of 2016 finalist. And, with her "skill-driven task of nixtamalizing, milling, and kneading masa each day, in house, while running an exceptional restaurant in a demanding market", it’s little wonder the 25-year-old was headhunted from George's California Modern to help launch Trey Foshee’s modern Mexican eatery. Click through to see charred tomatillo para salsa being made, fresh Chino Farms produce, snaps from events like Pairings With A Purpose, plus chef selfies with Chad White and Jason McLeod. Follow Chef Rivera on Instagram: @xtine65

"LIQOUR LORD" ANTHONY SCHMIDT: CONSORTIUM HOLDINGS

A doyen of the San Diego cocktail scene, Anthony Schmidt (Craft & Commerce, Noble Experiment), is well known for his unpretentious, old-school approach to the art of imbibing. Alongside fellow CH alumni his name has graced some of the nation’s most coveted lists including: Esquire‘s Best Bars in America; Food & Wine‘s Top 50 Bars in the Country; plus two nominations at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. A scroll through the colorful and comical photos on Schmidt’s feed (case in point: a gun-toting/cowboy hat wearing taxidermy squirrel) offers up a selection of travel snaps and high jinx around San Diego with staff, family and friends, juxtaposed with plenty of enticing cocktail shots. Follow Anthony on Instagram: @mr_schmidtters

CHEF DE CUISINE DANIEL WOLINSKY: CUCINA SORELLA

So Doppio

A photo posted by DANIEL WOLINSKY (@chefdbdubs) on 

Newly appointed chef de cuisine Daniel Wolinsky brings a decade of experience to his latest post at the just opened cucina SORELLA, including iconic New York Italian eatery, Frankies Spuntino and Massimo Bottura’s three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescanain in Modena, Italy. Wolinsky, a New York native and graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, learned the art of pasta making from famed chef Massimo (also of Netflix popular series, Chef’s Table). In addition to plated dishes and his beautiful new pasta maker, Dolly, expect to see handmade mezzeluna, culurgiones, garganelli pasta creations, and more on this Insta feed. Follow Chef Wolinsky on Instagram: @chefdbdubs

CHEF DE PARTIE MOIRA HILL: TIDAL

San Diego native Moira Hill put in time behind the line at Juniper & Ivy and George's at the Cove before landing at Paradise Point as chef de cuisine under celebrated executive chef Amy Dibiase. Hill's account showcases culinary creations you'll wish you could eat right off the screen, including an albacore tartare with uni, and mini chicken liver mousse on brioche with citrus marmalade. There’s sultry selfies and a nice array of ingredients too, from Golden Spotted Bass to black truffles and everything in between. Follow Chef Hill on Instagram: @redshortchef

MAY 2016

Executive Chef Bernard Guillas: Marine Room

As the Executive Chef at both La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and The Marine Room, Bernard Guillas needs little introduction. Suffice to say this Brittany born native has appeared in Food Arts magazine, on PBS’s "Rising Chefs," and the Discovery Channel’s "Great Chefs of the World" television series. In 2004, he was awarded "Chef of the Year" by Chef Magazine. Chef Bernard’s Instagram feed is a medley of beautifully plated dishes, punctuated with playful highlights including the release of his little friend, and unexpected restaurant visitor, baby sea lion Marina. Follow Chef Guillas on Instagram: @chefbernardguillas


Executive Chef Alex Carballo: Moto Deli

Helping out today with brunch #jcuv at Rachel's Women Center feels good to help. They loved it!

A photo posted by Alex Carballo (@chefcarballo) on 

Nationally respected as of one of Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s "12 to watch in 2012", Alex Carballo has also been noted in top industry publications such as Food & Wine, Sunset Magazine and Draft Magazine. The former Stone Brewing Co. executive chef, who's also a partner in East County's URBN St. Brewing Co., recently added another project to his plate in the form of the Encinitas-based, Moto Deli. Catch all the Moto' food truck action at events like Stage Coach and other locations around San Diego, in addition to a sweet selection of candid kitchen shots from Chef Celebration dinners and the like. Follow Chef Carballo on Instagram: @chefcarballo

Chef Mikel Anthony: Ronin Pop Ups

Chef Mikel Anthony cooked in several well-regarded San Diego kitchens, working the line at Cucina Enoteca Del Mar, Juniper & Ivy Restaurant and Común Taqueria before going freelance under his Ronin moniker. From collaborations with the San Diego Food bank, to cooking for the Latin Food Fest James Beard dinner and competing at the World Food Championships, this former Exec chef’s Insta’ feed runs the gamut from home cooking snaps, to eye catching and sophistically plated dishes, fresh produce shots, and more. Follow Chef Anthony on Instagram:@mikel_anthony

Farmers Market & Restaurant Wholesale: Specialty Produce

Family owned and operated, Specialty Produce has been a purveyor of local and organic produce for over thirty years. But it’s not just the professional who love to shop at this San Diego wholesaler’s; home cooks and foodies also frequent the well-loved, and somewhat hidden, gem on Hancock Street. Their vibrant Instagram feed showcases everything from fresh plums, parsnips, and pineapple weed, to snaps of visiting chefs like DJ TangalinJavier Plasencia and Aaron Obregon. Follow Specialty Produce on Instagram: @specialtyproduce


Executive Chef Alex Emery: La Valencia Hotel

@gingerniles #breakingbreadpodcast #truecooks #rollwithus #chefsroll #chefsofinstagram #stayhungrysd #starchefs

A photo posted by Alex Emery (@chefalexemery) on 

From leading banquets to staging pop-ups and one-night culinary performances for groups of adventurous eaters, Alex Emery is an SD native with time under his belt at local kitchens, including The Pearl, Knotty Barrel, Oceanaire and most recently, The Hilton. Now onboard at "The Pink Lady" as Exec Chef, Emery will oversee La Valencia's signature restaurant, THE MED. Chef Emery's Instagram feed is a balance of work-of-art dishes, interspersed with plenty of candid back-of-house and behind the line sneak peeks. Follow Chef Emery on Instagram: @chefalexemery

APRIL 2016

Davin & Jessica Waite: Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub

Anchovy nigiri w/ arugula chimichurri #eatlocalsandiego #youstayhungrysd #sandiegorising #supportlocal #oceanside

A photo posted by Davin & Jessica Waite (@wrenchandrodent) on 

Cooking since he could reach the stove and working in the hospitality industry at seventeen, chef Davin Waite was running his first restaurant by the time he was 25 years old. Together with wife Jessica, he now helms the acclaimed and cheekily titled "Seabasstropub" in hip south Oceanside, where creative concoctions like anchovy nigiri and Scottish salmon with caper tapenade are conjured up daily using the finest sustainable seafood. Sushi lovers, come for the strawberry salmon crudo with black garlic puree, and stay for the tuna with apple and white soy glaze. Follow Davin & Jessica on Instagam: @wrenchandrodent


Executive Chef Stephen Gage: Underbelly North Park

Touted as one to watch since working on chef ‪James Montejano’s winning team at the 2014 San Diego Wine and Food Festival's People's Choice Award, prior to taking over as Exec Chef at Underbelly North Park the "top knot chef" put in stints at La Valencia, Café la Rue and Blush Ice Bar before joining the innovative restaurant-come-social engineering collective, CH Projects last year. Farmer’s market jaunts share space with 'behind the line' ramen shots and tastefully plated dishes on this up-and-coming Insta’ feed. Follow Chef Gage on Instagam: @stephenmgage


Chef de Cuisine Christopher Osborne: Cowboy Star

Scenes from service :@ricomarcelophotography #cowboystar #cowboystarsd #sandiego #eastvillagesd #specialtyproduce

A photo posted by Christopher Osborne (@chfosborneknife) on 

After spending over three years working with chef Trey Foshee at George's California Modern, Christopher Osborne joined the ranks at Cowboy Star in 2013. There, the highly regarded chef de cuisine’s commitment to sourcing and foraging for local and sustainable products, as well as his techniques and style of cooking, have shone. An impressive collection of magazine-worthy shots consistantly grace his feed, showcasing everything from roasted seasonal mushrooms and 'scenes from service', to exquisitely marbled A5 Miyazaki. Follow Chef Osborne on Instagam: @chfosborneknife


Tommy Gomes: Catalina Offshore Products

#sdfishmonger #catalinaop #catalinaoffshoreproducts the one, the only true leader in seaurchin. #trustedsource

A photo posted by #sdfishmonger (@tommythefishmonger) on 

One of the city’s most knowledgeable fishmongers, Tommy Gomes is more than "just some dude who sells seafood". The son of a commercial fisherman (he’s descended from a Portuguese fishing family that settled here in 1892), today Tommy is the go-to guy for all things seafood, sustainable, fishing, bait, and more in San Diego. His account captures a who’s who of famous visiting gourmet chefs like Rick Bayless and Sam The Cooking Guy, ocean-fresh Moon Fish and Box Crabs on ice, plus beautiful breaking dawn shots from the water. Follow Tommy on Instagram: @tommythefishmonger


Meghan Balser: Seven Grand

One of San Diego’s top female mixologists, Meghan Balser worked her way up from cocktail waitress to bartender in New York City before heading west. The self-titled "whiskey slinger" has been at Seven Grand since it’s San Diego debut, where she’s known for her variations on the classic Manhattan. A finalist in Bacardi’s hand-shaken Daiquiri contest in 2012, Balser took second place at the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience in 2014 and has been a Brand Ambassador for Suerte Tequila since January. Follow Meghan's adventures on Instagram: @meghanbalser

MARCH 2016

Executive Chef Danilo "DJ" Tangalin: JRDN

Born and raised in the Philippines, Danilo "DJ" Tangalin put in stints around San Diego at WhisknLadle and Prep Kitchen Little Italy before moving to JRDN where he became executive chef last year. There, he channels his background in French, Italian, Spanish and Asian cuisine into the restaurant's light, clean and California-focused dishes. His Insta' feed is an eclectic mix of beautifully plated dishes interspersed with back-of-house snapshots, and after work ramen sessions with the kitchen crew at Hinotez. Follow Chef Tangalin on Instagram: @dj_tangalin

Executive Chef Rob Ruiz: Land & Water Co.

Chef Rob Ruiz spent a decade honing his craft in Hawaii, including an apprenticeship under Japanese sushi master chef Etsuji Umezu, before returning to San Diego and opening the Land & Water Company. One of the regions most outspoken advocates for sustainable seafood, his menu of hyper-local ethically raised and sourced ingredients forms the subject matter for some seriously artfully composed Instagram photos –– showcasing everything from just-harvested bright purple kohlrabi at Canon Family Farms, to exquisite kohada nigiri and diver scallop sashimi. Follow Chef Ruiz on Instagram: @chefrobruiz

Chef de Cuisine Claudette Wilkins: Bracero

As I sat down today to write Mision 19's dessert menu it made smile at everything I've done in this industry. I've been in kitchens my entire life. To spending every day during summer break cutting cabbage, limes and filling sandwich bags with horchata in my family's restaurant in Guadalajara to landing my first Pastry Chef job working for @gavinkaysen. If I can say anything to young cooks is never close yourself to one area. I've been a baker, butcher, pastry, line cook and continue to learn. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to meet people that inspire me and to work for Chefs that inspire me to keep pushing like @javierplascencia Here's to another night on the line with my team Photo cred goes to the coolest guy, who can go from shooting Lil Wayne to our crew @fritsch66 #chef #inspired #creativeminds #latinastrong #bracerostong #bracerococina #chefsroll #foodandwine #girlboss #inspire #jalisco #jaliscoroots #janeofalltrades #mexican #mexicana #nodaysoff #soigne #sandiegoeater #sandiegosbest #jbfawards #jamesbeard #truecooks #unapologeticallymexico

A photo posted by Claudette Wilkins Zepeda (@claudettewilkins) on 

Hailing from a family of food lovers, chef Claudette Wilkins grew up spending summers helping out at her family's restaurant in Guadalajara. Now, under the mentorship of acclaimed chef Javier Placencia, she helms the kitchen as chef de cuisine putting her creative stamp on dishes like Baja Hiramasa crudo with coconut aguachile and Ahi Huarache with lacto-fermented black beans at Bracero - Cocina De Raiz. This self-titled "rogue chef" boasts 13K+ followers and a nice selection of snaps that capture behind the scenes R&D experiments, plus produce like winter truffles and fresh-from the oven birote bread. Follow Chef Wilkins on Instagram: @claudettewilkins

Proprietor/Bartender Erick Castro: Polite Provisions

From heading up award-wining spirit programs and traveling the world as a brand ambassador to pioneering new trends like draft cocktails, bon vivant and raconteur Erick Castro is widely respected on both coasts as a bartending behemoth. His Instagram feed is a vibrant mix of cool, yet not-too-perfectly posed cocktail shots, travel snaps documenting national and international adventures while filming the online series, Bartender At Large, plenty of photos of the Polite team, plus the odd pic of his "awesome" dog Toby. Follow Erick on Instagram: @HungryBartender

Executive Chef Phillip Esteban: The Cork & Craft

An alum of David Chang's Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York, Phillip Esteban cooked and staged at restaurants from Chicago to Portland before returning to San Diego and accepting the position of executive chef at Rancho Bernardo's The Cork & Craft. There, he oversees a fine dining menu that skillfully balances "old world with avant garde" in addition to the restaurant's hugely popular and regularly sold out Abnormal Dinner Series. Esteban's Instagram feed is a thoughtful collection of posts documenting everything from custom plateware being handspun for The Cork & Craft to artistically styled dishes of Wagyu beef tartare. Follow Chef Esteban on Instagram: @philipesteban

FEBRUARY 2016

Owner/Executive Chef Jason McLeod: Ironside Fish & Oyster

Trained under culinary icons Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White, McLeod boasts over 25 years of experience (not to mention two Michelin stars from his time as executive chef at RIA in Chicago), under his toque.  A major advocate for serving sustainable seafood, since opening Ironside in 2014 he has also helped reintroduce an oyster culture to San Diego — and even grows his own bivalves in Puget Sound. His Insta' feed is a slickly curated collection of behind-the-scenes snapshots from Ironside and fresh, locally-landed dockside catch. Follow the chef on Instagram: @ironsidechef

Executive Chef William Bradley: Addison

#comegetsome doors open at 11:30 - - @thatsagoodtaste

A photo posted by Jason McLeod / (@ironsidechef) on

As a multiple James Beard nominee, winner of the Robb Report's 2014 Culinary Masters Competition, and recipient of a Grand Chef designation from Relais & Châeaux (one of only 160 chefs on five continents to hold the title), it's safe to say Bradley wields some seriously significant culinary chops. His stunningly plated dishes of contemporary French cuisine populate a highly polished Instagram feed, showcasing everything from pressed leeks with caviar to squab with black olives and foie gras. Follow the chef on Instagram: @chefwilliambradley

Chef de Cuisine Anthony Wells: Juniper & Ivy

Baja Sheepshead marinated in olive brine, cara cara, spicy Soppressata, fennel pollen, olive oil.

A photo posted by Stephen Anthony Wells II (@santhonywells) on

Before joining the opening team at Richard Blais' hip Little Italy showcase, Anthony racked up some pretty impressive past credits during stints in New York at Thomas Keller's Per Se, and at Meadowood in Napa. Already established as a rising star in San Diego's culinary scene, the 29-year old West Virginia native's Instagram feed not only showcases his colorful and artfully plated dishes, but also offers a fantastic glimpse at some behind-the-scenes shenanigans in the Juniper & Ivy kitchen. Follow the chef on Instagram: @santhonywells

Nate Appleman: Culinary Manager, Chipotle

Award-winning chef and New York transplant Appleman has been rewriting the rule book on fast-casual since moving to San Diego two years ago. With several prestigious nods to his name, including a James Beard Rising Star Chef award and Food & Wine's Best New Chef, Appleman is also a Food Network pro with appearances on Iron Chef America and Chopped All-Stars. While at the helm of the acclaimed A16 in San Francisco, he created seasonal menus inspired by heritage meats, sustainable seafood and Italian traditions. Currently boasting 11,000+ followers, his Instagram feed is an inspiring mix of culinary travel photos and snaps of his delectable home-cooked creations using locally-sourced ingredients. Follow the chef on Instagram: @nappleman

Chef de Cuisine Jon Bautista: George's At The Cove

Venison, beets, salsify, kumquat, juniper, cocoa nib #GeorgesattheCove #georgescaliforniamodern

A photo posted by Jonathan Bautista (@jonbauti) on

2014 Eater Young Gun finalist, Bautista cut his teeth at Roy's in La Jolla, working his way up from line cook to sous chef in five years. A former key player at Kitchen 1540 at L'Auberge Del Mar, he was also part of the opening team at Michael Voltaggio's INK in Los Angeles and was one of the featured celebrity chefs at the 2014 Cooking For KD: Kawasaki Disease Foundation gala dinner. Trained in Asian, American and French cuisines, Bautista is currently putting his stamp on the Cal-Modern menu at George's alongside executive chef Trey Foshee with elegant dishes like yellowtail collar with miso and ham hock dashi and Chino Farms venison loin with beets and juniper. Follow the chef on Instagram: @jonbauti

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