If you're into dining and drinking, it's impossible to ignore the food porn-y appeal of Instagram, the highly addictive photo-sharing app. So welcome to Eater's new "Throwback Thursday" feature, where, on a monthly basis we'll showcase five of the weeks best photos from the Instagrams of established chefs and up-and-coming young guns from San Diego.
Future installments will also feature feeds from FOH and BOH members, from sous chefs and sommeliers to bar backs and bartenders, plus well-curated restaurant accounts too, but here are five of the best local food-related feeds to start following right now.
Have a suggestion for an inspiring Instagram account we should track? If so, hit us up on the tipline.
Executive Chef Danilo "DJ" Tangalin: JRDN
| Hudson Valley Fioe Gras | basted scallops, red currents, dehydrated strawberry, ginger blueberry compote, chocolate micro sponge cake, pistachio & quinoa crumbs #jrdn #jrdnrestaurant #chefsofinstagram #chefslife #truecooks #youstayhungrysd #rollwithus #findthefork #itsallaboutfinesse #itswhatwedo #gastroart #gourmetartistry #TheArtOfPlating
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 Danilo 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 Rob 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
Hailing from a family of food lovers, 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 IG snaps which capture everything from behind the scenes R&D experiments, plus produce like winter truffles and fresh-from-the-oven birote bread. Follow Chef Claudette on Instagram: @claudettewilkins
Proprietor/Bartender Erick Castro: Polite Provisions
Thank you so much to to Sergey Slesarenok for the amazing and tasty care package via @bacardi.legacy. It was a very classy touch. Much love to ya! #BartenderAtLarge #BartenderRoadTrip #ClassicCocktails #CraftCocktails #HungryBartender #SpecialtyCocktails #CocktailsOnTheRoad #FollowTheLiter #Bartender #InstaCocktail #FancyCocktails #BartenderLife #IndustryLife #BacardiLegacy
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
Testing breads for our next Abnormal Dinner Series with @saintarcherbrew on March 14th. Our team creates starters from the spent grains after the brewing process. It's awesome to know your drinking a beer and eating the bread from the same grain. #abnormaldinnerseries #abnormalbeerco #thecorkandcraft #saintarcher #craftbeer #sdbeer #beerdinner #bread #baking
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 Phillip on Instagram: @philipesteban