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TBT: Five Food-Related Instagrams To Follow Right Now

Serious food porn ahead.

recagram - Instagram

If you're into dining and drinking it's impossible to ignore the food porn-y appeal of addictive photo-sharing app Instagram. Whether pretty-looking food, pristinely presented plates and farm fresh produce are your thing - or you’re curious to see chef ‘back of house shots’ with the team and cocktail aficionados at work and play - then look no further.

Welcome to Eater's "Throwback Thursday" feature, where, on a bi-monthly basis we'll showcase five of the best photos from Insta-feeds of established chefs, up-and-coming young guns, sommeliers and barkeeps, plus well-curated hospitality accounts from around San Diego. There’s plenty of mouthwatering food and drink related content ahead for your daily dose of all things delicious: so here now, are five new local food and drink pros that most certainly deserve your follow.

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

MAY 2017

Line Cook Naomi Kubo: Juniper & Ivy

Thanks for my last family meal at @juniperandivy! #SPAGOOTERS!!

A post shared by "Naomi da Homie" Kubo (@nay._.homeski) on

On any given night firecracker and former sushi chef Naomi Kubo can be found on the cold line at Richard Blais’ Kettner Blvd showcase, plating up the restaurant’s exquisite raw and crudo dishes. The LA native and her connection to seafood (Kubo’s mom has a sea urchin processing plant in Ensenada) go way back. Visiting the local fish markets at 4 a.m. with her brother as a teenager, she then helped distribute orders to local sushi bars and restaurants in Los Angeles before driving south with deliveries for San Diego. Here, she spent time learning the craft at a lot of small "mom and pop" sushi restaurants, including Station Sushi in Solana Beach, before eventually moving back to LA for a kitchen spot at notable chef Roy Yamaguchi's high-end Hawaiian-fusion eatery. Thanks to Roy’s former exec chef Jon Sloan, Kubo was part of the opening team at Juniper & Ivy a little over three years ago. Follow Naomi on Instagram @nay._.homeski

Irving Gonzalez: The Plaza Bar

Lemon drop and lavender home made candy #bartending #culinarylab #skyyvodka #baja #edibleflowers #flowers #candy

A post shared by Irving Gonzalez (@superflyboonzai) on

Bringing ”the best things from both sides of the border” to his craft, Tijuana-based Irving Gonzalez is relative a newcomer to San Diego’s cocktail scene, where he has been mixing up a storm behind at the Westgate Hotel’s swanky Plaza Bar since late last year. Scooping first at TJ’s innuagural bi-national cocktail competition on Election Night 2016 - in part for his Old Fashioned crafted with green onion and cherry tomato - the young bartending talent showcases his latest spring/summer signature cocktails from The Plaza ($7 during happy hour) on Instagram. Look out for the washed coconut oil turmeric vodka Such Panache, and Averna-Midori-Hoegarden Black Pearl, plus #culinarylab creations like his Lemon Drop & Lavender with molecular style homemade candy. Follow Gonzalez on Instagram @superflyboonzai

Chef/Owner Juan Carlos Récamier: Ceviche House

Amazing by @mediumraw_ Today! The San Diego Tostada! Only at @cevichehouse #CevicheHouse #SpecialtyProduce #CatalinaOffshoreProducts

A post shared by Juan Carlos Récamier Elvira (@recagram) on

Mexico City native and ‘cooking person’ Juan Carlos Récamier went from farmers’ market favorite to brick and mortar hit with his cheerful and sustainability-focused North Park counter serve spot, Ceviche House, in late 2015. The charming 17-seat eatery specializes in Peruvian seafood dishes like namesake ceviche (citrus cured) and tiradito (raw) using fresh catch sourced locally from Tuna Harbor Dockside Market and Catalina Offshore. Click through Récamier’s feed for vibrant dishes, plating shots (we’re talking San Diego tostadas!) and whole fish fabrication, dotted with snaps of the man himself sourcing produce in colorful markets from Oaxaca to Little Italy. Follow Chef Récamier on Instagram @recagram

Julie Hosler: Specialty Produce

Since the early nineties Specialty Produce ‘diva’ Julie Hosler has been a regular fixture at the wholesale food distributor beloved by local chefs and foodies alike. Alongside Maribel Hernandez, Holser regularly plays host to San Diego’s top chefs on their Diva’s Lounge podcast - digging for information on upcoming events, their favorite spots to eat and drink, and of course a little gossip - where listeners can also stay up-to-date on specials and events, and get to know a little bit more about their favorite local chefs. Also well-known for her “shrimp & bacon tacos”, Hosler has shucked with the best at Ironside’s charity shuck-a-thon, in addition to pulling off regular #Collaborationkitchen events with chefs like Sam The Cooking Guy. Follow Julie on Instagram @julie_hosler

Chef Marcello Avitabile: Buona Forchetta

Five-time World Pizza Champion (and holder of the secret to the epic gluten-free crust) Marcello Avitabile landed in San Diego nearly four years ago as a hotshot pizzaiolo ready to bring a taste of Naples to this sunny west coast city. Teaming up with Buona Forchetta founder Matteo Cattaneo to launch the now iconic neighborhood eatery, Buona Forchetta (which just opened a second location at Liberty Station), Marcello quickly grew into a star in his own right, posing for selfies with hungry fans while whipping up his award-winning fare. Part pizza porn/part customer snaps/part adventures, his Insta’ feed is guaranteed to tantalize taste buds. Follow Chef Marcello on Instagram @chef_marcello_avitabile_italy

MARCH 2017

Chef de Cuisine Brandon Hernandez: THE MED

On a whirlwind career path since graduating High School, San Diego native Brandon Hernandez has racked up some impressive past culinary credits, including a three-year stint at El Bizcocho in Rancho Bernardo, followed by two years under French Master Chef Patrick Ponsaty. Fine-tuning his technique in modern French cuisine, Herne also Staged under chefs Yoann Conte and Marc Veyrat at the 2 Michelin-starred Hôtel Restaurant Yoann Conte–Bord du Lac in Annecy, France, where he worked every position from entremetier and poissonnier to pastry in 2014. A rising star in San Diego's culinary scene, the talented 22-year old helped create THE MED’s current range of new seasonal menus, where dishes like cauliflower with pickled golden raisins and pearl onions, and a soon-to-be-on-the-menu brassica number with kale sprouts, sprouting broccoli, choy sum, gai lan, miner’s lettuce, Manchego cheese, and pickled Fresno chilies, shine. Herne’s Insta feed not only showcases his beautifully composed presentations, but also offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse with team shots from inside the Pink Lady kitchen. Follow Chef Brandon on Instagram @branhern_cuisine

Pride Of The Port: Tuna Harbor Dockside Market

San Diego's once-dominant seafood industry has enjoyed something of a renaissance thanks to the launch of Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. While its origins stretch back to 2011, the sons of veteran fishermen Zack Roach Snr. and Pete Halmay officially established the market in 2014. Now, every Saturday the public can pick up just-off-the-boat seafood a short stroll from Seaport Village. Operating year-round, folks get in line (some as early as 6 a.m.) to see what’s fresh out of local waters - last weekend’s catch included sea urchin, spot prawn, box crab, blue fin tuna and thresher shark - and talk with the fishermen once the market officially opens at 8 a.m. Supported by local chefs and sustainable seafood advocates like Rob Ruiz, Jason McLeod, and Juan Carlos Recamier, the market has helped stimulate the local fishing industry, in addition to providing fresh and healthy food for SD county restaurants and residents. Follow Tuna Harbor Dockside Market on Instagram @tunaharbordocksidemkt

Terryl Gavre: Café 222

Entrepreneur Terryl Gavre always wanted to own her own restaurant. It’s a little known fact that Gavre’s Seattle start-up The Surrogate Wife (which saw her bake, shop and run errands for affluent local bachelors) was such a success she later penned a screenplay based on the experience. This in turn became a television movie and funded a move to San Diego, enabling her to open quaint retro diner Café 222 in the city’s now sought after Marina District. Showcasing some serious baking chops, and a love for over-the-top breakfasts and pastries, Gavre turned Cafe 222 into a San Diego institution before partnering with famed San Diego chef Carl Schroeder, adding BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant to her roster in 2010. Gavre’s artistic eye is evident in this well curated Insta feed, which features colorful cakes, pastries, and other delicious looking dishes from BANKERS HILL, Cafe 222, and her beautiful home kitchen. Be warned: everything she posts will make you hungry! Follow Terryl on Instagram @terrylgavre

Beverage Director David Tye: Crab Hut

When he’s not guest bartending at Oryx Capital and Nórtico Bar in TJ or Bootlegger Tiki in Palm Springs with fellow “marine cocktologist” Stephen Kurpinsky, you might get lucky and catch David Tye putting together a whiskey flight at Crab Hut’s Mira Mesa or downtown location. A well-respected San Diego barkeep, Tye honed his craft at notable establishments including RMD Group, Prohibition and The Lion’s Share (where he created the famed 51-drink menu in 2015) before leaving to focus on his own private bar and cocktail consultancy business. While crabs might not be the first thing that spring to mind when you think cocktails, Tye’s sophisticated drinks list for the Louisiana-style seafood haunt range from the tiki-inspired Admiral Overboard (Malahat white rum, lychee, coconut, lime, grenadine, pineapple), to one year anniversary special, The Year of the Crab. Follow David on Instagram @davidpatricktye

Executive Chef Scott Canon: The Cork & Craft

As part of the opening culinary team at Kitchen 1540, Scott Cannon honed his craft for five years under then executive chef Paul McCabe before following him to Delicias in Rancho Sana Fe, where he earned his first Executive Chef title at the age of 25. In October 2016 Cannon was tapped to take the helm at multi-faceted The Cork & Craft in Rancho Bernardo, where he leapt at the chance to create a wide-ranging menu for its diverse clientele. In the kitchen, Cannon has since incorporated his own take on farmer’s market specials all of which pair nicely with in-house beer and wine offerings. As of writing tickets are still available to The Cork and Craft’s seven-course Abnormal Wine dinner with Y. Rousseau on Monday, March 20. Follow chef Cannon on Instagram @mtbchef88


Executive Chef Jose “Jo Jo” Ruiz: Lionfish

Named as one of the nation’s top fifty “Young Guns” by Eater National in 2015, San Diego native JoJo began his culinary career as a sushi chef at Yokozuna's before fast tracking to other eateries around town. Notable mentions include JRDN Hotel’s Tower 23, Searsucker, and Herringbone. As the longtime chef de cuisine at Ironside Fish & Oyster, last year Ruiz made the switch to join Pendry San Diego as Chef/Partner of the hotel’s swanky modern coastal concept, Lionfish. Passionate about seafood, it’s been said that Ruiz learned how to butcher a fish before he could properly cut vegetables. Check out his feed for behind the scenes dish creations and culinary team snapshots interspersed with produce buying trips to local purveyors, including Catalina Offshore and Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. Follow Chef Ruiz on Instagram @jojosd66

Owner/Chef Pietro Gallo: Civico 1845

Alongside his brother Dario, Calabrian-born Pietro Gallo is a familiar face at the family-owned and operated India Street eatery, Civico 1845. Gallo, who grew up with a love of cooking, often learned from his mother in the kitchen who used to cook tomatoes for three hours just to get the taste just right. Thanks to his passion for healthy living Civico is now just as well-know for its delicious vegan and gluten-free offerings as its more traditional and modern Italian fare. Click through for new dish previews, like the vegan cannelloni and tortellini (which just debuted over Valentine’s Day), action shots from the kitchen alongside head chef Alfonso Pisacane, or the odd snap of Gallo putting his BMW S1000RR through its paces at the California Super Bike School. Follow Chef Gallo on Instagram @pietro_civico1845

Corporate Chef Daniel England: OMG Hospitality Group

Rochester, NY native chef Daniel England fell in love with the kitchen early, working his way up from bus boy in a small Italian restaurant at the tender age of 13. The Le Cordon Blue graduate, who has cooked for the likes of President Bush and Prince Edward, quickly caught the attention of Matt Gordon after relocating to San Diego in 2014 and spent three years as chef de cuisine for all three of Gordon’s concepts: Sea and Smoke, Solace and the Moonlight Lounge, and Urban Solace. Since late 2016 he has overseen kitchen operations for the soon to be five OMG Hospitality Group eatery locations: Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas, Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp, Backyard Kitchen & Tap, Pacific Beach Alehouse, and the much-anticipated Waterbar. Follow Chef England on Instagram @chefmode

Owner/Chef Peter Calley: Culinary Hedonism

Foodies in the know know that Pacific Northwest transplant Peter Calley and his team at Culinary Hedonism host some of the most exclusive Supper Clubs in San Diego. Depending on the season his eight-course tasting menus highlight the best fare from land and sea; featuring fresh local produce from Dale Ranch rabbits to California spiny lobster. In the true ‘pop-up experience’ spirit, lucky guests (each dinner is limited to 12 attendees) are notified of the venue’s exact location only one day prior. When he’s not busy hosting private dinner parties and supper club soirees, Calley also heads up Culinary Hedonism’s private cooking classes, covering everything from Creole, French and Spanish techniques to pasta making. Follow Chef Calley on Instagram @culinaryhedonism

Justin McChesney: Salt Pepper Skillett

While his official “day job” might be web designer, Justin McChesney is also a San Diego based food photographer and culinary stylist who just happens to be a rather talented and passionate home cook. He’s also the man behind Salt Pepper Skillett, a food website packed with culinary tips, recipes and (of course) show stopping photos. A contributing editorial photographer for Women’s Running Magazine, McChesney’s exquisitely curated Instagram feed showcases the best of the best from restaurants and bars around town, like creamy mac & cheese + milk stout on nitro at Encontro, and Best Coast Sour cocktail at Pacific Standard, in addition to magazine-worthy dish and produce shots from his own personal kitchen. Follow Justin on Instagram @justin_mw


Executive Chef Anthony Sinsay: Jsix Restaurant

Raised in South Bay, San Diego native chef Anthony Sinsay logged time at storied spots like Nobu Las Vegas, The Viceroy and SLS Hotel in LA before moving back to America’s Finest City. After taking the helm as executive chef at Jsix in the East Village late last year, he’s since put his stamp on an all-new menu filled with delicious signature Filipino influences. Click through his feed for superbly plated and vibrant dish shots showcasing mouthwatering meals like tagliatelle with uni and chicken skin; short rib with crispy sweetbreads and a barhi date demi glacé, and cauliflower xiao long bao with garlic scape consommél. Follow Chef Sinsay on Instagram @chefsinsay

Head Mixologist Jeff Josenhans: Grant Grill

“Triple threat” beverage expert Jeff Josenhans’ impressive resume boasts the title of certified Cicerone, awarded Mixologist and Level 2 Sommelier. His progressive cocktail and bar program has helped take The Grant Grill from classic institution to exciting cocktail lounge, earning column inches in local, national and international press, including “Best Hotel Bars” by Food & Wine. Click through for “cocktails, spirits, beer, wine, food, travel, and Muay Thai - Pretty much everything one needs in life.” Follow Jeff on Instagram @jeffjosenhans

Executive Chef Steven Riemer: Oceana Coastal Kitchen

@oceanacoastal #chefdecuisine takes up macrame with #cayenne @farmersmarkettruck

A photo posted by Executive Chef Steven Riemer (@chef_riemer) on

Boasting more than 25 years of culinary experience, chef Riemer made his way into the industry through apprenticeships at restaurants around Seattle, Washington before relocating to Southern California, where his professional career began in earnest at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Recruited to launch The Lodge at Torrey Pines in 2001, Chef Riemer worked alongside farm-to-table pioneer Jeff Jackson before taking over operations as executive chef for Evans Hotels’ re-launched bayside stunner, Oceana Coastal Kitchen in early 2015. Click through for beautiful food, produce and behind the scenes shots with his team. Follow Chef Riemer on Instagram @chef_riemer

General Manager Christy Spinella: Ironside Fish & Oyster

Christmas Eve at my favorite bar on the planet. ❤ #politeprovisions

A photo posted by Christy Spinella (@christyspinella) on

Craft cocktail maven Christy cut her teeth behind the bar at the Gaslamp’s Hotel Palomar, where a chance meeting with award-winning bartending behemoth Erick Castro led to her landing a spot on the opening team at storied Normal Heights cocktail parlor, Polite Provisions. The rest as they say is history. While you might still catch the New Jersey native enjoying an after work beverage at Polite, it’s Ironside in Little Italy where she’s in action on the other side of the bar, mixing up a Toledo Steel among other tipples. Follow Christy on Instagram @christyspinella

Chef/Owner Matt Gordon: Urban Solace

It's like a river of yummy cinnamon rolls

A photo posted by Matt Gordon (@chefmattgordon) on

A 23-year veteran of the restaurant industry owner and executive chef Matt Gordon headed numerous kitchens, including the highly acclaimed Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar in Healdsburg, California and Scott's Seafood, in the heart of Silicon Valley, before moving south to San Diego. Here, he’s best known for neighborhood favorites Urban Solace (North Park) and Solace & The Moonlight Lounge (Encinitas) where he’s established a loyal following for his unpretentious new American comfort food made with smartly sourced organic and sustainable ingredients. Follow Chef Gordon on Instagram @chefmattgordon


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, local celeb 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 some 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 the Tuna Harbor 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

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



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


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


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


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


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