Visual Sugar Rush: 8 Pastry Chefs on Instagram to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Pastry Chefs on Instagram

Scrolling through your Instagram can give you a visual sugar rush. That’s because pastry chefs are using the  photo-driven app to show off their most dazzling creations, give diners a peek into the baking process, and hint at what sweet treats might be coming to their menus next. Here are eight highly accomplished pastry chefs on Instagram you should follow if you’re trying to figure out what delicious dessert to dive into next.

Scott Green, aka @chef_scottgreen, of Pavilion, Chicago

Before he got into pastry, Green attended fine arts school to study oil painting and ultimately received a degree in graphic design. His dexterity with composition, color, shape, and form are showcased in the drool-inducing photos he posts. “Different medium, different tools, same principles,” he says.

He shoots on a Nikon D3200 using a strobe light and holds his photo sessions in a storage closet in the hotel where the restaurant is located. “When my colleagues see flashes going off under the door, they know I’m shooting and they shouldn’t come in,” he says.

Rather than follow fellow pastry chefs for ideas, his feed is full of architects, textile enthusiasts, tattoo artists, and illustrators. “I don’t want to repeat what I’ve seen,” he says. “There are a lot of people who will shoot specifically for Instagram, but I want to just shoot pictures that I like.”

Pro Tip: “Be in tune with what your audience likes and doesn’t like. I don’t put savory dishes up. I don’t put up personal shots very often. It makes me cringe when I post a photo that doesn’t fit with that I do.”

Pastry Chefs on Instagram

Chris Ford, aka @butterloveandhardwork, of THE Blvd, Los Angeles

“I want to kill it with every single post,” says Ford. “No filler. I’m not going to put a picture up if isn’t going to further me, my team, or the larger community of chefs. This attitude makes you push yourself further and harder.”

The self-taught shutterbug uses a Canon Rebel XSi to turn his pastries into Instagram stars. Occasionally, he snaps shots of his adorable French bulldog, Josephine. One of his most liked posts (nearly 6,000 hearts) features Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner. Along with Khloe and a film crew, they stopped by the hotel to score some of Ford’s well-loved cream puffs, which he topped off with edible pictures of Kanye and North. “Kris took my number, but I’m still waiting for the call,” says Ford.

We’re not sure what she’s waiting for, but we can’t urge her strongly enough to pick up the phone and call.

Pro Tip: “I shoot plated desserts from above, so you see the flow and the story of the dish. I want the viewer to see what I see.”

Pastry Chefs on Instagram

Brian Mercury, aka @mercurybrian, of Oak + Rowan, Boston

You won’t see any selfies in Mercury’s feed. No rants and raves. No political posts. His pictures fall into two distinct categories: family and food. “I’ve got a 3-year-old and an 11-month-old,” says the chef. “If I’m not cooking, I’m home with them.”

He captures his baked goods and his little ones using his iPhone 6. His go-to method for scoring a sweet shot of his baked goods is to place it outside or near a bright window and shoot it over the top. Occasionally, he’ll place a plated dessert on dirt or in the grass to add a natural element with interesting textures. “Sometimes you have to add some whimsy or put something in the background,” he adds. “But sometimes getting a good shot is just dumb luck.”

Pro Tip: “I’m a huge fan of negative space, both on the plate and in the background. I like bright white plates that makes colors pop.”

pastry chefs on instagram

Alex Levin, aka @alexnlevin, of Osteria Morini, Washington, D.C.

There’s a cult following for Levin’s best-selling warm dark chocolate cake. If he posts pictures of it too often, the restaurant gets swamped with orders and he runs the risk of running out. So, he keeps his feed lively with a mixture of his other desserts and a backstage look at the life of a pastry chef. “I enjoy inviting people to see what I do,” he says.

He wants to get his followers’ salivary glands working overtime, their hearts pumping, and have their eyes pop out of their head. “It’s about being a source of temptation,” he says. “It’s supposed to be food pornography.”

As well as enticing viewers, Instagram is a way for him to be a part of a larger community and to get a glimpse of what his peers are doing in kitchens around the world. “I get excited when I see what other chefs are doing,” he says. “It’s inspiring.”

Pro Tip: “You have to be smart about using hashtags, so you don’t annoy people.”

pastry chefs on instagramContinue Reading

Announcing the 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America 2016 #OpenTable100

As locals and travelers continue to explore cities through their dining cultures this fall, we are pleased to unveil the 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America 2016. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Best Restaurants for Foodies in America 2016

Highlighting oft-lauded fine dining and fine casual dining restaurants in well-known and emerging food cities, the complete list features restaurants in 30 states and the District of Columbia and includes Acquerello in San Francisco, Boka in Chicago, and Zahav in Philadelphia. California has 17 winning restaurants, followed by New York with nine, Pennsylvania with eight, Virginia with six, and Illinois and New Jersey with five each. North Carolina and Texas each have four honorees, while Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C. have three each. Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington state all have two eateries. Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, and Rhode Island are also represented.

Established restaurants have a strong presence on the list, although newcomers, such as Gabriel Kreuther in New York and Shaya in New Orleans, are sprinkled throughout. The most popular cuisine is American by far; however, French and Italian fares are also prevalent. Other cuisines include Asian, Hawaiian, Israeli, and Persian.

Check out a slideshow of select winners of our awards for the 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America 2016 below.

 

The 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America list is generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners between August 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of qualifying reviews for which “fit for foodies” was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America 2016 according to OpenTable diners:Continue Reading

Introducing the 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in Canada 2016 #OpenTable100

As executive chefs and restaurateurs across the country draw on autumn for inspiration during a new season of dining, we’re pleased to reveal the 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in Canada 2016. The list reflects the combined opinions of more than 300,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 1,800 restaurants in Canada.

100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in Canada

Featuring both new and established restaurants from eight provinces across the country, the inaugural list showcases the diversity of Canada’s culinary landscape. Ontario has the greatest number of restaurants featured with 45, followed by Alberta with 22, and British Columbia and Québec with 14 each. Also included on this list are Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

Established restaurants have a strong presence on the list, including The Prune in Stratford, Ont., which is about to celebrate its 40th year in business. However, newcomers such as Little Grouse on the Prairie in Saskatoon, Sask., and Osteria Savio Volpe in Vancouver, B.C., are sprinkled throughout. Italian fare was the most popular choice among Canadian diners, with Canadian and French cuisines placing second and third respectively. Restaurants specializing in Small Plates/Tapas, Contemporary French, and Global/International cuisines were also represented on the 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies list.

The 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in Canada list is generated from more than 300,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners between August 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of qualifying reviews for which “fit for foodies” was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in Canada according to OpenTable diners are as follows (in alphabetical order):Continue Reading

OpenTable for iOS 10: New Ways to Book, Connect, and Pay

At OpenTable, we love what happens around the table – particularly the connections. Now, the release of iOS 10 gives us new ways to connect you with great restaurants right where you search for them – and to connect with your friends to make booking a table a more social experience. Get the latest OpenTable app now, plus upgrade to iOS 10 to get going.

ios-10-3stages

OpenTable in Apple Maps: Apple Maps has always been a great way to find restaurants near you, and today it gets even better. With iOS 10, you can make OpenTable reservations without leaving the Maps app. Just find a restaurant, tap the OpenTable Reservations button; pick a time; and confirm.

The Apple Maps extension is now available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and will be rolling out to other countries in the future.

OpenTable in iMessage: Ever wish planning a meal with friends was easier? Now, you can finally make getting to the answer of “Where should we eat?” more fun! OpenTable’s iMessage extension allows friends to suggest restaurants to try, to vote on favorites, pick a winner, and book–all directly in Messages. It’s a fun way to pick the perfect place for a date, a lunch with coworkers, or a get-together with friends.

Here’s how it works:Continue Reading