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Add mouth-watering food to your Instagram feed with these chefs from Virginia and Washington D.C.

Ten of the best chefs in Virginia and Washington D.C. to follow on Instagram

Sometimes the food we find on Instagram is almost too pretty to eat. If you don’t have enough mouth-watering pictures of Southern food coming up in your Instagram feed, we’ve got you covered — we found some of the best chefs in Virginia and Washington D.C. to follow. These Southern chefs come from different backgrounds and their Instagram accounts offer a peek into their lives both in and out of the kitchen. Find out their tips and tricks, and maybe even find some inspiration for your own cooking.

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Photo credit: Jay Wennington / Unsplash

Christophe and Michelle Poteaux

Christophe and Michelle Poteaux, Bastille in Alexandria, Virginia

Christophe Poteaux came to the United States in 1997 to train at the French Culinary Institute. He went onto cook in kitchens in Los Angeles and Washington D.C., where he met his wife, Michelle, when they both worked at the restaurant Aquarelle in the Watergate Hotel. The pair opened Bastille in Old Town Alexandria in 2006. After closing the restaurant to cook at the James Beard House, they decided to reopen Bastille in 2015. Today, on their Instagram feed, they share all of the fun and hard work it takes to run a restaurant. From videos of eggs being whipped into an ice cream base to heart-shaped meringues and beautiful plates of oysters and squash risotto, their Instagram feed is sure to leave you drooling. 

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Photo credit: Bastille Facebook

Chef David Chang

David Chang, Momofuku in Washington D.C.

David Chang is a restaurateur, author and television personality who has fairly recently expanded his restaurant empire outside of New York City to Washington D.C., Sydney and Los Angeles. Later this month, Netflix is launching Chang’s new show “Ugly Delicious,” which will center around eating, drinking and talking with chefs and entertainers about experiences they’ve had with food. Chang, who is a South Korean-American, is currently exploring South Korean cuisine at the Olympics, which means his Instagram feed is full of Korean foodie finds like fresh seafood from local markets and giant grab legs. Chang also gifted gold medalist and churro enthusiast Chloe Kim with a churro ice cream sandwich. 

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Photo credit: Trinity College News Twitter

Rabia Kamara

Rabia Kamara, Ruby Scoops Ice Cream and Sweets in Washington D.C.

Rabia Kamara opened Ruby Scoops in 2014 when she realized local high-quality desserts were missing in the D.C. area. Using local fruits, dairy and eggs, Kamara has created a line of ice cream, sorbet and baked goods, all of which is available in Glen’s Garden Market, Union Kitchen Grocery and the Embassy Row Hotel. On her Instagram feed, she shares the smiles Ruby Scoops brings to customers, videos of ice cream being scooped, and the other sweets and treats she’s creating.  

Follow her on Instagram

Photo credit: Rabia Kamara Facebook

Chef Cathal Armstrong

Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia

Along with a few James Beard Award nominations under his belt, this Virginia chef has garnered a best new chef award from Food & Wine and has been featured in Southern Living magazine. At his flagship Restaurant Eve, Armstrong uses his French culinary skills to create dishes highlighting local produce and ingredients. On his Instagram feed, he shares photos such as pork belly waiting to be plated, cuts of meat from local farms, and red curry paste being ground in a mortar and pestle.  

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Photo credit: Hummingbird Facebook

Maria Trabocchi

Maria Trabocchi, Del Mar in Washington D.C.

Del Mar, which recently was announced as a James Beard Best New Restaurant semifinalist, celebrates owner Maria Trabocchi’s Spanish heritage. Its menu features flavors of Spain with fresh seafood, tapas and paella. On her Instagram feed, Trabocchi shares photos of Del Mar's dishes (hello, lobster ravioli), restaurants and bars around the world (she recently went to Barcelona), and what’s happening at her other restaurants. 

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Photo credit: Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi Facebook

Chef David Dunlap

David Dunlap, Maple & Pine Restaurant in Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Virginia

Born in Washington state, chef David Dunlap grew up surrounded by fresh food on his family’s orchard. His passion for cooking has brought him to kitchens in Colorado, California and Washington D.C. As executive chef at Maple & Pine, Dunlap uses ingredients and produce from local Virginia farmers to create dishes like Rappahannock oysters served with bloody mary sorbet and braised leek and oyster mushroom fondue. Dunlap’s use of edible flowers bring bright colorful images to his Instagram feed. Along with dishes such as these, Dunlap shares photos of things like black truffles, figs preserved in fois gras and even the occasional dessert. 

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Photo credit: Fire, Flour & Fork Facebook

Chef Patrick Willis

Patrick Willis, Lemaire Restaurant in Richmond, Virginia

The native Virginian originally pursued a career as a pharmacist before switching gears to hospitality management. After graduating from East Carolina University, Willis worked in restaurants and guest services and later moved back to Virginia with his wife. Now as executive chef at The Jefferson Hotel's Lemaire restaurant, he continues to create New American dishes with a touch of Southern influence. On his Instagram feed, Willis shares photos such as cucumbers waiting to be turned into pickles, blue oyster mushrooms, fresh bread, and life outside of the kitchen. Along with his family, his dog sometimes makes an appearance. 

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Photo credit: Casselmont Farm Facebook

Cnef Danny Lee

Danny Lee, Mandu and CHIKO in Washington D.C.

Chef Danny Lee knows a thing or two about being in the restaurant business. His mom, Yesoon Lee, owned a restaurant while he was growing up, and she's still cooking at his restaurant Mandu. Lee has opened restaurants across the world, but his latest venture is CHIKO in Washington D.C. On his Instagram feed, Lee shares what he’s cooking at home or in the restaurant, guest cooking appearances in different restaurants, and the process of developing menu items, such as noodles. 

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Photo credit: Mandu Facebook

Damian Brown

Damian Brown, Private Chef in Washington, D.C.

Chef Damian Brown has worked in some of Washington’s best kitchens, including Fiola Mare, but is now a private chef cooking in the DMV. His Instagram feed is filled with over-the-top and colorful seafood dishes, decadent desserts, and towering dishes like banana pudding chicken and waffles. 

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Photo credit: Damian Brown Facebook

Chef Tim Ma

Tim Ma, Kyirisan in Washington, D.C.

Chef Tim Ma is the executive chef and owner of the Chinese-French restaurant, Kyirisan. Ma left a career in engineering 10 years ago to pursue his dreams of becoming a chef. He trained at the International Culinary Center in New York City and did an externship at a two-Michelin star restaurant there in the Big Apple. After flirting with the idea of living permanently on the island of St. Thomas, Ma and his wife moved to Northern Virginia, where they opened their first restaurant. Ma went onto open two more restaurants, Water & Wall and Chase the Submarine, before opening Kyirisan in 2016. On his Instagram feed, Ma shares pictures of ingredients like lobster tails, videos of food being plated, and photos of life with his family and friends. Ma also shares interesting pictures from his travels near and far — he recently went to Dubai and Los Angeles. 

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Photo credit: Eater DC Twitter

Author image

Rachel Taylor is a staff writer at Southern Kitchen. She moved to Atlanta earlier this year after graduating college in Maryland, and has been a digital audience specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politically Georgia, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She has lived in France and Italy, and loves to travel.