It's always better to be a leader...unless, of course, you're a food (porn) follower, in which case... you're cool. We follow tons of chefs on Instagram, including several from our very own Colorado. Our feed runs the gamut from Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg, who's gearing up to unleash his new butcher shop in Boulder, to Pippa Taylor, Ian Kleinman and Nadine Donovan, a trio of pastry chefs who always remind us that it's perfectly acceptable for dessert to come first.
Frank Bonanno: Chef and restaurateur of Bonanno Concepts
Given that Bonanno presides over 10 restaurants (his 11th, French 75, opens Downtown later this year), it's no wonder maintaining his popular Instagram account is a full-time job. Expect off-the-cuff menu musings from Luca, Bones and Mizuna, heartwarming family pics that showcase his kids cooking and lusty snaps of new Caledonia prawns, fresh sheets of pasta and cured meats and housemade cheeses that make you want to book a reservation, like, now. And there's even a shot of his favorite kitchen tools just in case you're in the market for a culinary party favor.
Jamey Fader: Chef-owner of Lola and culinary director of the Big Red F Restaurant Group
"Chef/Owner Lola. Papa. Hubby. Shredder. Head Stove Jockey Big Red F Restaurant Group." That's how Fader, whose "ChefDarthFader" Instagram handle is one of the best we've ever seen from a chef, describes his life. His feed is filled with everything from him slaying fresh powder on his snowboard to silly poses with Big Red F founder and chef Dave Query. Still, our favorite shots in Fader's feed are those that feature his adorable daughter. And while there isn't a lot of food porn, there are plenty of terrific images that shine the light on other Denver chefs.
We've been avid followers of chef Justin Brunson for quite a while, drooling over snaps of his roasted pig's head — its crackly crust so beautifully golden that we want to reach our hands through our laptops and partake in the hedonistic gluttony. There are lovely shots, too, of his house-cured sausages and housemade pastrami sandwich that, even if you've just eaten, will make you want to eat again. Brunson also like to drop the "F" bomb in his feed, but it usually precedes "awesome." We're on board with that.
Beautiful desserts and pastries from the sovereign of sugar, Donovan's Instagram feed zigzags from vats of house-churned ice cream to her stunning mascarpone cheesecake with amaretti crust, pears three ways and pink peppercorn caramel (pictured). Also follow the pastry chef for her playful selfies, black-and-whites photos of her favorite baking gadgets (#prettyshinythings) and inspirational quotes to start the day.
Hosea Rosenberg: Chef-owner of Blackbelly Market and the forthcoming Blackbelly Butcher
Every since he emerged victorious on Top Chef season 5, Hosea Rosenberg has been a household name in culinary circles — and his Instagram account gives his fans an inside look into his culinary dominance. Some of his pics highlight meaty dishes that emerge from his Boulder restaurant kitchen (a hulking, grill-marked ribeye, for example), while others ballyhoo his TV credits, including a recent TODAY Show appearance with barbecue pitmaster Ed Mitchell and host Al Roker (pictured), where he represented Colorado — and the Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos — by sharing his bison burger recipe.
Ian Kleinman: Chef-founder of The Inventing Room
He's not called the "Willy Wonka of Denver" for nothing. Molecular wizard and liquid nitrogen experimenter Ian Kleinman splashes his Instagram feed with super-cool shots of fluffy cotton candy capped off with nitro caramel popcorn, frozen cheese puffs billowing with plumes of smoke and crazy creations like his Twizzlers space foam, which, he says, is like a "frozen meringue that dissolves into smoke when you eat it." Kleinman also hosts sporadic "Gooblefunk" dinners at his dessert emporium, the menus of which he posts on Instagram too.
Max MacKissock: Chef and co-owner of Bar Dough
Arguably one of the top chefs in Colorado, MacKissock gives his loyal followers a glimpse into the culinary magic of Bar Dough, where he presides over an open kitchen that dispenses everything from superb housemade pastas to a medieval lamb shank festooned with fresh herbs. But while MacKissock's food shots offer up plenty of eye candy, we also love the candid snaps of him sharing fun-filled moments with his chef-wife Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja, Stoic & Genuine, Euclid Hall and Bistro Vendome) and the adorable pics of his hounds.
The prolific chef and restaurateur — who owns several restaurants in the Mile High City dedicated to tacos and tortas — is an advocate of, well, everything, populating his Instagram feed with plates of taco cookies, scenic photos of his travels to tropical paradises and sweet pics of his two young sons. And if you happened to miss the Bruce Springsteen concert a few weeks ago in Denver, Morrison's video clip of the rocker fist-pumping to a sold-out crowd provides a snippet of why Springsteen is still The Boss.
Pippa Taylor: Personal chef and pastry chef of Carbon Beverage Cafe
A super-stylish food feed greets followers of Pippa Taylor, whose pastries and paleo dishes are simply beautiful. Whether you're pining for dinner ideas like her curry-braised pork tenderloin paired with fried cauliflower rice or a sugar high of chocolate-and-mint donuts, she's got you covered. We're also enamored by her inspiring shots and videos showcasing her kicking butt in the gym, proving that she's both food-focused and fit. There's a doting side to Taylor's Instagram account, too, especially when she's nuzzling with her pooch. Want ink inspiration? Check our her awesome tattoos.
Biju Thomas: Chef-founder of Biju's Little Curry Shop
Vibrant shots of Indian spices and curries supplemented with colorful jolts of graffiti, celebratory cycling pics, photos of his packed restaurants and occasional snaps of the accolades he's amassed for his superb food round out the creatively curated Instagram feed of Thomas, who's also a cookbook author.