Food has always been a special part of Joey Calcavecchia’s life, given his Italian roots, and in 2015, he started documenting his out-of-the-box finds through his Instagram account The Roaming Foodie. Sure, you’ll see a lot of Italian food on his feed — pull-away pizza shots with dripping cheese, action photos of twirling pasta and stuffed & saucy chicken parm sandwiches — but he’s also a pro at discovering crazy kinds of donuts and killer brunch spreads. In between his excursions around town in search of the best eats, he shared the top five dishes on his Boston food bucket list, the two southern-inspired spots he hasn’t made it to yet and which neighborhood he thinks has the best dining options.
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?
I’ve been interested in working in food since I was little. Growing up Italian, I’ve always been surrounded by food. Be it cooking or eating. I ended up in Boston because I knew that is where my best chance to get cool and unique food was. I created my account because I wanted a way to document my experience and have a journal of sorts that tracks where I’ve been.
Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.
What do you think the next big trend is for restaurants?
I believe the next big thing will be more creative brunches. As the kids from the 90s become the predominant money spenders, restaurants are going to try to infuse flavors from their childhood into brunch to expand their menus. It’s already been happening at Lincoln Tavern and various donut shops the last few years, so I believe we will continue to see this trend moving forward as restaurants compete with one another.
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Which chefs are your favorite to follow on Instagram and why?
I enjoy Jamie Bissonnette (follow him here). He has been a name in the culinary world in Boston for years. I been fan of Coppa for the last few years, and I always have an incredible dish there. I also really enjoy Little Donkey as well. Their fried chicken sandwich is exactly what you want when you bite into it. I believe he has a great blend of comfort and fine dining, which is why I really enjoy him as a chef.
Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?
Describe Boston’s food scene in three words.
Diverse, delicious and photo-worthy
Which restaurants haven’t you been to but you’re eager to try?
A few restaurants I’ve been dying to try are both southern-inspired restaurants: Southern Proper and Buttermilk & Bourbon. They have eluded me for a while, and I really want to go and try a true southern culinary experience. They both have chicken and waffles, which is a must to get if I see it on the menu.
What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos?
My photography tips are the following: use a DSLR and get a lens that has a low f-stop, so you can get those blurred background images. I would also suggest to shoot in natural light and make sure no sunlight is hitting the food (unless its cloudy). I also think having food in the background is a very powerful way to set up images.
A Few Of Your Favorite Things:
Favorite brunch spot: Cafe Luna
Favorite place for outdoor dining: Earls Kitchen in the Pru
Favorite BBQ joint: The Smoke Shop
Favorite late-night: Bar Mezzana
Favorite neighborhood for food: Cambridge
Favorite new restaurant: Sulmona