Looking for curated travel diaries, city guides, restaurant reviews and hotel recommendations? Meaghan Murray is your girl. She’s got a pulse on the hottest happenings around town from the best restaurants to the coolest pop-ups. And when you’re eager to get out of the city? Yep, she’s got you covered there too, sharing her trip planning tips and past itineraries to use as inspiration for local, national and foreign travel. Here, she lists her top three favorite chefs to follow on Instagram, describes how to use texture in food photos and reveals which new restaurant in Boston is her fave (hint: it’s got an amazing fireplace, killer cocktails and fabulous pasta).
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?
I grew up caravaning up and down the east coast. Whenever I moved I would always try the local “delicacy.” Whether it was a Philly cheese steak or poutine, I always oriented myself with food. My experiences translated into a passion for how food and travel could create a community for me – wherever I was.
I attended university in Boston, and I was so smitten with the city that I stayed. After graduation, I gave into my ever-present travel bug and backpacked around Western Europe. That’s when my love of photography really developed.
I started my Instagram as a creative outlet. I wanted a place to share my food and travel photography. Now, I have my blog called The Stopover (meaghanmurray.com) and my Instagram account (@meaghanmurray) where I share my food and travel adventures as well as my trip planning tips so you can see as much as possible in the least amount of time.
Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.
What do you think the next big trend is for restaurants?
This is a tough one. I’m not sure, but, selfishly, I’d love to see more pop-ups in unexpected places or pop-ups with one dish. I think that would be cool for Boston.
Which chefs are your favorite to follow on Instagram and why?
@jamiebiss of Toro, Coppa and Little Donkey. I always love to see what’s he’s creating.
@mercurybrian of Oak + Rowan. His food shots are a minimalist’s dream.
@tiffanifaison of Sweet Cheeks Q & Tiger Mama. She’s such a boss and I love her personality.
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Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?
Describe Boston’s food scene in three words.
Pockets of deliciousness.
Which restaurants haven’t you been to but you’re eager to try?
I’m swallowing a lot of pride in admitting this but I have a pretty long list. Some notables are Oleana, Sarma, Cafe du Pays, Blossom Bar, Tasting Counter, and The Table at Seasons to Taste. It’s really embarrassing, I know they are all fantastic and I need to go ASAP.
What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos?
My food photography philosophy is to be a student to your surroundings.
- Natural light. Always. Eat early or ask to sit next to a window. Trust me, it makes all the difference.
- The background matters. Make sure it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t take away from the star of the photograph – your food.
- Include interesting textures. When I’m styling at home I like to include props, like an artichoke or flowers, to give the photograph a little dimension. At a restaurant, I borrow what I can to add varying heights to the shot.
- Fill the frame. I love a flat lay that’s full of life. Those are the most engaging and give off a great sense of personality.
- When it comes to sharing my photography on Instagram, I always try to pair my food shot with a punny caption. Why stop creating at the photography?
A Few Of Your Favorite Things:
Favorite brunch spot: Waypoint. The smoked fish pizza with everything bagel crust is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth.
Favorite place for outdoor dining: B&G Oysters. I’m mildly obsessed with their patio.
Favorite BBQ joint: Sweet Cheeks. Their BBQ is great… but their biscuits are a spiritual experience.
Favorite late-night: JM Curley. Nothing better than a late night burger.
Favorite new restaurant: Pammy’s. I love their whole menu and their cozy space. I’m excited for cooler weather so I can hang out by the fire, have a great cocktail and eat some fabulous pasta.