Maybe you’ve heard the term venture capitalist as it relates to funding early-stage companies. Regan Cleminson’s website Venture Travelist has a different take on what to do with your money — spend it on travel, fashion and food. The Maine native (and now Beacon Hill resident) took a break from hopping on airplanes and bouncing around eateries to chat about how she got her start, her favorite female chefs to follow on Instagram and which new restaurant she’s most excited to welcome to the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?
Like many Bostonians, I went to school here. I spent five amazing years at Northeastern, and through my co-op programs, I ultimately fell in love with social media and started to get acquainted with Instagram back as early as 2012. I started blogging in 2013, and re-focused my efforts on Instagram after photographing some big name bloggers for several seasons at NYFW. It’s been a fun platform to explore my creativity and build a business around. I founded a small digital marketing agency, Coastline Creatives, with a focus on influencer marketing and content creation for social & digital, and it’s been a huge part of how I find inspiration, discover new experiences, and connect with people around the world.
Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.
Boston cream pie at Omni Parker House, oysters (preferably from ICOB), Nantucket Bay scallops during the short season that they’re available, a lobster roll, and a cocktail suited to your taste from Drink.
What do you think the next big trend is for restaurants?
Hopefully, more pop-ups. The Ivan Ramen pop-up at Uni is one of my favorite dining events of the year. It harkens back to the day of people just wanting to grub down and not worry about getting the perfect Instagram shot.
Which chefs are your favorite to follow on Instagram and why?
I primarily follow female chefs like Tracy Chang of Pagu (@tracypagu), Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks Q, Tiger Mama & Fool’s Errand (@tiffanifaison) and Ana Sortun of Sarma, Sofra & Oleana (@sortunchef). Additionally, I follow Sakura Yagi (@sakura_yagi) who shows that young women can truly run s*%^ in the restaurant industry, and they don’t necessarily have to be a chef. She took over her dad’s legacy in NYC, and is absolutely crushing it. These women are all an inspiration. The hospitality industry, and especially the restaurant industry is so cutthroat. I hate to use the term glass ceiling, so I’ll put it this way: they’re making men in the industry nervous, and that gets me pumped.
Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?
Describe Boston’s food scene in three words.
Underrated. Evolving. Approachable.
Which restaurants haven’t you been to but you’re eager to try?
Tasting Counter, The Table at Season to Taste, and Momi Nonmi.
What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos?
Always. Use. Natural. Light. Don’t succumb to the knee-jerk reaction and always try to take a flatlay. I think a lot of depth of field can make food look super sexy. You’ll often find me shooting on an f/1.4 for food photography. Don’t be afraid to take a bite or get a bit messy. This industry isn’t all about perfect plating. Right?!
A Few Of Your Favorite Things:
Favorite place for outdoor dining: It’s small, but I love the patio at Bistro du Midi for an afternoon of rose and snacking, while enjoying a view of the park
Favorite BBQ joint: Some people might hate me for this, but I personally don’t think BBQ is done well in Boston
Favorite late-night: Shojo, and then going to Tea Do after for some bubble tea
Favorite neighborhood for food: South End
Favorite new restaurant: Peregrine. Living in Beacon Hill, it’s nice to finally have a new addition to the neighborhood!