Wicked Foodie Maven on Food Trends

Brother and sister Jonathan Becker and Jamie Yomtov know the North Shore and Boston’s best food spots, thanks to their years of exploring. With a little encouragement from friends, they decided to launch their Instagram account — Wicked Foodie Maven — to share the surplus of photos they’d been storing. They took a step back from adventuring through the local culinary scene to share the best place to try a lobster roll (take note for the next time visitors are in town!), their favorite brunch spot (hello tzatziki trio) and the key to snapping good lookin’ food photos.

Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?

We are siblings who grew up in Central Mass and with our mother being a registered dietitian, we were raised following the traditional food pyramid with a protein, starch, vegetable, and a glass of milk with every meal. Once we gained our independence post-college, we acknowledged the importance of being healthy, but also began exploring what local chefs have to offer while also improving our own home cooking abilities.

Jamie was constantly taking pictures of her food both at home and at restaurants and began posting on her own social media accounts. In August 2016, after receiving complaints from friends who were “tired of seeing food pictures”, Jamie created the Wicked Foodie Maven Instagram account to showcase all things food. Once Jonathan graduated from college and moved to Boston, Jamie enlisted his help covering the Boston area as she had moved from Boston to the North Shore. When we tasked the help of a friend to design our logo, we wanted to incorporate aspects of both Boston and the North Shore, hence why the lower half is a whale and the upper half is the Zakim Bridge.

The restaurant scenes in both Boston and the North Shore are so vibrant that we have enjoyed eating, drinking, and cooking their way through the past 3.5 years.

Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.

This was a tough one as there are so so many amazing restaurants/dishes in and around Boston. If we have to narrow it down, the top 5 things that are on our Boston food bucket list for someone visiting would be:

Falafel at Rami’s
Breakfast Pizza at Back Bay Social Club
Lobster Roll at Saltie Girl
Cannoli at Modern Pastry
Chicken Wings at Buff’s Pub

What do you think the next big trend is for restaurants?

Delicious, but healthy food alternatives (i.e. healthy substitution items such as cauliflower pizza crust, plant-based burgers, cauliflower rice, etc.) will make a bigger appearance at restaurants this year. Additionally, as consumers focus on their busy lifestyles, the fast casual restaurant scene will continue to expand with more app/delivery/on the go options available.

Which chefs are your favorite to follow on Instagram and why?

We absolutely love following Chef Jamie Bissonnette (Toro, Coppa, Little Donkey) as he showcases interesting and unique dishes that trigger our taste buds. His photos are mouth watering and make you wish you could just reach into the photo and grab a sample of the food.

We also enjoy following Chef Will Gilson (Puritan & Comapny) as he constantly highlights fresh farm-to-table ingredients that he uses to cook and shows his work/life balance with posts of his young daughter.

On the North Shore, we enjoy following Chef Daniel Gursha (Ledger Restaurant) who teaches about the fresh local ingredients he uses in his cooking.

Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?

This is a really tough question…the foodie community is very close-knit and everyone supports each other, but we’ll highlight three of our closest accounts.

ForkingWithArmani – For some of the best noodle pulls you’ve ever seen
BostonDateNightGuide – For some great date night recommendations in and around Boston
BonAppetitMom – Focusing on home cooking, Jamie had the pleasure of meeting up on one of her trips to NY

We also owe a huge thanks to TasteofMassachusetts – Vincent has been a great mentor since the beginning when we had 0 followers and finds great local gems around the Massachusetts area.

Describe Boston’s food scene in three words.

Trendy, Mouth-Watering, Vibrant

Which restaurants haven’t you been to but you’re eager to try?

We’re eager to try the following dishes/restaurants:
Trash Can Nachos at Guy Fieri’s Tequila Cocina
The Secret Burger at Craigie on Main
Hand Pulled Noodles at Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Cafe
Dim Sum in Chinatown (any good restaurant)
Roast Beef 1000 at Cutty’s

What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos?

It’s crucial to use a light and will make it easier to edit later on. Take many many shots and know that it’s ok to try a variety of different shots, but don’t overthink it! Check your photos before touching the dish to make sure you have a “usable” shot. Don’t over edit – the more natural, the better!

A Few Of Your Favorite Things:

Favorite brunch spot: Committee – Love their Tzatziki trio is so yummy as is their Shakshouka

Favorite place for outdoor dining: Devlin’s – While being in the heart of Brighton Center, the outdoor patio behind the building feels removed from the city chaos and transports you to a quiet and quaint atmosphere with a large patio, tons of greenery, and an outdoor bar.

Favorite BBQ joint: Blue Ribbon BBQ – Everything here is incredible from the meat all the way to the side dishes. We particularly love the brisket burnt ends!

Favorite late-night: Tip Tap Room – They have a phenomenal rotating selection of beers on tap and some delicious late night eats to go with it!

Favorite neighborhood for food: The Financial District – Incredible variety of cuisine and atmosphere….from Tiki Rock to Warehouse, you’ll find something that meets your expectations!

Favorite new restaurant: Not a restaurant per se, but we love going to Timeout Market in Fenway. With so many options to choose from, no matter what food mood you’re in, you can always find something that’ll satisfy your cravings!

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