Delve into the journey of Boston-based food enthusiast, Arianna Dines from @wines_and_dines! Having spent most of her life in the Boston area, Dines developed a passion for exploring diverse cuisines and vibrant neighborhoods – and it shines through her virtual food experiences. She chatted with BostonChefs about the charms of the local restaurant scene and her top picks for must-try dishes. She also shares insights into her approach to food photography and offers valuable tips for aspiring influencers. Read on to uncover the culinary delights of Boston through her lens.
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?
While I’ve lived in the Boston area most of my life, I’ve always loved exploring the world through food. Though I’d love to travel internationally 24/7, living in Boston is a close second. There are so many distinct neighborhoods to explore with great restaurants. Food brings people together, and to me, nothing beats sharing an amazing meal with people I love. I think of my food accounts as a way to do just that — but virtually.
What makes the Boston restaurant scene special?
People say Boston is not a foodie city, and that may have once been true, but it feels like a really exciting time right now. I constantly see new and innovative restaurants open, and there is some truly amazing food and hospitality in the city. It’s fun to follow along that evolution while still cherishing the longstanding spots.
Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.
- Eventide’s lobster roll
- Laughing Monk’s Omakase
- Yume Ga Arukara’s Spicy Cold Niku Udon
- Lulu Green‘s Cacio e Pepe (It’s vegan!)
- Brookline Lunch’s Baklava Pancakes
What do your friends and family think of your life as an influencer?
Many of my friends and family share my love for food and eating out, so this gives us more opportunities to share meals together. At first, they were impatient waiting for me to shoot the food before eating, but they’ve learned!
What’s your food photography/videography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos or videos? Do you use any fun tools or equipment for snapping the best ‘gram worthy content?
I’m all about simplicity. I don’t edit much, nor do I use fancy transitions or video shots. I shoot with my iPhone and create straightforward voiceovers. I always carry a little portable light with me, which gives me reliable, good lighting, especially at night — it’s nice to not have to worry about that.
What advice would you give someone just starting out as an influencer?
First off, just post! It’s hard to get over the hump of imposter syndrome and wondering if you’ll be successful but the only way to do so is just go for it. Second, take pride in your work. It really shows when influencers are passionate and putting their best foot forward, whether they’re working with a tiny mom & pop or a well-known establishment. Even when just starting out, you’re more likely to succeed if your passion shines through.
Which Boston restaurants and chefs are nailing it on social?
Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?
Favorite spot that everyone should try once: Mahaniyom
Favorite place to splurge: Monica’s Trattoria
Favorite brunch spot: dim sum at Hei la Moon
Favorite pizza joint: Ciao Pizza and Pasta in Chelsea
Favorite neighborhood for food: South End
Favorite spot to take visitors from out of town: Giacomo’s
Favorite foodie book or movie: The Bear (TV show)