Current Residency: San Diego, CA
Occupation: Chef/Owner of Herb & Wood and Animae
Chef Brian Malarkey was a finalist on Top Chef Season 3 in Miami. He grew up on a ranch in Oregon, and that foundation of enjoying fresh seafood on the coast landed him to where he is today with 10 restaurants across Southern California. This includes award-winning Herb & Wood in San Diego, which was named one of the country's "Biggest Restaurant Openings" by Zagat, one of America's "10 Best Restaurants" by USA Today and "Restaurant of the Year" by Eater San Diego. After appearing on Top Chef, he opened Searsucker and Herringbone restaurants, which under his guidance expanded across the country and internationally to 10 locations that he sold to the Hakkasan group. In 2018, he resigned to focus on the Puffer Malarkey Restaurants alongside his business partner Christopher Puffer and their talented team. The Puffer Malarkey Restaurants include Herb & Wood, Herb & Eatery, Green Acre, Farmer & The Seahorse, and four more that opened this fall, including Herb & Sea, Animae, NIMA Cafe and Herb & Ranch. Brian attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland (now Le Cordon Bleu) and prior to opening his first restaurant, held positions at several marquee restaurants in Los Angeles, including Chef Michel Richard's Citrus. Brian has supported dozens of organizations and nonprofits throughout the years. He is active in his free time, surfing, paddle boarding, fishing and enjoying life with his wife of 17 years, Chantelle, and their three beautiful children.