Chef Brian Malarkey

Chef Brian Malarkey has created 15 wildly successful restaurants across the United States. His latest venture, Animae, is an interpretation of Pan Asian American cuisine that is inspired by the stunning, modern architecture of the building where the restaurant is housed.

Malarkey also serves as the Partner of eight other concepts in San Diego and Orange County, including Herb & Wood, Herb & Eatery, Herb & Sea, NIMA Cafe, Farmer & The Seahorse, and two Green Acre locations, and Herb & Ranch in Orange County. He was the founding executive chef/partner of Searsucker and Herringbone restaurants, which sold majority stake to Hakkasan Group in 2014. Under his guidance, the brands expanded both across the country and internationally to 10 locations. In 2018, Malarkey resigned from Hakkasan Group to focus on the Puffer Malarkey Collective restaurants.

Currently a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef All-Stars and past Top Chef finalist, Malarkey appears as a judge on Food Network's Guy's Grocery Games, makes regular appearances on the Today Show and Good Morning America, and was the winning mentor on ABC's The Taste, which he co-hosted alongside Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre. Malarkey has judged a variety of television cooking programs, including Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook Off, Chopped All-Stars, and Cutthroat Kitchen, and can be seen headlining food and wine festivals around the country.

Growing up on a ranch in Oregon, and spending summers enjoying fresh seafood on the coast, helped Malarkey discover his love for food and cooking at a young age, prompting him to enroll in Le Cordon Bleu in Portland. Prior to opening his first restaurant, Malarkey held positions at several marquee restaurants in Los Angeles, including Chef Michel Richard's Citrus. He and his wife of over 17 years, Chantelle, have three beautiful children named Hunter (11) and twins, Sailor and Miles (9). He is active in his free time, surfing, paddle boarding, spear fishing and boating. He is also a racehorse owner and a past racetrack photographer. Always eager to give back to the community, Malarkey has supported dozens of organizations and nonprofits throughout the years, including Rady Children's Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Berry Good Food Foundation, Chimps Inc., Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Surfer's Healing and more.


Animae

The coal-fired, Asian-inspired menu highlights unexpected flavor combinations with Asian, Mediterranean, French and California influences. A sophisticated, stylish atmosphere blends art deco design with theatrical elements.

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Herb & Wood

A timeless, sought-after dining escape that features seasonal California and Mediterranean wood-fired dishes in a space that combines the elegance of the 1920s with an industrial-feel.

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Herb & Eatery

A chef’s market and cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, gourmet prepared foods and a selection of housemade specialties like breads, pastas, jams, ice creams and pastries.

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Herb & Sea

A chic coastal dining experience with a neighborhood-friendly vibe located in downtown Encinitas, features a wood-fired menu with a seafood focus, raw bar and open kitchen.

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Nima

A casual daytime cafe that serves contemporary takes on Asian favorites from Tomago Egg Sandwiches for breakfast and house instant ramen and fresh spring rolls for lunch.

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Herb & Ranch

A modern food hall that serves a variety of culinary options from five stations to neighboring Irvine office parks for breakfast, lunch and happy hour. Located at the Irvine Company’s UCI Research Park Campus.

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Wood Yu

Located in the Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ office building, Wood Yu transforms business park dining with a playful menu of Baja Asian Street Food for lunch and happy hour.

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Green Acre

A healthy, quick-service eatery with ever changing seasonal dishes using ingredients from their onsite organic garden. Features 20,000 SF of distinctive indoor/outdoor meetings and events space.

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Farmer & The Seahorse

Tucked into San Diego’s Life Science hub the full-service restaurant is inspired by the bounty produced by local farmers and the freshest catch from the Pacific coastal waters. Breakfast, lunch, happy hour private event and meting space.

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