Edit ModuleShow Tags

Shooting for Top Chef

Oceanaire’s young executive chef and operating partner Brian Malarkey has already cooked up a winning career



“You know,” says Brian Malarkey, whose culinary creations helped win Oceanaire Seafood Room top honors from San Diego Magazine this year for best seafood, “I keep thinking of that Talking Heads song from Down and Out in Beverly Hills: ‘And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself: “Well . . . How did I get here?” ’ ”

Malarkey got here with lots of talent and hard work. A native of Oregon, he took his culinary inspiration from his grandmother, whose beach-house kitchen was often frequented by her old friend, the legendary chef James Beard.

Although he took a stab at acting in school —he was a theater arts major for one year at Santa Barbara City College—Malarkey says he soon discovered “You can always eat in a restaurant.” And so he enrolled in the Western Culinary Institute’s Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and, on completion, set his sights on California. After working under French chef Michael Richard at Citrus in Los Angeles, Malarkey ate his way through a tour of Europe and North Africa before returning to the States and joining the Oceanaire restaurant group.

His long list of awards includes the California Restaurant Association local chapter’s citation as chef of the year and the San Diego Magazine readers’ polls and critic’s picks in 2006 and 2007 for best seafood restaurant. This summer, Malarkey is stirring some show biz into the mix. He’s in the thick of the competition with 15 of the country’s best chefs in a series of Top Chef cook-offs on the Bravo network. We won’t know until the final show airs in September if he won. But Malarkey does seem to have the recipe for success.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego's Best New Restaurants 2015

From upscale modern Mexican to a hole-in-the-wall Thai spot, food critic Troy Johnson reveals his 10 favorite new eateries of 2015

La Vida Vegan: Donut Turn Around

Vegan pastries? Nomad Donuts made me a believer.

New Restaurant: The Nolen

The neighborhood long known for boozy revelry is getting a splash of sophistication
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Dear Chargers, It's Over
    A pre-emptive breakup letter to the team we love
  2. Healthcare Goes High-Tech
    Dr. Eric Topol is putting health care in the palms of our hands
  3. Be Seen This Fall in Rancho Mirage
    Enter To Win a 2 Night Stay Package at The Luxurious Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
  4. Growing Up in San Diego
    26 memories of being a kid in America's Finest City
  5. Incoming: Liberty Public Market
    San Diego's big public market unveils three big new concepts
  6. FIRST LOOK: Duke's La Jolla
    For decades, Top of the Cove in La Jolla held one of the most iconic restaurant spots in San Diego. Now they've finally filled that space. Take an exclusive first look at Duke's La Jolla.
Edit ModuleShow Tags


October is Rideshare Month

Join the Rideshare 2015 Challenge and get there together

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Win Dinner for Two at Black&Blue Steakhouse

Win dinner for two at Black&Blue Steakhouse and $25 in Free Slot Play at Valley View Casino

MADE IN AMERICA — Craft Icons of the 50 States

MADE IN AMERICA is the last exhibition in Mingei International Museum’s American Icons series, celebrating 100 years of folk art, craft and design from coast to coast.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags