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Brian Malarkey  

Celebrity Chef, Top Chef "Cheftestant" and Judge on "The Taste"

After being seduced all of his life by all the fresh seafood and abundant produce that the Oregon country side has to offer, Brian enrolled in Western Culinary Institutes Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Portland.

Upon completion, Brian set his sights on California, and sought the disciplines of the larger than life French chef Michael Richard at Citrus in Los Angeles. After holding several positions in Chef Richard's kitchen, Brian traveled abroad, eating his way through Europe and Northern Africa learning what food meant to different cultures.

Back in the states, Brian followed his business sense to Minneapolis where he held positions at several prominent Twin Cities establishments including the Loring Caf, and The Local before landing at The Oceanaire Seafood Room where he accepted the Sous Chef position. Brian returned to his beloved Pacific Northwest to open The Oceanaires Seattle restaurant in 2001 as Executive Sous Chef. Under the tutelage of Chef Rick Kimmes in Minneapolis and Chef Kevin Davis in Seattle, Brian blossomed into a promising young seafood talent.

In 2004 Brian relocated to beautiful Southern California to open the Oceanaire's San Diego restaurant as Executive Chef / Operating Partner finally giving his talent its due. Brian was honored by the California Restaurant Association as the 2007 Chef of the Year. The Oceanaire Seafood Room also received the Gold Medallion award for Best Seafood Restaurant-Fine Dining (2006 and 2007); Zagat Top Ten Restaurants Award (2007); Wine Spectator Award of Excellence (2005, 2006 and 2007); and San Diego Magazines Readers Poll + Critics Pick Best Seafood Restaurant (2006 and 2007).

Adding to Brian's list of accolades is his participation as a contestant on Bravos Emmy-nominated reality cooking television series, "Top Chef Miami." Brian, who made it to the final four contestants, competed against 15 of the countries top chefs in a series of culinary cook-offs in which the competition was fierce and his display of culinary skill phenomenal.

While his main focus is the behind-the-scenes work that goes on in the kitchen, Brian finds time to contribute his skills to a host of local San Diego charities. Brian has donated his time, talent and food to support charitable events such as the National Kidney Foundation, It's All About the Kids, San Diego Zoo, KPBS, Huntingtons Disease Society of San Diego, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Eldercare, and many more. Brian continues to extend his culinary talents to these organizations because he is proud to be a part of the San Diego community.

The most beneficial and rewarding aspect of his work is in using his culinary prowess to help make a difference where he can. As a highlight of his career, in May 2006, Brian was asked by his alma mater, Western Culinary Institute to be the keynote speaker of the school's graduation ceremony. He was also invited to teach a class on his famous Angry Lobster for the top students of that years graduating class and was a guest at the annual President's Lunch.

Brian enjoys working outside of the restaurant and regularly teaches cooking classes at local culinary schools including Macy's School of Cooking and Great News! Cooking School. His dynamic personality and generous servings have earned him numerous fans in the classroom and beyond.

In the last two years, Brian opened five restaurants in San Diego, including Searsucker, Burlap, Gabrdine, Gingham and Herringbone. Alongside partner, James Brennan, Malarkey hopes to open a total of fifteen restaurants as part of their Fabric of Social Dining venture, which capitalizes on the dinner party experience. In addition to his career as a restaurateur, Malarkey is also the author of the cookbook, "Come Early: Stay, Late."

"The Taste," which airs on ABC, features Malarkey along with Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, and Ludo Lefebvre coaching a team of four competing pro and amateur cooks chosen from a nationwide casting call as they vie to create the best tasting dish. As these things often go, challenges are issued, elimination rounds are endured, and blind taste tests take place.

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