Chef Brian Malarkey has created more than15 wildly successful restaurants across the United States. Working alongside business partner Christopher Puffer, Malarkey currently serves as partner and owner of Puffer Malarkey Collective, a restaurant group that consists of six concepts in San Diego and Orange County. These include Animae, NIMA, Herb & Wood, Herb & Eatery, and Herb & Sea in San Diego, and Herb & Ranch in Orange County.
Most recently Malarkey was a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, placing in the top six. He 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 a Top Chef season 3 finalist and 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.
Malarkey 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 across the country and internationally to 10 locations. In 2018, Malarkey resigned from Hakkasan Group to focus on the Puffer Malarkey Collective restaurants.
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 15 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.