• Megan Goldman

Influencing DC Food Culture

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

Instagram: @hypefoodies 

Creators: CK and Diana

Why we <3 them: CK and Diana are a dynamic duo. These two cover a variety of unique spots, taking us with them along the way. @hypefoodies videos are edited to perfection with the music you want to hear!

What about being an influencer excites you? Makes you nervous? "We both feel the thing that excites us about being an influencer is the Unknown. Hypefoodies has served as a creative outlet for us and we did not expect such a positive response from the D.C. community. We’ve received hundreds of emails & DMs this past year throwing us all over the District and beyond, not knowing where we’ll end up next - we find that exciting! What makes us nervous? Drawing a creative blank when taking a photo or editing a video. The pressure we put on ourselves to make our last photo and video better than the previous one. We are competitive with ourselves and our own capabilities which can make us nervous at times, but we always stop and remember why we did this whole food page thing to begin with. Just have fun with it!”

Favorite activity outside of eating!? “Art Pop ups, Music festivals, and traveling. You’ll see occasional videos of us diving into a magical world of art or dancing the night away at Coachella or posing next to a waterfall in Bali Indonesia. We love to do it all. Life is short so don’t waste it in one place.”

Favorite restaurant in the DC metro area?  "This is probably the hardest question. (CK) Favorite in D.C. for Dine-in may have to go to Rose’s Luxury. Fast-Casual I’d give it to Roaming Rooster! (Diana) Favorite sit-down restaurant goes to Daikaya, love their ramen! Fast-Casual, I’ll choose ChiKo.”

Instagram: @dcfoodfreak 

Creators: David Ortiz

Why we <3 him: David is a freak! A food freak. His collection of fine dining provides DC with a taste of the extravagant. Oh, did we mention he has a Black Belt in Hapkido!

What about being an influencer excites you? 

“My page while covering everything does maily target fine dining. For years people talked as if it was dying. I see the opposite now. My excitement comes from sharing this experience so people will be inspired to go these places. When we lose a place its because we didn't go enough. I love supporting and love helping to get others in to enjoy it as well.”

What inspires you?

“Usually ACDC or New Order!! play that and the day turns positive. But that's inspiring for energy. Life inspiration is no surprise a great restaurant experience. I know how much work goes into a meal being placed on the table and when its amazing , I could cry.”

What’s your earliest or strongest food memory?

“For my Birthday as a child my Grandmother would take me to a grown up fancy restaurant. It clearly left a mark : )”

Instagram: @foodsinmyheart

Creators: Helen and Vincent

Why we <3 them: Helen and Vincent serve up top notch photography, showcasing some of the most appetizing content we’ve seen. The creativity behind this account inspires us daily and the passion oozing from this feed is what keeps us at EatTheCapital going!  

What inspires you?

“Both foods and photography are the universal languages that speak to our hearts. As a content creator and a photographer, we are inspired by bold colors and simplicity.”

How do you choose which restaurants you feature?

“We choose to work with brands that are inspired by the work we do. We love to work with different brands that offer feedback and focus on more than just followers’ numbers. This allows us to have a long term relationship with a team who have mutual respect and share the same goals, morals, ideas, and passions.”

What do you want the world to know about you or your brand?

“Since we have been together, we realized that we have the same passion. We wanted to share our passion on the same table with our plates. These plates symbolize our skillset and interest in foods that we love and support each other as a team.”

Instagram: @nomtasticdc

Creator: Kimberly Kong

Why we <3 her: The multi talented Dr.Kimberly serves up a variety of food on her page in a way that keeps us watching. Much like her ancestor Confucius, Kimberly has a natural gift of influencing others! 

What’s your earliest or strongest food memory? 

My mom is an exceptional cook so her Korean food’s pretty much ruined all Korean food for me. Rarely does a restaurant even come close to what she makes at home on the regular. My strongest food memory is making kimchi with her. We’d sit on the cold kitchen floor and make a giant tub of it together. For those of you unfamiliar with the dish, it’s a staple in Korean cuisine. It’s spicy fermented napa cabbage, and there are many different kinds. It’s a time consuming process, and I loved assisting her when I was a kid. I’d sprinkle the salt and chili pepper flakes, and of course, taste test. It’s our tradition, and I still help her to this day.

What inspires you? 

All art inspires me, whether it be visual, culinary, or literary. I’ve been a creative all my life, first as a musician. I’m Juilliard trained, and I got my doctorate in piano performance a few months back. My lifestyle and food blogs allow me to explore other avenues, and I love how it immerses me into a world of creativity where I’m surrounded by incredible chefs, writers, photographers, influencers, you name it.

Favorite activity outside of eating! 

I’m big into self-betterment so I read as much as I can. I’m always looking for ways to improve myself and the quality of my life so I try to learn as much as possible. If you’re passionate about the same, definitely make sure to check out Impact Theory. It’s an amazing podcast that will seriously inspire.

Instagram: @capitalcouple

Creator: Taylor & Ethan

Why we <3 them: These two are newlyweds who got engaged at the Jefferson Memorial, talk about a capital couple. Their page is romantic and exciting and delivers all the feels.

How do you choose which restaurants you feature?

As a couple, we are always on the hunt for great date night spots. Good food and drinks are always important, but we also value ambience: intimate, fun, romantic. In a town of commuters and workaholics (ourselves included), we know that date nights can be few and far between. We aim to make sure those nights count.

What do you want the world to know about you or your brand?

We are both attorneys, and like many people in DC, our work can consume our lives. But that is where “Capital Couple” comes into play: We love having this creative outlet that introduces us to new experiences and, in turn, allows us to introduce others to the best DC has to offer! We want people to know that the goal of Capital Couple is not to make money or gain followers. The goal is to try new things, meet new people, and discover new places. Exploring this incredible city is a two way street: We enjoy stumbling upon new things on our own, but we also love hearing others’ tips and recommendations. We encourage everyone to reach out to us with their favorite hidden gems or to hit us up to grab a drink!

Favorite restaurant in the DC metro area?

In a city that offers endless great options, our “go-to” restaurant has always been Jaleo in Penn Quarter. In addition to being our favorite José Andrés restaurant, Jaleo holds some of our best memories: from job promotions to anniversaries. Plus, it is a great first spot to bring visitors to give them a taste of the fun and innovative cuisine that DC has to offer!

Instagram: @dcfoodporn

Creator: Justin Schuble

Why we <3 him: Justin is a trailblazer who’s worked hard to put DC on the map, co-founding the brand new app, TidBit Social, where diners can find the perfect restaurants for them quickly and easily. Justin says as a kid he went through a phase where he refused to eat anything but chicken tenders and French fries. He’s come a long way since then!

How do you choose which restaurants you feature?

People want to see new places, but they also go crazy over things they’re familiar with. So I try to feature a combination of restaurants that people have never heard of and local favorites that people know and love. I find a lot of restaurants through Instagram and other media sources, but sometimes it’s as simple as walking up and down the street and stumbling upon something new.

What about being an influencer excites you? Makes you nervous?

My favorite part about being an influencer is the community that comes along with it. I love interacting with my audience and seeing them interact with one another on my posts. I’ve also met so many incredible people through Instagram, some of which have become my best friends. My least favorite part is being beholden to a platform and algorithms that I can’t control. But I’ve learned that you just have to push through the ups and downs and know that it’ll level out. I think it’s more important to focus on creating great content and hoping the platform with encourage that.

Who’s your biggest food influence, personal or professional.

My dad introduced me to food and dining at a young age and has played a significant role in my obsession with finding the best places to eat. When I was visiting colleges, we would go to three restaurants in a night -- one for appetizers, one for entrees and one for dessert -- so that we could get the best sense of the local food scene in each city. There are people that eat because they're hungry, and there are people that eat because they enjoy the experience. My dad taught me to be the latter.

Instagram: @dccheapeats

Creator: Ahmed

Why we <3 him: Ahmed is a content creator that gives his audience what they want to see. His page makes us crave crazy! In a high price city, this pharmacist knows where to grab a bite!

What’s your earliest or strongest food memory? 

My Earliest memories of food would have to be staying up late watching the food network eating Plantains and Cassava!I

How do you choose which restaurants you feature?

We’re not biased towards any restaurant, we like to feature foods that are visually appealing , and foods that are affordable. We want the average person to be able to afford a meal at which ever Restaurant we attend.

Can you cook? What's your best dish?

I personally think anyone can cook, so I def think I can cook lol. I don’t have a best dish, I do love making Fried Quinoa.

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