Instagram is a great place for foodies. Among dogs, vacations, and babies, attractive pictures of food are just one of those things that are guaranteed to get likes.
Celebrity foodies like Jamie Oliver and David Chang (of Momofuku Milk Bar) have popular accounts where they post inspiring ideas for regular, weeknight meals among dazzling, mouth-watering pictures of top-tier cuisine (aka 'food porn,' to use the technical term).
And then there's Samantha Lee, food artist, whose clever food sculptures bring visual pop to her Instagram account, make us smile, and inspire. Lee is not a celebrity chef, but a mother of two whose designs started as schemes to get her two young daughters to clean their plates. She can turn a scoop of rice, a sheet of seaweed, and colorful vegetables into a monkey swinging from branches in a green jungle, or a duck peacefully swimming across a pond. Lee lives in Malaysia, and culturally her dishes draw upon "bento art," a creative, sculptural approach to the routine arrangements of rice and pieces of sushi that often populate Japanese plates. On her blog, she describes her technique with each dish so that other parents can recreate the meals at home.
"I've never been to any cooking class or training before," Lee has said. "I'm a very ordinary stay home mom." Currently Lee boasts nearly 700k Instagram followers, and has partnered with brands like Ben & Jerry's and Barilla pasta, who all want to see her take on their products.
But enough with the talk. Let's look at the food!
Magician @barbie wants us to believe in ourselves because when you do that, anything can happen and that's magical! #BeSuper
A video posted by Samantha Lee (@leesamantha) on Mar 18, 2015 at 8:55pm PDT