Drooling over food porn is one of life’s great pleasures – but make sure it’s the very best food porn out there.

Instagram has the power to fuel so many of our obsessions. It can make us want to shop. It can make us doubt our appearance. It can make us want a holiday. It can make our lives feel shabby.

But it can do wonderful things, too. Chief among these is the way Instagram can make us appreciate beautiful, healthy, fabulous food. One of the social media giant’s most popular hashtags is #food. Fact. Feasting your eyes on lovely plates of nourishing nosh is an excellent balm for the soul.

But any self-respecting Instagrammer knows how to garnish his feed with date-night Negronis, sourdough breakfasts and courgettes from the allotment. The real magic is the preserve of experts.

Here, we’ve rounded up the cooks, stylists and authors who have genuinely turned food into an art form on Insta.

TART LONDON


@tart_london
This gorgeous feed is an offshoot of Tart London (tart-london.com), the high-end catering company set up by Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison. Stylish and cool, these pretty ladies are also mega talented. They provide delicious, beautiful and nutritious tucker for the most influential names in the fashion industry; they have, until recently, written a weekly food column in ES magazine; they’ve published a recipe book; and they run a new restaurant, deli, bar and event space in London. We love them. Their feed is a riot of colourful food, stunning al fresco settings and dishes that actually make you drool.

AMELIA FREER


@ameliafreer
Freer’s story feels typical of the stories of so many of us today. After years working too hard at a fast-paced job in London, she found herself afflicted by multiple health issues and chose to make significant changes to her diet. Her tweaks were so effective and inspirational that she trained as a nutritional therapist. Though her list is now so long that she doesn’t take on new clients, Victoria Beckham, Sam Smith and Boy George have all seen her at one time or another. Freer’s mission is to help others discover and celebrate nutritious food – and this feed (as well as her three bestselling books) does that with aplomb. Think perfectly styled shots of plant-based plates and a greenhouse that will make you greener with envy.

SKYE MCALPINE


@skyemcalpine
Beautiful interiors and fabulous food often go hand in hand – and it’s never more effective than in the pictures posted on Instagram by the home cook and food writer, Skye McAlpine. She divides her time – and her feed – between Venice and London. Her pictures of meringues with strawberries, perfect plates of pasta, focaccia sprinkled with salt and rosemary are totally mouth-watering. So is the toile de jouy wallpaper in her bedroom, the pink plastered walls of her kitchen and the scrubbed wooden dining table she has that seats 20 people. The combination of it all is enchanting. As The Times has said: “Skye McAlpine’s life [through Instagram] looks like the very definition of la dolce vita.”

BLANCHE VAUGHAN


@blanchevaughan
It should come as no surprise that the Instagram feed of House & Garden’s food editor is divine. But it is, nevertheless, divine. An energising mix of the things that Blanche Vaughan is cooking and eating, this feed makes you want to up your culinary game. The former chef began her career working in restaurants like The River Café, Moro and St John, so she knows about good, honest, simple ingredients. Flowers and vegetables – whose colours are staggering – abound, as do gracious recommendations of other people’s cookery books. Perhaps the best shots of all are the ones of produce from Blanche’s garden in Devon.

VIOLET BY CLAIRE PTAK


@violetcakeslondon
Long before she was commissioned to make that beautiful (elderflower and lemon) wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Claire Ptak was doing wonderful things in the kitchen. Raised in California, she started out as a pastry chef at the acclaimed restaurant, Chez Panisse. She later crossed the Atlantic and opened the charming Violet Bakery in Hackney, East London, in 2010. There, she and her team lovingly produce cakes, buns and other delicacies of such exquisite prettiness you cannot believe they are real. If you cannot make it to Hackney, Claire’s Instagram feed (she is also an accomplished food stylist) of sugar and spice and all things nice is a truly excellent second best. Check out her podcast, Violet Sessions , too, which is mainly recorded at the bakery.

ANNA JONES


@we_are_food
Anna Jones is the bestselling cookery writer who made lemons a non-negotiable part of the weekly shop. This sassy, stylish superhero just loves food, and it’s consequently impossible not to love her Instagram feed. She coaxes nourishing ingredients into comforting and indulgent dishes with an elegance that is hard to beat. You like pizza? She can whip up one that’s good for you. Can’t do without a BBQ? Check out Anna Jones’s ridiculously moreish vegetarian ideas. She bakes; she reads; she cooks; she drinks. She is a woman after our own heart.

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August 2019