Each week we’re teaming up with a popular food-stagrammer who will take over our Instagram feed and fill it with their own delicious pics.This weekend on #TastyTakeovers, Becca PR’s digital media specialist Jackie Gebel, also known as @NoLeftovers_, is our guest. Learn her secret for taking delicious photos in the Q&A below and head over to @YahooFood on Instagram to watch her foodie adventures unfold all weekend long.
Jackie Gebel is a digital media specialist at Becca PR. (Photo: Jackie Gebel)
Name/Instagram Handle: Jackie Gebel/ @NoLeftovers_
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m originally from N.J., but moved to New York City right after college. My family background is both Puerto Rican and Jewish, so food has always played a role in my connecting with and exploring different cultures… not to mention a solid excuse to be obsessed with challah bread and smashed plantains.
I crave adventure; some of my favorite memories and best decisions have been the most spontaneous ones.
I love to cook, but can’t remember the last time I used a recipe; the kitchen is one of the many places where I’m most creative and innovative.
Fun facts: I Citibike pretty much everywhere, only sing in the car or in the shower, believe that everything happens for a reason and crave something savory after dessert.
How do you take your photos (with a camera or phone)? What are your favorite photo editing tools and/or tips for taking exceptional food photos? Give us the scoop!
My feed is a solid mix of camera and phone photos. I have a Canon t3i, but honestly don’t think its always better, some of my favorite photos were taken on my iPhone. As far as editing goes, I don’t really use any apps other than Instagram. Since starting No Leftovers last year, my eye for photography has definitely improved; I’ve learned a lot through trial and error on how to take better photos.
Most importantly, lighting is key. While natural light is ideal, emulating it is second best in dimly lit setting. Avoid using flash if you can, and have a friend hold up the flashlight on their phone to illuminate your shot. Play around with angles and different perspectives. Some foods might look best from a birdseye view, while others look awesome straight on.
Macbar’s Mac Shroom with roasted mushrooms, fontina, mascarpone, and truffle oil. (Photo: Instagram/Noleftovers_)
What have been some of your favorite places you’ve traveled, and which place has had the best food?
Traveling has enriched my life so much, and I truly believe cuisine is such a significant component in exploring different cultures. Some of my favorite places (with the best food experiences) would have to be Israel, Italy, France, and Greece. I lived in Tel Aviv for a few months, and still dream about the fluffy pitas, tahini, and falafel. There is a market, Shuk HaCarmel, which I would walk through almost everyday; it’s filled with amazing fresh produce and local specialties; and is actually where I first stumbled upon Ma'afiyat Lehamim (Breads Bakery).
Greek grilled street corn. (Photo: Instagram/Noleftovers_)
Who are three of your favorite Instagrammers? What do you like about them?
Such a tough question! I’m so grateful for having made so many new friends through No Leftovers. It’s been really cool to connect with people through food that I might have never met otherwise. Other than my ig-besties (I can’t just pick 3!), I really love the @bychefchloe, @matchbookdiaries & @tastethestyle ‘grams. I’m not just a food lover, but a creativity junkie & artist at heart. Those three have a certain je ne sais quoi about them.
What do you enjoy about Instagram compared to other online communities?
It’s such a positive, engaging, and visual platform. It enables me to use my personality and creativity to connect with people (songs, clever puns, etc.) and expose them to great food. Rather than having to skim an article, they can just scroll through their feed to find what they like. I love getting feedback from followers and reading the reactions to my captions; I try to respond to questions and comments whenever I can!
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
Babka Pie from Breads Bakery. (Photo: Instagram/Noleftovers_)
What are your top 3 go-to places to eat in NYC?
If you could throw a dream dinner party for any three people—living or dead—who would they be and what would you cook for them?
Aziz Ansari, Beyonce/Jay Z, and Lena Dunham. A lot of DIY stuff would be going down. We’d start the meal with insane amounts of dim sum, then get creative and build our own bar pizzas on the grill; crafty cocktails would be flowing throughout, and for dessert we’d kick back, sit around the bonfire and make s’mores.
Bonfire s’mores. (Photo: Instagram/Noleftovers_)
What’s the best dish you’ve ever made or the dish that you’re known for?
I’m always making a variety of different things (tacos, weird healthy stuff, desserts, etc.) so I can’t put my finger on just one. A dish that comes to mind at the moment, are these “Fall Harvest Pop-tarts” I recently brought for a potluck. I used puff pastry dough as the tart, and made a mixture of butternut squash, caramelized onions, goat cheese and roasted pears for the filling. To finish, I brushed a thyme-infused egg wash overtop and garnished them with dehydrated sage leaves … epic.
And last but not least — what’s your favorite food (if you had to pick one)?
Hands down, my mom’s mandel bread. It’s a twice baked Jewish cookie, similar to biscotti, but much softer. Her’s are stuffed with chocolate chips and coated on all sides with cinnamon sugar. I like to eat them frozen. I know it might sound strange, but they’re so amazing right out of the freezer.
Mom’s famous mandel bread. (Photo: Instagram/Noleftovers_)
For more drool-worthy Insta pics, visit our Instagram board on Pinterest and get to pinning!
Meet more ‘grammers from our past takeovers: