San Diego Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey Makes It "Instagram Official" With Announcement Of New Sweetheart

March 7, 2023

San Diego celebrity chef Brian Malarkey made it "social media official" today with the announcement of his new sweetheart. 

"Introducing Harley D aka Danielle Harley," San Diego celebrity chef Brian Malarkey posted to his Instagram account, which has nearly 50,000 followers. "Thank you all so much for being supportive & kind in this transition in life - my entire family appreciates your love and support!"

In July 2021, Malarkey filed a dissolution of divorce against his wife of two decades Chantelle Hartman Malarkey, who he married in September 2002. The divorce is still not finalized, with a hearing scheduled for this coming April. The longtime couple share three minor children together. Malarkey's new flame is 18 years his junior. 

Point Loma resident Brian Malarkey first tasted celebrity stardom when he became a finalist on Bravo's Top Chef Season 3 while working as Executive Chef of downtown San Diego's now defunct Oceanaire Seafood Room. The Bend, OR, native steamrolled his newfound stardom into his own fabric brand of restaurants with the launch of Searsucker in the San Diego Gaslamp in 2010. Malarkey went on to open and close more than a dozen other restaurants over a short time before he and then-business partner James Brennan sold off the majority share of their Enlightened Hospitality Restaurant Group to Abu Dhabi-based Hakkasan Ltd. in 2014. 

Malarkey also serves regularly 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 winning mentor on ABC’s now-defunct The Taste primetime culinary competition led by the dearly-departed Anthony Bourdain. Malarkey also appeared as a cheftestant on Season 17 of Bravo’s Top Chef, dubbed the "All Stars LA" edition, and was recently on Food Network's Superchef Grudge Match cooking competition, where he lost to his longtime chef de cuisine, Carlos Anthony.

After the greatly-successful rebirth of the Malarkey empire with the launch of Herb & Wood in Little Italy in Spring 2016, Malarkey has continued to grow his culinary empire over the years. In September 2019, Malarkey and Puffer opened the $5.5 million Animae, an upscale French-meets-Japanese and Southeast Asian fusion restaurant located in the 15,000 square-foot ground floor space at downtown San Diego's uber-luxury high rise condominium building Pacific Gate by Bosa. Malarkey also opened Herb & Sea in downtown Encinitas in fall 2019. Puffer Malarkey Holdings also operate Herb & Ranch, a multi-concept food hall in Orange County. Most recently Puffer-Malarkey took back the 7,500 square-foot Herringbone space in La Jolla from the Tao Group for an incoming French bistro & steakhouse concept named Le Coq. Le Coq will reportedly be Malarkey's last restaurant. 

For more information about Chef Brian Malarkey, visit