After graduation, Malarkey set his sights on California and sought the disciplines of French chef Michael Richard of Citrus in Los Angeles. After holding several positions in Richard's kitchen, he traveled abroad and ate his way through Europe and Africa, learning not only the meaning of food to different cultures but their individual techniques as well.
Upon returning to the United States, Malarkey relocated to Minneapolis where he worked at several prominent Twin Cities establishments, including the Loring Café and The Local before landing the Sous Chef position at The Oceanaire Seafood Room. In 2001, he returned to his beloved Pacific Northwest to open The Oceanaire's Seattle location as Executive Sous Chef. It was under the tutelage of both Chef Rick Kimmes in Minneapolis and Chef Kevin Davis in Seattle that Malarkey blossomed into a seafood talent.
In 2004, Malarkey relocated to southern California to open The Oceanaire in San Diego as Executive Chef and Operating Partner. Brian continues to elevate the San Diego dining landscape and motivate himself and his staff to provide an exceptional dining experience for each guest. Since the restaurant's opening it has received over 40 industry awards, including Malarkey's Gold Medallion for Chef of the Year (2007); Best Seafood Restaurant-Fine Dining (2006- 2008), Zagat Top Ten Restaurants (2007), Wine Spectator Award of Excellence (2005- 2008), and the DiRoNA Award of Excellence.
Highlights of his career thus far include being selected as a contestant on Bravo's Emmy-nominated culinary series in 2007, "Top Chef 3 Miami." Malarkey competed against 15 of the countries best chefs and advanced to the final round gaining national recognition for his culinary talents. Another highlight for Malarkey was serving as keynote speaker for the 2006 graduation ceremony at his alma mater, the Western Culinary Institute and being invited to teach a class on his famous "Angry Lobster" for the students and was an honored guest at the annual President's Lunch. Most recently Malarkey landed a weekly cooking segment on the local CW5 affiliate in San Diego and can be seen every Friday morning preparing his signature dishes with that signature Malarkey flair and fun.
Since Malarkey's "Top Chef" success he has also been involved in various sponsorship opportunities, including a series of Diet Dr. Pepper commercials; a joint-promotion with Wal-Mart, Kingsford® Charcoal, GLAD, KC Masterpiece® and Hidden Valley® Ranch; a sponsorship by Chef Works and Beringer Wines. Malarkey also developed a menu for Fresh Dining, Southern California's leading purveyor of daily, home-delivered gourmet meals. Malarkey has made numerous appearances on season's of "Top Chef," since his departure and most recently he was featured in episode eight of season four preparing dinner for the Real Housewives of Orange County. Malarkey is currently working on two cook-books and writes a weekly blog on www.BRAVOTV.com and at www.SanDiegoMagazine.com/Malarkey where he dishes about the most recent season of "Top Chef" and his local San Diego dining scene.
Although his primary focus lies in the kitchen, Malarkey makes a point to give back to the San Diego community with both his time and his skills, supporting the National Kidney Foundation; It's all About the Kids, the San Diego Zoo, KPBS, the Huntington's Disease Society of San Diego, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Eldercare.
Malarkey enjoys working outside of the restaurant, teaching cooking classes at local culinary schools and catering private dinner parties for local celebrities. Through his work, in and out of the kitchen, Malarkey continues to elevate the San Diego dining landscape. When not dedicating his time to good causes or developing new recipes, Malarkey enjoys spending time with his wife Chantelle, their new baby boy Hunter O'Neil "Cowboy Boots" Malarkey and their two dogs, Porter and Stella.