Instagrammers to follow: Ranae Winemiller
Seven years ago, Ranae Winemiller had never had a tamale. That might sound inconsequential. A tamale is just one dish, or rather one category of dishes, but Winemiller is a recipe developer, freelance marketer and certified food lover, the kind of person who geeks out in the grocery store and immortalizes restaurant meals on Instagram under the handle @hungryinvegas.
Winemiller grew up in West Virginia and moved to Las Vegas in 2011, which changed the way she cooks and eats. “In West Virginia, the cuisine was not extremely diverse. Coming here and having food from all over the world, it’s really expanded how I cook at home. I’d never had a tamale till I moved to Vegas, and now I make them.” And she doesn’t just make tamales, she wins competitions with them. A few years ago, Winemiller won a Del Real Foods recipe contest for her creative takes on the Mexican classic: sweet corn tamale waffles with chicken and cheese tamale-stuffed jalapeños wrapped in bacon.
“Doing food Instagram and being able to cook and create recipes, I’m doing everything I ever wanted to do and didn’t know it,” says the 35-year-old, who went to journalism school and entered the culinary world through blogging. She created @hungryinvegas to focus on food photography, honing her talents with shots of ube pancakes and squid ink pasta that have attracted nearly 10,000 followers. “I love when someone sends me a message and says, ‘We were from out of town and took a Lyft to somewhere off-Strip’,” Winemiller says. “To be a part of people’s culinary happiness, that’s pretty fun.”
Exposing followers to restaurants beyond the tourist corridor is one of her goals on Instagram, as well as sharing appreciation for plates that her cook’s eye recognizes as labor-intensive. “I grew up in one of those families where everyone was trying to feed you,” she says. “I want to kind of feed people through Instagram. I want to make people hungry.”
Click here to follow Ranae on Instagram.