Having grown up in the Midwest, Joshua came to the Pacific Northwest to attend Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon. Since then, he’s cooked in some of the top kitchens in San Francisco (Lark Creek Inn, Roxanne’s), Chicago (North Pond), and New York (Franny’s, Momofuku, Blue Hill and Lupa.) He also spent time in Rome working at the American Academy in Rome, an Alice Waters project. He was awarded two stars by the New York Times while serving as Chef de Cuisine at Franny’s in Brooklyn.
Wanting to get closer to his artistic medium, Joshua spent two years farming and cooking in coastal Maine, running Four Season Farm. It allowed him to think about food in a whole new way, sparking a deeper passion for—and knowledge of—vegetables. Joshua’s belief that food should be simple, honest, and driven by local ingredients has found its natural home in the Pacific Northwest at Ava Gene’s.
In the summer of 2016, he and Luke Dirks formed Submarine Hospitality, which acquired ownership of Ava Gene’s and just before opening Tusk. Joshua is also the consulting chef at The Suttle Lodge & Boathouse.
In May of 2017, Artisan Books released Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables, his cookbook of 225 vegetable-focused recipes. In his James Beard Award-winning cookbook, Six Seasons, McFadden channels both farmer and chef, highlighting the evolving attributes of vegetables throughout their growing seasons—an arc from spring to early summer to midsummer to the bursting harvest of late summer, then ebbing into autumn and, finally, the earthy, mellow sweetness of winter.