Portland, OR | Ava Gene's
In the summer of 2016, Joshua McFadden and Luke Dirks formed Submarine Hospitality, which acquired ownership of Ava Gene’s and opened Tusk. McFadden is also the consulting chef at The Suttle Lodge & Boathouse. His cookbook of 225 vegetable-focused recipes, Six Seasons of Vegetables, will be published in May of 2017 by Artisan Books. Having grown up in the Midwest, Joshua came to the Pacific Northwest to attend Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon. After years of racking up culinary cred at the country’s top restaurants from San Francisco (Lark Creek Inn, Roxanne’s) to New York City (Momofuku, Franny’s, Blue Hill), he managed the trailblazing Four Season Farm in coastal Maine, which completely transformed his approach to cooking. It was there that he developed an appreciation for every part of the plant, root to leaf, and learned to coax the best from vegetables at their peak. And the food he started cooking as a result was nothing short of a revelation. McFadden’s belief that food should be simple, honest, and driven by local ingredients found its natural home in the Pacific Northwest at Ava Gene’s, where he has served as Executive Chef/Partner since opening the restaurant in 2012. Drawing on his background in farming, McFadden immediately established relationship with farms and purveyors in the Northwest and, as a result, Ava Gene’s has sourced more local produce than any restaurant in Portland. The menu, which changes nightly, reflects his drive to pursue seasonal ingredients at their peak. The restaurant has received many accolades, including being named a “Top 10 Best New Restaurant” in the country by Bon Appetit. McFadden’s commitment to seasonal, local ingredients is shared by Submarine Hospitality’s newest restaurant, Tusk, which he and Dirks opened with Executive Chef/Partner Sam Smith. Named a “Rising Star Restaurant of 2016” by Portland Monthly less than two months after opening, Tusk draws on Middle Eastern flavors to showcase vegetables and its relationship with local farmers. Stepping outside the kitchen, McFadden focused on the creative direction of the project, overseeing every design detail, from its bright interior to it’s rocking soundtracks.