Joshua McFadden


You may know him as the head chef / owner of Ava Gene’s and Tusk in Portland, Oregon. Yet Joshua McFadden is so much more than just a chef.

He’s a farmer, an author, and an artisan. He’s been awarded two stars from the New York Times for his work at Franny’s in Brooklyn; studied with Alice Waters in Rome; and spent time in the kitchens at icons like Momofuku, Lupa, Blue Hill and Roxanne’s.

Joshua’s food is simple, thoughtful, seasonal to the highest degree. It’s the end result of so many diverse influences – Italian, Pacific Northwest, traditional Mexican, modern American – and from his time as farm manager at Four Season Farm in coastal Maine. Joshua understands vegetables truly, madly, deeply; he’s a vegetable whisperer with the ability to turn a humble green into a thing of beauty; somebody who never stops asking what really good food is all about.

Why We Love Joshua McFadden

Joshua is a man of passion and a true creative force. His chosen medium is food, however he is equally at home in design, music, art, and architecture. Josh is a factory of ideas that comes rushing out in rapid fire, daring us to keep up. His laugh, well, really it’s his chuckle, is as unique as it is infectious.

Joshua’s passion for veggies drove him to write Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables, which earned him a James Beard Award in 2018. Joshua's passion and knowledge leap off each page.

Magic pure and simple. Small knobs of orecchiette; twisting strands of bucatini; wheat-colored strips of pappardelle. If you can dream it, Joshua can make it.

Joshua’s Travel Essentials

  1. Tusk hat
  2. Travel-size Tabasco sauce
  3. Beats headphones
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Aesop Facial Hydrossal, always
  6. Corkscrew
  7. A good book

6 Questions with Joshua McFadden

  1. Describe the last time you experienced a real moment of awe and wonder.

    Swimming in the ocean in Maine at night, last summer, with a full moon and phosphorescents going wild. It was as close to a perfect moment as they come.

  2. If you could choose a BFF from any era (dead or alive!) who would it be and why?

    I think I still have a lot of questions for Tom Petty, he really died way too young. But I would really really like to have a long dinner with Rick Rubin.

  3. What ah-ha moment got you to where you are now?

    Simple food, tracing back the food I loved when I was young and wanting to make that better and just keep it simple.

  4. What activity makes you feel free?

    Driving, I love driving, with loud music, an open road, and a fast car.

  5. What’s your favorite smell in the whole wide world?

    I love the smell of tomato leafs in the summer.

  6. What inspires you to keep going when the cards are down?

    Teaching people how to cook, and how to identify quality raw products makes it all worth it.

Explore Upcoming Trips with our Tastemakers

Mexico City with Patrick Ryan

Aztec pyramids loom below you, hovering in a hot-air balloon in the skies outside the Western Hemisphere's biggest city. With chef Patrick, a lively guy who stresses community and fun, we go ringside at a wrestling match, boat down ancient canals, meet graffiti artists and dine on Patrick's feast in our penthouse suite in hip Condesa. Get ready for fun!

Oaxaca with Joshua McFadden

Joshua is all in on Oaxaca, as we'll see on this six-day exploration of the cultural and gastronomic wonder of southern Mexico. We'll take Zapotec cooking classes, wander street markets, climb pyramids and meet fourth-generation mezcal makers. Join us!

Republic of Georgia with Bonnie & Israel Morales

Seven days in the Caucasus Mountains with culinary pioneers of foods of the former Soviet Union. We'll learn to make khinkhali (dumplings), stomp grapes as part of some of the world's oldest wine traditions, hike to mountain-top churches, and master the Georgian art of toasting.