Rising Star Chef Josh Thomsen of Agricola - Biography

Princeton, NJ

August 2014

Josh Thomsen knew he wanted to cook by the sixth grade. It wasn’t just profound personal intuition. Thomsen’s father was an accomplished home chef, and his cooking had a far-reaching impact on his son.

A little older, and a CIA grad, Thomsen honed his skills with some of the most prominent professional chefs in the country, kicking off his career at the Hotel Bel-Air and Pinot Bistro in Southern California. He then relocated to Aspen to work at the Little Nell Hotel before moving to Napa to work at The French Laundry for Thomas Keller, a major influence on Thomsen’s career. After two years in Napa, Thomsen continued to build his résumé at the Mansion at MGM and at Michael Mina’s Nobhill Tavern, both in Las Vegas. An opportunity at The Lodge at Pebble Beach lured him back to the California coast, but in a few years he was back on the strip as corporate executive chef for Innovative Dining Group. He also helped open the 400-seat Tao restaurant at the Venetian.

Thomsen next took on the executive chef position at the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, overseeing the food and beverage program, where he earned a 2010 StarChefs.com San Francisco-Bay Area Rising Stars Award. His most recent move brought him back to his home state, to open Agricola in Princeton, New Jersey. Agricola has already been named one of the top 10 best new restaurants in the United States in 2014 by Gayot, and spawned a forthcoming cookbook.