Rising Star Chef Josh Elliott of Toro - Biography

Boston, MA

June 2020

Josh Elliott grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, with southern hospitality streaming through his veins like so much sweet tea. After working as a dishwasher at Pizza Hut at 16, Elliott committed to a career in the kitchen. He moved to South Florida, where he became a line cook at The Village Grille, and soon after, enrolled at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami. Meanwhile, Elliott cooked at Eos Restaurant at the Viceroy Hotel under Chef Michael Psilakis and Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne at the JW Marriott Marquis. He eventually became sous chef within Pubbelly, the juggernaut restaurant group from Rising Stars alum José Mendín, and then went on to open the Hilton Cabana and its restaurant L’echon Brasserie as executive chef. His last two years in Florida were spent as executive chef at the iconic Raleigh Hotel. 

In 2017, Hurricane Irma hit, devastating the Raleigh Hotel and putting Elliott out of work. He took the opportunity to reroute his life, checking into a 60-day rehabilitation center and tackling the alcoholism that had plagued him for more than 20 years. Elliott and his family moved to Boston in 2018, where he began working for James Beard Award-winning chefs, Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Now as the executive chef of acclaimed Barcelona-inspired tapas restaurant, Toro, Elliott advocates for the mental health and wellbeing of restaurant workers. He’s an active member of the recovery community and looks forward to launching a Boston chapter of Ben’s Friends, a support group for hospitality professionals who are struggling with addiction, once it makes sense. Last year Toro hosted the first sober chef dinner of it's kind on the East Coast, spreading awareness of a dining experience with nonalcoholic beverage pairings.