2018 Portland Rising Star Restaurateurs Luke Dirks and Joshua McFadden of Submarine Hospitality

2018 Portland Rising Star Restaurateurs Luke Dirks and Joshua McFadden of Submarine Hospitality
March 2018

Wisconsin-born Joshua McFadden attended the former Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. Not long after, he began building a résumé in America’s best food cities: Lark Creek Inn and Roxanne’s in San Francisco; North Pond in Chicago; and Blue Hill, Lupa, Momofuku, and Franny’s in New York. From 2007 to 2008, he put his knives aside to apprentice at and, eventually, manage Four Season Farm in coastal Maine, a life-changing and career-defining experience. He followed that up with a trip to Italy to work on Alice Waters’ Rome Sustainable Food Project. In 2012, McFadden and Duane Sorenson of Stumptown Coffee opened Ava Gene’s, an Italian eatery in Portland, Oregon. 

Born in Canada and raised in Oregon, Luke Dirks attended Seattle Pacific University, earning a degree in English literature. In 2006 he joined Stumptown Coffee, where he worked his way up to regional wholesale director, a position that led him to Brooklyn by 2009. Two year later, Dirks took on a management position at Gabriel Stulman’s Happy Cooking Hospitality, during which time the group opened Perla, Chez Sardine, and Montmartre, and Dirks became partner and director of operations.

McFadden and Dirks launched Submarine Hospitality in 2016, incorporating Ava Gene’s as the flagship. Their first addition was Middle-East-meets-Pacific-Northwest Tusk, in partnership with fellow Rising Star Chef Sam Smith. Together, Dirks and McFadden are promoting excellence and creating opportunities for their 100-strong staff. 

In 2017, McFadden published Six Seasons, which was named “Best Cookbook of the Year” by The Wall Street Journal and was nominated in the “Vegetable-focused Cooking” category for the James Beard Media Awards.