Cooks

Published on February 5th, 2018 | by Nature Humphries

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The New Cook on the Block: Chef Josh Stetson Brings Coastal Flair to Oxford

Oxford is a town that is full of dining and drinking options both formal and casual, and The Square is the center of it all. Locals love to see and be seen, and everyone always seems ready for a good time. If you’re looking for a new spot to sip a craft cocktail or nosh on some delicious tapas after work, be sure to check out The Chancellor’s House located at the corner of South Lamar and University Avenue. Although the hotel has been open for over a year, many folks may not be aware that in addition to luxury rooms and a formal grill, Chancellor’s House boasts a cozy lounge complete with a marble fireplace and sunny patio. Bonus points for valet parking, which is free unless you are staying overnight.

Yes, Chancellor’s House is an elegant venue full of luxurious amenities. But it is also a great spot for a casual after-work drink with friends or a sunny, laid-back outdoor brunch. Central to the food and beverage element at the hotel is Executive Chef Joshua Stetson. Stetson came to Oxford from Biloxi to head up the kitchen, and he’s been working hard to make The Chancellor’s House an exciting option for local foodies. Stetson’s focus is on traditional American cuisine that is both refined and approachable and has a strong coastal influence. If you’re a seafood lover, you’re going to love his menu.

Read on to learn more about Chef Josh and look for daily and weekly specials happening in the Lounge, including half-price tapas and a special Industry Night.

chef_josh_stetson

Josh Stetson

Name: Josh Stetson

Position & Restaurant: Executive Chef at The Chancellor’s Grill

Where are you from? Maine originally; lived in Biloxi area for the last 25 years.

How did you get into cooking? I started in high school, and I just had a natural ability for it. I learned more by reading a lot and trained under a couple of great chefs. It was meant to be.

What is the best thing about your job? Training. I love to train young cooks and help them find their ability and strengths, then building from there, helping them find that love to be great at something, to be creative. Experiencing that feeling when you make a great dish and how people look at you with amazement of how wonderful and enjoyable it was. Helping them build a career, something they can always be proud of, teaching hard work, a sense of accomplishment, teamwork. All of it makes me happy to see them strive.

Who is your favorite cook/chef? Everyone who works with me. I love these people; they are hardworking and dedicated. They are always willing to learn more and do what is needed to make us aALL successful.

What kitchen tool/utensil could you not live without? Tongs; I can use tongs for everything—literally an extension of my hand without burning myself.

What is your favorite ingredient? Stocks, I am a sauce and soup guy. I like all stocks: fish, vegetable, corn, crab, lobster, chicken, etc. Stocks can bring out so many flavors when making sauces and soups.

Name three items in your fridge: Mayonnaise, Smucker’s strawberry jam, and Coke cola. I am simple when it comes to home. If I cook at home it is usually a one-meal shot, so I just buy what I need for the meal.

Where do you get your best recipe ideas? Usually by accident. I think I have a great idea and start playing around with it, and it hits me. I get the base of the plate, then the dish completely changes ingredients and everything. It’s like my mind kick-starts, and then I go into overdrive.

What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten? Depends how you look at it. To me, comfort food is the best food, so my mom’s cooking is the best meal I have ever had. Restaurant-wise was August in New Orleans. I was a young chef then, and it was so good I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to create anything that good.

What is the weirdest meal you’ve ever eaten? I was cooking with my daughter one day, and we were braising chicken breast for dinner. We just started adding everything—bananas, Sprite, tomatoes—I can’t even remember. The funny thing is that it was pretty good.

Personal specialties: Sauces, soups, grill, and anything sautéed.

Favorite midnight snack: Hostess cupcakes

Favorite kitchen music: Rage Against the Machine

Who would you most like to cook for and what would you prepare? As boring as this sounds, no one in particular. I just like to make good food for people who like food.

Where do you like to dine in Oxford? I think all the restaurants in Oxford are good; they all have that little something different to offer.

Favorite restaurant in the world: I don’t know, haven’t been to them all. It would be great to try!

Aspirations: To enjoy life more.

Fried catfish—eat the tail or no? No. The Local Voice Ligature

Chef of The House: Susan Rhodes of Stella
Fill Up on Pies for a Good Cause with Graduate Oxford

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About the Author

Nature Humphries is Editor-in-Chief of The Local Voice. Nature is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but moved to Oxford in 2004 after spending time in the United States Navy. She has also worked in the restaurant industry for many years as a server and a bartender. Nature graduated from Ole Miss in 2007 with a degree in English and Modern Languages.



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