ABOUT OUR CHEF
Josephine Proul was awarded Best Chef in Columbia County 2015 & 2016 and is the 2013 recipient of the fourth Annual Victoria A. Simons Locavore Award.
ABOUT THE CHEF
Josephine Proul: Chef/Owner, Local 111 and C.U.B Catering
Josephine’s love affair with Local 111 began in 2008, when after graduating from New England Culinary Institute with a Bachelors Degree in Culinary Arts, she returned to Philmont, NY to become Local’s Chef and General Manager. In 2014, the previous owners decided to pass the torch, and Josephine was eager to accept the challenge of ownership with arms wide open. “It’s a destination for Philmont,” she says, “for people to come here and visit, maybe stay at an Airbnb. I could have gone and worked in New York City, but if I’m not here, no one would be. They need this in Philmont.”
Josephine, or “Jo”, as she is referred to by regular customers (and almost everyone who knows her), was born in California and moved to Philmont with her mother at the age of 19. As a sixth generation Californian with strong roots in Sicilian heritage, Jo was immersed in food culture before she could walk. From the time she was a small child, her grandfather would request her help in stirring risottos and hand-grinding sausages for their family’s weekly tradition of gathering around the table for dinner. When she was 14, her friend helped her land her first job at a pizza place. She instantly fell in love with the culinary arts and never looked back.
While she has made numerous personal achievements in the culinary world at large, Jo is most proud of those she has made through support from her community. In 2013 she received the fourth annual Victoria A. Simons Locavore Award for her commitment to using local products and promoting community growth, and for three consecutive years, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce has awarded her the honor of being the county’s Best Chef.
This sense of community involvement is the heart of Jo’s mission for her restaurant, and her life in general. She is constantly striving to cultivate relationships and networks between farmers, chefs, purveyors and her community. The key to this of course, is centering Local 111’s menu around food sourced from New York State. By connecting her customers to the recent farm revolution, Jo aims to ultimately support the future growth of farms, farmers markets, food education, and local food culture in general.
Aside from Jo’s passion and support of the community, Local 111 would not be the institution that it has become today without its dedicated staff. Jo seeks out neighborhood teenagers and has made it a priority to create a close-knit “family” among her employees.
In her precious free time, Jo can be found gardening, exercising, playing with her three pit bulls, or traveling. Wherever she goes, Jo always manages to transform her travels into a learning experience, bringing international inspiration back to Local 111. Jo’s travels always make themselves known in the restaurant “culture” whether it’s the wine, the Parisian-style cheesy ham bread or Spanish-inspired cuisine. “We need to be making everything!”, Jo exclaims. And so she does. Jo embraces change, whether through the menu or the LED dining room lighting, her love for a sustainable venue is clear to all who know her.