photo: Sadat PakaiJosephine Proul. Compelled to be in the kitchen. Started cooking almost thirteen years ago. A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute prior to quickly working her way up the ranks at Local 111, Proul put her time in at a classic French charcuterie in Seattle and summers in the Hamptons, working some 500 covers a night. Proul is all about local. She combs winter and summer farmers markets in the morning and cooks up her bounty that same night.

Besides the chef hat, Proul wears a few others in the repurposed space of Local 111, a sophisticated twist on a former two-bay service station. She’s the sommelier, frequently asked by staff and patrons about wine parings and thoughts on local wine — about half their list includes local vineyards. She also runs the front and the back of the house.

Photo of Josephine Proul by Sadat Pakai

photo: Ashley Sears

John McCarthy III. Born and raised in Maryland. Graduated from NYC’s French Culinary Institute. Landed the opportunity to head wd~50’s research and development department after joining the kitchen as a cook. Through extensive travel, as well as living in Korea, has acquired an appetite for cooking.

Ben Freemole. Born and raised in western Montana. Graduated Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, OR. Fortunate enough to have worked in many great kitchens including LA’s Melisse, the UK’s Fat Duck, and NYC’s wd~50. Enjoys cooking and eating, in no particular order.

Photo of John McCarthy III and Benjamin Freemole by Ashley Sears

Jeff Gimmel. Attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI, continued his studies in Southern France with chef Roger Verge at of Moulin De Mougin and studied viniculture in New Zealand with winemaker Clive Paton of Ata Rangi and cheese making at Old Chatham Sheepherding Company. He was chef and partner at the French-American bistro Savann Est in NYC and executive chef of the midtown Manhattan institution Michael’s. He opened Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, NY with his wife Nina, pursuing his support of the local sustainable agriculture movement and his passion for organic and naturally grown produce, poultry, meats and seafood.

Hugh Horner. Executive Chef of Helsinki Hudson. A Carolina-Georgia native, Horner is a low-country trained Chef with a heavy Louisiana influence due to his family from New Orleans. After starting in kitchens as a dishwasher at the age of 14, self-taught Horner is still in the kitchen 20 years later, having spent the last ten years in NYC and Boston kitchens. After falling in love with the Hudson Valley while working in Manhattan, Horner moved north with his family. With his hard work and focus on using local produce from farms within the community, Horner has brought diversity to a rapidly developing food scene in upstate NY. The combination of amazing live music and farm-to-table authentic Southern cuisine, has made Helsinki a destination for music lovers and food lovers for miles around.

Jon Spoto. Head Chef at Grazin’ Diner, Jon Spoto, began working in professional kitchens at age 14. He worked his way up the ranks in various restaurants throughout Columbia County. Hudson’s DABA Restaurant is the reason Jon moved in to town. After a brief hiatus from the kitchen world, Jon joined Grazin’ about a year ago and quickly worked his way to Head Chef.  Jon has become passionate about working with local, organic and sustainable livestock and produce.