Josh Habiger entered the food industry at the early age of 15 years old, working as a dishwasher in a small diner in Minnesota. His creativity, imagination and tenacity to develop a well-rounded culinary skill-set have since landed him in some of the best kitchens in the world.
While traveling Europe, Habiger staged at Heston Blumenthal’s three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant in London, where he saw firsthand what it takes to operate such a prestigious institution. In 2002, Habiger continued his culinary career at James Beard award-winning Craft restaurant in New York as the chef de partie, later joining the opening team for Grant Achatz’s three-Michelin star Alinea in Chicago.
In 2008, Habiger returned to the Midwest to team up with the opening team at Hotel Ivy’s Porter & Frye, a Minneapolis-based restaurant that quickly set the standards for restaurants in the Midwest for its trendy, contemporary American fare. While in Minneapolis, Habiger met celebrated mixologist Toby Maloney of Alchemy Consulting, who later introduced him to an interesting project he was working on in Nashville. Habiger moved to the South to help Maloney plan, train employees, and open The Patterson House cocktail bar with Alchemy Consulting and Strategic Hospitality in late 2008.
In 2011, Habiger was tapped as the co-chef of Strategic Hospitality’s next project, a modern, forward-thinking tasting room called The Catbird Seat. Cooking alongside fellow Chef Erik Anderson, the duo’s ever-evolving tasting menu of sophisticated and inspired dishes received national acclaim and catapulted Nashville’s culinary scene.
Two years later, Habiger departed The Catbird Seat and became Strategic Hospitality’s culinary director, overseeing the operations at all restaurant and bars within the portfolio, as well as focusing his attention on Pinewood Social, a new social gathering space that opened in late 2013 in Rolling Mill Hill.
Habiger partnered with Strategic Hospitality to open Bastion in February 2016 in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood of Nashville.