There’s a new Chef Josh in town

Chef Josh Nowell brings culinary passion, skills to The Academy


Gazebo Photo by Helen Pope

Chef Josh Roberts enjoys ‘making people happy’ in the Prentice Robinson Cafeteria

Josh Nowell said he wanted to become a chef because he “wanted to do something where I could see people happy every day.”

Stratford’s new director of dining services said he enjoyed cooking for family and friends when he was younger. He loved how food could bring people together on holidays and events.

“I  thought what better way to spend (my)  days than cooking for people,” he said.

He grew up in Macon and attended Central High School. He attended Mercer University with the intention of majoring in pre-international law.

Pullquote Photo

I  thought what better way to spend (my) days than cooking for people.”

— Chef Josh Powell

“I soon realized that would make a very boring career,” he said.

After he decided on his change in career, he attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando, Florida. He received a degree in baking and pastry.

He briefly lived in Arkansas and work in different restaurants, casinos, and hotels. Then he got into the school food industry and enjoyed being able to show new things.

“I really liked being able to introduce kids to new foods,” he said.

Josh moved back to Macon about five years ago and reconnected with old friends. Josh met his wife, Ashley, in culinary school. She also majored in baking and pastry so they enjoy baking together. His wife owns her own home-based cake decorating company, “Cakes by Ashley.”

They like to make fancy french desserts on the holidays such as eclairs and napoleons. They have one son, Crosby, a kindergartener, and a daughter, Zoe, a preschooler. 

Josh’s favorite type of food to cook is anything Italian. His favorite meal to eat, that he does not prepare himself, is at an Italian restaurant in Little Italy in New York City, Casa Bella.

He always orders the same thing; spaghetti carbonara, which he claims “is the best pasta I have ever eaten.”

Ironically, both chefs Stratford students have ever known to be the face of the lunchroom have both been named, “Josh.”

Chef Josh Roberts left Stratford in 2018 to move to Nashville, Tennessee, where he works in the restaurant business.