A Madrid, NY native, Josh Taillon graduated in 2000 from Paul Smith’s with his degree in culinary arts and subsequently spent 13 years cooking in the Boulder area of Colorado. In 2013 Josh was drawn back to the North Country to pursue an opportunity to run a restaurant on the property of Iroquois Farm on Rt. 37 in Lisbon. It was at The Kitchen where he started making a name for himself. It was at The Kitchen that he met another Madrid native and his future wife, Alicia. It was at The Kitchen where he started relationships with local area farmers that continue to this day. And while The Kitchen at Iroquois Farm as a restaurant was a short-lived endeavor, it was just the beginning of Josh’s commitment to the community that he calls home.
After closing The Kitchen at Iroquois Farm in 2014, Josh and Alicia found their home at Jake’s on the Water, then only open for 3 months, in Hannawa Falls. Over the course of his 5 years there, Josh helped transform the casual pub style food into a seasonally changing, farm to table experience for North Country diners. It was at Jake’s that Josh met and worked side by side with Brad, our sous chef here at The Blue House. And it was at Jake’s that he also led several years of Chef’s Table dinners (5 course tasting menus paired with wine/beer) and continued to build his following of folks willing to try anything simply because they were adventurous eaters and trusted their chef.
Being employed at Jake’s allowed Josh and Alicia to buy a house, to get married, to grow their family and take a breather from the world of restauranteurship; but the idea of another shot at ownership was a flame burning in their background. And it was always Madrid, or bust. And in late fall of 2018, they found their space to begin stoking the flame.
Tucked at the end of the business row in the Madrid town square was a dusty blue house with a tired front porch and not nearly as many windows as it should have had. Old and loved and full of memories but bursting with the potential to be so much more, Josh and Alicia took one look at the views out the windows that overlooked the historic Madrid Dam and Grasse River and knew it could be no place else. The Blue House. Demolition started a year later in November of 2019 and somehow, between the snow and COVID, the restaurant industry falling apart and the price of materials going through the roof, raising a toddler and bouts of sheer self doubt, they managed to stay positive and married and excited to share their dream that had finally turned into a reality.
The Blue House opened in January of 2021 and after 6 months of exclusively takeout, they finally opened their doors for dine-in in July of 2021. Welcome to our space. We can’t wait to feed you.