Josh Oakley appointed executive chef at 1921 Mount Dora


  • Photo courtesy of Rockaway
Josh Oakley has been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride the past five months.

The former chef/owner of the Smiling Bison sold his stake in the restaurant to business partner Ron Thomas last October, went up to North Carolina to just chill with his dog for a few weeks, then popped up in the kitchen of the Sullivan Public House in Sanford this past December, all the while having to endure loss after loss by his beloved Buffalo Sabres to the Toronto Maple Leafs (and that includes the preseason).

Well, if not for the Buffalo Sabres, things are looking up for Oakley.

In February, he started cooking in the kitchen of 1921 Mount Dora, itself mired in a bit of a rollercoaster ride these past few months.

You'll recall Norman Van Aken's (amicable) departure, followed by chef de cuisine Camilo Velasco's jump to the Ravenous Pig, and pastry chef Gloriann Rivera taking a post at the Rusty Spoon.

Today, 1921 Mount Dora officially appointed Oakley executive chef, which should be a great fit for the Lake County restaurant.

Oakley is well-regarded for his charcuterie and sourcing and, while the menu is still being tweaked, he should regale diners with his brand of modern comfort fare.

Here's hoping the bleeding-heart Buffalonian puts beef on weck on the menu — it's one of my favorite sandwiches and many others I know feel the same way. It's the one thing Buffalo should be proud of.

Hockey, on the other hand …

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