Our Chef

Executive Chef Joseph Cotton started his love affair with food at the early age of 9, by making meatballs for a local deli. A Johnson and Wales trained Chef; his passion for fresh, local and eclectic food aligns with the Aquarium’s mission for their guest experience. After his work in hotels, fine dining establishments and in special event catering, Chef Joseph opened JC’s Grill House in Newton, NJ, in the summer of 2007.  His first solo business, the restaurant sat 150 guests, catered weddings and events onsite, and simultaneously operated as the caterer for nearby Bear Brook Golf Club.  When he and his family moved to Maryland, Chef Joseph joined the National Aquarium in December 2012 as the Executive Chef for their main café, Harbor Market Kitchen, as well as overseeing Harbor Market Catering. Using sustainable and local products whenever possible including seasonal produce, artisanal cheeses, grass-fed beef, humanely raised poultry, sustainably harvested seafood and shade-grown coffee, Chef Joseph’s menus are not only delicious and innovative, but an extension of the Aquarium.