Chef Josh Poticha of Bricks on Boundary

By Lanier Laney

Chef Josh Poticha’s globetrotting cooking career began on the streets of inner city Chicago where he learned to cook dumplings as a kid, hanging out in Chinatown. He later went on to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary school in Portland, Oregon, then worked for several top chefs including Wolf Gang Puck at Spago in Las Vegas, and with Emeril Legasse at Chef Michael Jordan’s Rosemary restaurant.
Then he took time off for a year and a half “culinary adventure,” cooking his way around the world through Europe, the Middle East, Africa on to South East Asia — Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Nepal, Vietnam and Thailand. It was there that he further pursued his lifelong interest in Asian cooking by attending an Asian Culinary School in Chang Mai, Thailand. He also toured Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Says Josh, “every destination has been a culinary adventure from beginning to end.” For example, once he bought a lamb from a local farmer in Patagonia, Argentina and cooked it in the traditional “asado a la parrilla” (grilled on an open fire) for the whole small village there.
Returning to the states he began a career with Marriott Hotels as an executive chef on Hilton Head Island at Conroy’s Restaurant in the Marriott Ocean Front Beach and Golf Resort, and then moved on to become the executive chef for the Denver West Marriott. When he was transferred to Denver he found he truly missed the Lowcountry and its wonderful people. In 2007, when he was on top of his corporate chef career, he decided to quit and open a restaurant in Beaufort.
The location he chose is across from the brick wall of the National Cemetery, and locals kept coming up to him and asking what he was building “behind the Bricks” and thus “Bricks on Boundary” the restaurant was born.
Says Chef Josh about Bricks: “I have a fine dinning background, but after working in countless restaurants cooking $35 entrees, it drove me mad knowing it might only cost $4 to put that food on the plate at times! I vowed that some day I would open a restaurant where my friends, peers, colleagues and neighbors could dine in a great unpretentious atmosphere and enjoy the flavors and ingredients of fine world cuisine without having to pay back-breaking prices. My credo would be: simply exceptionally prepared and great tasting food and never leave hungry!”
Thanks to his global training, Josh says, “Bricks is where the customer can come in and ask for linguine and clams, a four pound lobster, local shrimp, veal chop, Italian, Thai, French … and pretty much whatever the customer wants I can cook and we aim to cook it cheaper and better than they could at home.”
Chef Josh tries to use locally sourced fish and fresh produce as much as possible, getting weekly orders of squash, greens, okra, broccoli, and much more from Rest Park Produce Farms here in Beaufort.
Next time you ride past Bricks, notice the beautifully restored silver Air Stream trailer for catering and events.
“At Bricks we have catered weddings for upwards of 300 people, Marine events for over 500 guests, local block parties, graduations, retirements, Bricks Bashes, you name it,” says Chef Josh, adding, “I love to create memories people will carry with them for the rest of their lives. My job is to make people shine. To have a customer thank you for making the experience priceless and memorable is very gratifying. I love my job!”
He also loves giving back to the community. “We buy 50 watermelons at a time and slice ‘em up and give them away for free during the summer because it’s local and makes everyone happy.”
Bricks also generously donates food and its staff to work local charitable events. This Christmas they are doing Meals on Wheels for 200 less fortunate families on Christmas Eve.
Chef Josh and his friendly staff have succeeded in creating Beaufort’s very own “Cheers.” Says Josh, “at anytime you might catch a group of Marines celebrating all together, or business men and woman reviewing for a corporate meeting, six Harley Davidsons parked in front and their riders enjoying the best steaks around, a family with children eating fresh homemade cotton candy and parents sipping martinis, to a bar full of familiar faces and smiles sharing daily stories and old Beaufort memories where everybody knows your name. That’s Bricks On Boundary!!!”
Bricks has become famous for its trivia every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m. with host Chris Damgen. Chef Josh says it’s “great for a dinner, countless laughs and BIG give aways, win comps, beer, and so much more! Plus $2 vodka!” Wednesday and Friday are great for live acoustic music and Josh is particularly proud of his Sunday Brunch. “We have hands down the best Sunday brunch. Big City Chef-inspired egg creations plus a complementary bloody Mary, screw driver, mimosa or champagne and refills are only $3 all day. The complete NFL package is broadcasted on 15 High Definition TVs.”
Thanks to Chef Josh’s commitment to great food and drink at great prices in a fun welcoming atmosphere, Bricks, since opening three and a half years ago, has not only survived some very tough economic times, but has thrived.
In fact there is a “top secret” expansion in the works as Chef Josh plans to open “Bricks Bomber Grill” next year in another location in town to serve up great city street cuisine seven days a week, starting with lunch.  Says Josh, “So keep your eyes open Beaufort for Chicago style Italian beef, Carolina pork sandwiches, beer brats, braised short rib sliders, and fantastic culinary-inspired ‘out-of-this-world’ sandwiches that would make the ‘Earl of Sandwich’ jealous!”
Chef Josh’s own culinary star is rising as he has just signed to film three pilot episodes beginning this summer for a new culinary Internet/TV based show filmed in ethnic neighborhoods of Chicago about world cuisine and travel. “Since it’s just pilots, I don’t want to give false hype to people to watch something that might never be seen” says Chef Josh, “but it is going to be produced, which is cool.”

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