Award-winning director and writer Joshua Butler is best known for his creative vision behind the camera.

He has showcased his talent as a director for more than 45 hours of episodic television, including episodes of hit shows such as The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood, Twisted, State of Affairs, The Following, and Crisis, just to name a few. He also directed an episode of the feature-film turned television series Limitless, produced by Bradley Cooper. The episode, titled “Personality Crisis,” aired on CBS last October. Butler’s most recent directing endeavor was the Syfy Channel series The Magicians, based on the best-selling novels. He is set to direct more episodes of the series, and will also lend his talent to an upcoming episode of Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments.

Outside of his love for directing and producing, Butler is also an avid foodie, music junkie, travel aficionado, urban wanderer, cinema geek, and all around lover of life. He loves interacting with his fans and has a verified Twitter account with more than 40k followers.

Check out what Butler tells Chilled about his love of food, dining out, and channeling Tom Cruise in his dreams.

Chillin' with Joshua Butler

Photo by Brant Brogan

Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on.

First of all, thanks for having me! Feeling “chilled” already. I’m in the middle of directing the second and third episodes of Syfy Channel’s The Magicians, soon to direct an episode of Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments for ABC Family/Freeform, and prepping an independent feature that I am writing and directing.

With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your downtime?

As a foodie, I am always making sure that I am up to date on trying the best restaurants in the cities I work in (Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Toronto, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, etc.), and when I’m not dining, I am usually found in a movie theater, art museum, or a concert venue.

When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?

I’ve adopted Jonathan Gold’s approach to dining, which consists of eating at Michelin-starred superstar venues and well-reviewed (or as yet undiscovered) hole-in-the-wall treasures.  There’s time in this world to appreciate celebrity chefs, as well as those cooking their family recipes or innovating the art of cuisine on an intimate scale.

What types of dishes do you usually order?

As someone whose career consists of making hundreds of decisions a day, I am happiest when I’m not deciding what to order.  There’s nothing like the feeling of omakase, a tasting menu, or a chef who just wants to serve you what is freshest that day. I believe chefs are artists who speak through their cooking, and as an art appreciator, I just want to listen to them.

Do you cook?

I do cook, but my schedule often doesn’t allow it. When I indulge myself, I love to recreate recipes from my favorite chefs (Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, etc.), who have graciously written absolutely wonderful cookbooks.

What types of drinks do you order when out?

I am a sucker for an artisan beer, a great single-malt scotch, a bold red wine and an Aperol Spritz.  Not necessarily at the same meal, of course, or in that order. Liquor before beer, right?

Chillin' with Joshua Butler

Photo by Brant Brogan

Do you prepare drinks at home?

I open bottles of wine really well.

Do you own a home bar?

I have a kitchen cabinet with delusions of grandeur. Don’t tell it that it really doesn’t qualify as a home bar.  Thanks.

What is it stocked with?

My cabinet always contains a bottle of scotch (currently a Macallan 18) and red wines that I’ve been collecting sporadically over the year.  There’s usually beer in the fridge, but it tends to get lonely when I’m working out of town.

What is your dream home bar like?

My dream home bar would be like those awesome modern-day speakeasies, which have mixologists behind the bar. I love watching those kinds of science experiments, especially when the results are amazing cocktails.

What is your favorite drink/cocktail?

Recently, at Chambar in Vancouver, I had the best Dark N’ Stormy I’ve ever tasted.  It rocketed to the top of my favorite drink/cocktail list.  I vow never to have another Dark N’ Stormy without Gosling’s Black Seal Rum again.

Have you ever been a bartender?

Only in certain dreams, where my subconscious channels Tom Cruise in Cocktail.  Probably shouldn’t attempt Tom’s killer moves in real life, or there’d be a huge cleanup on aisle seven!