Food Scene: Chris & Elizabeth Boyd of No Coast Sushi love their jobs
FOOD TIP FOR HOME
According to the Boyds, pre-making pesto, mushroom duxelle, or concentrated stock is a great way to add flavor to food on the quick.
Once it’s made, freeze it in ice cube trays. Then once it’s frozen, pop out the gourmet cubes and store them in freezer bags for easy access.
“When we make pasta sauces, soups, stews, gravies or even mac and cheese, we have a quick way to make them gourmet without the extra time,” No Coast Sushi owner Elizabeth Boyd said.
Editor’s note: If you’re part of Grand Valley’s burgeoning food scene and want to talk shop, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grand Junction restaurateurs Chris and Elizabeth Boyd embrace every nuance of food creation.
Using farm-fresh edibles and newly caught fish, this food-centric couple creates unique culinary experiences by crossing cultures. And as owners of two Grand Valley restaurants — No Coast Sushi (Grand Junction) and No Coast Sushi Fruita — their infatuation with food keeps them busy.
“When we talk about people coming in and dining with us, we like to call them guests because they’re coming into our home; they’re not just customers,” Chris explained.
Both restaurants feature sushi of course, along with Asian-inspired dishes infused with local ingredients, house-made noodles and rice. Regional beers and wines are offered in Fruita with Grand Junction hosting a full bar.
ABOUT THE BOYDS
Elizabeth, a Grand Valley native raised on a ranch in the Kannah Creek area, began cooking meals and planning menus as an 8-year-old. Her family also raised and slaughtered their own animals, instilling a love for “local” food in Elizabeth at an early age. After attending college and returning to Grand Junction, she met Chris while working at Suehiro Japanese Restaurant & Sushi in the late 1990s.
Chris, who’s half-Japanese, remembers his first experiences with food coming from his mom, Sumiko Boyd, in their family kitchen. Born in Okinawa, Japan, he moved a lot as a child, back and forth overseas, before settling in Colorado as a youth. He entered the industry as many do — first busing tables and washing dishes before being offered a traditional sushi apprenticeship at a Suehiro restaurant in Colorado Springs. When another Suehiro eatery opened in Grand Junction in 1986, Sumiko and Chris moved to be a part of it (his mom purchased it in 1989 and still owns it).
Chris and Elizabeth branched out on their own seven years ago, first opening No Coast Sushi in Grand Junction (1119 N. First St.) and then opening a second location in Fruita four months ago (229 E. Aspen Ave.). Though they oversee both restaurants, the couple currently spends most of their time in Fruita with Chris as head chef.
According to the Boyds, No Coast employs 48 locals across both restaurants, and one-third of their staff has been with them since the beginning (a fact they’re proud of).
“We created a family,” Elizabeth said, adding that Jon Baron (who recently opened Baron’s, another Grand Junction restaurant) designed their custom cocktail menu when he worked for them as a bartender.
“All our chefs take care in making things from scratch,” Chris noted. “Why not our drink menu, too? We make our own mixers, including sweet and sour [mix] and hand-pressed citrus.”
Here’s a tip: Try No Coast’s sake margarita (half-sake, half tequila) when dining at the Grand Junction location for $7. Or order the Colterris Coral white cabernet savignon, produced in Palisade, for $9 a glass.
“It’s pinkish in color; crisp enough to go with the richness of fish, but also it’s sweet enough to go with spicy foods,” Chris said of the Coral. “It’s really nice.”
FOOD ISN’T JUST A BUSINESS
Though two restaurants absorb most of the Boyds’ time these days, food isn’t just their work. Both love to explore the culinary world in their free time through home cooking, dining out and travel.
“I love the fact that [Elizabeth] will eat most anything,” Chris said. “When we’re traveling, we’ll sightsee and eat through whichever country we’re in.”
Bin707 Foodbar, Cafe Sol, Il Bistro Italiano and 626 on Rood in Grand Junction all get thumbs up as local favorites. And when eating out in Fruita, they opt for Camilla’s Kaffe and Hot Tomato Cafe.
“I’m friends with Josh (Bin707’s chef/owner) and I just love what he does there,” Chris said. “We’re on same page, trying to use local sources as much as possible.”
Craving comfort food? Chris asks his wife for biscuits and gravy while Elizabeth opts for meatloaf and spaghetti.
What about foods they hated as kids but love now? Both Boyds immediately smiled and named a few. “Mushrooms,” Elizabeth said, while Chris listed “okra and liver.”
And if given the opportunity to create his own network culinary show, Chris wouldn’t settle for a food-only theme.
“It would be a variety show with food,” he explained. “There would be other guest, too, and music. Most of our staff are musicians or involved in the arts, so it would be a good fit.”
For more information about No Coast Sushi and No Coast Sushi Fruita, visit http://www.nocoastsushi.com or find them on Facebook.
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