Coho Restaurant team is pleased to announce our new culinary team – Chefs Ryan, Tim, and Jessica. As the saying goes, the sum is greater than each of the parts. This powerhouse trio will increase the capacity of the restaurant. Each night they will present and execute an evolving menu showcasing the best of the season. This will allow expanded hours and services while maintaining and strengthening the relationships with our local producers. Our chefs are supported by a team of prep and professional servers whose goal is to elevate the dining experience for our patrons.
Chef Ryan started his culinary career working in the kitchens of New Orleans while studying music and theater. His professional journey eventually landed him in Colorado where he developed a passion for locally sourced cuisine while volunteering on small farms and working at farm-to-table restaurants. He most recently held a kitchen position at a well known Vietnamese-Cajun restaurant in New Orleans. We are excited to see how this Asian and low country-southern influence will add interesting and inspiring fusion to his dishes.
Since his arrival in Friday Harbor, he has fallen in love with San Juan Island. He continues to build upon and foster the strong relationships Coho Restaurant has with local farmers and is especially excited about the cornucopia of ingredients available in this region. He loves highlighting fresh ingredients and letting them be the star of a dish.
When he isn’t working in the kitchen, you will find him spending time with his dog, Billie, discovering new trails, and dabbling in photography. There is also a good chance you might find him belting out a few verses during an open mic night at one of the local bars.
Having grown up in a farming family, Chef Tim Payne loves cultivating relationships with small farms and food purveyors to showcase local ingredients in his dishes. Prior to Coho Restaurant, he worked in several farm-to-table restaurants in Colorado. He was looking to move to a small community with lots of outdoor activities and a good food scene. After several vacations on Orcas Island, he realized that some day he would call San Juan Island home.
Upon relocating to San Juan Island, he forged new relationships with farmers throughout the local region and loves the high quality of the produce and ingredients they offer the Coho Restaurant kitchen. Whether it is an heirloom carrot, beautiful head of tender red lettuce, or a sweet onion, these ingredients -- usually the sides -- can transform a dish, often becoming the stars. Each day his kitchen is brimming with the bounty of the season.
Chef Tim presented many wine, beer and farm dinners in Colorado and continues that tradition here at Coho Restaurant. These collaborations yield an amazing synergy of food and drink. “It’s all about fresh ingredients, simple preparations and proper techniques. What makes food memorable is the combination of flavors and textures that contrast and complement each other.”
Chef Tim loves the great outdoors and on his days off you’ll find him jogging, hiking and biking, exploring the archipelago.
Chef Jessica’s first culinary-related job came when she was 18, cooking out of a little chuckwagon and over an open fire for a northern Idaho summer camp’s horsemanship program. While attending university in the newly emerging wine country of the Walla Walla valley, she worked at a local bakery and café where she continued to learn new techniques and tips. When she was unable to get a job in her planned career field after graduation, she fell back on the food service industry as a way to pay the bills. But eventually it dawned on her that the culinary world could be her career!
She attended a two-year vegetarian and vegan culinary arts program for some “official” training and went on to positions that included managing a large family retreat center kitchen where she oversaw the production of food for up to 400 people per meal, heading up a private catering team, and serving for several summers as a line cook or “pantry” cook at various San Juan Island restaurants.
In her down time, she has traveled to 11 different countries. Three of her trips involved doing mission work and one was to spend a year in Italy going to school. Locally, she enjoys hiking, beach-combing, and enjoying the beautiful nature of the great PNW. In the evenings, she snuggles up with her cat, Wesley, and escapes into the pages of a good novel.