Our Culinary Team

As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Each night, our powerhouse team executes an evolving menu showcasing the best of the season while maintaining and strengthening 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 wearing an aproin and sharpening a knife with a rod

Executive Chef Ryan Lockhart

Coho Restaurant is excited to welcome the return of Executive Chef Ryan Lockhart. Chef began cooking in 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. Before returning to the San Juan Islands, Ryan was the Executive Chef in charge of catering for the Blackbelly Restaurant group in Boulder, Colorado. 

He plans to continue to build upon and foster the strong relationships Coho Restaurant has with local farmers and the community. In his hands, and with a dedicated focus on highlighting fresh ingredients and letting them be the star of a dish, it isn’t unusual to see a simple yellow and purple fingerling salad elevated with a fresh roasted tomato pesto.

When Chef Ryan isn’t working he spends his time outside of the kitchen dabbling as a semi-professional photographer and spending time outdoors seeking out new hiking trails.  

man rolling pasta using a kitchenaid

Sous Chef Robert Lilly

For as long as he can remember, Robert has been drawn to the kitchen. He has been traveling and cooking for more than 16 years across many States and Canada. Robert likes cooking vegetables and feels it is important to support as many local people and farms as possible.

Sous Chef Ky Uwate

Chef Ky Uwate started their culinary career at age 19 while simultaneously pursuing an academic career in neuropsychology and evolutionary biology. More out of necessity than passion, they began working as a sushi chef in Boulder, Colorado, to pay for tuition. It wasn’t long before they fell in love with the fast-paced, demanding nature of the kitchen. After a brief stint as a middle school math and science teacher, Ky returned to the welcoming embrace of the restaurant industry as a pastry chef at a local South Boulder favorite, Under the Sun Eatery, which specialized in farm-to-table, wood-fired cuisine. A few years later, during the slow pandemic recovery, Chef Ky began working for Chef Ryan Lockhart at Blackbelly Catering, and a glorious partnership was born.
Chef Ky is incredibly passionate about locally sourced, farm-to-table cuisine inspired by their Southern and Japanese cultural roots. They are very excited to work with the sumptuous seafood bounty available all around San Juan Island. When they are not accidentally setting something on fire in the kitchen, Chef Ky enjoys rock climbing with their husband, annoying Chef Ryan, belting out Broadway numbers, snuggling their cat, Jellie, and painting Bob Ross-style naturescapes on canvas.
woman wearing denim chef coat leaning against a wood paneled wall
woman in a black chef jacket cracking an egg into a bowl

Pastry Chef Jessica Bryan

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.

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