"Being a dad and owning restaurants is like a jigsaw puzzle. I'm constantly finding pieces and trying to make it work," says Troy Guard, one of the busiest chefs and restaurateurs in Denver. "And opening new restaurants is the most challenging. It takes up a lot of time and there are just certain things with the kids I have to miss. But I try to make it to as much as I can."
He makes them meals, usually breakfast in the mornings and bigger meals when they have people over. "We all cook together. Every day, Jagger pulls out the pots and pans and spoons and tries to turn the knobs on the stove. And Grace likes to help out as well. Of course, they like to lick the beaters," explains Troy.
He may be juggling a lot, but each puzzle piece matters: "Fatherhood has made me more patient with my staff, more helpful. I'm more of a teacher now. It's definitely made me realize that life's more important than just me. I changed my entire perspective; they are always first."
On hard days, and in the restaurant world there are plenty, they give him light. "They brighten your life. Everything, no matter what happens, they can make better."
"I'd like to think I'm a better dad than I am a restauranteur. It's the best job in the world."
Troy Guard is father to Grace and Jagger, and owner of 9 restaurants in Denver. That number will climb to 13 with the openings of Mister Tuna, Bubu, a third iteration of Los Chingones, and a new breakfast spot later this year.