Meet the Chef – Big Wave’s Troy Guard

August 17, 2021

He’s legendary. He’s epically talented. He’s Denver’s very own Chef Troy Guard.

Junction Food and Drink is honored to house some of the most legendary chefs in Denver. It’s the number one reason why the community flocks to this home-away-from-home – for the sublimely scrumptious food served up by the array of lip-smacking food concepts.

One such concept is Big Wave Taco. This crowd-pleaser is consistently buzzing with activity because delicious does not begin to describe the flavor and eye-candy presentation of its tacos, bowls, nachos and sides. Just try walking past…it’s impossible. The waft of aromatic flavors will draw you in as if by magic and you’ll just keep going back for more.

This is all thanks to Chef Troy Guard, a legend in the world of food. His knowledge, passion and creativity ensure that the Big Wave Taco team get it right, time and time again.


This month we delve a little deeper into the mind and heart of this surprisingly humble chef.

Where did your love of cooking come from? Does a specific memory stand out?

My parents were both great cooks, so they were my inspiration without really knowing it. I’d cook breakfast for our family on weekends. I was the oldest of five kids. I’d bake with my mom on holidays and make cookies weekly! Her nickname is Grandma Cookie.

If you could prepare a meal for anyone, who would it be?

My mom. Sadly, she is no longer with us and I miss her. I’d cook her favorite – Scallops! And chocolate cookies. I’d also like to cook for my old mentor, Roy Yamaguchi.

What is your career highlight?

I’ve been lucky to have had many highlights. However, hard work, determination and surrounding myself with great leaders and restaurant concepts are the major contributors. Opening TAG  is a HUGE career highlight, and cooking at James Beard House back in 1993 with my Chefs Roy Yamaguchi / David Abella.

What is your favorite food item and your worst?

Fav food is chips and salsa chips and guac! Also, fresh tuna sashimi with ponzu. I could eat that everyday. My worst? Cooked fruit because of the consistency.

What is your favorite meal to cook at home?

Grilling with the family, either fish or steak. Also, a great six hour braised short rib, mash potatoes and crunchy vegetables during winter. Or pasta anytime!

What is your favorite thing to do when not at work?

Hang with the family, go to the pool every weekend. I love travel, concerts, and to try new restaurants. I also read cookbooks.

Do you have a pet?

We have a 150-pound Saint Bernard – his name is Tobie.

What one word would you use to describe Junction Food and Drink?

Cool. (We think we’re cool too – thanks Troy)

When eating at Junction, which meals do you pick and why?

I like them all – depends on my mood and who I’m with!

If you could pick a superpower, what would it be?

Superman! I’d love to fly and get anywhere quickly!

Describe your ideal date night.

My wife rocks! With us having many restaurants and three kids, date nights are valuable and a must! We either go to an old-favorite restaurant or try a new one. My best date is when we can jump on a plane and go to a city without the kids – we hang out for a couple nights and discover the city.

What do you enjoy about patio dining?

Everything! More in the Fall or Winter when eating. I like hanging out in sunny and cold months.

Who is your favorite sports team?

Denver Broncos. I’ve been here for 20 years, so they are my team. However, it used to be the Dallas Cowboys for 30 years.

What is your favorite unhealthy, “just-can’t-say-no-to” junk food?

Salted Oreo ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.

Do you have a hidden talent?

They call me Casper, because at the end of the night, I know when to duck out.

So, now you know why Big Wave Taco isn’t just a name – it’s a lifestyle, created with passion and creativity that is one-of-a-kind, just like Chef Troy Guard.