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Pictures,special events

July 14, 2016

Happy Birthday, Pasta Jay!



February 6, 2016

Pasta Jay and the Broncos


Jay Elowsky, founder and owner of Pasta Jay’s, sits in his Boulder restaurant. Pasta Jay’s has catered Denver Broncos meals since the 2012-13 season. The team has a 16-0 record fueled by such meals, including recent playoff wins against Pittsburgh and New England. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)
by: Carah Wertheimer

Jay Elowsky, founder and owner of Pasta Jay’s, sits in his Boulder restaurant. Pasta Jay’s has catered Denver Broncos meals since the 2012-13 season. The team has a 16-0 record fueled by such meals, including recent playoff wins against Pittsburgh and New England. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)
Call it ancient Italian secrets, culinary lore or a local legend in the making — Boulder’s perennially popular West Pearl Street eatery Pasta Jay’s has earned a spot in football history.

Jay Elowsky, founder and owner of three metro-area Pasta Jay’s restaurants, has been feeding the Broncos lunch at Dove Valley, their Englewood headquarters, since the 2012-13 season.

“When they’ve been powered by Pasta Jay’s, they’ve never lost a game,” Elowsky said.

Erich Schubert, Denver Broncos senior manager of media relations, concurs with that assessment. “We are 16-0 the last 16 times we’ve played after a Pasta Jay’s meal.”

The Broncos feast on Pasta Jay’s homemade tortellini Alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, steak bracciole, smashed sweet potatoes, salad, green beans, honey lime chicken breasts and Peyton Manning’s “taste so good” favorite: chicken parmesan. Oh, and of course, that staple of Italian cuisine, fudge brownies.

Variety takes a back seat to quality, and in this case, quantity matters, too.

“They always get the same thing. They’re very superstitious,” Elowsky says.

The big lunch is always on a Friday, two days before the game. “The fuel that you take in is used two days later. That’s a fact,” says Elowsky, adding that this has been standard practice in athletic nutrition for at least 25 years.


Nate Hohm, executive chef at Pasta Jay’s, insists there are no protein powders, vitamins, wheat grass juice or any other performance enhancers added to the cuisine, “just a little extra love.” Hohm also believes the food is a winner. “I think that the complex carbohydrates have a big role in what those guys have done, as far as giving them that extra boost to win games.”

The Broncos take it all pretty seriously. According to Elowsky, if the team loses following a meal, the caterer is not invited back. The Broncos do like to experience different chefs, however. Pasta Jay’s has been invited to serve three to four meals per season and has catered some playoff games.

Hard at work, Elowsky began earning his athletic-cuisine stripes long before Pasta Jay’s was serving the Broncos lunch. The restaurant cooked for the CU Buffs in various capacities since 1989, everything from daily meals to occasional fare, depending on the particular coach and policies of the day. They’ve been cooking for the hockey, soccer and basketball teams at the University of Denver for the past four years and cooked for the Colorado State University Rams in the 1990’s.

Elowsky’s involvement with the Broncos goes beyond complex carbs and plum tomatoes.

“They’re a great organization to work with. It’s really a family down there,” he said. “It’s fun, a lot of fun. It’s nice to feel like you contribute to part of their success.”

He doubts whether the Italian food in San Francisco will work the same magic for the Broncos when they play in the Super Bowl.

“I’ll fly to San Francisco and hand off all the chicken parmesan Peyton can eat,” he volunteers.

Elowsky wants the team to win, but what if they win without his food?

Sounds like somebody had better get packing.

Boulder,Colorado University,news and reviews,Pictures

September 14, 2015

Jay Elowsky opens Champions Club restaurant at CU

photo:  Paul Aiken
by:  Jerd Smith

On a bright blue September morning, at the northwest corner of Folsom Street and Colorado Avenue, blaring construction alarms bleep relentlessly as bulldozers dodge cars, electricians, landscapers and drywallers.

Boulder restaurateur Jay Elowsky, founder of the venerable Pearl Street restaurant Pasta Jay’s, stands just outside CU’s newly constructed Champions Center, scanning the chaos, waiting for a visitor.

In a pale yellow Colorado Buffs polo shirt, jeans and cowboy boots, the man who has been feeding CU football players as a sideline for 26 years is almost ready to launch his most ambitious restaurant project to date, the cafe at CU’s new Champions Club.

It will operate from the third floor of the new center, and, in a first, will be open to the public, CU football players and other athletes, and on game day, season ticket holders.

The view from the dining room is a hallmark scene — the brilliant green football field below with the Flatirons etched above along the skyline.

Inside the new restaurant, chairs are still wrapped in plastic, espresso machines are being wired and tested, and then tested again. Massive dishwashers are installed and ready to go, but with just days before the Sept. 21 opening, there is plenty of work to be done before the new eatery is ready for action above the field.

Final menus are still in the works, but Elowsky, 56, has been providing sustenance for the young men who comprise the football team since 1989.

The average football player, he says, eats double the food a normal person would. Adding in the coaches and support staff brings the ratio down to about 1.7 times the amount of food he would plan to use in a normal restaurant.

Executive Chef Adam Merlino, a former cruise ship chef and director of nutrition for a K-12 school district, said he will prepare 100 pounds of eggs each morning for breakfast. For lunch, perhaps 160 pounds of apricot-bourbon chicken, and if roast beef is on the menu as well, he will order in 140 pounds of that for the midday meal.

Because the cafe will also serve visitors to the CU Sports Medicine Center, on the floor below, Merlino is working with medical pros to make sure nutritional needs of patients can be met.

That’s not unlike the work involved in helping individual players meet their goals. A running back needed to gain 25 pounds before the season started, Merlino said, “So we made him smoothies that were packed with peanut butter, avocado and olive oil,” which the player consumed throughout the day in addition to regularly scheduled meals.

Elowsky has won the university’s contract to cook the football team’s meals off and on since the early 1990s. But he first offered to feed the players one free meal in 1989 as thanks for all the business the team helped generate at his then-young downtown restaurant on game days.

The relationship blossomed over the years, and even when Elowsky lost a bid for a contract, he would eventually win a new round. The CU catering contract that he works under typically runs five years, with annual renewals.

This summer, when players were doing two-a-days, the grueling, super-intense morning and evening training sessions that occur each pre-season, Merlino and his crew were feeding 175 people four times a day. Another crew toiled through the night doing prep work.

“It was going all night,” he said.

At the new cafe, Elowsky said he expects to be feeding 300 to 350 athletes each day, with the public welcome to join them from 1 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. He calls it “eat like the athletes.”

The opening of the CU cafe marks the first step in a 24-month period that will bring two additional restaurants into Elowsky’s empire. He’s planning a new steak restaurant in Moab, Utah, where he’s operated a second Pasta Jay’s since 1992. A ground-breaking date hasn’t been set.

In addition, in a partnership with long-time Boulder real estate developer Steve Tebow, Elowsky will open a third Pasta Jay’s in Hays, Kan. next May.

If Elowsky has immersed himself in the inner workings of CU football, he’s spent an equal amount of time cooking for the Fairview and Boulder high school football teams, and time as well out of the limelight feeding the hungry and donating food or providing subsidized meals to local charities.

Through it all, Elowsky has survived in what most would describe as a brutal, highly competitive restaurant scene. Pasta Jay’s is one of the oldest restaurants still operating on Pearl Street, where space is breathtakingly expensive, diners choosy and celebrity chefs troll daily for customers.

Sean Maher, executive director of Downtown Boulder Inc. and a columnist for the Daily Camera, said Elowsky’s staying power rivals that of Old Chicago, the West End Tavern and Sushi Zan Mai.

“I’ve had restaurateurs say that what might be the best restaurant in another town would just be average here, and you can’t be average and survive. You’ve got to be at the top of your game,” Maher said.

Elowsky has also crafted a powerful network of friends and colleagues, from former CU football coach Bill McCartney, to Boulder developer Tebo, to his ex-uncle Ernesto “Sonny” Genovese, who taught him how to make pizza sauce and run a restaurant in San Clemente, Calif., when Elowsky was 20.

Though Genovese and Elowsky’s aunt divorced long ago, the two men still talk three or four times a week, Elowsky said.

Carly Porter, of Mortenson Construction, makes a phone call from the kitchen of Jay Elowsky’s new restaurant the Champions Club Cafe in Folsom Field on Wednesday. Elowsky is the owner of Pasta Jay’s restaurant in Boulder. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

As electricians test light bulbs in the new dining room at the Champions Club Cafe, football players, administrators and coaches pass Elowsky in the hallway. Head coach Mike MacIntyre, in grey athletic shorts and athletic shoes, strolls past, flashes a smile and ribs the restaurateur about an ancient encounter with former coach McCartney.

Then its back to the serious business of food. The menu at the new cafe is to be peppered with dishes named for some of the famous athletes who’ve come through CU’s program. Alfredo Williams, the classic creamy pasta dish, is named after Alfred Williams, a star line backer who played for CU during its championship years and went on to play for the Denver Broncos.

“We try to give every dish we name after someone an Italian twist,” Elowsky said, grinning.

For the famous and unknown players alike, the most sought-after dish Elowsky serves is chicken parmesan, known by the student athletes as “chik parm.”

In the last minutes of an intense pre-game practice, as dinner is being prepared inside, Elowsky has a habit of standing on the balcony of the stadium and yelling his final words of encouragement to the exhausted players. The cheer — “Do it for the chik parm.”

Jerd Smith: 303-473-1332,



read article here:

good causes,Pictures

June 3, 2011

Jay Elowsky and John Magnie


John Magnie, of the Subdudes, performed at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame Fundraiser at Pasta Jays, on March 13, 2011.

good causes,Pictures

Pasta Jay’s Cabernet, Colorado Music Hall of Fame (March 13/2011)





June 2, 2011

Pasta Jay, at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame Fundraiser


Boulder,good causes,Pictures,the team

May 30, 2011

Friendly and helpful staff on hand at the Colorado Hall of Fame Benefit







good causes,Pictures

December 15, 2010

Pasta Jay’s takes students to King Tut Exhibit


Pasta Jay’s sponsored a field trip for the Rocky Mountain Christian Academy in Niwot to tour the King Tut Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum this month.



May 23, 2010

Pasta Jay’s: Best place to people-watch, drinking wine (review)
by David Zindell 

Day after day, meal after meal for 21 years, Pasta Jay’s has drawn throngs of people hungry for some good Italian food to its attractive setting in Boulder’s West End, just off the Pearl Street Mall. If it’s substantial portions and taste you want, you’ll get plenty of both here. 

You have to like garlic, though. You’ll smell its pungence thickening the air as soon as you walk into this colorful restaurant, with its red-and-white-checkered tablecloths. Garlic forms the predominant flavor of any dish made with red sauce — and most other dishes, as well. 

The 15 pizzas each come in small, medium and large. They range in price from the $10.99 small Josephina, with Italian sausage and roasted red bell peppers, to the large Jay’s Roman Orgy for $16.99. 

Sauces range from pesto to Alfredo to basic red.  Toppings include  arugula, pancetta, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, shrimp and other toothsome ingredients. You can choose one of Jay’s combinations or build your own pie.

Not surprisingly, a lot of people come here for the pasta dishes, such as the Baked Lorenzo: linguini and crumbled sausage cooked in a tomato cream sauce, for $10.99.  The sumptuous Shrimp Giacamo, simmered with sun-dried tomatoes in a Gorgonzola cream sauce, costs $15.50.

Owner Jay Elowsky once worked in his Uncle Sonny’s pizzeria in San Clemente, Calif. There he learned to prepare family recipes passed down from his great-aunt, “Mama Genovese.” He named the Stuffed Chicken Genovese in her honor, and most anyone ordering this delicious dish of chicken breast filled with sausage, roasted red peppers, Provolone cheese and mushrooms — all baked in a rich tomato and basil sauce — will come away delightfully stuffed. This entrée goes for $14.99, $4 more than the homemade manicotti, and $2 less than the Tortellone Alfredo with shrimp.

Pasta Jay’s serves specials, from World Famous Monday Night Spaghetti Night to Sunday’s Plati’s Steak Bracciole. Order one of these dishes, or anything else you’d like, and if it’s warm enough, try to sit at one of the tables outside. It may be the best place in Boulder to people-watch while drinking wine and eating some hearty and savory food.

awards and honors,Colorado University,Pictures

September 20, 2009

Jay Elowsky inducted into Boulder County Business Hall of Fame (4/30/09)

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Jay Elowsky with son Jay Wyatt and daughter Josephina
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Coach Dan Hawkins and Jay Elowsky, at the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame Banquet.

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Jay and Carol Deborski, who was involved in Jay’s nomination for the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame.  Carol and husband Ed Deborski were inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame in 1997.

Jay Elowsky and Molly Brackett, at the induction luncheon.

Coach Dan Hawkins and Jay Wyatt Elowsky

Jay's 50th Birthday,Pictures

July 20, 2009

Jay Elowsky, this is your life. Happy Birthday!

Thanks so much to family and friends who contributed the photographs included in this birthday celebration slideshow. Thanks so much to Molly who solicited photos from everyone, and mucho mucho thanks again to Carmen and Tom for putting the slide show together, with music! and sharing it with all of us.

The slide show is in three parts, so enjoy!

good times,Pictures

June 11, 2009

Hanging out with Jimmy Herring at Pasta Jay’s

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Michael Colucci, Jimmy Herring, Charles Cooper and Jay Elowsky


Jimmy Herring is cool

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Jimmy Herring and his band are in Colorado for a few days, doing shows in  Telluride, Denver and tonight at the Fox Theater in Boulder.  Before the show, Jimmy and his band had dinner at Pasta Jays, and hung out with us.  It was so much fun.  They are all just the nicest people.

Boulder,good times at Pasta Jay's,Pictures

Jimmy Herring with his fans at Pasta Jay’s, Boulder

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The guys are such fans and everyone wanted their photos taken, and Jimmy was so accommodating.

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Boulder,good times at Pasta Jay's,Pictures

Jimmy Herring at Pasta Jay’s

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