Faces of Boundary Bay: Cliff Goff

Let’s meet another member of the team here at Boundary Bay Brewery, Cliff Goff.

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Cliff is a Whatcom County native, growing up in the bustling little border town of Blaine. Blaine is also a shore town, with a view of the Boundary Bay that we’re named for. Being close to the water helped spark an interest in the outdoors and wildlife that Cliff carries to today.

While in high school, he worked in some of Blaine’s small restaurants, and he found an interest in the kitchen. After graduating he moved to the “big city,” Bellingham. In a non-food related job, Cliff spent a year as a tour guide at Deception Pass State Park. A benefit was being able to keep a daily eye on a family of eagles as the babies grew, and one lucky day while leading a tour, Cliff and his group were able to see the eaglets take their first flight. Another memorable moment was the time a Gray Whale transited the pass, against the tide and current, and made a couple breaches in the process.

After that, it was off to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary institute in Seattle to further his chef chops. This led to the chance to cook in the Chianti region of Italy for a few months, and while the experience wasn’t quite what he had hoped, valuable skills were honed.

Back home in the PNW, Cliff was in the kitchens of area restaurants including Beach Store Cafe on Lummi Island and the late, lamented Copper Hog. One of the more memorable opportunities he had was working for the Nooksack Tribe. He helped run the food at the Northwoods casino, and was the go-to guy whenever there was an important event for the tribe. Sometimes this could be feeding a large group, or preparing a fine dining experience for Tribal leaders and visiting V.I.P.s. Somewhere in all this, Cliff also spent 2 years creating tasty treats at Chocolate Necessities.

While Cliff came on board in the spring of this year, his earliest memory of Boundary Bay happened when he was about six. His Mother and he were in town for the day and came in to eat. Cliff had the Smoked Salmon Pizza, and it was something of a revelation to him, as it was unlike anything he had tried at home, or could find in Blaine. One of the reasons he wound up here with us was the way Jabez Richards, and other coworkers with BB in their background, would speak about it. In the sometimes volatile world of kitchens, everyone Cliff spoke with had great things to say about having worked here.

Cliff is filling several spots in the kitchen, working both Hot and Cold sides, as well as his work creating our in-house desserts. He is putting out our seasonal favorite pumpkin pies, and building up new items to go with our existing line-up. Given his background and creativity, there should be plenty of goodies to come. Cliff mentioned though, that if anyone has a suggestion, to please mention it to him. One of the things that really got Cliffs attention once with us was the sheer amount of beer we brew. Although obviously familiar with Boundary Bay beer, he’s now more aware of just how much of our quaffable delights are available.

Away from work, in addition to spending time with his girlfriend Brittany, there’s several things that keep his hands busy. He does some homebrewing, and harkening back to his youth, he works with the Marine Wildlife Strandation Network. He’ll get a call to try to help rescue various marine mammals, and, on the occasional call, have to rescue a creature that has fallen to the hands of some our less than upstanding citizens. This can even go so far as to having to save evidence, and pass along remains for forensic research.

Overall, this busy guy has a lot going on, but feel free to say hello and to share a beer.