Most mornings, Kevin Muraski wakes up to the sound of a package being dropped at his front door.
Arriving at his home in Fort Collins, the contents of the package was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean just 12 hours earlier.
He takes the box to a kitchen on Laurel Street. He unwraps the packaging, takes out the contents and starts slicing them bit-by-bit into edible proportions.
Whole fish, exotic as eel and octopus to western tuna and salmon are fresh and ready to be served at his restaurant, Sushi by Kevin, 126 W. Laurel St.
“I have a friend in Hawaii who does all my fishing; it goes from his boat to my door,” Muraski said.
Five days a week Muraski’s fish are caught in Hawaii, put in a FedEx box by 5 p.m. and show up on his doorstep the next day by 8 a.m.
If he can, Muraski gets the rest of his fresh ingredients from local sources. With this combination of fish and local food, the quality is unbeatable.
“We strive to have the highest-quality sushi in town,” he said.
Sushi by Kevin has a loyal local customer base; Reid McClanahan is one such customer.
“Kevin’s is a lot more affordable and I like the flavor a lot,” McClanahan said.
Working in the fine dining industry since he was 13, Muraski got his start working in a French kitchen in Connecticut, where he worked until he was 20. After a few years at Syracuse University, Muraski moved to Colorado with Matt Savino, a fellow chef. Muraski eventually worked his way to a job as executive chef at Jay’s Bistro, 135 W. Oak St. From there Kevin moved on to be the corporate chef at Hewlet Packard in Fort Collins. Surrounded by hungry computer techies, Muraski opened his first sushi bar at HP and developed his sushi style.
“There’s a lot of fusion in my sushi,” Muraski said.
His experience with different foods led him to combine the flavors of different types of cooking in his sushi.
Muraski was never formally trained in the art of sushi making; instead he taught himself through books and trial and error. Now Muraski teaches others to prepare sushi. He trains his cook staff and even teaches sushi classes.
Sushi by Kevin began in January, when Muraski was working out of the back of the restaurant, taking sushi orders and delivering them on his own. Over the past year, Sushi by Kevin opened a dining area and expanded to more chefs and a few waiters.
“Sushi doesn’t weigh you down the way a steak would,” said Robert Hempel, a waiter at Sushi by Kevin.
Hempel said sushi provides a lot of usable energy because fish and rice are so easily digested.
Christy Crow and Mark Stiger are frequent diners at Sushi by Kevin.
“This is by far our favorite,” Crow said.
Crow and Stiger have both tried other sushi restaurants in Fort Collins, but they like Sushi by Kevin the best because of the price and the unique flavors. They frequently order the sweet and spicy roll, which has salmon and rice, and the jungle roll, a tasty treat with avocado and rice. The food at Sushi by Kevin is not always typical sushi; many of the rolls are Muraski’s own creations and contain flavors not usually found in sushi, like candied pecans or red peppers.
Kevin by Sushi is a delicacy, but doesn’t have to burn a hole your pocket, dishes cost about $8.