Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Starkus

Chris Starkus

Executive Chef - Urban Farmer Denver, Sage Restaurant Group

Chris Starkus grew up in Santa Clarita, California, enjoying from-scratch family meals made with local produce (and love) by his Italian grandmother and great-grandmother. He jumped into the kitchen at 15 and worked his way up from dishwasher to expeditor.

As Executive Chef of Urban Farmer in Denver, Chef Starkus curates a locally focused, sustainably sourced steakhouse menu influenced by the bounty of Colorado. Chef Starkus highlights his seasonally-driven menu with nose-to-tail cuts of naturally-raised meat, executed with finely honed French techniques.

Overseeing the whole animal butchery in-house, charcuterie program, and more, he also enjoys tending to the restaurant's rooftop apiary and patio garden. Chef Starkus unites ingredients grown on-site with those harvested from closely regarded purveyors to offer preparations with bold, straightforward flavors.

Chef Starkus has achieved numerous local awards, including Best New Restaurant 2018 (303 Magazine) and Best Eco-Friendly Restaurants in America (opentable.com, April 2019). Colorado Biz Magazine named him one of 2019's Most Influential Young Professionals (Top 25 Under 40).

For Chef Starkus, sustainability is success and has developed programs for comprehensive recycling and composting and is tracking to be at zero waste. He started the rooftop apiary at the Oxford Hotel and with his wife of 15 years runs Lost Creek Micro farm in Lakewood, Colorado. He also has contributed essays and appearances on sustainable culinary lifestyle to 303 Magazine, Diningout.com, themoderneater.com, 5280 Magazine, Heritage Radio and Slow Food Nations.

Chef Starkus truly lives the modern sustainable lifestyle through his work bringing his whole community to the culture of transparency, eco-conscious eating and urban farming. Like his culinary style, the chef's approach to management favors authenticity and transparency.

Please visit http://www.sagerestaurantgroup.com for more information.

Mr. Starkus can be contacted at +1 303-262-6076 or chris.starkus@sagerestaurantgroup.com

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.