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 December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.