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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 August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.