As Executive Chef of Urban Farmer in Denver, Chris Starkus curates a locally focused, sustainably sourced steakhouse menu influenced by the bounty of Colorado. 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 state-of-the-art Urban Cultivators featuring homegrown mushrooms, microgreens, and sprouted grains. Inspired by America’s European ancestry, Starkus unites ingredients grown on-site with those harvested from closely regarded purveyors to offer rustic brunch, lunch, and dinner preparations with bold, straightforward flavors.
Like his culinary style, the chef’s approach to management favors authenticity and transparency. In any interaction with people, guest or employee, Starkus emulates the golden rule, operating with mutual respect to create satisfying and engaging experiences. “The guest comes first, always,” he says. “Thanks to them, I get to do what I love most.”
When he is not creating garden-fresh steakhouse fare at Urban Farmer or writing about the food sustainability movement, Starkus retreats to his homestead where he tends to plants, bees, and chickens. He also enjoys kayaking and cycling, often with his wife and their two kids. Follow his chef life on social media @chrisstarkus and his farm life @lostcreekmicrofarm