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SUPERB CUISINE, AMENITIES and a perfect location are just some of the ingredients con- jured up on a food and beverage director's dream list for creating ambience and atmosphere for his or her guests. Chris Costas has that and more in mind to motivate the energy required to upgrade the reputation of an already dynamic and histori- cal resort and bring in the profitable bottom line for management. At Silverado Resort and Spa, located in Napa Valley's Atlas Peak District, just off the Silverado Trail, Costas met me at the recently created Sil- verado Market & Bakery. Thanks to his ideas, this small but remarkable on-premise "grab-and-go" brought in one-and-a-half million dollars in just the first ten months. During his high-powered stint at the resort, he has reinvented food and beverage concepts and has been a key team member in the moderniza- tion of a historic resort that was starting to get lost amid the continual growth of no-longer-sleepy wine country. Napa Valley is booming, and keeping up with new restaurants, celebrity chefs and state of the art hotels can be a dizzying effort. A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, Costas took the long journey from attending hotel and restaurant management classes at Northern Arizona Uni- versity and the Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell, California, where he also studied wine. He passed Level II with the Court of Master Som- meliers, took a job as a sommelier on Princess Cruise Line ships to Alaska and Hawaii, and was recruited as a manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort in Scottsdale at their Four-Dia- mond Elements restaurant. "During my college internship with Sanctu- ary, I was working a wedding party, and a female guest got sick on the transport bus. The Banquet Manager needed a volunteer to clean it up. I did. They remem- bered me as a team player," remembers Costas. In fact, Silverado General Manager John Evans has a quote that is meaningful to Costas: "Successful people do every- thing that unsuccessful people don't want to do." He would soon be promoted to GM at Elements and was there for 18 months, but a longtime staffer secured the F&B position. Hungry to climb the ladder, he moved down the street to Scottsdale's Montelucia resort and was soon promoted to Director of Restaurants. He had been there for two years when a larger corpora- tion bought the Montelucia; Costas sent his resumé to Silverado. In April of 2014 he was hired as Director of Food and Beverage. Since then, he has revamped the bar program and conceived the Silverado Market & Bakery while overseeing the executive chef and dining programs, all playing a major role in increasing profits. And that's a win-win. "Ownership puts all profit- ability back into the resort's renovation," he tells The Clever Root. Coming up is a 18,000-square-foot Napa- style gardens featuring a small vineyard and a 5,000 square foot seasonal pavilion. For Silverado's two championship golf courses and the flourishing Safeway Open PGA tournament, Costas oversees all food and beverage concessions for the event's 50,000 spectators. The resort has the contract for the next five years. At 33, Costas still has a long way to go in his career. "I thought at one point I wanted to be a Master Som- melier, but I believe leadership is my strong suit. I would rather read ten pages a day—Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible, The Somm Journal, Oz Clarke, for example—and continue to pursue the next steps. My mantra is 'Knowledge is power.'" 3 4 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Chris Costas is Director of Food and Beverage at Napa Valley's Silverado Resort and Spa. In the background is the resort's main build- ing, The Mansion, originally built as a residence in the late 19th century, then transformed into a country club 100 years later. ON THE RISE Food & Beverage Guy by Meridith May / photos by Alexander Rubin Silverado Resort's Market & Bakery features local fare, fresh produce, sandwiches, coffee and wines that hail from California. "Silverado was built in 1881. We need to pay hom- age to the people who paved the way here," says Costas of his choice to carry a majority of California-based foods, wines and spirits. n ■cr CHRIS COSTAS KNOWS WHAT MAKES A PROPERTY—AND HOSPITALITY—GREAT

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