Chris Royster

Executive Chef & Co-Owner

Introducing Executive Chef Chris Royster, a culinary luminary celebrated as a Zagat 30 Under 30 awardee and a Food Network CHOPPED Champion. His culinary journey is a testament to a family deeply rooted in an appreciation for exceptional cuisine.

Chris’s childhood in Hyde Park, NY, was infused with culinary influences from an early age. His mother, a cake decorator, instilled in him the artistry of confectionery. Meanwhile, his father and grandfathers, passionate hunters and anglers, imparted the skills of hunting, fishing, and the fine art of crafting sausages and jerky while utilizing every part of the animals they harvested.

A significant catalyst for his culinary journey was his older brother, Adam, who shared his passion for cooking. Their mutual influence began at The Twist, a local modern American restaurant, where they commenced as dishwashers, gradually climbing the ranks until they became co-chefs at the tender ages of 18 and 19.

Following in his brother’s footsteps, Chris ventured to Colorado, initially working at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater. He continued to hone his craft at various establishments within the Three Leaf Concepts family, where his roles included Sous Chef at Zucca and Executive Chef at The Huckleberry Café. The latter offered him invaluable experience, featuring a bakery, catering company, and bustling breakfast, lunch, and dinner services.

In 2011, Chris rejoined his brother at the Flagstaff House, initially as Sous Chef, and later, as Chef de Cuisine, following Adam’s return to New York. He is deeply committed to the Flagstaff House’s ethos of incorporating local, seasonal, and sustainable products into his daily evolving menu.

Chris’s culinary journey has been enriched through his partnership with Consultant and former Executive Chef Mark Monette, whom he regards as a cherished mentor. Their collaboration was a source of constant inspiration, fostering creativity, and pushing the boundaries of culinary innovation.

Beyond the kitchen, Chef Chris is an ardent forager, dedicating his time off to mushroom hunting, fishing, and hunting while practicing responsible outdoor pursuits. His personal and culinary passions align seamlessly, as he continually seeks inspiration through travel, exploring new foods, and embracing the culinary traditions of different regions.

In 2018, Chris Royster assumed the role of Executive Chef and later became a Partner at the Flagstaff House Restaurant. In 2022, he, alongside Adam Monette, acquired the 52-year-old establishment, cementing their commitment to its enduring legacy. When not crafting culinary masterpieces, Chris enjoys savoring meals made by other artists and embarking on Colorado adventures that celebrate the state’s natural beauty and culinary diversity.

Chef Chris Royster’s unwavering dedication to culinary excellence, his passion for responsible sourcing, and his commitment to elevating the dining experience at the Flagstaff House have solidified his position as a driving force in the culinary world. His journey is a testament to the enduring power of family, mentorship, and an unyielding love for the art of food.