The Meritage Resort and Spa, located in Napa, Calif., has hired Krisztian Karkus as its new executive chef. Chef Karkus, comes to The Meritage Resort from one of its sister properties in the Meritage Collection, The Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, Calif. With his experience in working at resorts throughout the country and around the world, Chef Karkus, who grew up in Hungary, plans to continue to introduce new flavors and dishes across each of the resorts four main dining restaurants and to its banquet offerings, while keeping in line with the resorts distinctly Tuscan and Napa style.
Krisztian Karkus was born and raised in Hungary, about 50 miles from the capital, Budapest. His mother, a great cook herself, introduced him to cooking and inspired him with a love of ingredients and a passion for Hungarian cuisine. During his summer holidays, Krisztian went to work at a small boutique hotel in the mountains in the Danube River Valley. He describes it as a wildly romantic place, filled with hunters and weekenders from the city who would come to relax and enjoy the beautiful setting. An opportunity to apprentice with the resort’s chef presented itself and Krisztian became very serious about learning to cook professionally. He returned to work with the chef every summer until he finished school and then decided to continue his culinary education through formal training.
Chef Karkus’ career has taken him to spots around the world including Tokyo and Jamaica. Most recently he worked as the Executive Sous Chef at The Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, Calif. There he was responsible for the operation of all three restaurants, banquets and room service, and also enjoys designing menus and cooking for special events, monthly wine maker dinners and lavish Les Amis des Escoffier soirees.
At The Meritage Resort and Spa Chef Karkus oversees all hotel food operations, including the signature Siena Restaurant, Crush Ultra Lounge, The Commons: A Wine Bar, Blend Café, banquets, room service and all signature events at The Meritage Resort. He will continue the resort’s tradition of blending Tuscan and Napa flavors together using the finest ingredients, while bringing in some of his own culinary styles and inspirations from around the globe.“My vision is to provide our guests from around the country, around the world and even Napa Valley residents with a complete dining experience,” said Chef Karkus, executive chef of The Meritage Resort and Spa. “From the service they receive in our restaurants to the flavors they taste, I want them to remember the food they ate, just as much as the award winning wines they came to enjoy in Napa.