Rising Star Chef Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood - Biography

St. Helena, CA

October 2011

With a culinary career that stretches back to the age of 14, 2009 Napa-Sonoma Rising Star Christopher Kostow has come a long way from his high school days in the kitchens of the Ravinia Festival, an annual music festival held in the outskirts of Kostow’s native Chicago. As chef at St. Helena, CA, restaurant The Restaurant at Meadowood—a move he made in February of 2008—Kostow just recently implemented a new menu and is working on pushing the envelope with innovative dishes and new flavor interpretations. One example: rabbit with spring vegetables—a three-element dish that calls for the rabbit loin, leg, and rack, and incorporates the flavors of ham hock broth and almond froth.

After graduating with a philosophy degree from Hamilton College, Kostow headed off to France in 2001 to pursue his culinary dreams, later landing a position under Daniel Patterson at San Francisco’s Elisabeth Daniel. But it wasn’t until Kostow worked as sous chef with mentor Daniel Humm at Campton Place Restaurant, also in San Francisco, that he gained a new insight into cooking and a greater respect for pure ingredients. Striking out on his own in 2006, Kostow assumed the role of executive chef at Chez TJ in Mountain View, CA, where he earned two Michelin stars and gained notoriety for his elaborately thought-out dishes and inventive use of local ingredients.