There are very few chefs I can say had a direct impact on my love for the culinary arts. There are probably no more than 10 I can name off hand. But when I think of this chef, I simply say, I want to be like him.
The chef I'm speaking of is chef Patrick Clark
, a celebrity chef who never sought celebrity. Chef Patrick Clark, was a culinary pioneer, born in Brooklyn in 1955. His father was a chef, but he didn't want his son to follow in his footsteps. For Black History Month I'd like to honour him and the legacy he left for us all.
Thankfully, Chef Clark didn't listen and went on to study at the New York Technical Community College and later at the Culinary Arts Program at Bournemouth & Pool College in England. He was an apprentice at Braganza Restaurant in London and mastered his skills under Michel Guerard's Eugenie-les-Bains in France.
Chef Clark introduced and embraced a new style of casual yet sophisticated French cooking that set him apart from other black chefs of the 1980's. He was Executive Chef at Odeon in TriBeCa and awarded 2 stars from the New York Times at the ripe age of 25.
His book, "Cooking with Patrick Clark: A Tribute to a Man and His Cuisine," is a must read for any aspiring chef or anyone who loves to cook.
See Chef Clark in action:http://video.pbs.org/video/1075989588/
In 1994 Chef Clark won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic and was even offered the position of White House executive chef by Hillary Clinton, but turned it down.
Chef Patrick Clark died in 1998. His son Preston has become the third generation of Clark chefs. We salute this pioneer in the industry and thank him for all of his inspiration. #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackChefs #CulinaryStandardBearers #ChefLife