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About Chef Crystal
Crystal Clarke - Starting off her culinary journey at a young age, flavors and the best ingredients have always been a constant. Learning proper balance and building upon more than 20 years in the field have contributed to making her the culinary professional she is. If you know Crystal, it won’t take long for you to see that she really has a passion for creating an environment of southern comfort for those in her presence. Studying at Johnson & Wales University laid the foundation for the culinary education fueling the quest for all things food! Work history includes: Le Chambord and the Bistro, Freemason Abbey Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Reston, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort Hemingway’s, La Coquina, Pastry Department) to name a few, facilitating the opening of Santa Fe Margarita Grill and The Hotel Victor in South Beach.
Lead. Teach. Learn.
Leading in the culinary composition of Southern flavors meet French refinement, teaching others about other cultures flavors and ingredients used to educate palates – Learning from and inspired by Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, Jaimie Oliver, Nancy Silverton, Christina Tosi, Stephen Wilson, Jill McClennen, and her grandma. Cooking with Grandma in Virginia, sparked the first interest into the culinary realm where things just made sense to Crystal. Seeing the expansive fields of produce and gardens and feeling the sun on a fresh tomato or ear of corn or fresh herbs - has to be experienced to be understood. The simplest times created the drive and importance of using the best ingredients and being at peace with the modest beginnings of most things.
"Mixing cakes and biscuits for family was a typical Sunday afternoon activity growing up Southern. Listening to Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline must have helped the process of pickling, canning, baking, and cooking Sunday Dinners. Little did I know that Grandma’s seeds would blossom into this journey and appreciation of most of what I hold dear in life – music, food, and people."
- Chef Crystal