VICE-PRESIDNET - PICA KITCHEN PARTY & SLOW FISH CHAIR - DARREN CLAY
Upon his graduation from culinary school in 1998, Chef Darren began his professional culinary career at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel. His apprenticeship culminated with his Red Seal designation and a first place finish in the Vancouver Magazine Rising Star black box challenge.
He then set off to further his education and apply his skills in Singapore, working for the Raffles hotel group as well as running an authentic Mexican restaurant. Chef Darren used his time in Asia to travel and expand his knowledge of ingredients and techniques in Thailand, Malaysia, China and Indonesia.
After 3 years, he returned to the west coast and was the Executive Chef at the Robson Street Cactus Club as well as the opening chef for Cactus Club’s new concept Village Taphouse in Park Royal in West Vancouver. It was in this role that Darren discovered his true passion for teaching and passing along his knowledge to others. After completing his Provincial Instructor’s Diploma in 2009, Chef Darren joined the faculty at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. His role has evolved over the years from Chef Instructor and Corporate & Catering Chef to his current role of Executive Culinary Chef Instructor, where he oversees all day to day operations of the culinary arts program.
Wanting to give back to the industry, Chef Darren sits on various ITA advisory committees, the Joy of Feeding steering committee which raises awareness and funds for the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm, and is currently the Vice President of the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals.