16th Annual Signature Fundraising Event
Taste for a Cure
Friday, April 15, 2011
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
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Chef Dustin Clark believes the Pacific Northwest is home to some of the best produce in the world. “When I spent three months traveling around Europe, I always compared it to the great fruits and vegetables in Oregon. Even the open-air markets in Nice on the coast of France didn’t measure up,” he says.
Clark grew up in Pierre, South Dakota. Finding a limited culinary scope there he moved to Montpelier, Vermont and attend the New England Culinary Institute. As luck would have it, one of his externships led him to Portland, Oregon and ultimately, to Wildwood.
Clark first worked at the renowned Portland restaurant, Zefiro, upon arrival to the Pacific Northwest. In typical Portland fashion, he worked two jobs for almost two years while getting his feet under him, also cooking at In Good Taste cooking school when it first opened. Wildwood soon offered an amazing opportunity to cook “from the source” as Chef Cory Schreiber put it, and Clark accepted. Originally scheduled to work pastry, he was moved to the wood oven and quickly earned the evening line cook position. Less than a year later, Clark was promoted to Sous Chef.
Clark has been with Wildwood Restaurant since 1998. He has dedicated himself to the restaurant purely because of the concept: source the finest local ingredients, know your farmers, make lasting relationships, and the cuisine will always be more detailed than the final plate. Clark began collaborating with Schreiber on the menu in 2004, close to the restaurant’s 10th anniversary. Soon after, Clark assumed the Chef de Cuisine position in 2006. In 2007, Chef Schreiber moved on from Wildwood, and Clark was promoted to Executive Chef.
Today, Clark creates weekly menus that take the Pacific Northwest cuisine Wildwood is known for to the next level. He elevates typical New American dishes by drawing on many different influences including Indian, Moroccan, Eastern European, French, and Italian. Clark involves his entire team in the culinary process, working with his sous chefs and cooks to constantly innovate and energize the menu.